Saturday, 28 October 2017

in Kerry with a camera (or two)

getting a dog to pose . . .
© Teresa Newham

We've enjoyed a few days' lovely late Autumn weather and some wonderful photo opportunities while staying with friends in Kerry.  My companions got used to me lagging behind as I juggled my iPhone camera and my old Canon digital Ixus compact, encouraging their dog to pose briefly for a scenic shot or two. 


. . . is a doddle compared to a chicken!
© Teresa Newham

I had less success with the chickens, who tended to run towards me in expectation of food every time I stepped out of the door; most of my photos show only part of a chicken as a result.  This is probably the best one, and might end up as a linocut!


ahead is all blue . . .
© Teresa Newham

I enjoy experimenting with photos: on one of our beach walks I turned first one way, then the other, to make the most of the effects of the sunshine and clouds.  These two photos were taken within moments of each other, but facing in opposite directions . . .


. . . behind is slate grey
© Teresa Newham

It's also a good idea to look down from time to time, and not just with a view to keeping your footing; there are some little wonders lurking on most beaches, not to mention some unexpected colours!  Seaweed holds an endless fascination for me, as do pebbles of all kinds.


the beauty of small things
© Teresa Newham

Looking at the photos afterwards, I've been struck by the difference between those taken with the Canon and those where I used the iPhone (all the photos shown here are iPhone shots).  I definitely need to get a new camera; whether it will be another compact or a DSLR-type remains to be seen!


hidden treasure
© Teresa Newham



Saturday, 14 October 2017

Poppies & Lavender

Open Studios demo - poppies & lavender
© Teresa Newham

For our last couple of Open Studios sessions I made a reduction linocut mini-print based on some photos I took back in July at Cadwell Farm, home of Hitchin Lavender.  I wanted to bring out the contrast of the red poppies against the lavender fields.


the initial cut
© Teresa Newham

I simplified the design to use as few layers of colour as possible - it was quick to cut, ideal for a demonstration.  I cut away the white cloud and wiped the blue ink off the poppy petals with a cotton bud before printing the first plate.  Caligo Safewash Relief ink can be thinned with extender to make it more transparent; I started with a squeeze of extender and added a tiny amount of blue ink to it!


the first printing - Phthalo Blue
© Teresa Newham

During the week I printed the Rubine Red plate, this time wiping off any areas intended to be green.  The plate was still the original design with just  the white cloud cut away.  The image was registered upside down, as the path area would include all the colours and would not be removed.


the second printing - on the same plate!
© Teresa Newham

The following Saturday I cut away the parts I wanted to keep lavender-coloured, and printed Arylide yellow over the rest of it, avoiding the sky area.  This produced a vivid lime green, but the poppies themselves were at best a disappointingly weak orange:


the third printing with Arylide Yellow
© Teresa Newham

Time to experiment! I cut off the whole of the top of the plate - this somehow felt wonderfully liberating - and applied Napthol Red to the poppies and the path area with the small brush I use for touching-up wayward prints, before printing as usual.


the fourth printing and the cut-down plate
© Teresa Newham

The result is an edition of some lively little prints - some, shall we say, livelier than others - with interesting textures where the various layers have interacted - it looks as though the lavender is interspersed with wild flowers.  And the whole process has given me a number of ideas for the future!



the final result!
© Teresa Newham