Thursday, 28 April 2022

Redwings in the Holly

Redwings in the Holly
reduction linocut by Teresa Newham

I can't remember how long I've spent on this print - it seems like ages - but it is finally finished and I've had some great feedback about it already. Having struggled to get started, as described in an earlier post, I found it easier going once I was able to focus on the birds themselves.

intermediate neutral layer 
© Teresa Newham

I began this next phase with a layer of white plus a little added burnt umber, to counteract any ink from previous layers which had gone into the areas where the birds and berries would print.  This gave a rather spooky result but at least I could work out what the next step should be.

ghostly white birds suddenly appeared
© Teresa Newham

I wanted to print the red berries and the black eye, yellow beak and red markings on the birds in one layer.  This required partial inking on the bird bodies and adding very small areas of the other colours with a rubber-gloved finger. I was careful to wipe away any stray traces of colour which had wandered onto the rest of the lino.

trying to keep track of what I was doing
© Teresa Newham

The print was completely transformed.  The red made it come alive, and the effect was so striking that I could almost have dispensed with the final layer and kept things as they were.  There was a lot of love for it on Instagram even at this stage.

tempted to leave it right here
© Teresa Newham

For the final layer I cut away around the birds' speckled chests and inked up wet in wet with two shades of brown, again wiping everything clean around the areas I was printing.  The birds looked positively jaunty on the lino.

fine detail on the birds
© Teresa Newham

I'm pleased with the finished print - it might even find its way to the bi-annual Awagami International Mini Print exhibition in 2023. Several people have remarked that the finished print would make a good Christmas card, so I'll have to bear that in mind!

the finished print 
© Teresa Newham

Thursday, 14 April 2022

some colour for Easter


He is Risen II
jigsaw linocut Easter card
Teresa Newham

It's Holy Week, and this year our Easter promises to be more as it should be, with the whole choir singing together and no restrictions on the numbers of people attending Easter services.  Catholics are encouraged to make their Confession at Easter, which sounds a little scary but means that we bring to God anything we have done which we know to be wrong.  This act of bringing opens us up to receive His love, which is there for everybody, all the time, whether you believe in Him or not.

I have made a colourful Easter card this year using the jigsaw linocut method for the first time. The white cross represents the Crucifixion, but as Jesus has risen, he is not on the cross.  The blue sky stands for Heaven and eternal life and the golden flowers bring to mind the Resurrection, as do the green leaves of new growth. The blue and yellow also bring to mind the situation in Ukraine.

As we contemplate the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection, let us pray that all people might recognise God's love for them and that justice and peace might prevail wherever in the world there is conflict. 

Wishing you and yours every blessing at Easter and always.