Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mellow fruitfulness

The first print of three I'm satisfied with. 
I had forgotten what physical work it is and Ingres paper was the best I could find for the time being. 
Measures 24 x 31 cms.

A Dominican Republic naive giant

Stopped in my tracks I was on Friday when I popped to the framers to get a couple of pictures mounted (yeah, I know, Miss Lazy me). Dominating the whole shop was this wondrous thing, a truly tropical Noah's Ark which was fair sizzling off the canvas.
It had apparently been purchased in the Dominican Republic by some lucky person in Puerto. It stands about five feet high and nine wide and I fell in love with it so I quickly took some pictures as best I could to share it with you.
Enjoy (as they say).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Autumn, printed

Okay, okay: impatience got the better of me.
I knew some more cutting was necessary.
I knew the paper was rubbish.
And I hadn't inked it enough.
So it was always going to be a rough.
But I just had to have a looky-looky.
So here it is in that rough state.

I had forgotten how much I love the magic of pulling a print and seeing the result. Really exciting. Takes me back to my childhood when a John Bull printing set was always on my Christmas list.
I had also forgotten how messy it is. Or rather how messy I am.

Anyway, now to finish the cutting - only a few tweaks - and track down some decent paper. And that will be the hard part, I fear.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Pot of Basil

I finished it this morning:

A bit of a sad one that started as a thumbnail sketch related to a poem, Her Posthumous Life, about Fanny, and looking at illustrations and paintings of Isabella and the Pot of Basil, and family talk about a relative who I remembered dimly as being dressed in beatnik (now there's a word) black, and family farewells .... and all the while in the background there was the dreadful rolling news of tragedy in Japan (hence the oriental-looking pot) ....
It's all in there.
For me it is, anyway.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Work in progress ...

This is the state of play (and never a truer word!) at present on my desk, though minus the cat who had made a rapid (and assisted) exit just before I shot this.

I thought I'd take a photo to remind me of where everything (roughly) goes before transferring and glueing the bits to another piece of paper. And possibly before the cat scatters everything to the four winds in her unstoppable quest to be the absolute centre of attention. Under my nose.

And at the risk of being a bore (for anyone out there who has read of this elsewhere, like on my FaceyB pages) may I say Suzie Grogan has kindly posted some images of my Keats House collages today on her brilliant blog, No More Wriggling Out of Writing Woman, a link for which I would post right here but I have tried and the feat appears to be way beyond my technical expertise at present. But the whole blog link is on my list down on the left, if you see what I mean.
Goodness, this post is straying into gobbledegook...

Anyway, please take a peek - then carry on grazing among all the other interesting nuggets Suzie has posted.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Still kicking Carlo around in my mind. Here he is in the garden, being deafened by the birds. Once I am back on track with a visitorless spell, sometime next week, I think I will tackle the Staffordshire Pair.
In paint.
On canvas.
Time to ease myself back into some painting, after all this paper-work, though I still have a lot of collage ideas so will have to try to concentrate and multi-task.
The linocut is nearly finished. But I still don't have the right paper to print on. I may even have to send off overseas for some.
Deep, deep sigh (tempered by the knowledge that this is such a little, miniscule inconvenience on the grand scale of current events and tragedies ...).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Staffordshire Pair

A Staffordshire Pair
I did this today and thought I'd just put it up now before I toddle off to bed and while I'm still on a computer roll.
It's a collage (yep, those old Vogues definitely came in useful) which was sparked from doing Carlo. I really love the idea of mirror images.
Well, almost mirror images.
And I adore this sort of English pottery.
You can keep your Meissens!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Four Seasons

Right, here is the full 4 season set as photographed with my daughter's Canon. A nice hefty proper camera that you can actually look through a viewfinder (is that the word I am casting around for?) with, instead of squinting at a stupid tiny reflecting screen and pressing the button on a wing and a prayer. 
Thus spake a confirmed Luddite...


I am rather pleased with them and the fact that I think I pulled off the idea of capturing a separate and distinct atmosphere in each one. 

Reading the Gittings biography of Keats and the letters between his friends and relatives helped with details to create a little world in each: Carlo the dog; the writing of the Ode to a Nightingale under the plum tree; the "fine fellow" that was the song thrush watched by Keats and Fanny Brawne, and lastly the Wentworth Place cats and the denuded plum tree recalling "In a drear-nighted December/ Too happy, happy tree/ Thy branches ne'er remember/ Their green felicity ...."

It's not often things turn out the way I mean them to, but on this occasion they did and I am satisfied. Good feeling. What was it that Vaughan-Williams said about "I don't know whether it's any good, but it's what I meant". Probably entirely misquoted, but a good maxim to (creatively) live by.

Keats House in Spring

Well, it was certainly the most fiddly of the four but I stuck down the very last leaves this morning:

For some technical reason I have not yet (if I ever will) fathomed there is a distinct distortion on vertical images. To be rectified when I finally persuade my daughter to get out her Canon this week and take a swatch of proper photographs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring, snipping and Staffordshire spaniels

Introducing Carlo Keats...
The dog the poet's young sister wasn't allowed to keep by her guardian and which found a home at Wentworth Place with the Brawnes. I like a backstory, it helps to trigger an image. I have taken a bit of a liberty though by turning him into a native of Staffordshire.
Carlo is the way in to my spring collage which as you can see from the state of my big fat messy desk is at a preliminary stage still, but I think he also works as this minimalist image. Or perhaps, in future, as a still life ...