Friday, January 6, 2017


Thursday 5 January 2017

5 degrees nippy wind bright skies

When I am in France, I long for time to do arty things.  I imagine myself in a studio, full of arty things, sewing machine, paints, wonderful views, classical music, coffee/tea and indulging full on my muse.  I know very well that engaging one's muse is actually very hard work which is why I often avoid her by doing housework.  My contribution to art is buying materials.  I have materials for every type of artistic activity under the sun.

Thanks to everyone being ill, and finding myself in a house which is not piled up high with crap, free of pain in the butt clients, and no massive garden demanding to be tamed, I was forced to engage with my muse.

I had received Angie Lewin's Plants and Places for Christmas.  If you dont know Angie, she is a print maker and specialises in botanicals.  I have drooled over her lovely prints for an age.  I gathered some plant material and coffee and found a place where the light was good.  The dog snored in a corner.  Some crows patrolled on the glass roof.  I started sketching.  The problem, I rapidly discovered, is to get something 3d onto a 2d bit of paper

I always think 'how hard can it be?' and I always want to be very, very good - immediately. It was, of course, very hard.  I felt the copier paper was to blame.  I refused to let myself look at the laptop and order some lovely Japanese paper.  Must concentrate.  I referred to Angie Lewin and drank a cup of coffee.  No point in rushing into things.  AL simplifies things down to basic shapes.  You cant be too complicated with lino cut.

I simplified things and obtained the following results

In case you dont recognise them, the pointy things are the grasses and the spiky things are the ivy. Angie Lewin's stuff was a lot better.  Perhaps I could copy her in the first place....

I got out my brand new lino cut set and had a choice of Softcut or Lino.  The softcut looked much easier to start with.  I drew freehand on a little bit and carved away at it.  I have to say, it was enormously satisfying, rather like paring back cuticles.  The tricky bit was actually differentiating between what was cut and what was not cut.  I looked at Youtube and discovered I needed to paint in the bits which would be coloured.  No paint to hand.  I got a bright light and pared away.  

I have yet to print it.  OH crawled out of bed and said he fancied roast chicken and roast potatoes.  I suspect he wont fancy it enough to make it.....

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