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       branch-2

branch-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-1       GF2

Goldfinch and Magnolia buds

A Goldfinch Nest Sketch

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.

nest 2

Two small pen and ink sketches 4”x 2.5”

nest bg

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.