While I was looking the other way…

I have just had one of those ‘I can’t believe I just did that’ moments!

I have been getting along quite nicely with the Medusa etchings for the somewhat far-sighted 2014 calendar, and in fact I printed the first one today – this is Medusa’s Seedlings, for March probably. It could be February – snake seedlings are quite hardy! It could also be April but I think April Showers  and Medusa under an umbrella would be a good April.

So, anyway, I was quite pleased with how this one came out, and I have been working on three plates at once over the last couple of weeks, and I have spent most of the day printing this one, peering at the print quality, trying to improve aspects of it in the next printing and so on. And so imagine my surprise when I get them home, spread them out to dry (inside the plan chest to prevent ‘helping’ from cats), and suddenly I see them in a different way and I think ‘but they’re all backwards!’

Well, yes, of course they’re bloody backwards, that’s what happens with printing. Duh! I am such a pillock! I had been feeling it had been a long time since I had done any etching work, in April. But honestly, to get a fundamental thing wrong and then not notice either. Huh. Well, I am lucky, this one works very nicely this way round, it may even be better, from a narrative point of view:

Medusa's Seedlings - finished etching print
Medusa’s Seedlings – finished etching print

Doesn’t stop me feeling stupid, though!

And here is some work in progress – the plates (aluminium, if you were wondering) for the next two prints. Medusa and the Plums, which will probably be August, and the much-reworked version of Medusa on a windy day, with falling leaves, which will be October or November:

Half-finished etching plates for the medusa calendar 2014
Half-finished etching plates for the medusa calendar 2014

Of course they will be reversed, too, once printed. The plums one really doesn’t matter, but I would rather the wind blew from left to right. Still, I hate to abandon something I have already put quite a lot of careful work into, so I am currently trying to get used to it the other way round. To this end, here they are again, the other way…

Images reversed: how the finished prints will be.
Images reversed: how the finished prints will be.

Incidentally, is it just me or do other people have problems with this issue too: When you look in a mirror, left and right are swapped round, of course, and we are used to it so it doesn’t bother us But while left and right are swapped round, top and bottom are not. It just bothers me sometimes, because I can’t quite see what’s so special about left and right and not top and bottom…

Maybe it’s just me.


  1. xartpunkartx

    beautiful artwork !
    if you like, have a look at the calendar project from Theo, a DIY art duo (xthex from amsterdam and me from hamburg): http://theobeam.wordpress.com/
    on our blog you can see pictures of the calendar 2012. the calendar for 2013 is in production process at the moment.


    1. Thank you. Very striking work you have there too… but I am a year ahead of you! 😀

  2. Try lying with your head sideways on the floor?

    1. nope… not sure that helps!

  3. So long as there’s not text it usually doesn’t matter which way round they are. I think the snakelings look better that way round as people read a picture left to right, just like a book, so they follow the row of snakelings across to M.

    1. Yes, that’s why I said I thought it might be better, narratively, this way… sadly, that does not help my cause when it comes to the half-finished windy day one, where I think the wind should have gone from left to right, too!

  4. marvellous work 🙂

  5. Thank you Rosie…
    oh, I meant to say I laughed over your cat escapades by the way, but I read it on my ipod and I can’t remember my wordpress login so i could not comment!
    We get live rat presents too, very occasionally… but usually we just get half-rats 😛 Still, we used to have a rat problem on account of keeping chickens, but I think ginger Arthur ate all the local ones…!

  6. I’m with you on the wind blowing left to right; maybe it’s a cultural thing like the way we write as opposed to arabic script?

    1. ah well I can never understand how writing develops going the other way! If the majority of people are right handed, it is just so much more difficult to write from right to left because your hand covers what you have just written… I think this also explains why the traditional lighting in, for instance, renaissance painting and technical drawing is from the left: if you light your subject from the right and then try to draw it with the benefit of the same light source the shadow of your hand falls on what you are doing. The left to right thing goes quite deeply… Still, I will persevere with my right to left windy picture, having spent too much time on it not to… I can always do it again the other way if it really annoys me…!

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