Medusa as Janus - detail

God(ess) of New Beginnings, in anticipation of 2014

January is named for the Roman God Janus: double-headed, god of transitions, new beginnings, doorways. As we teeter precariously, ready to plunge into another year, he may watch over our first steps. Or he may not: having seen thousands of new years it’s probably all pretty mundane stuff to a Roman God and I don’t imagine he gives a Monkey’s how many new-year’s resolutions we break on January 2nd. No, the title is not a typo, but this etching print – the next one in my series for the 2014 calendar – is appropriately timed for once. A lurgy –…

Vincent: portrait of a Retired Demon

…and his familiar, of course. There comes a time in a Demons life, when he is wont to retire from mischief-making and the persecution of the damned, hang up his pitchforks and grow runner-beans up them… This is a portrait I painted for someone’s Christmas present. So I can post it here now, present having been received and, I believe, appreciated! It’s Indian Ink and pencil over a wash of watercolour, with white watercolour applied with a dip-pen on the highlights.¬† Always open to suggestions for commissioned portraits, but this one was particuarly in my line of business: demons and…

Merry Christmas!

My apologies for the (almost) lateness of this post! It has been a more-than-usually-full few weeks: several Christmas arts events, the wall of our house falling off (see the posts about the wall for photos, it was quite spectacular!), and Lurgy (early Christmas present from the nieces and nephews) has meant that everything had been rather last minute… even more than usual So… huge sigh of relief! Tree up; guests in; presents wrapped; crackers made; wall back up; house generally liveable-in…. All that remains are a brief few seconds in which to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and the…

Medusa - carving by Tom Clark from a sketch by Nancy Farmer

Turning Medusa into stone

The Medusa carving is finished and is up on the wall already! Tom Clark did the carving (in Portland stone), and it looks fantastic… the wall is not actually finished yet, but I thought I’d post some photos while we still have scaffolding to get up close to the carving with. Ultimately the wall will be white, with a rough texture but not those wavy lines which are there so that the next layer of rendering sticks on. See this post for the fallen-down-wall photos: https://nancyfarmer.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/its-an-ill-wind-that-blows-nobody-any-good/

Etching in progress: close-up detail

Mixing Metaphors

And on to the next month in my 2014 Medusa Calendar! I thought I would tackle January with the help of the Romans… The month of January is of course named after the Roman god Janus. Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, and – aparently – doorways… which probably count as transitions in any case. He is generally shown with two faces – onle looking to the future and one to the past. This seemed to be a more substantial idea than Medusa in the snow or something, a nice bit of metaphor and symbolism to start the year…

Medusa and autumn leaves - etching with watercolour

Medusa in Autumn

Another etching print for the 2014 Medusa Calendar… I printed this one two or three weeks ago in fact, but have taken a little while to think about it. I have to admit I was not entirely sure I liked it when I first did it. This was the one, if you have been following, where I forgot to reverse the drawing, several weeks ago now. And so the wind blows from right to left, which I had not intended… And then it is only black and white – no half tones, no shading. When I first did it I…

My sketch for the Medusa plaque

It’s an ill wind…

…that blows nobody any good. I have discovered an unexpected and (hopefully) one-time artistic opportunity! This is my sketch for the plaque that is being carved in stone to go on the wall of my house. I wanted a face, and Medusa seemed rather appropriate. An attractive Medusa, of course, one who looks alive, not an awful beheaded version of the more traditional kind: I am not carving it myself… obviously… having no skills whatsoever in the line of stone-carving. More on the local stone carver who’s doing it for me when I have checked he is ok with a…

Medusa's Halloween Mask - etching print

Medusa’s pumpkin head

Despite building emergencies and Christmas fairs, work has progressed on the etchings for the Medusa Calendar (for 2014). But I have been so busy with stuff I have not had time to post about stuff, so here is the next etching, printed yesterday… for October, of course: Quite pleased that this is both scary and jolly at the same time! On the technical side, if you are interested, the foreground stuff is created by etching the plate heavily and burnishing the highlights back in, in the manner of a Mezzotint print¬†(except the actual white of the faces – that’s metal…