Creatively Productive Day

Seldom, in my experience, does it happen that I have a particular thing in mind and that I manage to produce it, exactly as I envisaged it. That happened today and it pleased my no end.

I have a thing about dandelion seeds. There is something about the way they float away, seeking fertile ground, that inspires me. Every so often in this blog, you’ll have seen a sketch or some other representation of them. Until today, I haven’t managed to capture what I see as the essence of them.

A few days ago, I tried a relief lino print of them but it really didn’t work. Today, I tried it the other way around. Instead of carving the shape of the seeds out of the block of lino, I tried instead to carve around the shape and leave it proud of the block. I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could capture the delicacy and fragility of the seed. On the plus side, however, I know I only needed to carve one of them from which I could make a stamp.

So patiently and carefully with a woodcarving gouge, I carved …

… and carved … until I had the shape I wanted. I mounted the piece of lino on a block of wood …

… applied acrylic paint with a sponge, and printed …

… and that was the picture in my head. Exactly that. I am delighted.

Last night, inspired by Pinterest this time, I fooled around with air dry clay and some rubber stamps I had bought ages ago.

This morning they were dry enough to paint on, so I painted them …

And then I dripped some essential oil on the gecko one. The oil impregnated the clay and, hey presto, I had a diffuser. My attic smells of rosemary!

Buoyed by that, I went into town this morning and bought more clay, some cookie cutter shapes and a small set of modelling tools. I came home and went mad.

Tomorrow, I’ll paint the geckoes and see what effect I can achieve with paint on the leaf shapes and on this tree above. I’ll impregnate the gecko ones with oils, put ribbons through the holes and decide where I’ll hang them.

Some time ago, I bought some artist gum. It came in a pen, like a felt tip marker. The idea is that you apply the gum to a part of a painting that you want to mask. Once the paint is dry, you can remove the gum and reveal the paper beneath. It’s kind of reverse painting. Anyway, I found the pens difficult to manage so I bought a small pot of the gum. You can apply it with a brush and so it’s much easier to control. I played around with it and here’s the process/result.

Yesterday I said that I was going to experiment with applying paint to a very wet shape. This kind of worked but I can do better …

Finally, I painted some flowers on pistachio shells …


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