Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Keatsian card and other stuff

Here is my prototype card. I now have to source the blank cards and envelopes. When you live on an island on the edge of Europe this is not as easy-peasy as it sounds. The envelopes I have found so far are either a few millimetres too big or a few millimetres too small. I may have to resort to importing them to find some that are just right. The Goldilocks effect even influences envelopes.

And while I'm about it, here is a wider view to take in what I think of as my trophy shelf in my studio on which the card is perched, just for any nosey parkers out there (I know I always am when it comes to Other People's houses):

Roughly left to right holding some junky pencils and brushes is a plastic beaker from Jamaica, leaning against which is a postcard of East Head and West Wittering beach, then comes a battered sheep from Edale, the last of a herd I cast in plaster of Paris then painted and sold to Peak District tourists more years ago than I care to remember, up above that is a postcard of an Alfred Wallis sent me last year from Cornwall, crowned by a leaf retrieved from the garden of Wentworth Place. There's a Gauguin girl in the background, a portrait of Sir Astley Cooper by Lawrence, a postcard of Sir John Soane's house (and believe me, until you go there you don't know what clutter is) and a boat sharpener that used to belong to one of my daughters' school kit.

Golly, as you see I go nowhere without buying a postcard or three. An lifelong habit. For which there is no known cure.

The Living Year

The cards will be on sale in my online shop which I hope will be up and running by September (my generous deadline). I may have figured out the procedure by then. To say nothing of having enough to put in it.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Haworth evolution

Dog's out ... leaves in.
Frustrated by having every colour backing paper except the one I want. 
This piece is too small.
Life's too short.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Haworth in peril

This is the latest stage of the game. Taking snaps as I go along as nothing is fixed and everything is likely to be in a flux, not to mention imminent danger of being scattered to the four corners of the studio and beyond by a draught if I inadvertently open the kitchen door or more likely a cat decides to muscle in on the act. I eventually happened upon Charlotte Bronte in the bathroom by the way, she must have stuck to the sole of my shoe and been transported there at some point in the day. She is now restored to her rightful place as you can see, winging along in the wake of her sisters.

So, if disaster does strike I have this memory jogger to restore order to chaos, so to speak.
I am still trying to ignore the fact that Keeper was brown, as you see ...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Messing around with Haworth Parsonage

This is how I've begun. Nothing stuck down yet. Just playing around with the basic shapes and ideas. There are supposed to be three black Bronte birds (and I use the term strictly in the ornithological sense), but one dropped on the floor and I can't find it.
Was Keeper black? Probably not but he will be for me..
Anyway, it's a start.

Which is hopeful after being stymied in my quest for envelopes for my Keats cards by Semana Santa. The big stationers recommended by the printer was closed, as were 95% of all other shops in La Orotava. Strangely the funny little shop on the bridge that sells outrageously lacy, scanty and expensive knickers was open for business. I was forced to conclude they are either atheists or desperate.
Maybe both.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bronte country

My thoughts have turned from that house in the north of London for the time being to one in the north of England, now that I have decided on expanding on the Keats theme and starting a series of writers' houses as an ongoing project.

The Brontes are a recurring interest of mine though my collection of books on them (a grand total of 3) can hardly be compared to my Keatsian shelf.

I came upon a nice little cache of magazines at the fleamarket the other day to begin a collage. But first I have to find a way in, as it were. So I have been reading around the subject and turning it over and scribbling words and rough sketches and website links on scraps of paper.
I love the research and doodle bit.

My raggetty ideas book
One of the things which struck me was the contrast, in contemporary accounts, between the clean, neat and well-kept house and the indifference with which the garden was treated, to the point, according to some, of neglect. "Stunted thorns, shrubs and only the most hardy plants ..."
I brought home a bunch of roadside English-looking weeds from my walk this morning to get me into the mood and doodle in my ideas book.

Some inspirational weeds, and a ginger cat exiting stage left.

Have to see where this goes. A single sentence in one of the books might trigger me into action ...
In the meantime I am finishing that linocut today.
I hope.
Anybody spot the undeliberate mistake in my last post? Yep. I did it again. Forgot to reverse the image I mean. I was so embarrassed I went back and removed the photo!
I definitely need a break from carving bits of lino ...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A linocut card

This is what I am aiming at: a composite of the collages and the bookplate, another element in what I am now thinking of as my Keats suite of bits and pieces. It will be a hand-printed card.
Still a way to go.
I am getting a bit weary of black and white and need a change. Mmmmmm .... I feel a painting or a collage coming on.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ex Libris - finis

Finished tweaking:

And I had some surplus ink on my roller so I reprinted an old carving from a few years back to have a nice fresh print instead of the unloved dog-eared item in my drawer:

Done and dusted!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Naive bookplates

Testing, testing....

Just tweaking and trying different papers and messing about with ink. 
This last being something one of my cats was apparently doing overnight, as I woke up to find black paw marks all through the house.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Linocut rage

I have a lot on my mind just lately. And a lot on my desk, as you can see.

Which is just a bad excuse for my complete and utter idiocy in cutting a bookplate and forgetting to REVERSE THE TEXT.

That'll teach me to carry on beyond midnight when the spirit is willing but the brain is in freefall. At least mine must be.

My only consolation was that it was a small piece.

And this evidence in a book on my shelves that even the great Carrington was capable of the same mistake. At least twice. And once on a bookplate as it happens.

So ... time to clear the decks and get back to the drawing board tomorrow, stop mixing metaphors and letting cats invade my workspace.

Deep, deep sigh.