Wednesday, 24 October 2012

D.Day 19 Green Ants and Mangrove

Friday 19th

Day before yesterday on the walk from the bus stop to Djumbunji I saw the Mangrove trees in the lake by the side of the road. Quick sketch then and I realised this morning, looking though my sketchbook, I had the next part of the Three Ibis puzzle.

Mangrove drawn and cut, water patterned, small turtle I had sketched out the night before dropped. I'm on fire, now what?

Smaller version of the mangrove pattern to represent the grass bank the Ibis are standing in. Just need something to finish it off along the bottom.

Everywhere you go outside here are large feisty Green Ants. Every time I'm drawing I'll suddenly notice them running around. So I wanted to have them in this print.

I made a linear pattern of Green ants nose to nose, or antenna to antenna, and abdomen to abdomen. Cut them running along the top of the grass.

Cutting finished, time for a proof print.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

D.Day 16. Granite Gorge.

Tuesday the 9th.

The sketching trip went so well yesterday, apart from the small matter of the bee sting. So thought I would get out to the outback today as a contrast to the tropical jungle.

Drove for an hour or so west to a place called Granite Gorge I had seen on a flyer.

Starts of cute enough, small Wallaby's coming up for food, then a couple of huge boulders over a small creek are quite interesting. Got a couple of good sketches.

Then you wander over another creek, come out of the trees and are suddenly in Star Trek land! Or to those of us a certain age and persuasion, Blakes 7. The bit in any episode when they had to go down to the 'Alien planet' and it always looked a bit like a quarry near Worksop.

Well they should have come here instead. Though with 70's TV budgets probably Worksop was more do-able.

It was an amazing landscape of huge, massive smooth slabs of granite. On top of which were piled vast boulders and pillars of stone. The scale of the water which must flow over these rocks is astounding.

I wandered down the course of the river buried under the stones with sketchbook in hand and didn't draw a thing. The scale was simply to big. Too smooth.

On the return journey the track takes you out of the gorge and into the bush.

This was more like it. The temp rose a couple of degrees into the upper thirties and the landscape became old and dry and intimidating. Huge erratic boulders lurked amongst the spindly burnt trees. Everywhere I looked I could see a picture and, thanks to both Elizabeth and Brian's obsession, a lot of the big boulders seemed to suggest human skulls.

Got a lot of photo's and a lot of sketches before the heat started getting to me. Back in the nice air conditioned car for the drive back to Cairns.

Oh did I mention the Wallaby's?

Monday, 15 October 2012

D.Day 15 Crystal Cascades.

Monday the 8th.

Brain a bit full now of patterns, concepts and artness. Need to get out and stretch my legs and my drawing muscles to get some primary research.
I.e go for a walk and draw stuff. 14 km west of Cairns into the hills are the Crystal Cascades. A series of small, in the dry season, waterfalls linking swimming holes I have visited with the kids.

They are great. Huge boulders tumbled around small deep pools. Waterfalls rushing over dark rocks against a rainforest backdrop.

As usual the best place to sketch tended to be perched precariously on a rock or knee deep in the middle of the creek.
Managed nearly ten good sketches in a couple of hours.
Though wandering around the bank in bare feet, after wading around, proved a mistake in the rainforest. Got stung by a bee on the foot. Luckily I saw it was a bee and managed to pull the sting out before I started panicking it was something more serious.

Best cure for bee sting. A refreshing swim in a freshwater creek with electric blue Ulysses butterflies floating overhead.

D.Day 20 Djumbunji Workshop

Saturday October 12th.

A full house at Djumbunji press today for a Lino colour reduction workshop.

Was a real luxury to be working in a fully equipped studio with back up. I had help cutting the paper and Lino to size, preparing the tables etc. Well when I say had help I mean I wandered about while other people did all the work getting everything ready for me.

There were 10 people all together and having three sheets of glass to mix on, spare rollers and huge drying racks made a real difference to the flow of the workshop.

As usual there was a great range of work produced and everyone seemed happy with their final print.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

D.Day 18 testing the 'Three Ibis'

Thursday 11th

Spent most of the day cutting the pattern on the Three Ibis.

Once finished the upper part of the picture I did a test print to see how it looked. Interesting and better than the first Stoney Creek picture.

Thanks to Brian's influence I have done the unthinkable. Started cutting out part of the print before I know what I am doing with the rest of the print.

Better start thinking!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

D.Day 12 Finishing the Creek

Wednesday the 3rd.

Just got on with printing up the Creek today. Happy with some bits not so with others areas.

Like my 'foliage pattern' as a starting point. Though it looks a bit too much like actual palm fronds rather than general foliage. Also prefer the two colour pattern rather than the final black.

Water works okay and did have some registration issues as the press actually stretched either the paper or the Lino itself. This meant just the bottom section was out of registration but the rest of the print was fine.

The white stuff on one of the finished prints in the photo's below is talcum powder. Another suggestion of Elizabeth. Sprinkled on sections of the print after inking it prevents the ink in the sprinkled areas printing. So you see the underlying layer. Gives a nice effect but was a bit of an afterthought on this print. Think it will work better if it is planned in from the beginning.

Need to get back down to Stoney Creek get some more drawing done. Elizabeth tells me there are more swimming holes further up the track.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

D.Day 11 A quiet day at the press

Tuesday the 2nd ,

Pretty quiet day at Djumbunji, no one else in, so I'm just getting on with cutting the Stoney Creek to print the next colour.

After a while Billy Missy comes in to have another go at a reduction print. This time I'm going to demonstrate with the first print and Billy will do the rest of the edition himself.

It's a lovely little print of a Torres Strait Pigeon sitting in a fruit bush.

It didn't go completely to plan, registration issues, but still had a lot of character.

I also managed to finish cutting the creek picture so can print that tomorrow.