Editioning this print cut back in January.
Return to the simplicity of gouache painting working from memories of recent watching of goldfinches in alder at the reservoir and feeding on lavender seeds on the allotments.
Wanting to just be out and occupying/observing a different space. Strange how what seems to be the order of the day changes. Recently I was all for permanent marker and investigating the bulks of ducks and herons… today scratching away with ink pen tentatively pondering how to depict bigger space.
Really wanting to be able to describe the sunlit colours on the last day of november. Leaf colours that I would have marked down as being more of October. Field maples seem to be clinging to most of their indian yellow leaves.
They’ve been clearing at the edge of the bay, smell of woodsmoke where they’ve burnt the chopped willows. Reeds now pale smoke topped with peppery seed husks.
Tits and goldcrests in the oak canopy.. rich yellows against a bleached blue sky… a treecreeper dropping and flattening itself against the trunk right next to me. Distant enough to allow telescope focus, legs splayed so that I couldn’t see how it was holding on. It was looking up warily and its whole posture was as if it wanted to disappear. A bird of prey somewhere overhead I guess.
Long tailed tits at the end of the day animating the flecks and fizzes of the leaf colour.
Editioning this image from earlier in the year that was featured in the ‘SWLA Artbook 1‘ published by the Society to raise funds for the bursary scheme.
maybe 100 redwings up on the allotments.. … lots of goldfinches… smaller numbers of green & chaffinches, both mistle and several song thrushes, 1 or 2 fieldfares… 2 blackcaps..Lots of seeds and berries up there for them. The blackcaps sticking to a grape arbour.
Most of the week on different versions of this print… Teaching or re-teaching myself about different possibilities of playing with one set of blocks…
Initially cutting the teal from quick painted/stencilled images onto the woodblock…. Slightly arbitrarily joining on the little egret as one of the things glimpsed out of corner of the eye whilst watching the teal a week ago.
This version of the print is using acrylic underpainting… then a monoprinted all over layer getting the yellow and white to shine out from murky november grey.
Then the woodblocks.
Teal feeding right outside the hide… seems like the rise in water levels is giving them plenty to tuck into… or maybe many have just arrived and they are refuelling. The margins of the bay are mainly covered with what I think is ragweed… if that is right its an alien invader from America… still flowering it looks like and maybe dropping seed.
I found the whole business of looking at the bulks of the bird, then the feathering patterns, like war paint on the face, then how these relate to the anatomy….. all a never ending puzzle how to depict them. The way edges of scapulae/tertials? make up the horizontal bar that splits the sides/flanks… a slit where light shouldn’t be… and then shining metallic green of the secondary speculum.. turning purple when out of direct light?
Little room left in the brain for studying the bigger picture… plenty of other ducks, wigeon, lots of gadwall and mallard… no thought for diving ducks or the gallinules… very few waders, lapwing and a couple of green sandpipers. Herons chasing off little egrets
On the big meadow fieldfares, a few redwings and starlings.
As with the heron previously I tried re-working one of the sparrowhawk monoprints by woodcutting… I’ve been trying to get a similar feel with the woodcut to what happens with the monoprint. This print is cleaner than the original monoprint (which is now off at the networks for nature exhibition) but it still has the feel of the ‘original’ I think…