"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, 22 August 2010

A mixed bag this week

Quite a bit of news to post this week. Firstly the latest copy of the Huddersfield Bird Report has been published and is now available to buy. Details can be found by following the link to the Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club on the right.

Following on from the previous post regarding bookplates, I used one of my recent holiday sketches and produced this scraperboard drawing of Lindisfarne Castle. Which should fit the bill for a bookplate design for an old friend from Northumbria now living in the West Country.

And now on to the next Linocut. I'm not going to reveal the subject just yet, for anyone familiar with the history of Yorkshire the identity of the castle should become apparent quite quickly. So here we have the first colour, as usual darker than I intended. I really struggle to get the tone right on the first colour!

The second colour goes down and now I'm a bit happier about the tone of the first colour.

Third colour down and I can move on to the foreground.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


Someone suggested that I produced a set of 'ex libris' bookplates. After playing around with some designs I tried to cut a lino block but couldn't get the required detail. So after scrapping that idea I scanned an old scraperboard drawing and played around with it. If I can get the printing right it might be a worthwhile project.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Castles, Cobles and Kittiwakes : A week on the Northumberland Coast

A family holiday so neither a birding or a painting break but managed to do a bit of both.

1st August. (My Birthday). North Sunderland Point, Seahouses. 1000 am. Pen and Ink with watercolour.

Offshore; Black Headed Gull, Cormorant, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Swallow, House Martin, Linnet, Mute Swan, Heron.

1st August. 1940pm. From the harbour Seahouses, looking north. From left to right; Bamburgh Castle, Monks House and Lindisfarne Castle. Watercolour.

If I had a time machine, this is where I would come; the mid 1950's and Eric Ennions bird observatory at Monks House.

2nd August. Lindisfarne Castle. Pencil.

2nd August. Lindisfarne Castle. 1030-1100am. Ebb Tide. Watercolour.

2nd August. 1115am. Ebb Tide. Coble and Lindisfarne Castle. Pen and Ink.

2nd August. Adult and Juvenile Kittiwake. Braidcarr Point. Seahouses. Pen and Ink.
2000pm. 10 minutes drawing before the rain started and the ink began to run.

3rd August. Craster Harbour. 1400pm. Pen and Ink.

3rd August. Dunstanburgh Castle. 1500pm. Watercolour.

3rd August. Black Headed Gull and Turnstones. Seahouses. 2000pm. Watercolour.

4th August. Herring Gull. Seahouses. Pencil and Watercolour.

Spent today wandering around Berwick and then up to Eyemouth. Highlights included a Peregrine circling over Berwick town centre, and feeding Grey Seals Mackerel halves in Eyemouth harbour.

4th August. Farne Islands from Seahouses Harbour. 2010pm. Flood Tide. Sea flat calm. Watercolour.
From left to right; Inner Farne, East Wideopen, West Wideopen, Brownsman and Staple Islands. Longstone is to the right but I ran out of room on the page!

5th August. Kittiwakes. Braidcarr Point, Seahouses. 0845am. Watercolour.

5th August. Bamburgh Castle from the breakwater at Seahouses harbour. 1930pm. Pen and Ink.

6th August. Ringed Plover and Dunlin in the rain. Seahouses harbour. 1430pm. Pen and Ink.

Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Eider, Redshank, Curlew, Kestrel, Swallow, Swift, House Martin, Gannet, Cormorant, Black Headed Gull, Kittiwake, Great Black Backed Gull and Herring Gull.