Paul Klee, Mira Schendal, new etchings and my 60th Birthday!

Hello everyone,

Last week I entered my seventh decade and feel somewhat relieved that it has arrived and I can stop worrying about it!  My eldest daughter texted me to say that she had taken annual leave in order to help me get my free bus pass! 
On the Wednesday I enjoyed a birthday lunch at the pub with my peers from University and then drove off to London for more fun.  My wonderful children had organised some lovely birthday treats and surprises and I spent five days in London relaxing, having dinner with friends, family and going to Tate Modern.  There was lots of cake and presents and I was very very spoilt!
What an amazing cake!
The Paul Klee exhibition was large.  He was so prolific and innovative.  Just marvellous.  I fell in love with ‘Gaze of Silence’.  I can’t explain it really.  It is not necessarily something I would normally like so much, but the colours were so rich yet subtle and I was smitten.   Like so many paintings,  it has to be seen in the flesh in order to be fully appreciated.

                                “Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible”
                                                     Paul Klee, Creative Confession and other 1920. Tate Publishing

Gaze of Silence – Oil on burlap  56.6 x 70.5 cm  1932

The other treat of the day was Mira Schendal’s exhibition.  I was particularly taken by two rooms,  (for lots more you can go here as this blog has many photographs.)
The two rooms which I liked the most consisted of multiple images on Japanese paper hung between perspex.  The first space included images similar to the image below.   The second room consisted of off white writings in acrylic on Japanese paper.  The words were barely visible but hung collectively it was so effective.  I loved it.  Oh! to be able to construct something so subtle and lovely yet so powerful. 

Graphic Object 1967 by Mira Schendel, a the Tate Modern. Photograph: Mira Schendel Estate (sourced from The Guardian)

The best photo I could find to describe the rooms is below, sourced from this blog

I have also been working away at my etchings and here are a few of the latest prints.

Musk Beetle front view – Hardground etching & aquatint.
Dragonfly on Water – Soft ground, hard ground, aquatint etching.

Stag beetle – hard ground etching, sugarlift aquatint.
Finally, I played with some drafting film the other day and then exposed the drawing onto a solar plate.  Lots of fun and potential.  

Automaton beetle – solar plate etching from drawing on drafting film.

That’s all for now. 

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Etching, etching, and more etching!

Tiny hard ground etching 2
I have been trying very hard lately to improve my hard ground etching skills.  Just when I think I have got it right, I go and over bite it and it gets too dark, or I get too much foul bite. Hopefully, I will get there in the end!  For inspiration and education,  I have been looking at Rembrandt’s etchings and this is a wonderful site for being able to really focus in.  What a treat it is to be able to look at his work so closely.

Tiny hard ground etching 3
I have also been working on an etchings of a pinned beetles  This is the second one, the first one wasn’t so good.   I think they are taking on a rather sinister feel.  What do you think?  Please feel free to comment.. just hit the comment button at the bottom of the posting.   I get a lot of people emailing me directly, but it’s always nice to be able to show your comments on the blog too.  Thank you.

Hard ground etching
Last Thursday I went to the Natural History Museum (Angela Marmont Centre) to draw for the day.  What a lovely bunch of people they are there.  It was such a wonderful day, I hope to go back again soon.

Finally, I used one of those scary exposure units in the screen printing room last week and produced this solar plate etching.  So much fun!  I used one of my dragonfly photographs, cropped it and made it grey scale and the result is below.  So much potential.. what next?!

Solar plate etching of a dragonfly’s wing.

Two colour solar plate etching