"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

NEW HOME FOR BLOG

I've relocated the blog to https://pencilandleaf.valerielittlewood.uk/
Please come and join my constant struggle with all things creative :)

Saturday, 8 February 2020

The Blog is moving! ... and some Beautiful Boxes

Dearest Readers,

After over 10 years I am leaving blogger! Yes its hard..but I have found it increasingly difficult to make Blogger work for me and so posting has rather fallen by the wayside.
I want to do more and need a new platform.
Thank you for all your comments over the years. They have helped so much during those inevitable creative wasteland times and celebrated with me a few successes and given me a good reason to keep going!!

I looked back fondly to my first tentative Live Oak drawing, not knowing if anyone would even see it.

What does this mean Val ?

Well soon you will be receiving an email asking if you would like to sign up to  the new Wordpress blog.
I would love you to come along with me for the next 10 years which is looking very interesting!

It's still Pencil and Leaf .. same header and all the old posts will be there and it will be part of my new website. The website is rather empty at the moment but at last I am determined to get the bees, prints pigs and books in some sort of order
Hurrahhhhhh!!!!!

What next?

I have a very busy year ahead with major projects on Saffron, Grain and more. More prints, more books and an interesting exchange with my USA based friend Dy.

All this I will be recording on the new, fresh and easier-to-work-with...( I'm ever optimistic.... ) blog.

Meanwhile... beautiful Boxes

In the autumn I made some beautiful book boxes under the expert tuition of Clare Bryan at City Lit.
Check out her workshops and website be inspired. https://cargocollective.com/clarebryan/workshops




I cannot take any credit for these really as all I had to do was follow instructions as well as I could.
Glue is still an issue with me but I think I am getting a bit more precise and careful.. it has taken some time to instill this discipline!

So au revoir for now........ See you on Wordpress!

Friday, 6 December 2019

A Glimpse into a Small World

As is usual these days, the year has rushed by too fast. This autumn I have been busy learning some new skills and researching in preparation for a couple of new projects for next year.
There is also an exhibition to be planned for in spring 2021 which seems an age away and yet, in terms of work time is so very close.

A tiny 1:25 scale chair.

In October I was lucky to attend a short course with master model maker David Neat. I am interested in incorporating some models into next years projects and wanted to understand more about basic modelling methods and modern materials and of course it was totally fascinating. I have made rough models before, sometimes to help with illustration work but nothing which might be considered finished or accurate. But the addition of a third dimensions in my work and the simulation of life in the round is very appealing.



model, mould and casts

mocked up surface textures ... very effective!
David has a huge amount of experience in all kinds of modelmaking and is fantastically generous with his knowledge.
He makes accurate scale models for all sorts of clients and has particular interest in theatrical set design  It was a whole new world for me. We worked mainly to 1:25 scale... hmmm... tiny! 

We experimented with plastics, foams, wire, card resin and I came away with a huge admiration for set designers and in fact anyone who has to work accurately to scale.
My results were not brilliant but my understanding of materials has increased 100%.

I'm not quite sure how I will utilise this new found knowledge.. but I surely will....




Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Growing Tips: 2

The word "Tip" has several meanings. The tip of something, advice in small chunks and to incline. So I decided, on the reverse of the lino plant tips, to make some small illustrated "tips" about how both humans and plants might flourish. We need very similar things really, plants and us; light, water, care, space, nourishment etc etc.



In any garden there are also pests and helpers.. as there are in human life too! So these had to be added. :)


















The reverse side illustrations were done on scraperboard and scanned and printed alongside the type. It was very simple in one way but the construction was not so easy. I tried different card weights and stocks, printing on different papers and trying adhesives until I had a compromise which worked well.







The text for the first page of the tips is from the wonderful Gardeners Labyrinth by Thomas Hill 1653. A very favourite old gardening text book of mine.

"What care and diligence is required of every gardener: To these what increase and commoditie a well laboured earth yeildeth"

How very true...A little TLC goes such a long way with both plants and people.











I printed the linos on 300 gsm watercolour paper and the text and illustrations on a medium weight photo quality computer paper. Then laminated these onto the lino tips which gave them enough strength to enable them to stand up once the small stand slots were cut in the base.

Growing Tips

I printed lots of papers to cover the box. The trickiest bit was getting the points of the cover to meet nicely at the top of the triangle. But it closes fine and quite neatly, allowing the title to be seen through the front aperture. The inside of the box is yellow.... nice!

 



Here is a gallery of all of the tips and their tips :) ~

             



 

     

         

           







  

 

  

 

 






One project resolved.... about 50 more to go. The list of projects I want to do gets longer as the time I have gets shorter ! Oh so MUCH to do!

Again I have to thank Sue Doggett at City Lit boookbinding for advice and encouragement! She did say that a triangular box would be tricky.. she was right!