"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

I should have read the small print

I have finally finished printing the reduction linocut, 8 colours in all all. However, the problems I was experiencing printing the colours (mentioned in a previous post), became compounded with each successive colour. It was only when I was squeezing out the black ink that I noticed the very small (actually miniscule small print) on the back of the bottle. These colours are not suitable for overprinting. I'd already come to this conclusion but it was nice to have it confirmed. So back to the drawing board. From a run of 7 prints this was the only salvagable one and even this will not be leaving the studio.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Signs of Spring

Male Dunnock singing from the top of the conifer at the bottom of the garden. Sketched from the kitchen window this morning before breakfast. Not the most colourful of birds but its understated plumage, a subtle combination of warm browns and blue greys is worthy of closer study. I drew the pen sketch first then changed to pencil and washed in the colour.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Three colours down but not entirely happy

I've begun work on a new reduction lino cut and am experimenting with water based Inks rather than the usual oil based ones. As I have to share work space with my two small children (ages 4 & 6), who are both keen to poke their fingers everywhere, and insist on helping to ink up the blocks. I thought the water based Inks would be more child friendly. However, I'm not happy with the way the inks overprint each other, as its producing some rather unusual painterly effects. Unfortunately, not the sort of unusual effects that I wanted for this particular print. Looks like its back to the oil and grubby little finger prints all over the house.
In case you are wondering the image is of the two grain silos that stand beside the canal in Brighouse, my home town. Three colours down and another five to go; two greens, two browns and black.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Back in the field

Heron standing belly deep in the water. Its tail and wingtips submerged with a strong wind from the left whipping up its crest and neck plumes.
Pen and Ink.

Immature Cormorants. Drawings of two different individuals, one much whiter underneath than the other.
Pen and Ink.

Female Goosander.

Male Shelduck preening and Redshank in the rain.
After working on studio paintings for the last couple of weeks it was good to have an opportunity to get out into the field. So I spent the morning at Denaby Ings sketching. Having arrived at 9am to a brilliant blue sky full of the promise of spring, I was hopeful of picking up a couple of early migrants. Two hours later and winter returned with dark skies, wind and freezing rain! So no migrants but did manage these sketches before everything got wet. It wasn't a bad couple of hours though with 30 species logged.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head. Pencil, Black Biro and Coloured Pencils.
Field Sketch drawn 22/10/95.

and Studio Painting.....

Flamborough Head. Acrylic on gesso primed board. 180mm x 250mm.

The final flourish of the Yorkshire Wolds as they meet the North Sea. This chalk arch and stack lie just south of the Fog Horn station on Flamborough Head.
I've been working on this painting on and off over the last week finally finishing it this morning. I struggled a bit with it at first as I couldn't get the tone and colour of the sea correct as it faded towards the horizon. Once I got that right I worked down to the foreground, painting in the structure of the rocks before working on the waves coming onto the beach.