Monday, 11 December 2017

Moth Pattern Two.

This new pattern doesn't have quite the geometry of the previous one and consequently I don't think that it works as well. In the previous pattern the original 4 moths face outwards with the outer pairs meeting head to head creating a clear space between the moths which gives the whole image a more pleasing shape. Here I've made the first 4 moths face inwards (just for variety) but I'm not sure that it works as well. Perhaps I should construct the pattern exactly as the first one and see if it works better. The image below is the one that I made yesterday for comparison, with the contrast increased.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Moth Pattern.

Here I've had a play with one of my pencil moth sketches in Photoshop, turning it into rather fun pattern.  I've only placed the images by eye, not with any formal measurement, but I wonder how the other sketch would look treated the same way.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Moth Play.

With just a short time for artwork today I started to play around with another idea that has been simmering in my mind for a while. Above are 3 of my moth drawings, each moth is quite asymmetrical.  I took half of each of the 2 larger moths duplicated just one side and merged them into one symmetrical image in Photoshop

 As you can see the first moth is so asymmetrical that the tip of the abdomen is bifurcated! easy enough to fix however in the next stage. The same thing has occurred in the second moth, and the abdomen has become just a little to fat as well.

Above is a scan of some fabric that I came across recently, which is a tessellated pattern of stylised moths. I'm not sure that I like the actual moth image, but I can admire the over all pattern. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Something a Little Different!

 These are large field mushrooms that have sat around for a couple of days and become a little 'elderly'. But the patterns shown by the drying gills are wonderful, just as they are or with a little Photoshop enhancement.

 This above is a portion of one of the mushrooms and below the inverted image in Photoshop. It looks very like a bunch of strange leaves to me.

 This section is even more interesting I think, as it shows lots more texture and could almost be some kind of seaweed. The image below shows just how beautiful the marks are when inverted and the brown is changed to green. I think that this image has application in this space.

Monday, 4 December 2017

New Collograph Plates.

 Having decided that the previous plate that was very similar to this one just wouldn't do, I constructed this one to use instead, making very sure that I didn't have random brush marks in the sky area. Again I used bits of bark and sawdust with a little bit of oak flower debris. I can't print with it until it is well and truly sealed all over, including the edges once I have trimmed the vegetation back.
I was also keen to try some fine bits of tatty bark that I had found.  Most eucalypt leaves are very thick and robust to withstand our very hot dry summers, but these pieces came from a tree that produced very thin leaves with lots of raggy edges and textures.  Again, I have to wait for it all to dry after being sealed before I can see if the leaves print well. If they do, I'll have to see if I can find the same tree again and collect more leaves. The squiggly bits are my favourite oak flower debris, taken from a gutter where they had blown  during a recent spell of hot dry winds.

Sunday, 3 December 2017


 Having added more sawdust to the tree collograph plate, I have been anxious to print from it and see if it looked better than before.  It does, but I will have to start again with a new plate, as the brush strokes in the sky area are too obvious. This above is the inked and rubbed back plate ready for the first print.
 It's certainly better in terms of light and dark, but those brush marks left in the sealant are just not right!
Just for fun I tried another print with a change of colour, from black to burnt umber. For now however, it's back to the raw materials to construct another plate from scratch.

Thursday, 30 November 2017


I was going through some of my old embroidery pictures today, deleting duplicates and generally tidying up, when I noticed how many pieces used imagery of doors or gateways. This below uses an old Art Nouveau window design with machine digitized and embroidered flowers on hand dyed fabric.
    Below is a wall painted with 'Puff paint' and machine embroidered 'slips' of flowers applied.
 Another painted wall and door with free machine embroidery.  This was a photo that I took of an old door behind a church somewhere in France.
 An imaginary wall below and a garden beyond with machine embroidered 'slips' of flowers and foliage.
 A painted cotton wall based on my photo of a church doorway in Sienna, Italy with machine embroidered details.
                  Another 'Puff' painted wall with machine embroidered foliage and details.

 Two more doorways that I photographed somewhere in Italy with machine embroidered vegetation.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Flowers Through the Year.

I'm not sure if the group that instigated the Garden of the Month Challenge expects one for December, but I don't think that I'll have time to do it anyway! This above is the Hippeastrum lily currently in flower in my garden, my reflection on a garden for the month of November As always a click on the image will enlarge it a little for you to be able to see the stitching..
L-R  Here are the flowers from 6 different gardens for the various months this year. A Poinsettia from a park in Brisbane, a type of Iris from a local park, a Lotus from The Blue Lotus Garden just out of Melbourne, a Passion Flower from a Marraweeney country garden, a Blood Lily from the Melbourne Botanic gardens and a Hellebore from the Garden of St Erth in Blackwood, Victoria.
L-R again, a Native Rose flower from the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens which specialises in Australian native plants, a Hibiscus from my own garden, an old fashioned single rose from a neighbour's garden and the Hippeastrum, again from my own garden.

Sunday, 26 November 2017


 I decided to try and renovate the 2 collograph plates that showed some promise, leaving the 3rd one as it is for the moment. Here above is the plate with the tree foliage that is too thick and textureless, and the grasses that are a bit sparse. I set to with a craft knife and whittled away at the bulky sphagnum moss foliage reducing it's profile quite a lot. I then glued on some extra seed heads and allowed it all to dry under weights.
            With this one I glued on some more tree leaf texture and set it under weights to dry too.
                    I hope that my renovations produce better prints than the original plates did!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Printing at Last!

 At last I have a few hours clear to try printing the collograph plates that I made recently. Here above is the tree  that I made using bark, yarn and sphagnum moss all inked up and rubbed back to try printing from.
                   Hmm, not too good. The moss foliage is too thick and doesn't have enough definition.
 Here is the same one inked in black which might be a little better.  I've added some blue to the sky too.
 It's interesting that the print has turned out with a horizon line that I hadn't intended.  I might be able to do something with this by adding some more colour, but it's still pretty disappointing.
 I had great hopes for this one, as the texture isn't too thick and here when it was inked up it looked as if it might turn out well.
The inked plate above with some yellow and orange added and the print below.

 This one is worth persevering with I think, but I wonder if  I can add more sawdust foliage at this stage, as I think the tree canopy needs more texture.
The prints aren't too bad and I quite like the yellow and orange sky suggesting sunrise or sunset and I also like the way the tree trunks have printed. The lower story of the forest is interesting too.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Gorgeous Lilies in my Garden.

 It's the first time that I've grown these lilies, so I'm not quite sure exactly what colour pink they will turn out to be.
                        Not quite the deep pink that I was hoping for, but lovely all the same.
 These gorgeous lilies have several names, Maltese cross Lily, Jockey's Cap lily and the correct name which is Sprekelia. They look so spectacular, yet are very easy to grow and multiply prolifically.
 This is another new variety for my garden and much more the depth of colour that I was looking for.
These Hippeastrum lilies I think used to be called Amaryllis, or maybe that's the accepted name these days. Anyway they are really spectacular, and again the bulbs multiply nicely.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Next Stage.

          I've sealed all 3 plates with matt gel medium and also with a light coat of gesso.
         Interestingly the colour of some of the materials has leached through both of these sealants.
After a night under my weighty book press the sphagnum moss has flattened a bit, but it may still be too lumpy to print well. I'll let these dry and then the exciting bit, to print from them.

Monday, 20 November 2017

New Collograph Plates.

 While I was away recently I keep on the lookout for suitable natural materials to try on collograph plates. I came home with several bags of bits and pieces to try. The plate above used sawdust on the light board mountain cut outs, with mulberry bark in the middle ground and finely chopped tree bark for the fore ground. All the material on the sealed plates have been glued into place, but not themselves sealed.
 Again I have used sawdust, this time for the fine tree leaves and strands of bark for the trunks. I have also added some dried oak tree flowers below.
For this one I crumbled some dried sphagnum moss, the sort of stuff that you get from a plant nursery, for the tree leaves, with several strands of worsted yarn for the trunk and branches, and with shredded bark for the grasses below. Unfortunately the dried moss has started to swell with the water in the glue, so I will have to see if I can flatten and seal it suitable for printing.