Medusa in the Bath - drypoint print

Drypoint is the new Etching!

I have printed the ‘Medusa in the Bath’ picture – the February image for my calendar for next year – and I am feeling quite pleased with myself! I do enjoy Aluminium etching, but I have to admit it can sometimes be a bit of a crude technique for making a picture. I recall a little bit of copper etching I did, um, something more than 25 years ago now :-o, and I recall being able to get very fine detailed lines. This doesn’t seem to be so much the case with aluminium etching – maybe it is to do…

Medusa at Beltaine: the month of May

Medusa at Beltaine; Medusa at Bathtime

I have another etching for the 2014 calendar! Apologies for not getting round to posting the sketch for this one, which I have in fact been working on and off since Beltaine was suggested by Lily Wight. (thank you Lily! :-)) Beltaine seemed an excellent idea, and another mixing of legends / metaphors like the January picture. The scant research I did suggested the dancing around bonfires, the belief that on this night the ‘other’ world and its creatures was much closer to this world than usual, much nakedness and revelry, and of course, it suggested Celtic and Pagan deities,…

Medusa etching for September: 'Scarecrow Medusa'

Two new Medusa etchings

Here, finally, are two more etchings for the 2014 calendar. These are prints from the plates I showed you a few days ago. Sorry, I made you wait a while, I’ve had guests staying and no time to post them! Here’s ‘Snakes in the Long Grass’ – the picture for July (or June). The dark tones are produced by etching, and then the highlights on the figure, grass and snakes are put in by burnishing the aluminium to make it smoother again.. And here is the Scarecrow Medusa. In this one the birds and twigs are etched, and the rest…

Plate for 'Snakes in the Grass'

The waiting game…

Two more plates for the Medusa calendar, ‘finished’ and ready to print. Now, I enjoy etching, really I do, it appeals to my little techy brain, and although I usually paint pictures nowadays, a BA in jewellery and an MA in metals conservation in my past do suggest that I have something of an affinity for metals… But here’s the annoying thing: I have done all this work and I have no idea if the actual pictures that I will get to print on Tuesday will be any good at all. That’s the drawback with etching – you get to…

Sketch for: Medusa, and Snakes in the Long Grass

Snakes in the long grass

Just a quick post, as I have another sketch for the 2014 Medusa calendar that I thought you might like to see. I have found it more difficult to get a grip on the late spring and summer months: May June and July. Perhaps the start and ending of things are more characterful. Even August was not a problem, because that is shading off into Autumn and fruitfulness (August has a plum tree if you haven’t seen it), but somewhere in the middle of the year I find the months a little indistinct. So, this is probably the sketch for…

Medusa at a cocktail party in etching and drypoint

Medusa comes out of the shadows!

I was quite pleased with my first experiment in drypoint… If you haven’t seen the previous post, I had an etching plate that just wasn’t… exciting, but in which I was trying to retain a large extent of the line drawing aspect of it, and was unwilling to etch more tone onto it. So I took it home and attacked it with a pointy tool instead… all over, but especially in the background. Here is one of the first prints taken from it┬ábefore pointy tool attack: Medusa, at a sort of masquerade / cocktail party affair, and they are all…

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 –…