Monday, 30 May 2011

Snowy Owl Print

I can't deny that this year has been hard work so far... but I am slowly getting used to not having a day job and starting to get some energy back. It's been a long time since I had the time or energy to pick up a pen and start drawing out new ideas and designs for Inkmeup or even to restock some of my old ones.It was really hard to get back into drawing... it's been 4 months which is the longest I have gone without drawing since I can't remember when. I was struggling last week but finding those beautiful bird books really helped to inspire me to get to work. I did have a little hissy fit when, after 2 hours of drawing, I decided I had lost the ability to draw and threw my pens up in the air and went out. When I came home I had a look at what I'd done and realised I had forgotten to step back and have a look at what I had done... and I decided it wasn't so bad and that I should finish it!I pulled out the gocco and some bulbs and got ready to fire a screen, prepared a load of different papers and inked the screen up... I made my first print and thought that something did not look quite right, his feet were a bit light... I tried again, maybe the ink was a bit gloopy and wasn't going thru properly, but no, something was definitely wrong. I check the bulbs in the machine and realised that one had failed to fire properly. Very calmly, instead of my usual hissy fit cos I'm only allowed one a day, I worked over a few of the fainter lines on the original drawing and got some more bulbs out and made a new screen... this one worked!

Print 2 with feet... print 1 with no feet from misfiring bulb!

I'm really happy with my new snowy owl... very happy indeed! I can't wait to get working on some more new designs, I am thinking of a whole series of different owls since I enjoy drawing them so much. I even got some more owlie moley notebooks printed!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Fantastic Finds

I found the best bargain buy just round the corner from me in my local charity shop this week, I picked up these two fabulous vintage bird books for just £1.50 each.I have spent large amounts of time lost in them both, especially the big one, they are so beautifully illustrated, I love them! I can't help but think that we've lost something with the now standard practise of all bird books being filled with photographs. I mean they are beautiful still but you have to admire this artists talent, these amazing colours just pop off the page.
I love the style of the language they are written in too... who can resist chapter headings like "Goatsuckers and their Allies"?I fully intend to spend a week or two with my head stuck in this book getting inspiration for my next projects! Hopefully I'll be able to bring some new designs to my shops soon.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Printing on Clay Workshop

A few weeks ago I took a one day workshop on printing on clay, I've got to say I really enjoyed it but was far to frazzled from work to get the most of it.I've never really had a chance to play with clay before but have always fancied slinging some around and seeing what happens! We used porcelain paper clay because you can roll it very thin, I wasn't very good at the rolling flat part so quite a few of my attempts had to be scrapped due to not really having rolled the clay flat enough.We used powdered stains which all had lovely names and were named after birds... I wish I could remember them all I remember is Plover Brown! We mixed them with linseed oil and printing medium (seriously I have no idea what I am talking about!) it did however smell lovely and we inked up lino cuts and leaves to make impressions in the clay.
My efforts aren't amazing... my little pot is a tad wonky and I really wish I had trimmed my plaques into nice shapes but I have lots of ideas and can't wait to have another go! Hopefully soon!