Saturday, 28 June 2014


A test to see how the embossment would cope being dampened a second time to add chine colle.  It has lost some of its emboss but still stands out to a certain point.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Munakata test 2, Day 20

I am quite liking the way this chine colle has been incorporated within and outside the embossment. it slightly mis-registered itself.  I was testing the gouache chine for paint drying and then rewetting it to apply as a colle and to see how it behaved whilst being beaten with a scrubbing brush.......I think I have to be a bit more gentle.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Munakata Tribute Prints....Day 19

So this is a test proof to see how the block works and to test the paste I am using for the chine colle.  These blue bits of chine colle are random bits from my studio that I brought with me.  I am just blind embossing a couple of prints before I start inking the block.  So the black ink will appear on the print where the flat area shows on this piece.
Printed without a press using a scrubbing brush.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Day 16, half way through...

Beautiful day, tempted to do another beach day today but I offer you the conversation window

If this window is open I something wonderful happens, a conversation of some kind evolving in an offer of some duck eggs which are on the way, an offer of a trip to the beach, someone asking me if I am alright and an engagement with the woodcuts which in turn became an offer to view a beautiful Japanese woodcut picked up years ago in Camden passage, loads of colours, which meant loads of wood blocks and so much intricate detail, stunning.

Work in progress...a tribute to Munakata and a way of getting into his vibe and testing all the bits on my new dremel.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sea Potato.....Beach Finds

was so excited when I found the first one of these objects on the beach.  FB friend Louise Scott said ooh a sea potato.  Now I recognised it as some kind of sea urchin but had never seen one before let alone knowing it was a sea potato.  Anyhow it's official name is echinocardium cordatum (Latin I presume). 

Sea Potato Information
  1.  The dried shell (also known as the test) of this urchin resembles a potato, hence the common name – sea potato.
  2. The sea potato, Echinocardium cordatum, is a common echinoderm found along beaches on all coasts of Britain and Ireland.
  3. The sea potato is related to sea urchins, heart urchins, and sand dollars.
  4. Most sea urchins live in rocky areas, but the sea potato prefers sand, particularly muddy sand.
  5. The spines of this echinoderm are thin and flattened.
  6. On the underside of the urchin are special spoon-shaped spines that help it to dig.
  7. There are longer spines of the back of the sea potato which aid in helping to breathe while it is burrowing.
  8. The sea potato can survive to depths of 650 feet.
  9. Unlike regular urchins, the sea potato has a distinct front end (i.e., not circular).
  10. The sea potato can grow up to 3 inches.
  11. The sea potato is very fragile and rarely survives collection.
  12. While alive the sea potato is deep yellow in color and covered in fine spines.
  13. The sea potato prefers sub-tidal regions in temperate seas.
  14. The sea potato are a type of heart-shaped urchin.
  15. Sea potato are deposit feeders and tube feet on its underside the sea urchin pick up sediment from the front of its mouth.
  16. The sea potato has no conservation concerns.
  17. The sea potato often has a commensal symbiotic relationship with the bivalve Tellimya feringuosa attached to its anal spines.
Thank you to

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Connectivity and Helen Frankenthaler

Well I don't know what happened to Inspiration below.....I am certainly not inspired by numbers!

So, synchronicity, connectivity, after slowing down and tuning in I am finally making some headway.  Noticing the little signs that make connections within the work.

I was drawing this with my parrot friend on my shoulder squawking what a load of rubbish when a few hours later online I find this gorgeous piece by one of my long forgotten favourite artists Helen Frankenthaler

And talking of connectivity and Frankenthaler, at the same time I uploaded this on to my laptop

And out of all the artists in all the world a FB friend posted this very same image the next day.  I haven't looked at Frankenthalers work for years.  It is the most stunning woodblock print.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Day 6 or is it 7?

IOK, getting in the groove now.

I recently found my gorgeous little book about the wonderful Shiko Munakata who made the most exquisite woodcuts.  He kind of makes me think he is the Henri Cartier Bresson of woodcut, the gorgeous contrasts of black and white.  I'm very drawn to the use of pattern by Munakata.

I'm going to do my next woodcut in the Munakata manner......

Work in progress I have been printing more from the beach spirit block, having a few problems drying the prints the waves within the image are recreating themselves in the paper....

I am excited about the one below.....the embossment was done on a layer already printed with the diffused method when I was printing with Aine in Dumfries.  The darker blue shapes remind me of the gulls yesterday flying in formation with the sunlight catching their bodies.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Steeple Residency Day 3

Navigating Newburgh

Walking along the tow path by the Firth of Tay

The Coble Boat Race, waiting for the rise of tide

Walking back along the tow path

Carving and Embossing on residency Day 4

As any of you who have tried it is extremely difficult to get a good photo of an blind embossment.  Try as you might to keep it white colour will try to creep in.  Anyway, while I try and work out the right settings on my camera and get the right light to do so here is reasonable image of the promised embossment 'printed' from the woodcut below.

This print was executed with a scrubbing brush.  Great way to alleviate frustration bang bang bang.   It is quite different from the one that was printed using the press...which I just can't seem to get a photo of...will post when I have success.

Anyway following on from this I am working with another woodcut along the lines (pun intended) of this one above and then upon delivery of some more wood I will be working with some of these images.