We spotted this amazing carpet of bluebells today. But are they bluebells? We couldn't get close enough to be sure but I am not sure I have ever seen them in such an expanse in a such an exposed location. Any ideas anyone?
Friday, 29 April 2011
I've now rationalised the rather woolly first sketch into some nice solid lines which will translate more easily into cuts in the lino. In this case I've used the low tech route, tracing paper and a brown pen. Occasionaly I digitise a simplified version of my sketches on screen in a graphics package, but frankly this is too similar to what II do all day so I prefer to use pen and paper. Now I can take stock of the design and see that some of the discrete bits of weed blossom and tadpoles all look a bit too regularly placed but these minor adjustments can be made later. This version already has a new frog patched in because my first attempt was unidentifiable!
I think these are Palamate Newts, which fits the moorland location of the garden and ponds in which they were observed. Apparently they feed on small invertebrates including frog tadpoles so no wonder the frog looks miffed!
Thursday, 28 April 2011
We spent a lovely Monday at the in laws in laws on the edge of the Peak District. They have a fabulous garden with several linked ponds, which are brimming over with life at the moment. As well as squillions of frog tadpoles we saw a fair few courting newts, hence this sketch. I plan to post about this work as it develops into a lino print, but don't be surprised by the snail's pace of progress! Everything seems to take weeks at the moment but fingers crossed it will be ready for the Art Market on the 12th June.
Monday, 25 April 2011
We are surrounded by oilseed rape at the moment and the air is thick with the smell of it. Even at dusk this yellow crop has a strange luminosity. I feel sure that even if I went cycling at midnight i could find my way to the A1 by the glow of its flowers alone. With so much yellow about I am not sure whether there is a market for bright yellow lino prints but here they are anyway!
left: Betty's Hen lino print
bottom right: In the Frame - yellow
(top right is a photo, taken across the field up the road with a power station in the background)
Friday, 22 April 2011
Saturday, 16 April 2011
The last week or so have been filled with birds as they do their spring thing. Last sunday we took a stroll along the banks of the River Wharfe near Tadcaster and were surprised to see a barn owl hunting backwards and forwards along the opposite bank before it swooped low and then disappeared for good (presumably with a belly full of vole or similar). On our way out of the town we passed a proud pheasant strutting his stuff along the flood bank and calling noisely to some imaginary female. He was still on the same spot when we returned an hour or so later. Nearby a colony of sandmartins were setting up nest in the eroded river banks and darting low and fast in formation over the river. High over our heads a red kite soared then attempted a descent only to be turned back by a pair of crows. Then on Monday we discovered a moorhen on her nest in the tiny stream that runs alongside the play park. She seemed quite unpeturbed by the noise of the children and had chosen the noisiest spot, so i took the opportunity of a sneak photo of her fine clutch of eggs when she briefly vacated her nest. Despite it being half term and having a mountain of work i managed to squeeze in a quick hours printing last night - meet Mister Starling.
(click image to buy)
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Dane's Dyke Beach sits where the Yorkshire Wolds meet the North Sea just to the north of Bridlington. It is reached via an ancient tree-filled entrenchment that cuts Flamborough Head off from the "mainland". The beach is backed by chalk cliffs and is strewn with wonderful rounded chalky boulders. I've tried to capture some of that chalky essence in this print , which is now available in here and here .