Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Boxing - monotypes

I had some photos taken of me at the gym doing boxercise and used the photos as an initial reference and starting point to develop a rough sketch drawing. I used these as the basis of a monotype. Using a large roller I rolled ink on the plate (Graphic Chemical water washable maroon relief ink with extender to increase transparency) and removed some of it with paper and a brush handle. Using smaller rollers and a brush I added extra colour in selected areas. I then printed it on Fabriano paper using an etching press.
Boxing can help you find a mental balance as well as improving your physical balance.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Visit to Amanda and Richard's allotment. Monday 3 August

I'm continuing the 'Finding the Balance' research and wanted to see some allotment plots other than our own.

Last Monday I had a very interesting visit to another allotment. I enjoyed seeing Amanda and Richard's plot with its giant fennel; bright blue, flowering forest of borage; sculptural seed heads and runner beans. Some of the beans were a fabulous purple.

On another plot there were some giant onions, beautiful silver grey/purple cabbage; tall sweetcorn with large cobs and fruit bushes and trees including some narrow, tall gooseberry bushes.

How can having an allotment help create a balance in a person's life? Successful crops from an allotment can change the balance of what you buy and what you eat. It also provides exercise that you don't always realise you are getting while you are absorbed in planting,weeding or picking crops. Perhaps it's the contact with plants and the soil that is most balancing for some people. Thoughts to take away but the strongest impressions is of the shapes, colours and textures of the crops.

I plan to make some stencil shapes, draw some more on our own allotment plot and in the garden to see what develops.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Meeting a beekeeper and finding out more about bees - Saturday 4 August

Saturday 4 August I went to see to see Jim who keeps bees. They are situated next to a field of rape which is a food source for them. It was fascinating putting on the bee suit and getting a feeling of going into a different world. It was an eerie sight watching Jim disappearing down the garden in his suit, holding the smoker. There's a kind of sci fi look to the whole thing. Of course wearing protective clothing is an important precaution, though the smoke should calm the bees. Apparently, the smoke makes the bees think that there is a fire so they feed to increase their stores in case they have to abandon their hive. Consequently they are more interested in feeding than in stinging you and the activity of feeding distends the abdomen which also decreases the ability of the bee to sting.

It was interesting to see the honey in the wax on the frames and also the queen excluder. After a while I retreated, unstung, in the bee outfit and wellies with trousers tucked inside (essential as it stops the bees running up the inside of your trousers leg to who knows where!

Bees - finding out more about them

Some time ago I was drawing in the garden on my new iPad and wondering what kind of images I might create for the cover of a book of environmental poetry and a swarm of bees buzzed in. I watched and drew them for some hours until they took off again. In the event, a text-based image was chosen and the book will be launched in October 2012.

Since then! I've been finding out more about bees.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Gum arabic prints - Back in June

After a couple of weeks working totally digitally (see previous post) I returned to print many more gum arabic prints.  Here are three of them.    The bottom images were two of the prints accepted  in the A4 Print exhibition in Cornwall.   I wanted to try to capture a feeling of fragility and the passing of time.  The fletting and often apparently timeless nature of childhood when it's possible to play on the beach without a care.  The Gum arabic process and the ochres help this.
 'Head with two heads'
 'Pass the bucket'
'Traversing the sand'