My garden has been full of birds and insects since the sun made an appearance. Thinking about that statement – it is more likely that it is always full of life but I have been spending more time out there noticing it! Anyway the result is a new collagraph print featuring a trio of Long Tailed Tits as they ransack my honeysuckle for whatever takes their fancy.
Exciting news, the second edition of this wonderful book is about to be launched. The first version sold out which has allowed the publishers to add some new images to this second printing.
The book is expected to go on sale in the week beginning 21 May (official publication date 18 May). The UK cover price is £22.95. The work of 89 artists is included and there are approximately 400 images including a few by ‘yours truly’ (www.mascotmedia.co.uk).
The urge came upon me to work on some Christmas images, so for the last two days I have installed myself at the kitchen table to work on some smaller plates, it being too cold to work in the studio, and this what I came up with.
I am really enjoying adding a splash of white spirit to the plate just before printing it – i had intended it to look like snow but was really pleased with the textures it caused as it reacted with the layer of ink. More experimenting needed I think.
The final image.
At last I hear you cry….I have completed a new image which I have also put on the website (a small triumph of time management). I have also put two other pieces up which have been in circulation for a few months but haven’t made it to the portfolio pages of my site. So may I present….
Several of my most popular images have reached the end of their editions and are no longer available or so i believed. On a recent visit to the Bond Street Shop in Hingham, Norfolk, I discovered three pieces that are no longer in stock anywhere else! So if you thought you had missed your chance then perhaps you haven’t. For contact details and directions follow link above.
The shop is packed with beautiful work from local artists and makers. A really classy establishment with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
So in the precious hour I had in the studio today I have gone through my website and updated a few images that were listed as out of stock and added a few that have been languishing out of view. My intent is that I will try to keep a tidier shop! Wish me luck – I would rather be printing so I might be tempted away from the scanner by my etching press which is currently giving me reproachful looks…
I guess as a wildlife artist I cannot really get angry when it eats my plates!
On the plus side for those of you that own ‘Blackbird in Magnolia’ your print has now increased in rarity as I only printed a third of the edition…hmmm there is a lesson in that I guess.
So, in the on-going battle between myself and my camera, I attended a workshop at Banham zoo with the Photographer James Neale. What a lovely day! Lots of tips to get the best out of photographing the animals and lots of brilliant advice about buttons and twiddlings on the camera…needless to say I took lots of photos and have just spent an hour picking three to post here. Howler Monkey (through glass), Lemur sunning itself and the baby Spider monkey…
I am so pleased with this last image of the baby spider monkey; their eyes are startling blue when they are born.
Anyway, my Dad kept me company for the day too – and we fully intend to come back to put into practise everything we learnt…watch this space for more shots.
I highly recommend the course especially if you are new to photography or want a refresher. The tips and advice on getting the best shots out of a zoo environment were brill! Take a look at the links below for more info.
We went back!
So, I have been watching a barn owl quartering the fields – a view from my living room window, how lucky am I?- and building up enough gusto to start on another big collagraph plate. I thought I would post this as a ‘work in progress’ and I will update it as I go along. So I started with a tiny thumbnail which I took straight to the plate and worked up as a sketch.
The next step was to decide how to use tone to build the image. I decided to cut the owl out; peeling the smooth surface of the card away to reveal the texture of the under-layer. This would print as a dark owl shaped silhouette and I could add lighter tones with hammerite. It was necessary to redraw the owl so that I knew where to paint!
So here you can see the plate and the proof with the hammerite highlights. It was necessary to sand some of the hammerite back because it raised the rough texture of the card but I quite liked the way this added to the textures of the feathers.
There is still more to be done. This plate is at a dangerous stage – it looks as though it is going to work well but, I have to add more highlights to the body and it could go badly wrong.
So keep your fingers crossed and I will post the finished print when I can…if I don’t then I am probably sulking about the temperamental nature of printmaking!
Next installment I decided it needed more foliage so I sketched it out onto the proof cut it all out and then printed it again. Here is the final image.