A New Year and A Wolf Moon

What could be better than to start this New Year with a magnificent Wolf Moon. It’s the first full moon in January, so called because wolves are thought to howl louder at this time of the year. Not only is it a full moon, it’s also a supermoon. I woke up at 12 midnight to see my workroom flooded with moonlight casting shadows of the trees on the door and walls.
So, to celebrate, 2 monoprint moons from my Moon book, still waiting to be bound. Maybe this year!Happy New Year!

dogfrunning moon f

2015 Hurrah!

I love a New Year, even if a really awful cold has delayed my start a bit.  There is so much to do so many plans…

A quick catch up with the Moon project which has now ended.
Many fascinating ideas came along with many frustrations in tow.  I often have to learn things the hard way but it has increased my understanding of monoprinting and its possibilities and I did complete, if not really finish, a few ideas for small books.
I made a prototype embossed concertina book, loosely based on a tactile/Braille solution to depicting the moon’s phases.

braille book 2    backlight    braille 1    braille 2

braille 2_2    braille 3

Braille Book

It was very white, and very tricky to make with an awful lot of measuring, hole punching and trials before I got it to work, but I discovered a lovely translucent quality to the compressed paper, how to write the phases of the moon in Braille and that I need more patience.
I made another rough book idea based on the views that Galileo had of the moon through his small telescope. He could only see sections of the moon one at a time which, they say, is why his early moon maps were inaccurate.
The round telescope views reveal a section of the larger moon map piece by piece. ( in this case Cassini’s very beautiful moon map of 1679).

Galileos section

Galileo’s Section

The monoprint series continued and I eventually chose 30 to form a small 36 page, single section, saddle stitched, self ending book called: “29 d 12 h 44 min 2.8016 s  29.530587981” (which is the length of a synodic month. Hence the half page image at the end)


Pagination worked out for printing.

I made a very simple, soft back, slip cover and printed some moon words on the endpapers

Cover     spread 1   spread 2   spread 3

end page

“29 d 12 h 44 min 2.8016 s  29.530587981” book 6 x 8 inches T

his small book illustrates just some of my research avenues.
It was all completely fascinating, absorbing and wonderful.

I find myself reluctant to leave the moon, so many more possibilities and half finished and unexplored ideas, but there may be time over the next year to realise a few more.
Meanwhile it’s on with the game.. Growth, Eels and Rivers plus more pigs and bees to come.

The Turn of the Year.. and yes, more Moons.

Today must be one of my very favourite days, because I know that tomorrow, albeit falteringly, it will start to get lighter. Hope, spring, warmth and sun cannot be far away.

Meanwhile my first, fascinating, full-on, MA project is drawing to a close.
Not so much about finishing things this one, more about cranking up the thinking processes. And for another two weeks I will remain deeply in thrall to the lovely Moon, lost in the wonder of its science, myths, facts, fallacies, hopes and dreams.
There will be a last little sliver of a waning moon tonight before a new moon for Christmas. I have learnt enormous amounts of stuff; about book forms, monoprinting and the moon.

I have made some strange images, played with many maquettes, knitted a Clanger, read some extraordinary fiction and finally worked on a set of monoprints which, in a way, relate the story of my research. I am now just assembling them into a rather haphazard book. The learning curves have been steep but the skills will be useful. So here,  for the winter solstice, are a few of the monoprints. Out of over 60 plus I  have to whittle it down to 29 ish.  I will post the full set when I have made those tricky final decisions and also will explain a little about how and why I got there.


hands f_resize         man in moonf_resize

mothsf_resize         panther f_resize[4]

rabbit f _resize         running moon f_resize

snake 1 f_resize         thingf_resize  


tree f_resize         toadf _resize copy

Ten of the monoprints, some with relief printed additions: image size 4 x 6 inches

Somehow they seem appropriate for Christmas. I will, yes really, be back to the blogs with a bit more regularity in the New Year and I might just get one more post in before Christmas but, if not, a very Happy Christmas to all my faithful blog readers…

Japanese Woodblock, Monoprints and Tree Following

Just quick roundup of stuff, more printmaking and following a Horse Chestnut

Japanese Woodblock Printing

Over at Printdaily yesterday I wrote about my first Japanese Woodcut  made last week at an excellent days workshop with Laura Boswell, learning about cutting and printing the Japanese way. It involved cutting with knives and chisels, inking with watercolour and printing on dampened paper. All completely different from anything I have done before. It has great possibilities and in the right hands is very beautiful. With Laura’s help I made a small print of an adder which will be my next subject for Beautiful Beasts. I was absolutely delighted with the day and with how much I learned. If anyone is interested in Japanese woodblock printing I can’t recommend her highly enough. (I don’t say this lightly as I honestly see very few tutors who not only understand the mechanics of their craft, but also the “art” that it can produce when used in creative ways.)


My first little adder print, three plates and about 4 colours.  See more steps on the blog post. I shall be working more with these plates next week.

Monoprints On Beautiful Beasts I have been playing with monoprints, again fairly new to me although I made a few at college years ago on old litho plates, they were less than inspiring but I am loving these small prints using the Silk Road Horse sketch as a starting point. So far I have only used waterbased inks and only black ink.They are made with a mix of trace through and wipe out techniques. There have been many trials and not many successes but they can have a beautiful lithographic feel about them and a surprising sensitivity of line. Hopefully a few more this weekend. These are my favourites so far.

mono4-bg      mono3-bng

Mono prints A4.


Tree Following..!

My blog friend Lucy over at Loose and Leafy is following a tree this year; seeing how it develops and changes over the year. Lovely idea Lucy. She has invited people to join her and I am definitely in. I am already doing some work on Willows this year and wanted a bit of a contrast so am opting for a Horse Chestnut.

It will be a once a month report but a great excuse for some tree sketching and observation. At their best they are magnificent trees in every season.  There are several scattered around the village. One I can see from our front window. It’s where the rooks roost and I am very fond of rooks. It will be fascinating exploring these lovely trees. I am rather wondering where the time will come from to do this… but hey…it’s what I love to do so I am sure I will fit it in!