Some Art Work Methods used by Meryl Watts


Colour Woodcut

Colour woodcut became popular in the 1920s and 30s and was taught in several art schools. The technique was the same as that used by Japanese artists to produce prints.  It involved the production of a separate block being carved for each area of colour. Each block was then hand-coloured in its particular colour, using a brush and waterbased inks, and printed sequentially onto a sheet of paper to build up the image.
Meryl Watt attended the Blackheath School of Art where the Principal, John Edgar Platt, was one of the major artists using this technique. Meryl obviously learnt the technique from Platt and was also influenced by Platt's artistic style as she produced several attractive, colourful and simplified designs using large flat areas of colour.
She became a member of the Society of Painter-Gravers in Colour in 1933 and exhibited her prints regularly at their annual exhibitions at Walker's Galleries in New Bond Street London.
(See: article on the Society in Print Quarterly,XX,2003,2)

Indian Ink

Indian-ink drawing is appropriate for smaller chamber creations. Usually this is a one-colour black and white drawing. Very often Indian ink drawing is combined with colouring and with coloured Indian ink or other drawing and painting materials.

The fundamental drawing media are black Indian ink with outstanding coverage and zero transparency. These requirements are met by Indian ink. With coloured Indian ink, the requirements are rather for bright colour and transparency.
Drawing is usually done with a quill or brush. A quill creates a sharp, simple drawing, where every stroke is final and cannot be retouched. A brush can create a drawing approaching a painting, where there are transitions from distinctly black to grey.

Meryl used this technique to create her black and white series of postcards.

Oil Painting

Oil painting is done on surfaces with pigment ground into a medium of oil - especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. Other oils occasionally used include poppyseed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. These oils result in different properties in the oil paint, such as less yellowing or different drying times. Meryl would use this medium often to create an original which later she would use as the template for the Colour Woodcut production method later on.

Water Colours

Watercolor is a painting technique using paint made of colorants suspended or dissolved in water. Although the grounds used in watercolor painting vary, the most common is paper. Others include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, leather, fabric, wood, and canvas. Meryl often used this medium like sketching to prepare work for either, woodcuts or personal use.

Plaster Sculpture

The art of carving wood, chiseling stone, casting and welding metal, modeling clay or wax into three dimensional representations, as statues and figures, or any work of sculpture or such works collectively.  Meryl worked with both Plaster and Wood to achieve results which were not as robust as other materials and deteriated rapidly in adverse storage.  Some examples of her work is known of but little is known of how productive or sucessful she was in this medium.

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