Thursday 30 April 2009

through the press

Thank you all for your wonderfully supportive and encouraging comments on my doodles - this one really made me laugh:

"I like the doodle of the birds with the long legs because....
I like birds with long legs"

Thank you, Discerning Admirer - just as well you do have a bird with long legs!

So, this week I did some more monoprints, and this time I used the press. I wanted to continue to explore similar images to last week, and see the difference. They're rather faint...or should I say subtle! (click on the images to make them larger...and clearer!)

I think I prefer the simpler ones from last week, not least because I like a white background, but these are growing on me. And what is it that's so appealing about washing on a line? There's a washing line a short walk up the road from me that consistently has an entire line of socks, or pink football shirts, or black pairs of shorts. Love that symmetry and repetition.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

do you doodle?

I'm an occasional doodler - a term I use quite loosely. Anyone can doodle. But when I think of drawing...well, in my head that's something I can't do. Last week, on the spur of the moment, I joined the new term for the printmaking evening course at my local art school. It was with trepidation that I went and joined a well- established group of students. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing, so I had a demonstration in monoprinting from our tutor. And then came the moment to dive right in and just get on with it! Scary - particularly as you can't prepare your image beforehand (if I could I'd be drawing, fiddling, rubbing out, get the picture) as you 'draw' your image either directly into the ink and then press your paper over it to create an image, or onto the back of the paper, which is laid over the ink, and so you produce your print at the same time. So time for doodles - and these are my 'prints' - all done very quickly onto ordinary copy paper. I'm very nervous about showing these, I feel like I'm really exposing a part of myself that is usually private. But I also think it's good for me to just loosen up a bit, and say "to hell with it!"

What I like about these is the softness, the slightly fuzzy lines, and the uneven patches of ink. Tonight I did more monoprinting, only this time I used the press and the results are quite different (and still wet).

I thought it would be interesting to share some of the process here, and see what develops over the term. Gulp.

Sunday 26 April 2009

second helpings

A few more photographs to share from Potager Garden. When we were there last weekend it was so hot and sunny we could have been in Provence.

There were plenty of places to sit and linger - a hammock here, a little chair there. And a glorious terrace where you can relax with the papers and delicious fresh food from the tiny cafe.

Have I tempted you?

Thursday 23 April 2009


Thank you for all your wonderful birthday wishes - I had a lovely weekend, culminating in my first visit here. These gardens are evolving into somewhere quite magical, somewhere I know I will visit again and again.

The blossom was stunning - especially when contrasted with the ever-present blue skies, and the pale lichen adorning the trees.

There's something quite captivating about blossom, something hopeful...and happy. A promise of good things to come.

Saturday 18 April 2009

halfway to ninety

I've been celebrating my birthday today, helped by my sister Gill who's been staying for a few days. Last year my Dad said to me:

"Well of course you do realize that next year
you'll be halfway to ninety..."

I'm looking on the bright side - another forty five years? Fantastic!

Friday 17 April 2009

pebble love

It's a rare day when I walk on the beach and come home with empty pockets. There's always another pebble, a shell, a piece of seaglass to be found and treasured. At home there's an ever expanding collection of beach finds - for some their moment of glory is transient. Away from the the beach they suddenly don't seem quite so special. Others have stood the test of time over the years, always seemingly perfect in their own unique way - the shape, the smoothness, the chalky colour, the coolness and the tactile quality. There's nothing quite like finding a beautiful pebble, enclosing it with your fingers and exploring it's shape and texture.

Some sit so perfectly in your hand you don't want to put them down. I found this beauty the other day.

And it wasn't until I brought it home, cradled in my fingers, that I realized how special it was. Not the usual pebble/egg shape I usually collect, but altogether more organic and fluid. It sits perfectly in the contours of my hand, begging to be touched and stroked, the cool slatey blackness absorbing the warmth of my fingers.

At the moment it's resting place is beside my bed on an oak block I use as a bedside table. I can't resist picking it up first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I wonder about the journey it's travelled, the tumbling it's taken in the sea, to wear its contours so smooth. This one's here to stay.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

the week that was

Busy, busy, busy...and still is...

The spring clean and the decluttering continues - the more I get into it, the more I want to get rid of. Freecycle has been an easy way of moving things on to a new home. I like the idea of other people in my community benefiting from things I no longer need. Every time something else goes out the door I feel a little bit lighter. The trick has to be not to bring it in in the first place!

I've had some help from Mark, visiting for Easter (this time his arrival was by motorbike rather than pushbike). Furniture has been moved around, rubble disposed of, extra strong muscles made use of. The perfect guest!

Last week I also had the delights of dinner with MrsM and the divine MissM .

They were visiting family nearby, so we seized the opportunity to meet up.

A large meal and much chatter and blog talk was shared in a traditional local eatery. There's something rather special about meeting a fellow blogger, someone you would never have otherwise met in 'real' life. These connections are to be savoured.

Alice gave me this beautiful bunch of anenomes. They're one of my favourite flowers, up there with sweet peas. I love the inky colours, the saturated petals that slowly unfold. And then they fade, the colour seeping out before they slowly droop. Thank you, Alice.

And this boy continues to make me smile. His favourite sleeping position? Upside down, paws wherever, head on the slate flagstones.

Oh Walter!

Sunday 5 April 2009

walking in the woods

Walking in the woods this morning - so quiet and peaceful with the spring sunshine filtering through the trees and nature singing her sweet song.

I hope your weekend was as beautiful as mine.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

recycled toast

I expect I wasn't the only blogger to receive a Toast mini catalogue in the post yesterday. It's arrival coincided with a cup of coffee and a wee pause, while I savoured the images and the wonderful kind of 'posh rustic' lifestyle on offer.

And then my fingers started twitching, thinking about my scalpel blade and cutting mat, and how it's been a while since I've made any cards or chopped up some paper. So I quickly got to work and made some postcards. I used some blanks that were lying around, played with the crop and then mounted them, using my corner cutter to finish them off.

Sometimes my crop is a little 'off', but they were so quick to make - so satisfying for a half-hour diversion from my to-do list.

They make a lovely little bundle piled together, along with some glassine envelopes. I have a bit of a 'thing' for glassine envelopes, by the way.