Compressed - May 2013

Compressed – May 2013

I love these ferns because they are so weird. There is something unnerving and strangely beautiful about them. They look and feel like something animal, like wild hairy arms – or tentacles – writhing out of the ground. These ones grow in a shady spot in the garden so the sun can only catch their bristly edges, giving them a sort of gingery-golden aura!


Daily Photo Prompt: Spot the Green(-Eyed) Monster

Camouflage: Shield Bug - May 2013

Camouflage: Shield Bug – May 2013

This is the first time I’ve taken part in the Daily Prompt, which is fun. I took this yesterday whilst wandering around the garden enjoying the sun. I am jealous of the moment of pause this shield bug seems to be enjoying, and of the lovely calm weather we had here yesterday. Today has been a day full of rain and essay-writing, both of which have left me wishing I could snatch a little bit of the warmth and peace from this picture. But it would be mean to disturb this innocent little guy, so I will leave him alone and hope for a more inspiring day tomorrow!

Linocut: Woman in a Hat

Woman in Hat - May 2013

Woman in a Hat – May 2013 [photo]

More linocut! This is actually my fourth linocut design; the third needs a few rogue flecks of lino removed and so is waiting to be printed again. I’ve been practising printing onto computer paper as its smooth surface is good for getting a clear initial print, which is useful for checking whether the design needs any tweaking. It’s also cheaper than using up all of my decent cartridge paper while I work on getting the printing process right – you can still see a few patchy spots in the picture above. It’s been interesting to experiment using different kinds of paper to find out what effect their different textures have on the print produced. More to come!

Closing Up for the Night

Closing Up for the Night - May 2013

Closing Up for the Night – Osteospermum, May 2013

Closing Up for the Night - May 2013

Closing Up for the Night – Osteospermum, May 2013

These Osteospermum flowers are in a large cauldron outside, and during the day they open right out, their petals reaching out so much that they begin to curve underneath. But when the day is ending and the sun moves away from them they gradually reign themselves back in again, drawing their petals towards their centre and tucking them in tight. I love the pretty stripes they reveal when they do this (which you can see more clearly in the top picture).

Linocut: Mohican Bird

Linocut: Mohican Bird - May 2013

Linocut: Mohican Bird – May 2013

My second linocut, again using an old doodle, and again looking like a dodgy photocopy – but I have since done a few more prints and they look much smoother and much less rough and ready! I will scan them in and post them soon. They are currently pegged up in the spare room on a makeshift washing line drying off, along with prints of  two other linocut designs I have done so far. I love the process of cutting the lino. It’s quite relaxing, and the fact that you don’t really know what the finished print will look like, and that each print is slightly different from the next, is exciting. I now find myself scouring books, blogs and other websites, eagerly searching out examples of linocut artwork that I can study, appreciate, learn from…and envy just a little bit too :)

EDIT: Here is the smoother print –

Mohican Bird - May 2013

Mohican Bird – May 2013

A print of this design on newspaper can also be seen here:

First Linocut: Leaping Hare

Leaping Hare linocut - May 2013

Leaping Hare linocut – May 2013

This is my first attempt at linocut (apart from an initial mark-making exercise), and I had a lot of fun with it. I used this doodle of a leaping hare from a few years ago as I thought it would be a good idea to start with something simple and also to practice with an image I was familiar with.

I’m definitely having some issues with getting an even finish – so far most of the prints I have done (more to come) all suffer from patchiness and, especially when scanned into the computer, look like bad photocopies (see above!). This is all new to me so I’m not too worried about this right now – although if anyone has any tips they would be very welcome!  Otherwise, all it needs is time and experimentation to find out what works best – I’m just happy I’ve found a new arty outlet to play around with!

If I manage to get a better print of the hare then I will post it up, but in the meantime this sketchy fellow will have to do ;)

EDIT: Here is a smoother print –

Leaping Hare - May 2013

Leaping Hare – May 2013

The new gallery for my linocut work can be seen here: