Disappointing peach and inspiring quote

Less cheering: The (aforementioned) amazingly huge peach dropped and totally bruised itself. Have left it there for mulch and nutrition for the soil. Actually that’s not so bad after all!

Cheering (quote I re-read yesterday):
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Martin

Have a great day,
Meg

Anniversary paint and a giant peach still ripening

Hi guys,
Here’s the special paint I got (and the packaging thereof):

Blue Tube

Winsor and Newton had their 175th Anniversary in 2007, and as part of the celebrations made a fabulous blue paint called Smalt or Dumont’s Blue. The packaging says it is a colour that cannot be mixed from ordinarily available water colours. Apparently they were able to re-formulate Smalt to match their best quality sample from 1890! I am delighted to have some, and will let you know how it goes. Looking in the end of the tube I would guess it’s in the French Ultramarine vicinity. I also love the vintage style design of the packaging.

In the garden, the giant peach on the “left” peach tree is still ripening. The ones from the “right” tree have ripened and been enjoyed already. It’s a daily waiting game. Plums still profuse.

Hope 2008 is going well for you so far.
Enjoy your January, speak to you soon.
Meg

PS only 2 more hits to this site and the total will be 100. Thanks heaps for reading!

Carving of the niche injury

Hi guys!

Sorry news for my left middle finger this evening: Was carving a lino block and jabbed myself in the end of the finger with a sharpish lino-carving tool. There was blood. I now have a bandaid on and am fine. (I was foolishly not observing the early-learned maxim: Cut away from your hands.)

Am working longer hours at my job this month, so when at home I have decided to spend less time in front of my computer screen. This means I get to focus on design/lino work, but also means the web site wont progress much till maybe February.
I am pleased to say I have 2 designs going:
Worked out a way around the mental block I was having for a dancing lady design, by using a scribble technique I learned from Ruth Tuck. I have also decided to try a non-rectangular lino shape – daring!
The other is a simple cat design. Both blocks are in the process of being carved. Will scan and show you soon.

By the way I have added another page to this blog. It’s only the beginnings, but I intend to include some printmaking terms defined (just ones which are related to my work) and will also have links to more complete references. I have deleted that page for the sake of simplicity. There is plenty of good printmaking information on line. Wikipedia is good for a starting point.

Next post I will tell you about the Winsor and Newton special paint colour for their anniversary 175 years of making beautiful paints.

Look after yourselves,
Meg

Heat and stone-fruit

We’ve had some hot days here, o lovely readers!
41 degrees C here yesterday, that’s 105.8 degrees F, for those that know Farenheit.
This week my inspiration from the garden includes the first of 17 peaches, and ripening satsuma plums.
This is really the first proper crop from a fairly young pair of peach trees. There are 2 in the “same” hole (probably less than a foot apart, they could share the same dripper on the irrigation line; arranged much like the 2 people in “Tree People”!). The left tree has 1 huge peach and the right tree has 16 smallish peaches. I ate the first of them today, warm & juicy off the tree. The tree branches are intertwined; and I haven’t had any pest trouble since the birds attempted to save me from the apricot-slime-making insects.
The plums are plentiful, and seemingly wait happily, patiently ripe until we are ready to pick them. I am loving sharing them with my family, neighbours and work-mates. There are plenty. They don’t seem to be attracting birds.
Concurrently struggling with a lino-print idea that seemed viable and simple, but upon development is eluding a decent-looking outcome. Maybe I will do a different one next and let that one percolate at the back of my brain/remain in the planning phase! Website is getting there. Hope to get it on-line soon. Have just trouble-shot some positioning problems, which has made it feel as though I am on the home stretch.
Hoping all is well with you all,
Meg.

4 Things my garden taught me about getting things done

Hi guys,

Have just been working at painting the other 8 prints of the edition of “Tree People” and building my website, and musing upon how I have been going about things. These 4 things I can attribute to learning from the gardening process:

1. Keep planting. The tree I planted last year is bigger this year, and I get to put another tree alongside. It all adds up. Persist. (And put them on the dripper system).

2 . You get more done if you don’t watch TV at the same time. (Especially if you don’t have an outside TV. Mind you if it’s a really great show, you can get a little done in the ad breaks).

3. Be prudent about netting the birds out of the apricots. They might be saving you from the slime-making insects.

4. Save the water from the washing and you will eat raspberries. (We are on Level 3 water restrictions here).

Love Meg

PS Did anyone use the RSS clicker? DO people use them? I have a Mac RSS receiver thingy called Vienna and have been having fun receiving the blogs I have selected. (I subscribed to my own too, to see if it worked. It did!)

"Tree people" get the go ahead

Greetings O faithfuls!

I only just uploaded the previous post, but guess what? Here is the final print: 1 of 9 (not a Borg for those of you playing from TrekLand)

This shall also appear on the Happy People page, where I will talk about sales, etc, as my gallery/site isn’t done yet.

1 of 9 “Tree People” (big)
The next print will maybe include cats and design, or dancing…not sure which I will do first. Wishing you a lovely xmas and hope you see you again in 2008!
Meg
PS. Only 8 more left to paint!

Colour Musings. The journey of the lino print

Hi Kristina and other patient friends!
Sorry I took so long to get back here. I have figured out how to include an RSS feed widget (see right bar I think) as the timing of my blog appearances is a bit random! Today I have colour musings, and good news.

TP colour swatch 1

Here be “colour swatch 1”. I have cropped it in to show my pencil notes around the edges. The womans’s dress is mauve in this version, her side of the tree has a mixture of colours of flowers and I was toying with having the earth coloured blue. Also note it was a practice print and is on cheaper paper which has buckled more than I would like. The final edition is printed on Arches (French) watercolour paper which costs more and is LOVErly!

TP colour swatch 2

This I have called “colour swatch 2” (wow!). This trial was on the cheaper paper again, & was a print from the first lino matrix (piece) (you can tell by the unresolved flower-root area of the print, and the white paper showing in the guy’s hair). Here I was considering a French Ultramarine blue sky, which looked better than Cobalt Blue on this type of paper. Also the Tree Man’s tattoo at this stage has 2 leaves.

TP colour swatch 3

Here’s version 3 of the colour trials (colour swatch 3, surprise!). The man has a more simplified arm tattoo, it looks like a bit of branch is in front of his arm. The woman has a rosy pinky red dress and still mixed flowers. The sky now is Cobalt Blue which looks gorgeous and soft on the Arches watercolour paper.

And so you have guessed patient readers, the good news:

The final colour scheme is decided upon and the first of a 9 print edition has been painted. I will upload it for my next post.

Thanks for reading, and have a beautiful and happy xmas season. See ya, Meg.

“Tree people” grows into life

Hi Kristina and (possibly) 45 others!

Here is the final print of “Tree People” (it’s still sans colour, that’s for the next episode friendly readers):

 

“Tree people” final print

Now the tree-woman has a (hopefully a bit more elegant) bent arm, her hand the landing place for the dove; and the tree-man has a slightly tennis-muscled-looking forearm, on account of a bit of a slip with the cutting tools in the warm weather, or it could have been the tracing process got rushed the second time. Maybe a lesson not to over-work things but to complete them and move on. I think he can have a painted tree tattoo on his big forearm! I will add that in the next stage which will be the colour! Fun! Painting!

Thought I would do a couple extra pages too, showing other series of prints. Maybe a cat print page and a Happy people print page as well as this one on process.

"Tree people" work in progress

This print design was triggered by a concept of the surprise of recognising a good relationship. In “It’s Only Too Late if you don’t start now” Barbara Sher was talking about romantic, shallow, looks-like love versus the solidity & wonder of existing and learning alongside someone and looking up one day and noticing that your roots are intertwined. And she thought that was NOT romantic?!

Wondered if it may be of interest to show original drawings, prints and cut lino, etc? Then improved design etc, as I go? The posture of the people is part yoga, part yin and yang and probably impossible!

Here is a photocopy of the first design (initially done in black texta):

photocopy of initial design

The next pic I have is the lino itself! (First incarnation of the design, transferred to lino by carbon paper tracing)

Tree People 1 Lino

This is when the fun begins. A certain amount of control is relinquished, as my ability to control tools and lino is found to be a little limited, and we get lovely simplified shapes and curves get less smooth and it starts to look interesting.

Tree People trial print

So at that point, although I loved the simplicity that came with the process, I decided the design of the woman’s arm could be improved, and came up with this alternative. (NB: I haven’t drawn in all of the roots again although I intended to keep them in the design).

Tree People Design 2

Hopefully it’s not too small to see on the screen, but I have changed the woman-character’s arm to have a more elegant-looking (I hope) bend in it (more like the man-character’s posture).

Tree People 2 Lino

So it looks like I am carving from the right of the lino! All will be reversed when I get to printing stage…soon I hope!

Hope you have found this of some interest. Will keep up with what’s happening.

Tangerine Meg launches her verbosity

Hi anyone friendly!

Am going to blog about art I like, design I like, animation I like, colour, and hand water-coloured lino prints.

Will be linking in with my self-made website and showing/selling hand water-coloured lino prints. Have uploaded today a family favourite, an illustration of much-loved, intelligent family icon: Magpie (the cat).

A Cat Named Magpie