Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Turn of the Year.. and yes, more Moons.

Today must be one of my very favourite days, because I know that tomorrow, albeit falteringly, it will start to get lighter. Hope, spring, warmth and sun cannot be far away.
Meanwhile my first, fascinating, full-on, MA project is drawing to a close. Not so much about finishing things this one, more about cranking up the thinking processes. And for another two weeks I will remain deeply in thrall to the lovely Moon, lost in the wonder of its science, myths, facts, fallacies, hopes and dreams.  There will be a last little sliver of a waning moon tonight before a new moon for Christmas.
I have learnt enormous amounts of stuff; about book forms, monoprinting and the moon. I have made some strange images, played with many maquettes, knitted a Clanger, read some extraordinary fiction and finally worked on a set of monoprints which, in a way, relate the story of my research. I am now just assembling them into a rather haphazard book. The learning curves have been steep but the skills will be useful.
So here,  for the winter solstice, are a few of the monoprints. Out of over 60 plus I  have to whittle it down to 29 ish.  I will post the full set when I have made those tricky final decisions and also will explain a little about how and why I got there.  
I had only made a few monoprints before but loved the quality of the line see here

hands f_resize     man in moonf_resize mothsf_resize     panther f_resize[4] rabbit f _resize     running moon f_resize snake 1 f_resize     thingf_resize        tree f_resize      toadf _resize copy
Ten of the monoprints, some with relief printed additions: image size 4 x 6 inches

Somehow they seem appropriate for Christmas.
I will, yes really, be back to the blogs with a bit more regularity in the New Year and I might just get one more post in before Christmas but, if not, a very Happy Christmas to all my faithful blog readers…

Monday, November 3, 2014

Many Moons

I am just 3 weeks into the MA course and working on lots of ideas to do with the Moon's Phases. I cut some blocks to print all phases both singly and overprinted.
They made some unexpectedly lovely prints:

 more trials

It was a quick trial so only printed on newsprint, its sods law that they would come out so well. Maybe I will try on some Japanese paper later..maybe..

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Moon moth

I’ve been working on some prints of the moon lately and as moths are night creatures I have been wondering about combining the prints. I have no time for actual printing so this is a combined Photoshop print, colours I don’t think I could ever achieve in real  life.
I tend not to use Photoshop much but as I am doing an Illustration course I think its time I really used it for the best it can do, which for me is combining images and playing with colours. So many ides and possibilities can emerge.


Moon moth, 2 prints combined in Photoshop

Friday, October 17, 2014

Moth Print Development

I’ve spent a little time with the moths again… no joke ..
This time combining the two plates.




Hmm.. nice possibilities. These are just proofs on newsprint which prints up really well! Better sometimes than the expensive paper. That’s just how it is sometimes ..

Moth second plate

At last I have finished the cutting of the second plate.

The patterns are quite different from the first plate, as I want to overprint and see what happens.

I also cut a mask, using a test print from the first block. I can’t now remember why I I wanted to do this but I had written it down in my invaluable to-do book.
(Note to self: Good idea to add reason or give self some clue or other.)Anyway I hope I will remember when I start printing.
Test print of number two plate

 moth-2plate-bg .
I was looking at the new plate and the cut-out print from plate one and thought how much I liked the isolated pink moth.


Some more possibilities are suggesting themselves.. sadly not the reason for the mask yet.


More soon..

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Moth Print 1

Like Sue I am just back from hols. This time another inspiring visit to a favourite city Amsterdam. Time is short this week so just a simple moth design to try a few print techniques.

Some initial sketches to sort out a design that will be quick and versatile. 



A few further thoughts and starting to cut the base plate.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chris the Frog

My Easton group had a wonderful day on Friday tackling a woodblock print. Their results were excellent, some even managing two colours which is some going for just a few hours.

Easton class woodcut

A few stage one prints from the class.
Chris the FrogI had printed up a few variations of the Frog as a demo using the same very basic materials we would be using in the class, a spoon, a baren, computer paper, tissue paper, some cheap Japanese rice paper and basic acrylic printing inks.


The first plate.


Various combinations of paper and inking.


The frog is called Chris because I had unwittingly cut a rather nice letter C in one of the spots.. it seemed fitting..


In the garden there are still many tiny froglets around the pond fringes Mowing is a nightmare and very very slow. I have to carefully pat the grass to alert them and help the very tiniest ones to get to safety. The long grass must seem mountainous to them.. I rather know how they feel.


Here is one on the very tip of my grubby fingers.. I am wondering how they will survive the winter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Frog colour roughs and plate 1

This is a quick frog woodcut I made for a demo at Easton.  

frog flip

A few colour roughs to think about two colours.


I cut the block to the accompaniment of frogs singing from the herb bed..


Wood block plate 1.. A4

Saturday, June 28, 2014

One Coot Finished

At last, a finished print with a  little hand colouring. There has been quite a lot of learning the hard way with this one. Patience is a virtue.


The large coot with 2  punky spiky haired chicks .. vinyl cut. Image 11 x12 inches

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coot 2 Progress

I am still playing with the coot and after a bit more cutting away I have another black proof.

I am hoping to make a few experiments with this and now have a blue green version and a couple of dark blue ones.



Coot Blue Lino 10 x11 inches
More to come :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Coot Number 2

I have returned to the coot sketches and am planning another print to be a companion to Rook. I am not sure if or when I will be able to find the right sort of type so might just have to cut it myself. It would be good practice.
Black and white thumbnail.

So far I have made a rough proof and scribbled on it a bit with white chalk to  see what more I need to cut away. I made quite a few colour roughs but in the end decided it will just be black and white this time, like rook.
Inked up plate and first proof
It’s fascinating seeing the print emerge. It’s never quite how you imagined.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Blue Hedgehog

On Saturday we went to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is so many years since I was last there and I had forgotten how rich and wide ranging is the scope of the museum.
I found many more wonderful beasts from all over the world, but the best of all was the small blue Egyptian hedgehog.
We do love our hedgehogs but I had no idea that the Egyptians revered them as symbols of regeneration.
In the subdued lighting of the gallery the hedgehog has a certain mystery. The museum’s record, brightly lit and with its measuring scale and all the chips so evident is not quite so magical.

Fitzwilliam Museum photo
Faience hedgehog
Tomb 655 Beni Hasan Egypt
length 6.25 cm
width 3.75 cm
Twelfth Dynasty
Middle Kingdom
Date 1976 B.C. — 1793 B.C.

After a bit of research I found quite a few other  Egyptian Hedgehogs. Most surprising is the real and long eared Middle Eastern hedgehog.
This little chap is from Iran: photo Berkah.13.Kookherd from Wikipedia
A quick internet search shows that some ancient hedgehog figures do have long ears.This little faience amulet is from the Pelizaeus Museum  Hildesheim.
from the Global Egyptian Museum
My initial sketch of the short eared Fitzwilliam Hedgehog more as I saw it, in the tomb like low light of the museum display.
Then some sketches :
And then a quick reduction print:
The Blue Hedgehog
The little blue hedgehog on a windy moonlit evening with swaying palms. Reduction Lino image 6 x4 inches

Monday, May 26, 2014

Coot and Willow Print

The print I made last week, a continuation from my last posting on Beautiful Beasts here. There will be some more prints to come I hope.

I did a few initial drawings and tonal sketches for what will be a 3 colour reduction.

Various first stages and the lino block

Some final stages with various different colourways.

I like the image, but the printing needs work :). Maybe one really good one out of 6.


Coot and Willow..  image 6 x6 inches
I see the coot pottering about on the shoreline here, in and out of the willows. There is always a fisherman somewhere. The coot is large, the willow tree is small. That’s just how I wanted it.