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Sweeping down to the sea

The Mourne Mountains in my home country of Northern Ireland are my favourite place in all the world. I loved their rugged beauty and solitude and spent many days hiking around and camping in them as a youth. As you can see from my image, they do exactly what was written of them in that famous Irish song "Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea."

'The Mournes from Murlough #1 and #2', monotype, 25cm x 38cm, Hahnemuhle paper (2021)


Using a roller, I covered an acetate sheet with ink in the way one normally does for a dark field monotype. I then wiped the image into it using a rag and cotton buds. Admittedly, that is easier said (in just 34 words) than done! Printing the plate on to dampened Hahnemuhle paper gave me the first image, 'The Mournes from Murlough #1'.


I didn't plan to make Mournes from Murlough #2 but it cried out to be made as soon as #1 was off the press! You can see what the original plate looked like after going through the press by looking at the background of the second image. A great deal of the ink had transferred to the paper but there was still enough left to offer the chance of a good ghost print. I could have printed straight off with what I had but I felt it would look rather washed out. Deciding it needed the drama of a few darker tones, I took the plate off the press and began to work on it again. This time, I darkened the foreground with a roller and then added the grasses by dipping bits of matt board in ink and quite simply dabbing or scraping them on the plate.







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