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

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Colour Print Trials and Bees.

The weather has been fabulous, spring has arrived and it’s been too nice to be inside so work has been a bit slow. But in between wrestling with the garden, sporadic bookbinding and printing I have been making a series of small colour print trials. These are using 2 relief plates and are helping me understand how printing ink colours behave when overprinting. It’s not always the same as applying glazes in oils or watercolours. Hmmm
The possibilities are endless.

Inspiration? The pond, minus frogs though.

 colour-trials

 

Bees bees bees….
I have spent the last couple of days in the garden digging, chopping and moving things. The frogs have scattered now and it’s mostly quiet in the pond but I was accompanied by the buzzing of some newly minted queen bumble bees and the odd solitary bee.

So far the bee count this year is, Queen Bumble Bees;  Bombus hypnorum, pratorum, lucorum, terrestris and pascuorum. One odd little solitary, one Andrena fulva and… joy of joys.. the male Anthophora plumipes, the hairy footed flower bees, with their unmistakable high pitched buzz and speedy flight.

HFFBHffb2
Hairy footed flower bees.

Top; one lurking at the bottom on a stachys leaf near a favourite spring pulmonaria flower
Above; zooming off to chase away another male. He is a little supercharged bundle of male aggression and will even tackle large bumble bees who stray into his territory.

pascpasc2
A dainty little B pratorum The Early Bumblebee, approaching the winter honeysuckle, tongue unfurled in the first and legs up coming into land in the second.

 

pa3

pasc4
The Common Carder Bee. B pascuorum. In the second photo she is balancing on one flower with her back legs while getting her nose right up into the flower.

tawnygif

A gorgeous two tone ginger Tawny mining bee Andrena fulva resting in the sun.

sol-1

and a little solitary male… waiting… waiting… waiting for a mate.. :)

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Branch Book 2 and some Goldfinch sketches

I am continuing to teach myself basic bookbinding and for this trial I printed all the Branch Book plates in a line and made a concertina book. It would work really well this way if I had actually made the original plates follow on a little better.. but for a quick trial it was fine and it was the binding I was most interested in. That, at least, is getting better.

branch-all 

branchbranch-2branch-3  branch-cover

The Branch title is slightly inset which was a small new success. Small new successes sustain me over the many mistakes…slow learning.

Outside my workroom window is a small magnolia tree whose furry buds are getting ready to open. Yesterday a couple of goldfinches settled there for a while. Small flocks can always be seen by the waterside where the teasels grow and they love the seeds of knapweed which I (rather reluctantly) have in the garden for the bees. I keep meaning to make a print of these pretty birds so, at last, a few sketches. A print might follow in a couple of years … :)

gf-1GF2

Goldfinch and Magnolia buds