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

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Black Rabbit on the Track

On Friday morning I cycled early, up to the disused railtrack. There, very still, in the middle of the track crouched a big black rabbit.  In the quiet still early morning he seemed lost in thought, contemplative even.  It was quite something to see and had a certain mystery about it. I like to think that at some time in the past a tame rabbit has perhaps fled the confines of the cage for the great outdoors. It’s understandable. But when you stick out like a sore thumb perhaps the merry life of freedom will be a short one. There is a profound dilemma in that, isn’t there?

Over the last few years I have mentioned the black rabbits that live wild around the reservoir. I have seen them in 3 different locations. I guess on close inspection they are probably a chocolate brown but they seem very black and always mysterious. Whatever their colour if their aim is to be low key and unobtrusive, like their browny grey friends they are failing badly.

black-rabbit
A quick sketch when I got home.

I started thinking about a print, decided I wanted him facing the other and made a first quick woodcut. I have hunkered him down a bit more. On sight of me he had crouched more, ready to spring, before leaping away.

It all needs reworking/rethinking but I like the basic image.
The previous day I had visited Jeremy whose two big domesticated rabbits were grazing on the lawn in the company of a large adjustable spanner. So I have added a spanner which somehow seemed appropriate for a rabbit who lives on a disused railtrack. And of course there is a bike in the background

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The A3 block, cut and inked.
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A couple of first proofs. More to come after reworking/rethinking and playing around.
It’s a bit of  welcome break from the course work which takes up 99%of my time at the moment. If you are interested in what I am up to, I am keeping a blog of my final year work. HERE

Saturday, 14 November 2015

And a few more letters…

A little bit more freeform now …and thinking more about the text project.

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And some hand cut and printed letters..

Thursday, 5 November 2015

An (almost musical) Interlude

I am afraid I can’t yet truthfully say it is musical…but I have to introduce you to my new and, I think, enduring love.

hohner1Nice san serif typeface!

After more years than I can contemplate I felt the need to pick up a musical instrument again. Exactly where this came from I’m not entirely sure. Back in the day I played guitar and sang my pretty young heart out. Then real life cut in and these childish carefree things were left behind.

Somewhere round about May, when life is always so good and everything seems possible I had it in my mind to learn to play something, something portable and almost by accident along came a melodeon.  My good friend Linda  was telling me her brother Jeremy played the melodeon ( ..the what ?) and so through her I came to borrow her brother’s spare pokerwork Hohner.

I can’t say it was love at first sight. We struggled to come to terms with each other. I think in the first month of excruciatingly awful first notes I almost gave up. Chris was banned from the house, I contemplated earplugs and thanked my lucky stars that the Ugly Bungalow is at least detached. But bloody minded, dogged determination and some despairing times later and I have the faint beginnings of some very beautiful music. More lovely than I could have imagined.

hohner-2

If you think the humble melodeon is just a squeaky folky thing that only bangs out folk dance accompaniments you are so very mistaken. It is a sensitive thing capable of the softest  whisper and the richest fullest sound that fills the room and resonates through your bones as you hold it against your body.

It’s because it breathes, and through that  breathing it makes music. When my unaccustomed hands get used to it and I regain my musical ear I think we might make a good team, my melodeon and me.

And yes there will be artwork and soon. 

Huge thanks to all who have helped, encouraged and covered their ears. I now have twin pokerwork melodeons of my own, one in D/G and the other the most velvety, husky G/C. Both beautifully restored by Martyn White both German made, the G/C about my age. They are really known as basic workhorses in the melodeon hierarchy but mine will be treated  like royalty. ..(well if I believed in such a thing they would …:) …).

More melodeon stuff to come ...but, you will be relieved, not of me playing.
No Youtube channel ….yet…