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pre dec.2011 blog
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Sketching long-tailed tits coming to bird table in tea breaks… finally finishing the re-sorting of the physical artwork in my storage chests which will now allow me to begin uploading them in a more logical fashion.
The tits already seem to be in a pair and coming to the table quite regularly. Warm air but strong wind and as you’d expect the sound of a mistle thrush this morning. The sound that most characterises this time of year I think…
A lot of computer based work at the moment including what I hope is the final push on the web re-organisation. Apologies for disarray in menus etc whilst this is underway.
I thought I’d better go and have a look at real birds again. There is always a tricky balance to strike in stylising the subject matter and working from memory. Too much reality on the one hand and the missing minutiae that make something true on the other. If nothing else I got the sense of birds moving in a real space again.
The second time recently that I’ve seen a male bullfinch out in the open feeding on ash keys. I think it is a tough year for birds feeding on hedgerow fruits, there seem to be very few berries left. It took him a long time to process one key and then he would lean down, or stretch across to pick up another. Despite having seen them more recently, when visiting the bird table I still find them tricky to draw, especially when they are contorting upside down to grab a morsel.
The fieldfares (and redwings) were a bit elusive, I mostly saw them resting in the tree tops. Some of the time they were accompanied by a small band of starlings. As it was a fine and reasonably warm day maybe they weren’t so pressurised to feed. The ground is so wet that food is probably very near the surface and easier to get at.
Managing to have another go at the fieldfare theme right at the end of the day… hoping to overcome the ‘locked in ‘ feeling of the reduction print by using multiple blocks. Ironically this first proof is a reduction print and has the airier feel I was after… the subsequent multiblock print (necessarily multiblock because the ‘bodies’ of the birds had been cut away to give the detail of patterning) was comparatively stuffy but maybe with the example of the initial reduction print I can change that.
With these blocks I feel like I’m starting to trust my direct cutting more…. approaching the block of wood with the gouge with no preparatory drawing is exciting.
late wishing Happy New Year to all visitors. I’m trying to build up to a larger directly cut woodcut… takes some nerve for me just to dive in with the gouges, so I’ve been making ‘warm up’ pieces.
trying to build speed with the depiction of garden birds with the aim of getting better at handling acrylics better and including a number of the disparate characters in the same frame. The pigeon and the jay have to resort to jabbing at the feeders with their bills… like a boxer hitting a punch bag with their head.