The weather has been amazing the last couple of days, too hot for working in the Studio so I’ve been sitting outside at a little table sketching with watercolour was crayons, called I think Neocolour. They are quick to work with and I love blending the colours. I used the above reference from a walk in the countryside yesterday and imagined the feeling of walking into a magical Blue bell wood.
I love growing squash, but this year, I reckon because of the drought, the harvest was disappointing. The squash were much smaller. However they have made a very good Still Life subject. I feel inspired by their textures, colours and those fabulous stripey designs. I actually like the dried slightly mouldy wizened stem!
My painting is work in progress, in oil on canvas gesso board. The oil is quite damp so I’ve got time to think about any changes I want to make.
The weather is warm here, the light fabulous for showcasing autumnal colours everywhere in nature. I’ll miss the swallows though!
Yesterday was a great Art for the soul day, painting almost non stop for 3 hours in a lovely Studio gallery location in the buzzing Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin. I have never painted in Oils before and found them quite a challenge but I will get mine out at home now because they are such a tactile, vibrant medium. I love them. I hope you enjoy my painting. I tried to capture the light and different colours in a photo of the ‘black tulip.
I always find walking along the North Norfolk coastal path calming restorative. The endless skies of clouds whch make dreamy characters from children’s picture books and the gentle salty air filled with samphire and sea lavender. The colour palette and interesting wild textures inspire me to write and paint.
Here are two textured painted sketches of the atmosphere evocative of Stiffkey salt marshes. I hope you enjoy t
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.
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.
To get a solar print, I drew my lovely seed heads from my garden, onto acetate with permanent black ink. The drawing is then transferred onto a light sensitive plate which is then exposed to UV light and then developed through tap water. It is very experimental as you try different exposures to get different effects. Once the plate has been dried in sunlight then it can be run through the press.
Ghost of stocks solar print
This one is my favourite. Can you find the fairy? This is my Arthur Rackham style ‘ghost’ solar print. The first print was much bolder so I decided to run the plate through the press again and I just love the antique effect.
Both of these prints were done at Susan Erskine- Jones’ s workshop. Thanks to Susan for sharing her skills and experience, it was a most enjoyable day.
Salted toffee breeze
Weaves and leans
Over a sea of
Popping their seams.
Recently I had a whole day to totally immerse myself in my favourite art of painterly printmaking. Here are two drypoint etching and monoprints,designed and hand pulled myself in the delightful studio of Susan Erskine-Jones nestling in a Chiltern hills village. It was a beautiful day where many stories were shared as we made our plates, pulled prints and sipped fresh coffee!
I treasure breathing, everyday breathing in new energizing air and breathing out stale energy, removing any negativity. I enjoy each day whatever the weather, walking in nature, looking,hearing,feeling and touching as I breathe, I believe breathing fully keeps me healthy. The breath is calming and healing. Yoga gurus call the vital energy source ‘prana’. Breath control is used during meditation to help focus the mind and body in the here and now. I hope you enjoy my post and if you don’t normally think about your breathing, just take a moment to enjoy being aware of your breathing, you will be surprised at how relaxed you will become. Have a lovely weekend. Namaste
I love the above quote from the 15th Century philosopher,physician and priest ,Marcilio Ficint’s book ‘The book of life. translated by Charles Boer. Dallas Spring Publications 1989.