Saturday 18 November 2017

Odds And Ends

It's the time to gather up loose fragments and offcuts for slightly mystified inspection.  Before I get stuck into my seasonal artwork campaign (by which I mean complicated Christmas cards), I've looked through a variety of pads and books from this year to collect some snippets, drawn for a variety of purposes.

A bunch of sketchbook oddments from this year.

Next up are a couple of Autumn sketches.  This week I spent a couple of days scrub-bashing with the countryside team in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, between Portsmouth and Petersfield.  We were lopping and sawing thorn bushes from the sides of a combe below Butser Hill and rolling them down to the valley, over rabbit holes in the damp grass.  I drew this in situ over lunch and coloured it at home, hoping to reflect the colours of the trees the other side of the A3.

Scrub-bashing on Butser Hill.

A few weeks earlier I wandered across London's Primrose Hill, into Camden and to the Cecil Sharp House, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.  I have been in there once, a long time ago.  It's smart and slightly grave behind the rapidly thinning plane and birch.  It's good to get out and draw before breakfast - well, sometimes.

One of North London's mysterious gems, the Cecil Sharp House.

Here's to next year's drawing.  I think sketchbooks should be on my Christmas list.

Sunday 5 November 2017

Bonfire Night Sparklers

Last Autumn it was conkers that got me excited.  This year it's sparklers.  (Will it be mittens on elastic next year?)

They're probably what I look forward to the most at a firework display and I have fond memories of sparklers in dark, damp back gardens.

First of three linocuts:  three scintillating sparklers.

I had fun producing these lino images of coruscating sparks, harsh but tamed, between bonfire smoke and one's own breath, the sharpness of the sparklers matches the crispness of the air.

Second linocut:  two sparklers and a November moon.

The prints are in three different shapes and on two types of lino (one being quite rough and misty), with aspects of monoprint and a fade from blue to black.

Third linocut:  a single sparkler in a smoky garden.

Having got these together during the week, I had my humble back garden firework party last night, with a full moon, as foretold in art.  They sparkled and went out - a tantalisingly transient pleasure.

The same again but in real life!

I think they're better in print than in photos.