Saturday, 26 May 2018

New Collagraph Plates.

 Now that these 3 plates are sealed with shellac and nice and dry, I can't wait to make prints from them. This one above is a collection of weed seed heads gathered from an unkempt nature strip outside a building site. I pressed them flat for a couple of weeks and then glued them in place on the mount board with some added coarse saw dust for texture at the lower front. They have had  several coats of shellac and the back of the board has also been sealed.
 This one has been partially finished for some months, with the background hills, saw dust vegetation and gauze in front of the hills. It never looked quite right, so now I've glued some tall weed flower heads and some fibrous bits of gum tree bark in the foreground. Again the weed flowers had been pressed flat for some months and the bark was very dry.
This is another old plate that I have added to as I didn't like the earlier version. I had a mental image of a water feature in the middle front area with rocks around it, but it didn't print very convincingly, so now I've added some small flower heads and some coarse saw dust. All I need now is time to have a printing session!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Much Better!

I took my courage in both hands and painted the last of my Pincushion Hakea prints. I could of course print more, but as usual I am anxious to move onto other projects. I don't think that I'll colour the background this time either.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A Spot of Water Colour.

Using the lightest print from my etchings, I attempted to colour the print with watercolour paint.
I didn't want the colour to be too strong, but this is perhaps a bit wishy washy. It's a bit hard to know just what to do with the scribbled background, perhaps I'll stamp over it with some random leaf shapes. Anyway this is just a trial, with the final print still waiting to be painted..........or not at a later stage.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

New Drypoint Etching.

 The flower that was chosen by a member of my art group this month was the native plant, the Hakea.
There are many different varieties, but by far the most spectacular is this Pincushion Hakea.
I etched  the image into a piece of acetate and took a 3 prints, but a bit like Goldilocks, one was too dark, one was too light and I think that one is about right.
 This is the one that was too dark, especially the scribbled 'foliage' around the leaves, flower and stems.
 This  one is too light in parts, although the middle of the flower is about right. The leaves etc were all hand scribed, but I used an electric engraving tool for the flower and the marks are much deeper and therefore retain more ink.
This one will do, as I want to colour it with watercolours, so that the flower is the original bright pink against the green foliage. The photo of the actual plant that I used above is a not quite the right colour as it is too scarlet, but it does show the unique structure of the flower.

Friday, 18 May 2018


 Like some carelessly tossed feather boa, this length of vine is hanging over a new fence. Did it grow there or was it indeed tossed over?

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Wasp Saga.

     A female mud dauber wasp loading her mud chamber with a spider that the developing baby wasps will eat.
                One sealed chamber and one still waiting for a tasty morsel to be placed inside.
                                       Both chambers covered with a protective layer of mud.
The empty pupa case of the new wasp still in place with the other chamber completely empty.
For more pictures of the stages in the building and stocking of the mud daubers nest see Here

Thursday, 10 May 2018

'Tieve Tara' Garden.

 This is a collection of 'hardware' from the lovely garden 'Tieve Tara' at Mt Macedon outside Melbourne. Originally settled in 1854, the garden has been extensively re-made and altered over the years, including battles with bushfires in the area. The house on the property was totally destroyed by bushfires in 1983, but rebuilt and currently owned by the Brand family since 1995.
Above is a charming sculpture on the edge of one of the lakes, a game of Leap Frog.
 With the trees and flowers on their own  a great attraction, there are also short walks from the garden down to a creek though a fern gully. This old water pump adds a feature to a shady fern corner.
                          These whimsical musical frogs add a note of fun to the lakeside.
 No, no France, but another part of 'Tieve Tara', a Monet style Japanese bridge over the largest lake. No water lilies in this part though.
           I don't think that I'd like to sit in this chair, it might be a rather damp experience!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Park Signs.

 Here are two more of the carved park signs that are in my neighbourhood. Fordham gardens has an extensive rose garden, so the white rose has been chosen for the feature carving on this sign.
 Bowen gardens has some wonderfully huge spreading Oak trees, so that the carved leaves and acorns are just perfect for this sign.