Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Next Project.

 Some time ago I tried my hand  collograph plate printing, but without much success. I found a couple of my already sealed bases from the previous attempt and decided to have another go with some of my pressed grasses combined with some mulberry bark and resists using my smallest butterfly stamp. Here I've adhered the grasses and bark to the already sealed piece of cardboard with an all purpose sealant.
 Once dampened with the sealant, the grasses decided to pop up and not lie nice and flat, what to do? I decided to cover the whole plate in plastic cling wrap and put it under my old trusty and very heavy book press seen below. It weighs a great deal, so if that doesn't flatten the grasses, nothing will!

 Success, nice flat Kangaroo Grass. I stamped my smallest carved butterfly onto heavy paper and cut out 3 copies to use as resists., sticking them in place with a tiny bit of double sided sticky tape.
                              This is the second plate all ready for tomorrow's printing session.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Shore Birds.

 On board a boat for a trip around Western Port Bay today, we passed a small island with a group of birds on the shoreline. They were mostly Pied Cormorants, with the odd Silver Gull and an Oyster Catcher in the background, but definitely no Curlew Sandpiper, the bird that I featured recently in my art work. As you can see from the notice no-one is allowed to land on the island and we were quite some distance away, so the birds are a little out of focus.
            There is an odd looking dark bird on the far left that I haven't managed to identify yet.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Playing Around.

Just for fun I stamped a few of the new rubber Stenocarpus flowers over the grey test lino image, still with it's ridges from the carving.
This is the idea that I had right from the start, a greyish under image with highlights strategically placed on top. Maybe 5 is too many however and should I make a few leaves to print in green too..........probably not!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Some Success, Some Not so Successful.

 Today I carved 3 versions of the Firewheel tree flowers, which turned out quite well. The ones at the top of the page are the first prints and the second and third are further cleaning up of the stamp.
 Not so successful was the Ulysses butterfly stamp. I chose that species of butterfly because of it's contrasting colours, and the fact that it occurs in the same tropical rainforest area as the Stenocarpus tree grows in.
I had a small piece of a different rubber variety to use, but it's so soft and buttery that I found it difficult to get good edges. Added to which, the veins of the butterfly's wings are really needed to break up the bright blue, but are very difficult to carve, especially with this very soft rubber. Not really usable I don't think. Back to the usual carving medium I think.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

More Lino Cutting.

Even with a cut finger I forged ahead and started to really get moving with cutting out the image.
 
 Here is the first print, just with a grey stamp pad, to see how things are looking. Over all I'm quite pleased.  The seed pods are a bit out of proportion, being a little too small, but perhaps they're a lot further back than the flowers!
 This is the piece of lino with the ink still on it. I left the blank piece of uncarved lino in the top right hand corner on purpose as I thought that I might carve something like an insect there, but I'm not sure if I will or not. Easy to remove it if I go ahead and don't like it however.
                                     Now to clean up all the ridges and bits that are too high.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Starting the Lino Cut.

 It's just a trick of the light, but where I have carved away the lino it looks as if it's raised above the drawing! I hope that I can manage to carve this image as the flowers are quite fine and delicate. You can enlarge the photo a little by clicking on it.
Here I've carved out 3 leaves and 2 of the flowers, but unfortunately I had to stop here as I slipped with the sharp cutting tool and cut one finger quite deeply. I'm usually more carful than that, but of course it is Friday 13th!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Revisiting the Pods.

   Earlier this year I carved several types of Stenocarpus pods for a little book that I was making.
          Each pod is separate, so can be combined to make different images of clusters of pods.
 This is a page from the book using 3 of the carved pod blocks. The paper in the book was coloured using a solution of mud, which gave this lovely ochre colour.
 Here are the 3 blocks that I used to make the more elongated type of pods seen in the image above.
You might wonder why I am reposting these pictures from January this year, but I am about to use the pods blocks again, however first I need to carve the leaves which will be reasonably simple, but the gorgeous red flowers are another level of difficulty! Watch this space!

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Hardest Part.

Having now printed several reasonable copies of my Curlew Sandpipers, the hardest part is writing the accompanying 'blurb' in just 150 words. All the prints will eventually be bound into concertina books, with gifted copies going to the State Libraries of Queensland and Victoria, as well as to the National Library of Australia. There will be digital reproductions made as well, so it's quite an undertaking for the organisers. The prints will be on display at the Firestation print Gallery in Melbourne from June 6th to 23rd, 2018 as well.
 
 
Various studios and organisations are taking part in the general project Here all presenting different ways of raising awareness of the plight of our over wintering shore birds.