This poem is dedicated to yesterday’s International Poetry Day and a celebration of spring.
I’m really enjoying our walks in the countryside around Cople. Each day I wonder how many more buds are out, what suprises are there under the hedgerows: daisies, celedine, anemonies and tiny violets. Skylarks serenade us along the paths at the edges of fields and red kites circle above. Our prize is watching the brown hares running along the furrows and sunning themselves. Such beauty is to be savoured every moment!
I had a lovely time at the Westbury Arts Centre in Milton Keynes on Saturday.The Drypoint workshop was tutored by Susan Erskine- Jones. We began with a sketching and photography exercise in preparation for our Drypoint work. Here are a selection of photos I took out in the rambling garden of the farmhouse.
Here are the results: two plates and four prints. Enjoy!
My collagraph plate was inspired by one of the dead, old oak trees that I see on my walks through the Bedfordshire countryside: always silhouetted against the sky is one or more crows and ravens, congregating on the branches watching over the fields.
I used teased out string glued onto the mountboard to create tree bark and bird feathers. I created the branches out of textured wallpaper and made marks in it with a knife.
After the plate was varnished and dried with a hairdryer, it was time to ink up the plate using brushes. I wanted to create an atmospheric moonlit effect so I combined blues and used plenty of extender.
I hope you like the result. 🙂
The printed plate was hand pulled through an etching press. I used damp watercolour paper. Every collagraph print is different. I achieved a ghost print which was much lighter too.
Yesterday I indulged myself ccompletely. My inner creative child just loved inking up the two collagraph plates that I designed and made a couple of week ago. At this time of year there are lots of summer blooms to enjoy so I couldn’t resist making a collograph print. The plate was made from mounting board. I used wallpaper samples to get texture, netting, twine untwisted and teased out for the stem and lots of pva glue for subtle highlights to suggest the frailty of the petals of the Peony. Next I mixed vintage coloured inks. The photo above shows the plate after it had been inked and through the press.
Here’s the first result. The colours and detail came out well. I was pleased with the result (always difficult to show on a photo). My print was hand pressed on A3 Watercolour paper.
My next post will show my next collagraph. I hope you enjoy It.
This Solar print was inspired by my moonlit frosty dog walks. The seedheads were encrusted with ‘fairy dust’ reaching out to the moon.
This solar print was inspired by my photos of trees in winter, taken In what I call the ‘Fairy wood’; a beautiful, quiet, well planted woodland where we often walk. Every day there is something new to see. The Green Woodpecker has been a recent visitor. My dogs love to chase squirrels and jump over the piles of logs, the woodland is a natural Green Gym.
I love spending autumnal afternoons printmaking. There is so much to inpire me all around. This beautiful Barn Owl appeared as I was driving along the dark, quiet country road near the village of Cople. His white heart shaped face was lit up by the waxing moon. It was a truly magical sight, quite stunning!
Pencil in hand I sketched my design first onto tracing paper, then traced it down onto a square of lino ready to cut. I decided that I wanted a graduated night sky and a full moon, so this involved cutting a stencil for the moon. The lino plate was then rolled over with the two colours, then the moon stencil was put into position. The next task was the best bit, putting it under the press then peeling off the paper (Japanese) to reveal the night sky with a full moon.
After cutting away my design on the lino I printed a black and white version first to check how the design was going to look. What do you think? I was very pleased with it.
When my night sky backgrounds had dried, I then overprinted my owl design in black ink. This was a little tricky but well worth the effort. I hope you like it.