Thursday, June 25, 2020

Grasshoppers in the Long Grass

The grasshoppers are  bouncing around in the long grass by the reservoir. How lovely to see them and hear them.
I have been trying to make a couple of new binding structures and had decided to use some earlier lino cuts of grasshoppers. I found a poem by ee cummings which paired up very nicely.

However, the binding structure didn't work very well and so I resorted to a "simple" concertina form.
Juts for a bit of extra practice though I did make an aperture in the cover.

The grasshoppers are playing with letters which spell "B O I N G"... the e e cumming's poem also plays with text. 
Neat poem! :) 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Reflection ...

If nothing else, lockdown has certainly given us time to reflect..... in between cleaning behind the fridge and rearranging our book shelves. Looking back at previous artwork can be helpful when your sense of creativity has deserted you, sometimes reminding you of incomplete work or providing you with new, improved ideas because previous work will never be good enough.

I've been looking back at some graphite drawings I did last Christmas which were successfully made into cards and it's encouraged me to start working on some more, seasonally appropriate studies ...... watch this space!
Inquisitive barn owl....

Not so inquisitive barn owl . Graphite and watercolour.

Long horn cow in colder times, although after the May heatwave it doesn’t seem all that warm now!

The hedgerows are full of birds and blossom and wonderful creepy crawlies at the moment so perhaps now is the time to be keeping a visual record of them,  but with all the leaf cover in the wood it’s hard to catch sight of visiting (and resident) mammals.  Perhaps it also has something to do with an overactive spaniel puppy who careers around noisily and an older and wiser lurcher who prefers lying in the shade! Graphite  drawings have a wonderful directness to them that  colour can sometimes take away from so perhaps time for reflection hasn’t been wasted if it kick starts that  next project....

Monday, May 25, 2020

Fledglings and puppies......

Over the last few weeks  most of us have had more time to absorb the sights and sounds of nature, even if we haven't got a garden to enjoy. With the reduction in traffic noise, just  walking along the pavements in a town can reveal new wonders such as the sound of birdsong or the sight of fledglings demanding to be fed by hard working parent birds.

Fledgling blackbird with parent ( watercolour)

It's also a time when the ' half year birds' are swirling around our heads, swallows,swifts and many others make their way back to nest and nurture their babies in a (slightly) more amenable climate!

Swallow in graphite and watercolour

In our household it's been a challenging time as our cocker spaniel puppy has very different ideas about tried and tested gardening and laundry methods..... she prefers the more spontaneous approach, particularly when it comes to digging holes and collecting socks! Patience has been sorely tested but even so, she has inspired me to get working on a watercolour portrait which is still a work in progress.........

We'll see how it goes...
Hopefully not the same way as that green sock!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Birds and Bees

Something has to cheer us up right now!  With inspiration a bit lacking and trying to make work in a vacuum Sue and I have decided to make some new posts on this our slightly neglected blog.

Luckily the natural world continues in blissful ignorance of the trails and tribulation of its human cohabitees.
Birds are singing, nesting and fighting, wild mason bees are enthusiastically filling up my bee house and flowers are springing up everywhere after some rain.

So to start here are some happy birds from my Trees book and a lone bee from the Bee Charm Booklet which I have been working on here. 

Small woodcuts from the flyleaves and title pages. 

And a bee drying in the sun:) 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Sketches

We are taking a break, I am back at college and Sue off to warmer climes for a while. Meanwhile in September I tried to make one 30 minute sketch a day. They had to be in colour and A4. That’s quite a task for me but its been great, getting ideas down quickly and simplifying things is always a good exercise!
Here are a few favourites: leaves, bugs, elderberries, blackberries, the grebes, starlings, last plums, jam The last one, below, is the huge supermoon with the flock of passing geese. The sound of their cries is the essence of autumn to me.


See more and the inspiration behind them over on my blog
Back with new work, new inspiration, and new thoughts in the New Year!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Something a little more exotic......

For various reasons, Val and I are taking a break from the blog for a while and  I'll be turning my attention to some slightly more exotic creatures  for a few weeks. I got myself into the mood by doing a print with watercolour  of a toucan and a macaw.

When we look at how our wildlife has evolved, we can  learn a lot about our [and their] environment  .....the colour of their feathers/fur/shells and the shape and size of their beaks/bodies etc., As in plant forms, it seems to me that there are few design features in the wildlife of the world that don't make us wonder at their perfection and  make us thrilled to be able to observe them. 

Print and watercolour 20cm x 20 cms
I'm looking forward to studying these exotic cousins of  our more sartorially 'subdued'  species of birds but  it seems to me that the more colourful the plumage, [perhaps this applies to more than birds!] the less beautiful the song.  Walking home from the wood  recently in the dusk, I couldn't help  feel thrilled to hear the melodious song of a robin perched high on  a tree at the side of the road - that takes some beating, but I'm sure our blackbird is up for it.......   

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More Bees..

This time I have been working on an image of a bee playing a pipe. It’s a trial both for a bit of reduction lino practise and a possible visual for a poster which will include a poem.

It took rather a long time to get this far. I am not sure reduction linos are for me. I find them a bit limiting and have ended up actually preferring the black and white. But its all good practise.The character of the bee was important and that is always a challenge especially in lino. One tiny slip of the cutter and everything changes.  It’s an all purpose bee of no particular species. Not quite as stylised as I wanted, so may try another version.


First reductions and colour trials


Four not-too-bad prints. There are 4 colours plus white in the most complex print.

But I love the simplification and choppy marks of lino and woodcut. These sort of marks would be hard to achieve in any other medium. The happy accidents and unforeseen marks are particularly rewarding.


Final black and white print and the plate.