Christmas brought a few sad notes in cards, telling of deaths earlier during the year, with families having to cope – on top of all else – with constrained funerals amongst Covid-19 restrictions. One such death was that of Colin Bygrave, well-known in Norfolk as a painter and, especially, etcher. Colin was a friend and, for several years, a neighbour (I even have one of his aquatints of the side of our house viewed from his). Back in 2013 Colin and I made a film on etching. Divided into five short sections, this was intended as a guide to those interested in etching and, especially, aquatint, perhaps thinking of having a go themselves, so it follows a simple step-by-step structure. I’m so glad we did this, not just for the purpose of being a Youtube guide, but also since it captures something of Colin’s gentle enthusiasm and skill as a lifelong teacher.
Filming in Colin’s purpose-built garden studio was appropriately low-key, over a few shortish sessions (Colin was already over 80): I used a single Nikon DSLR, while another friend (Adam O’Grady) with an interest in etching (he had previously attended a course or two run by Colin) operated the boom mic.
For a commemoration of Colin’s life and work, see https://colinbygrave.uk/
And here is Colin’s brief five-part guide to etching and aquatint:
This is just fantastic! Professional documentary, real artist, everything in this film is just peace and love. That etching in the last is so nice that I would like to have one! Thank you for making this film!
Thanks Alec: the kind words are much appreciated. It is wonderful that others who never met Colin – or never saw him in action or teaching – can get a glimpse of a remarkable (and gentle) artist: as well as an insight into making aquatints!
I love this so much. Not only because it is inspiring and calming to watch, but also because Mr Bygraves was my art teacher at school. He was my favourite teacher and it has brought a tear to my eye watching this. He always encouraged me and I wish I could have seen him again before he passed away. What a talented brilliant man. Thank you for making these because I have such lovely memories now.
Thanks Gail. So glad this has brought back memories of Colin, or Mr Bygraves as you knew him: nice to know he was your teacher and your favourite too.