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Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh, For a Bit of Snow!

Life's a bit hot at the moment. I received an email from a friend in Ireland with a photo of their house totally covered in snow. Oh how I wish I was back home instead of this Australian summer! Of course everyone at home is wishing they were here, but still.

Our computer is in our living room which is west facing and gets a real bashing from the sun all afternoon, heating the room up like a greenhouse. That's my excuse for not posting on here lately.

The above sketch was drawn at Wye River. I had gone for a little walk and sat down by the river. This little bird entertained me for about half an hour. He was so skillful at catching flies, he mesmerised me. When I got back home and to my bird book I found him to be a Flycatcher (makes sense really) aka a Jacky Winter (doesn't make quite so much sense.) I'd like to make an etching of him in the future.

To finish with I'll show some photos of our lovely, but warm, living room in our new house.

That's it on the top floor. It's a great house, a bit shabby and full of noisy possums, but I love it. It's just a shame the lease is only for 9 months because it is due to be demolished in September. All the best places get pulled down, it's so sad.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

At the Beach

I've spent the last few days down the Great Ocean Road with Jeremy's family, caravaning at Wye River. It's so lovely to be by the beach and have constant bird drawing material at hand! Here area couple of pages from my sketchbook.
And a couple of photos of my playings on the beach

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thirty Minutes

Yesterday I made a new book. It's called "Thirty Minutes in St. James' Park, London" and contains a collection of drawings of (mostly) birds I drew while in St. James' Park, London, last September. I am editioning it out of 50 and they are photocopied on my scanner printer machine from pen and ink drawings and then hand bound.

I have been wanting to make a range of small artist books and zines for a while now. My first one in this range is called "Seagulls Outside State Library" and I was selling it at my market stall before Christmas. I want to sell them on etsy, but I'm not sure which shop to put them in, or maybe I should open a new shop, but three shops might be a bit much! I'm going on holiday tomorrow, to the beach, so hopefully I'll be able to work it all out by the time I get back!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Currawongs

Ok, so, I charged up my camera battery and put it in, ready to take photos for new years eve and... my camera has finally died. I think it must be all the dropping of it. I've never been very good at holding on to it! So I went into town yesterday and simply had to buy a new one. So I'm all ready now and here we go...

My larger recent work.
I remember first hearing currawongs when I lived in Abbotsford. They actually say "currawong currawong." I think they are lovely looking birds, about the size of a crow but a little bit sleeker. Apparently they are a little bit evil and rather clever.

My original drawings of the currawongs were done with black ink and a brush (see above) and I wanted to recreate this effect in etching by using sugarlift. This process involves painting your image onto the plate with a sugar solution. You let it dry and then paint diluted bitumen over the top and let that dry. Then put the plate into warm water and the areas where the sugar solution was painted lifts off, exposing the copper plate below. An aquatint is then applied by dusting the plate (still with the bitumen covering the areas where the sugar solution was not lifted) with fine rosin grains and melting them with a flame. Aquatint creates texture on the surface of the plate so it picks up more ink and creates an even dark tone. Then place the plate into the acid for the desired length of time. When the plate is ready take it out of the acid, clean off the bitumen and melted aquatint grains and you are ready to ink up and print.