This is an original collagraph print made from a combination of my photo of Vernacher Loch in the Trossachs placed as textures of the trees and the loch within in the form of a rutting stag. These beasts naturally inhabit both the Highlands and the North Lowlands of Scotland. We were there in 2017 visiting friends when we went to Vernacher Loch for a walk and a lochside supper when I took the photo; such a serene and beautiful location.
I have just managed to get totally distracted by this new editor, trying out all the new blocks for text, images, galleries, calendars and lots more. I was supposed to be checking out some photos on my PC of a trip to Dartmoor a few years ago as I want to integrate a Dartmoor scene with a rook profile.
Now I am back on track I have popped some photos in the new editor’s gallery below. Just click to enlarge and get a close up of these Rooky characters. As we drove over the moors the cheeky rooks were waiting in the pull-ins up on the hills and making begging noises for bits of sandwich! It was a great photo opportunity for me. They are such characterful birds.
I love macro photography; the great reveal of these photos once transferred to my PC never fails to amaze me. This shield bug needed rescuing from our porch after perching on a fairy light.
Some process images. I have cut through the drawing to directly carve out my mountboard plate. Glue is applied with cocktail sticks to make the lines which will be highlights or white; a very absorbing task! The larger image is where I am peeling the mountboard for the required texture. This is then sealed with button polish, dried, inked and printed.
Click Here to find the result!
It is hard isn’t it! Some decisions on composition are really easy but at other times they are really hard. I mean there are potentially so many variables, and reviewing the results, deciding on their worthiness is often really difficult.
Sometimes you want a certain detail left in, you think this detail is a good idea! But for some reason this great idea does not work. We want the design to hold together well and be more than the sum of its’ parts. Sadly this can mean letting go of something we really would have preferred stayed as part of the composition.
I had wanted a back drop and small details (telegraph poles) in these small collagraphs (5″ x 7″); but small details on small collagraphs made with mount board do not work so well. Possibly because working so small is not correct with this medium, or perhaps I need to hone my technique. I do like a graphic look, that is with a white background and sharp profile. I mean what am I doing creating something that does not fit with what I like in the first place!?
Truly I am quite new to the printmaking medium. And I should experiment, but my final print below is a lesson in the “less is more” motto.
Having taken out the small details that are not working, and also the backdrop, this is the final result which I feel works best.
What do you think?
Yesterday I was watching a Brian Cox programme about the discovery of treatments for diseases; catching up on things recorded last summer! Brian Cox was describing how these days our investment in research is focused only on the cure or solution to the problem, ie discarding any negative results as irrelevant. The unfortunate problem with this is that scientists and researchers are not being given free rein to discover things by accident when inadvertent discoveries can also lead to the creation of useful results.
The permanent dye for the colour mauve was accidentally discovered by a scientist (William Henry Perkin) who was trying to create a synthetic quinine which is a cure for malaria. He made his future wealth out of producing this dye particularly after Queen Victoria wore a silk gown dyed with his creation mauveine. He failed in his original task, yet this discovery was deemed to be a success!
Essentially, both successes and also the detailed records of failures can be of great use to other research in the future.
The same could be applied to artistic endeavours couldn’t they?
I do divide my failures into those which are possibly useful to refer to in the future and rubbish definitely to be binned! It just would not be possible for me to store everything especially since switching from painting to printmaking. Photos of work in progress and experimentation can make it easier to store information, or even just notes.
I hung onto this trio of tom cats below which was created simply to test a printmaking texture. It was useful yesterday in convincing me to use a particular texture for some mountains on a new piece I am working on at the moment.
Happy Easter weekend! Sometimes it is better just to go for it and create a small piece of art especially if you are procrastinating a bit, so here is my funny little egg print.
I see these swans from Spring onwards on our nearby canal on my regular walks; they are called Mute Swans because they are not so vocal as other swan species. The serene beauty as they glide across the water hiding a ferocious guarding nature that you would not wish to mess with if their nest was nearby and they thought you a threat. They mate usually for life, and if you want to identify the male of a pair he is the one with the much larger knob on top of his orange beak.
I have rarely painted a swan, but I found this very old painting which was intended to be part of a story called The Crow, The Castle and The Beanstalk. This is Gretel waiting to be rescued…..
My walk today was bright and dry and full of birdsong. The usual suspects showed up robins, blackbird, blue and coal tits.
Along with crows and wood pigeon, and a crow’s encounter with a low flying buzzard dipping sideways to shake the crow off his tail. Our local canal has a resident heron who is very used to people walking the tow path; he continued his fishing activities unfazed in this morning’s sunshine.
One of my favourite bird calls is that of the Goldcrest. They are very small, our smallest european bird, and usually situated very high up in conifer trees. You might see them from below if you are lucky, but then only their olive coloured underside, and unless you learn their call you would not know that they were there at all. Their call is high pitched, jingling sound, listen here to find out what it sounds like…..
The goldcrest is a tiny cute little bird that looks slightly glum don’t you think?
Image royalty free from pixabay
Moving from painting colour to printmaking with colour is really difficult! Tiny bits of colour are creeping in here with my rook.
It is coincidental that a printmaker’s single colour choice is often prussian blue and that this happens to be one of my favourite painting colours. Keeping the inks simple is best for me at the moment whilst trying to get the shade via the texture right, as well as the consistency of the ink, the paper and the press! Prussian blue’s history is extremely varied; if you are mad about colour history there is plenty of very interesting facts about Prussian Blue here.
Having collected a few bits and bobs before the summer ended I have a few dried leaves to test out on my printmaking journey.
In the Cotswolds lichen seems to be a bit difficult to find, plenty of moss but no obvious lichen, until you find it on your door step in a little packet sent from a kind friend in Scotland where it is in abundance.
I have to get a plan together quickly before it deteriorates!