The research goes on…

Three trips to Margate in a month and now Pushing Print is over.  It was a good show, lots of interesting work and getting to meet other artists was lovely.  I also got some good entomology suggestions too, so the beetle project is developing. 
Unfortunately the Zoology Museum in Cambridge is closed for renovations,  however,  I was kindly allowed a morning’s access to a few beetles last week.  Can you imagine the work it is going to involve packing up all those insects, birds and shells, etc?    
It is such an amazing experience going into these more scientific/academic ‘zones’, which are obviously so different from the messy, yet controlled hubbub of a print room.  I was given a desk in a quiet corner with a magnifiying table light and I sat quietly drawing all morning.  I am intrigued by all the entomological equipment, the perspex boxes, the pins, the little platforms of styrofoam,  where cork or something similar was used before… (note to self – check this out!). 
Musk Beetle
I have produced so far a few beetle etchings.  I am trying out different methods, hard ground, soft ground and sugar lift aquatint to see what I think works the best.  Here are a few to begin with.

An assortment of beetle etchings in progress and sketch of Darwin’s Beetle box.

Hister Beetle – Sugar lift Aquatint, hard ground and burnishing.

Rhinoceros beetle –  Hard ground etching.

In addition, I have just finished a  Nuthatch painting.   Now to finish my tax return…. that’s no fun at all!

Nuthatch on a branch – 10 x 10 in Oil/Panel

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Back to school.

These last few weeks have been amazing.  My travels to Cornwall were so inspirational and I am now translating some of the rock drawings into monoprints and etchings.   It is wonderful to be back in the print room.

I also got accepted into the Pushing Print exhibition in Margate and had to deliver my prints and then return the following weekend for the Private View. My good friend,  Jim, lives nearby, so not only did I get to see him, and deliver my work, but also spent time on Botany bay beach, which I love.   This time I paid attention to the tide times and enjoyed the high tide with the water lapping around the rocks which I normally walk amongst.  I posted a little video here.  I also walked all the way along to the arch at low tide which is near Broadstairs.  I hope you enjoy some of my photographs, including a few from the Pushing Print Festival.

My friend Jane with my prints.
Giant Monoprinting

Giant Monoprinting.
Botany Bay
Me amongst the rocks, drawing as usual.
Arch, a short distance from Broadstairs and Kingsgate.
Monoprint
Soft and hardground etching
 
Etching in progress.