Archive for william hope hodgson

Echostains – what exactly is it’

Posted in ART, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, exhibitions, MY SURFACES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by echostains

echo stain

 People are always asking me how I came up with such unusual name like ‘Echostains’ for a blog. Echostains began was a project I did at University. That project has now seen many changes, but it is still alive and kicking. I am still exploring communication through art, though now the communication is through the written word and in cyberspace. Here’s an explanation of the original concept;-


‘EchoStains’ is a personal project that I completed in the second year of my Visual Arts BA Hons Degree. (1Ith August 2002). I have split the project into three parts because the process was ongoing and progressive and each part inevitably merged seamlessly into the other, culminating in the final piece – the large painting ‘Echo Stain’. The work is about communication – on all different levels.

'Meeting Place'


In this first part of the project, the process is as important as the eventual image, in the sense that ‘recipes’ (see ‘My Surfaces’ category) and media components that have been explored in an earlier project, are now being applied in an almost ritualistic manner; i.e. pouring, splashing, scraping back, and finally painting. So, a dichotomy of measured and automatic response has merged to make the stain tangible. The ‘echo’ is the way that the piece communicates with the viewer – it is a first contact. Dialogue is established through the use of colour conversations. Solid matter versus the metaphysical and slight tensions between the representational and abstract start to emerge.

'House on the Borderland'

Another example is ‘House on the Borderland’ a book by William Hope Hodgson which was made iwth various inks overrunning each other, manually mnipulated to created ‘prisms’ crossing over each other.

'Alan Turing'

Shadow Maps

In this part of the project although the language is still personal, a kind of code is starting to come through. The Shadow Map’ is a form of communication: a visual narrative. Although there seems to be a gradual shifting away from the more nebulous ‘Echo Stains’, the ‘Shadow Maps’ are only an extension of the Echostains’ concept.

'Blue Animation'

Communication is continued by the use of colour relationships and special considerations makes themselves known. This is sometimes explored by painting in more gestural movements: sometimes motivated by lines of poetry – a measured response. The use of certain colour relationships denote mood. Repetition has been employed in some instances to convey a sense of rhythm and immediacy. The Shadow Maps try to give some semblance of coherence to the ‘dialogue’. The ensuing result is that they start to develop into a sort of communicative ‘code’ that is not yet deciphered – still in shadow.


The Yellow Wallpaper

The monumental works of the artist Wlodzimierz Ksiazek are both public and personal. He has developed a kind of dialogue that communicates to the viewer. This can be summed up by the quote mentioned in the review by Merleau-Ponty, who wrote of Cezanne’s work how each element contributed to: “an emerging order of an object in the art of appearing, organises itself before our eyes.” It is this kind of ‘dialogue’ that I have used in the third part of my project, inspired by the short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman called ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. The story can be read online.

'Creeping Woman'

Although these paintings do not ‘illustrate’ the story literally: it is the highly personal narrative that is the chief objective. The use of repetition and occasional nuance that starts to communicate on some level with the viewer.

So now you know what the ‘Echostains’ concept is about. Each gallery holds about  a dozen paintings. I shall be putting more on, as well as new work.


Altered book page 10 Freefalling Snake in the Grass

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by echostains
page-10-Altered art bookpage-10-Altered art book

Continuing over from page 9 with the pink pearlised ink, the words: –

Booby trapped

shows a drawing of a foot treading unwaringly on a hidden bomb.  Life is a time bomb really if you think about it; ready to go off at any moment.  Then it’s all over: that’s it really.  Booby traps: a game of Snakes and Ladders.


Talk in a whisper Green Grass’

The snake whispers this (well hisses it), makes me think of the words ‘Why do you whisper green grass?’  This is a VERY ancient song, even more ancient than me!  It is by the Inkspots and called ‘Whispering’ Grass’‘Why do you whisper green grass? why tell the trees what aint so’.  From this you can see the way my mind is working, and the word and image association (whispering grass – snake in the grass)

p10 detail-b

p10 detail-b

The whispering grass is associated with the Inkspots.  Inkspots and inkblots are used in psychology tests called Rorschach tests; the blot suggesting pictorial matter, depending on the frame of mind or temperament of the patient.  They are used by Forensics and for character assessment.



Life is a game of chance, and depending on how you look at it and how you deal with it, or interpret it, you will bear the consequences.  Sometimes it seems that you don’t even have to ‘do’ anything for things to ‘happen’ to you: there is usually something going on behind the scenes though; a chain of events etc.



In the third part of the actual Echostains Project the communication took the form of a visual narrative and auto suggestion.  I did a series of inkblots: spilling various inks onto paper and manipulating the streams of ink, using salt to impede the flow.  Watcher  and ‘Meeting Place’ were made with black and white ink  on canvas.



There is a lot of control versus chance in my work, which stems from my interest in Surrealism and the sub conscious.  I tend to use the sub conscious as a tool for ideas.  ‘House on the Borderland’ is a book by William Hope Hodgson.  The colours (ink) I have used, express the eerie feeling experienced reading the book.  My attempt to express a feeling in colour.



1066 uses abstract markings to express movement.  The colours are an interpretation of colours used in the  Bayeux Tapestry and so suggested the title 1066 (Battle of Hastings)



Pages 9 and 10



With many thanks to  a very interesting site – please check out!

Visit the Bayeux Tapestry, scene by scene

House on the Borderland

Whispering grass

listen to it

Snakes and ladders history

lots of variations here