Detail of the drypoint over the original etched plate

If all else fails, attack with pointy tool!

This is in the way of a progress report. I rather feared this was going to happen: I made some prints from my recent Medusa etching plate – the drinks party one, for December – and I’m a bit underwhelmed by them. Humph. Knew it. In trying to preserve the original line drawing I have a print that is kind of… boring. Lacking both in the ‘drawing’ quality of a proper line drawing or any real lights and darks to bring it out of itself. It’s possible that this particular composition might be better as a painting, but, this being…

Aluminium etching plate for the medusa sketch. Possibly needs a lot more work, but impossible to tell until I print from it.

“is she or isn’t she?…”

I have a sketch for the December picture for my Medusa Calendar! She is on her own all through the year (so far… I still have some months to fill in and i was wondering about a valentine’s theme for February), but December needed something jolly, I thought. So, here is Medusa at the Christmas Party: It’s a kind of Masked Ball affair. She would probably have preferred fancy dress, then she might come as herself – with hair like that Medusa can only come as herself. But then again, Medusa enjoys the occasional opportunity to be noticed – she…

Scarecrow Medusa - sketch two

Scarecrows and Fig Trees

Apologies for the break in service: I have been distracted by some rather industrial gardening whilst the weather is fine. However, a little update is in order as by next Tuesday I shall have to have something prepared for the first day back in the etching studio… so, on with the Medusa pictures. I had an idea that a scarecrow Medusa might be fun. September is a month I’ve not yet covered in the calendar, and so that seemed an appropriate month, too. This was my first sketch: There were the crows in the background, there was Medusa in the…

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 –…

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…

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…

Medusa and Umbrella for the 2014 calendar

Medusa, and how the rain got personal…

I printed another Medusa etching for the 2014 calendar series yesterday. I am not attempting these in any particular order, merely drawing them and creating  the etching plates as they occur to me. After March (spring seedlings, or snakelings as it happens), will come April Showers. Showers are of course traditionally what we get in April, even though the weather does its own thing regardless of tradition. Nonetheless this was a suitable one to be printing yesterday, as it rained, and rained, and had done so all the previous night too: Etching is, as I may have mentioned, unpredictable, and…

Medusa and the Pumpkins - Sketch for October 2014

Medusa, and the pumpkins on my front wall

Another sketch for the 2014 Medusa calendar. For October, obviously… I like the idea that, because one cannot look at Medusa’s face without turning to stone, it is safer to look at her with a frightful pumpkin-head instead. But then, it seemed a better contrast, since she is apparently scary, to have her surrounded by frightful pumpkin heads, and her holding the only smiling one. If that makes sense. And if it doesn’t, probably the rest of my pictures won’t either… The picture does in fact look very like the front of my house at present! This was the wall…

Two Medusa Plates - in reflecting light

Two more Medusa plates

I am progressing with the Medusa Etchings for the 2014 calendar, but I have not printed any this week, only worked on the plates, so I thought I would show the plates to you, in case you thought I had been sitting on my hands, or something… The photo above and below are the same two plates, in different light. I tried photograph them so you could see what was going on, and only one type of lighting has worked with each plate, but maybe it gives an impression of the real look and feel of these pieces of aluminium…