Monday, September 05, 2005

Epic struggle

We've spent most of this summer wrestling a severely overgrown garden into submission using the best Amazonian slash-and-burn techniques. This evil privet thing wouldn't die when it was chopped down, but fought back against saws, forks, spades, chopping implements borrowed from next door and the moat we dug round its roots (uncovering a good three dozen bricks in the process). The picture represents its final surrender, just after it rolled out of the trench and just before I fell flat onto it. 85% of it is still squatting malevolently in the bonfire patch, charred but unpleasantly solid.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Another step into the Unknown

Back in the spring, I joined up to Beth Berst's collaborative print project, where 12 artists were supposed to make a print with the theme found:in japan, send 12 copies to her, and she would turn them into a very limited edition of 12 handmade books. The finished book is now online on her website here.
I found myself involved in a fascinating process, which I could share with the children at school over the summer term, as they worked on their own printmaking. They particularly liked the bits where I went wrong...
Although I meant to pick a sensible and intelligent theme, I ended up with Godzilla and his noodles. I did have to do some serious picture research to check exactly how Godzilla differs from any other large reptilian monster.
I've done some woodcuts before, but only tackled single-colour images. Sorting out multiple blocks was interesting; I never quite got the registration perfect. I used cherry ply and a big, solid craft knife. Until this project, I've always used the sticky colours sold for lino printing, and This time, I experimented with watercolours and flour paste (only it was wheat not rice because I was too impatient to start) and some gel stuff I found at the back of the Art room cupboard, and I printed onto the soft paper used for chinese brush painting. The print above is a trial of the main block.