August 28, 2008

Images in Wood and No Psychedelics!

I had moments, while we were on Texada Island, when images appeared in driftwood shapes and rocks and boulders, suggesting other things. R hardly ever saw what I did in the shapes though N did at least a few times and even managed to embellish on my vision. I tried to capture some of them for use later but distances and lighting didn't always cooperate.

A fairly decent example (I think anyway), were these logs on the beach, seen from the deck of the cabin.

I saw a woman with long flowing hair and a serpent like creature with her and "Eve and the Serpent" jumped to mind.

My sketch looks cartoony I know, and my serpent lacks the grimace I was hoping to capture. Plus I employed some artistic license and added in some shrubbery and random pebbles. But if I can get it right, it just might make an interesting print.

August 24, 2008


maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
e.e. cummings

We pretty much lived out e.e. cummings's poem last week.

Vacation time, Texada Island. OK, no one was chased by a horrible thing blowing bubbles and racing sideways, but everything else really fit. And we did find a dead jelly fish washed up on the shore and clinging to the rocks -- my first sight of one ever, in real life anyway -- that was somewhat horrible.

We rented a small cabin perched among the trees and overlooking the water, and spent the week not doing much more than reading and

watching the changing moods of the ocean. It's amazing how the same part of the sea can change in colour and motion in a matter of hours sometimes, from calm:

to temperamental:

Nor were we alone in our ocean watching:

On the human scale, with only 1,000 residents, the social scene on Texada is pretty low key but we managed to catch the annual highlight: the sandcastle festival.

We also got around to a bit of exploring around the island. I've read that parts of Texada's shoreline are supposed to be almost Mediterranean-like and, though I can't really confirm or deny that, I loved the groves of arbutus trees here and there:

Inspiration pretty much at every turn of the head here. I found images in the rocks and driftwood where ever I looked and managed to do some sketching, hoping to capture enough of what I saw to trigger a future memory to translate into a print one day.

Finally, at the end of the day, some pretty fantastic sunsets:

August 04, 2008

It's in the Proof

Blessed with a four-day weekend, I found time to proof and print the church block. Proofing is not something I normally do; I find reductions don't really lend themselves to it. But this time it definitely helped me with the carving process because the proof clearly brought to light some areas that needed changing.

Here are both the proof and final print side by side:

Apart from the difference in inks and paper, Speedball vs. Daniel Smith, I didn't like the lines in the church tower and found the tall grass in the center of the image too dark, so I did some more clearing in those areas. The bummer is that I also carved away a line that should have stayed and now a portion of the roof looks like it's just hanging in space. I'll have to cheat in a fix somehow.

Also, the image maybe busier than I'd like it to be, even with the grassy area lightened, so I'm going to experiment with adding in some water colour in select areas to add some distinction.