Saturday, June 5, 2010

Etching Press

We are getting near to summer now and the weather has produced some beautiful days and some very wet ones. We have been spending lots of time out in the countryside geocaching and enjoying it immensely. We walked a total of eight miles in search of treasure yesterday and I certainly slept well after such mammoth exertions. Spare a thought for northern India though who are experiencing a heatwave to end all heatwaves - 54C. I didn't think temperatures could get that high. Tragically people are dying due to the extreme weather and I hope the monsoons start soon.

This is an ink and gouache picture entitiled Scarlet Bird

Some of you may have noticed that I have a drypoint etching for my header this time. That is because I am now the proud owner of a table top etching press. I have wanted one of these for years and I finally was able to get one a few weeks ago. It is a wonderful instrument and once I get the hang of using it properly I am going to enjoy it very much. At the moment it is very much a steep learning curve for me. The etching part is fine; it is the inking and wiping that is tricky. My first inking of this image below was too severe and it ended up so pale that it resembled a pencil drawing. I left a lot of plate tone on this one and I must say I much prefer this to the first one, although it leaves a lot to be desired. This was actually inked using relief printing ink which is very thick and not really suitable. I am expecting a delivery of some proper etching ink soon and hopefully that will improve things. This is done on perspex btw. I am also going to try out copper.

Lilac time is here again. I love lilac.

These lovely images came through the post from Deb who is an Antipodean lady who kindly reads my blog and won one of my giveaway prizes. A while back Deb asked if she could use one of my images as the basis for an embroidery. Here is a photo of the embroidery that she worked and I am very impressed indeed with her talent. My picture was of a bird in a tree on top of a lady's head and the picture on the right is that one. The other is Deb's own idea. Aren't they wonderful?

These are greetings cards she sent illustrating her own quilting and applique work. I love those hens in particular. She also sent me the threads for my own work (when I get around to it). I love surprises in the post like this.

I found these gorgeous Gilda Baron textile cards from a local art and craft gallery the other day. I have come across Gilda's work before at various venues relating to embroidery and stitch and I am also impressed by her beautiful use of colour. These cards have handmade paper on which is mounted fabric flowers and embroidery. They don't show the detail very well on the computer but if you click on the enlarged image it will show how much work has gone into their making. I will probably mount them on a three window picture frame that I have. You can see more of Gilda's work on her site here.

These beautifully dramatic paintings are by Scottish artist Ian McWhinnie. To me his work appears full of intrigue and mystery as if all the characters have fascinating stories to tell. Ian started out as an art teacher and ceramicist but finally he moved onto oil painting and his work is very much in demand. You can find lots more like this on his website here and also at the Red Rag Gallery site here.

Afternoon, Florence

Forest Floor

We found a few nice animals while out walking last weekend. I loved this sheep who looked as if someone had felted lots of different layers of wool on her coat. She is looking beautifully tatty and ready for a clip. She actually had her lamb with her as well but he was much neater and curlier.

Also found this lovely dark lady who honoured us with a portrait shot but then turned her back disdainfully on us.

I received my copy (paid for) of Dorset Art Weeks Open Studios today and I am looking forward to browsing all the wonderful artists and craftspeople who are opening their studios in the Dorset area. The very first artist I saw was Charlie Baird and I logged onto his website here and found some gorgeous paintings which you can see below. He is a very talented artist and I love his work. He has so many different styles and they are all excellent. Pop over and have a look - you won't be disappointed.


November 1st

6 For Gold

I thought I would update you on some of the vintage cards that I have added to my collection since I first posted about them in August 2008. They are a bit of a mixture from the late 1800s to around the second world war period. I love the way most of them are in the form of little booklets with ribbon or little lengths of wool tying them at the side. I think far more care was taken with cards in the past. The collection will continue...!

These are vintage memoriam cards which used to be sent by post to let people know someone had died, where they were buried etc. They used to arrive in black edged envelopes as in the centre card. If you click on the image and enlarge it you can see the sad reality of children dying. The Searle family lost two daughters with quite a space of years between them.


Gillian said...

Hi Cathy - your journeys around the countryside sound great! Best of luck with getting to know your etching press - very exciting!G

Poetikat said...

Hi Cathy!

I do love that scarlet bird!

I think you might like my latest poem - it's about a kind of lilac.


andamento said...

Hi Cathy,
I love all your work this week. I've never heard of drypoint etching, it looks very effective. Great new header and fabulous scarlet bird.

Cathy said...

Thanks Gillian. I just wish my etching ink and copper plates would arrive. Hopefully they will be here tomorrow.

Cathy said...

Hi Kat. I will pop over to your blog and take a gander.

Cathy said...

Hi Anne. Drypoint is just the lazy way of etching really if you don't want to risk toxic chemicals in the house...haha. I couldn't have acid around with Jack the cat. He would be furless in no time.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Hi Cathy, I love your etchings and the new header and also the red gouache bird. A feast of visual interest as always. Lesley

bunnits said...

I like your new header art.

Thanks from this spinner for the sheep photo--and from the same spinner horse lover for the portrait of the lady. At the museum where I used to work, one of our mules would almost always turn its backside to our volunteer blacksmith (who was a perfectly nice fellow). One day he asked what it meant....We all had a good laugh over his question and her perpetual reaction to him.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Lesley.

Cathy said...

I know how he felt Melissa. Luckily I was able to get a shot or two before she turned away. Sheep make me laugh. If you don't creep up on them to take a close up picture they are off over the other side of the field. You would think they had never set eyes on a human before..haha.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a wonderful new header! I look forward to seeimg nore pictures from you using that press.

ArtPropelled said...

The highlight of visiting your blog today is definitely your header. It really is wonderful Cathy. I also love Charlie Baird's work.

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliet. I just need some more time now...where does it go to?

Cathy said...

Thank you Robyn. I really enjoyed creating that header. I agree about Charlie Baird's work. I love the trees and bird painting.

acornmoon said...

Lucky you to have an etching press! I like what you have done so far, I love the quality that etching provides, that lovely subtle tone is quite beautiful. I look forward to watching your progress.

Cathy said...

Thanks Valerie. I am a huge fan of etchings and love the tones tool. I am hoping to do some more for my future blog posts.