Tuesday, 20 February 2018


 Having allowed sufficient time for the collagraph plates to dry, and having a few hours in which to print from them, I managed to get a couple of reasonable prints. The first plate above, resulted in the print below, which has some good bits and some that I'm not too happy with.
 The plate below also resulted in some interesting areas, and some parts that didn't quite print as I had hoped.
 I haven't ever had this halo effect in a print before, but I quite like it. This is the first print from the plate below and the second one underneath it.
 Again, there are bits that I really like, such as the very green 'trees' in the upper middle area and the vegetation along the lower edge.
Amazingly enough, after several coats of shellac and a thorough drying, the lichen that I used on the plates absorbed the clean- up water and jumped up off the plate!  I'll try sealing it with a gel medium and hope that the polymer does the trick. Weird!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Suburban Walk.

 It's almost Autumn here and I for one will be happy to say goodbye to the really hot weather. A view of the city from a local park on the early morning walk with some interesting clouds.
 Reflections in the windows of a glass fronted building. I just love the distortions of the architecture on the left hand side.
                                             A quick cup of coffee before the walk home.
Then there is this horrible sight immediately opposite my home, with its accompanying loud music blaring from the workmen's radio, mess and rubbish everywhere and the looming building ruining our view of the sky.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


I spotted this dragonfly mural some time ago on the wall of our local fresh produce market. There were always too many people in front of it to photograph it until this morning when I was out too early for the crowds. It's about 1.5 m across, so very big and striking, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to have a plaque acknowledging the artist. Notice the 2 fish on the hind wings! There is also a similarly made butterfly, but unfortunately the vandals have partially destroyed some of it. As my mother would have said, 'I could wring their necks'.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018


 I carved this beetle during the week, intending to have the markings in black and the beetle in red or perhaps yellow.
 Easier said than done when working with stamps. It's not like a lino cut where the registration can easily be fixed, or at least I can't quite see how to do it with stamps, particularly as I don't think that I was careful enough to make the 2 stamps fit together exactly. Here above is a page of test prints, none of which line up correctly.
             Showing the 2 stamps, the beetle outline and the separate stamps for the markings.
     This is the closest that I came to an accurate placement. Not nearly good enough! Maybe I should cut the head of the markings stamp from the rest of the body and print them separately.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Making a New Collograph Plate.

 Whilst the previous plate worked reasonably well, I felt that I needed to make another one with more varied vegetation and more fine textures. Using the same basic idea of water, rocks and plants I started off with pieces of thin bark of various types.
                      Then I used pressed weed seed heads, lichen, sawdust and a little sand.
               With all the edges trimmed, it was time to coat the plate in several layers of shellac.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Watercolour Enhancement.

This is one of the copies of a collagraph plate that that I made recently.  There are a few faults, such as the creased paper in various places, but I decided to go ahead and enhance the picture a bit with watercolour anyway. I can see that it has possibilities on this particular print, so I'll try a few more and hopefully get some without the creases, which were probably caused by having the pressure on the press too high.

Friday, 9 February 2018

The Jewel in the Tomb!

 You might remember this tiny little Jewel spider photo that I posted  a few weeks ago, well there is one less of these in the world after this rather amazing looking wasp decided to paralyse one of the spiders and seal it up in her mud chamber for her larva to eat.
                                                Here she is packing the spider into it's tomb.
                           She's off to get another load of wet mud to seal up the entrance.
                                         All sealed up and ready to make another chamber.
                                                    Working hard on the second 'tomb'.
                                         What an amazing feat of engineering and precision.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


 While it's been just too hot for me to get stuck into serious art work, there have been compensations in the garden, like this gorgeous Flowering Gum tree for one.
      The bees love the blossoms and the sound of their buzzing just fills the air around the tree.
This is just a tiny fraction of the overall mass of colour and blossoms on the tree.  The resulting gumnuts after the flowers have finished blooming need to be removed as much as possible, as their weight can easily snap branches off the tree when they are dry.