Last weekend I went to a wood engraving workshop here at Northern Print.
I have been a long time admirer of wood engraving and have been promising myself that one day I would try to learn from an expert, there is only so much you can do from books and videos, there is nothing to compare to watching a craftsman’s hands at work.
The class was held by Chris Daunt whose work I had admired at The Bankside Gallery earlier this year. He is a member of The Society of Wood Engravers and has a website here, where you can buy wooden blocks and learn more about the craft. The class was well attended and everyone came away with a series of prints. Although I did not manage to finish my block on the day I carried on at home and got it completed, although I don’t have a press, instead I used a hand burnisher. I now feel more confident to do more engraving and have a better understanding of how to hold the tools and how much pressure to use.
We stopped off at Durham and explored the lovely old cobbled streets around the cathedral. Both Newcastle and Durham have magnificent and dramatic locations, steeped in history and art, they are also very friendly, warm places and we hope to go back again before too long.
Hello again, I hope all is well with you in this New Chinese Year, The Year of the Rabbit.
I won’t say much about my absence, you have troubles of your own I am sure. Let us just say that these past few months have been full of heartache and personal loss and at times I have felt like I was drowning in grief. I am happy and grateful to report that I did not drown, my family and friends pulled me through.
When I started this blog I wanted to share with you my inspirations; apart from the usual meaning inspiration can simply mean to breathe in and to draw oxygen into the lungs. That it is how I feel at the moment, inspiration is a vital part of life and has helped me overcome that terrible feeling of drowning. So I would like to thank all of you for sharing your creativity and inspirations with me.
Sometimes grief becomes too heavy a burden to carry around, we decided to visit our son in London for a little respite, it did us the world of good and have come back with hope in our hearts. We recently visited The Bankside Gallery in London and saw an exhibition of Wood Engravings, passing through the nearby Borough market, filled with spring flowers and wonderful food aromas. We saw St Paul’s Cathedral and climbed to the top of the dome, enough to make anyone breathe deeply! You can enjoy a virtual tour here. On our final day we went to the new British Library, if you get a chance this is well worth a visit. It looks a little austere on the outside but inside it is beautiful, very light and airy. It reminded me of Japanese architecture with its simplicity and elegance, I will definitely try to visit again before too long as there was too much to take in one day.
The rabbit painting is one I did years ago for Camden Graphics Ltd. I used gouache and coloured pencils, hence the grainy effect on the rainbow.