Saturday, 30 May 2020

Lockdown Lino




source photos and the design transferred to lino
© Teresa Newham

Since lockdown began, I've realised I need to find a way to make art in spite of my current inability to concentrate for long.  I've been watching some excellent YouTube videos by Laura Boswell and become really keen to try some of her tips and techniques (do check them out - she's into her second series now with a third one planned).


one of my new Pfeil linocut tools - a work of art in themselves
© Teresa Newham

Back in January I designed a pair of linocuts of a duck and a drake, tracing the outline of the birds from some photos I took on Harpenden Common a few years ago and adapting each one for printing. I got no further because I couldn't decide how to tackle the background.  Now seems a good time to experiment!


fun with colour mixing
© Teresa Newham

So far I've stained the lino to see the cutting more easily; prevented the carbon transferring to the print by curing it first; and painted some of the background onto the lino with watercolour before cutting it.  I just love the new Pfeil linocut tools I was given for Christmas, which are comfortable and easy to use.


painting the background before cutting
© Teresa Newham


I'm taking things slowly. It suits my mood to leave the prints a week or so to dry between each layer, giving me time to work out the next stage and how to approach it - some of the layers are more transparent than others.  It's complicated, but it's fun and it's keeping me occupied. If I'm happy with the result, I'll show you how the prints turn out!


sky, grass and shadow completed - now for the rest!
© Teresa Newham










Friday, 15 May 2020

Ne'er cast a clout . . .



oilseed rape, Cross Farm
© Teresa Newham

Lovely Spring weather at the start of the month made our daily walks a pleasure, even if we were just going round the block.  We've tended to avoid the lanes at the weekend, when they are most busy, enjoying them on the relative quiet of a weekday.


Mud Lane
© Teresa Newham

Our aim on this walk was to reach Thames Wood and see what it looked like now that the bluebells had more or less finished.  We'd been there a couple of weeks previously, so I wasn't expecting to see anything new - but the hedgerows were blooming!


White Campion
© Teresa Newham

Thames Wood still had plenty of atmosphere without the bluebells - there was almost an air of mystery about it, probably because it's ancient woodland.  Those trees could tell a tale or two but they're not saying  . .


Thames Wood
© Teresa Newham

The entrances to some of the fields were blocked with fallen tree trunks, presumably to prevent eager lockdown walkers from trampling precious crops.  There was hardly anybody about on this particular Tuesday afternoon.


wheat field
© Teresa Newham

I love taking photos of trees and shadows, particularly when they almost enclose the road - to me it always suggests the idea of a journey.  I just had to keep stopping for the right shot.  Luckily my husband is used to this . . .


further down Mud Lane
© Teresa Newham

Trees and sunlight are another favourite, and by the time we emerged onto Ayres End Lane we'd seen some pretty spectacular sights.  It's important to stop and look, and not just reach for the camera, otherwise what's the point?


sun on the leaves
© Teresa Newham

That old saying "Ne'er cast a clout till May be out" is particularly appropriate this year, proving that "May" means the month rather than the hawthorn blossom.  It's been really chilly the last few days - but the weather is starting to warm up again!


hawthorn blossom
© Teresa Newham