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.
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 … 🙂
Goldfinch and Magnolia buds
In between learning more about printmaking, hatching plans and projects and ideas for next year I am getting back to some observed drawing. I have to say that autumn is not my favourite season.
The approaching restrictions and constrictions of dark and cold just don’t suit me and I hate these darkening nights.
But there are a few compensations, such as wonderful seed pods and fruits, beautiful curling dried leaves and the odd dislodged bird’s nest. Down by the reservoir I found this tiny little nest.
There is nothing much to it really, just a shallow, carefully woven, dish with a downy centre.
It’s made from grasses and sheep’s wool with a little moss here and there…and a tiny feather still attached.
I think it is the remains of a goldfinch nest. It seems an impossibly small and insubstantial family home and as goldfinches apparently build their nests towards the ends of branches it seems even more precarious.
Two small pen and ink sketches 4”x 2.5”
Goldfinch Nest Sketch: pencil and watercolour 10 x 5”
The goldfinches are delightful. We see them swoop from teasel to teasel in the late summer.