I haven’t printed for a while, so decided to have a go at creating a print from one of the sketches I did out on the Bass Rock.
I redrew the selected part of the sketch, adding a bit here and there. Then transferred this in reverse to a lime wood block and started carving a basic key block drawing. I’ve had this lime for years and wanted to use it. Lovely to work in, but a tendency for unintended bits to chip out.
I took a couple of proofs onto cartridge paper, and coloured it up to get an idea of the finished work. I decided to cut out the hatched shading. Not sure now that was the best idea.
I cut two more blocks for head and pebble colours and shading. I used lino simply because I didn’t have any more lime. I’ve proofed the three blocks onto Somerset paper. Quite pleased with the outcome, but the are several tweaks to the carving needed before I do a final edition. I think I’ll run off about 10.
I spent a wonderful week in June on the above mentioned course, with about 20 other artists. We were based in Dunbar in East Lothian and spent each day drawing and painting out in the open at St Abbs Head, Dunbar Castle, Seacliffe and best of all out on the Bass Rock. Sitting surrounded by thousands of gannets was a once in a lifetime experience. My drawings were OK but some of the art produced by the others was astonishing, especially when you realise it was all painted out in the open, sometimes in the pouring rain, and on the Bass, pouring bird poo. I’ll try and show some of the other artists’ work in the next entry. We spent one morning visiting John Busby’s studio, which was another high point. I bought one of his small paintings.
I’ve started a relief printing class at the Gloucestershire Printmakers Cooperative in Thrupp, lead by Beth Jenkins. Got my hands on an Albion press for the first time. Very easy to use, because someone had already set it up. I was surprised by how little effort it took. I suspect the set up is anything but effortless. Produced a little, single block, multi colour print using a stencil and a new, too me, registration set up. A nice little print of a diving gannet, but I shan’t use it in my Poole birds series. It’s the wrong size.
I want to produce a series of lino prints, and the old question is, “of what?”. I like birds and I like watching them when I’m sailing in Poole Harbour. So I’ve decided to do a series of “birds I like at Poole”. This is not a rigid list, but it will certainly include oyster catchers, cormorants, shell ducks and gannets. I’ve started by sketching gannets from Web photos. It is just the loveliest thing. It also christens my new sketchbook.