Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)


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GEIGER TAKES UP THE SLACK

Someone ought to update this blog! You can’t just pretend to be busy all the time. sigh…I suppose it’ll have to be me…

I am  like my father. Big and strong. I stomp, stomp, stomp up the hallway. I kill shoes. I strop my claws on the sofa. I am defiant. This morning, at 4 o’clock, I jumped on their bed and demanded breakfast. She said it was too early and shoo-ed me out and shut the door. HAH! They thought they were safe because it’s a knob, not a latch sort of handle. But I ran all the way up the hall and hurled myself up at the knob…then I jumped on the bed and purred, basso profundo, in Her ear. Door knob? Piece of cake!

Honestly! These bipeds need such a lot of help, don’t they? The Man needed us to help do something he called bleeding the brakes. I t was not difficult. 

And, of course, Sporran and I have to help when She goes across the road to feed the Dog. We make sure there are no mouses or beetles or geckos.And we let the Dog know what we will do to him if he comes too close.                                         

Yesterday, a Spangled Drongo bird was here all morning. I didn’t take much notice, but Sporran climbed  a tree to have a closer look. And Dinah got that damn’ camera again. Don’t know why she bothers really. As soon as she creeps in, close and sneaky, the bird flies higher. And she has to do fiddly things with the knobby bit on the camera. Then the bird flies higher…Quite amusing, really. Apparently, Drongos are very good mimics.  We are looking forward to hearing the Drongo repeat some of the words Dinah says. 

 

I think it’s time I repossessed my blog. Sod off  Thankyou, Geiger. Why don’t you go downstairs and play motor mechanic?

 

Back to that Drongo…he is listed, officially, by the Latin monica of Dicrurus bracteata which might seem a bit of a mouthful, but surely is better than being a drongo! In this country, to be called a drongo (or a silly galah) is an insult to one’s intelligence.  

 

 At this time of year the Drongos seem more active, although they are around most of the time. Their chief call is quite a harsh chyat-chyat-chyat sound. But then, just to surprise and delight us (well, me at least!), they’ll toss in a few completely different notes and, as if pleased with that sound, will warble up and down their “new” scale, making adjustments, adding new chords. I wish I could write music. 

 

No luck with the camera, I resorted to the pen. The rich, velvety black  mantle  and the shot silk spangles always make me  think of an evening gown.

 

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 A miserable effort, but here it is. The scanner has picked up far too much of that green-blue; it’s really more slate-y. Oh, yes! For something more accurate, I’ve given you a link.

 www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder/display.cfm?id=20

 

And I stumbled across a most interesting link for printmakers. A tad late to be a part of International Printmakers Day this year, but 2010 is earmarked!

 http://printeresting.org/2009/04/13/print-

holiday/#comment-953

 

 

Two prints have been submitted to our local gallery and now I wait to hear whether I’ve made the cut. Or not.

 

That zebra has undergone some fetlock ” surgery” and will be traced-off when the shops re-open and I can get some carbon paper. I struggled so much to draw this one I’m not going to risk a direct freehand onto a plate. Do I look like a drongo!

 

Have I been griping about the heat lately? Probably! Well, griping is done til next summer. On Friday, almost at the throw of a switch, the wind swung from sou-easter to southerly and I don’t think it’s much exaggeration to suggest that it didn’t stop anywhere on its way up from the Ross Ice Shelf! I don’t mind. Or at least, I wont mind once I’ve dug out the woollies! Swimming is going to be, shall we say…interesting for the next few months!

 

I think a cooked lunch is called for today. Squally showers add to the chill and the appetite is for something with a little heat. Roasted vegetables, on filo, topped with feta and pine nuts, I think. 

 

vegetable-tart-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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SHOW-AND-TELL

Oh dear…Blogger is “experiencing difficulties” again. I had a link to the final photo in the “Work versus Play” post, but it’s not showing. It was perfectly OK when I did it,but I came back to fix a typo and poof! it’s gone. You’ll just have to get that little Spanish chap to do it for you… or try this

Yes, I did hear you clamouring for some work-in-progress pictures. And, working on the principle that art-hungry readers may be as dangerous as starving dogs…

This is a collograph I made for the purpose.

I cut images from sheets of cartridge paper ( craft paper or poster card or what Americans call construction paper is probably better as it’s less flimsy.) and glued them to a piece of mdf. OK, that’s shorthand for medium density fibreboard. You can use mat board or a good, stiff cardboard. Sometimes I use PVA glue, but in this case I’ve chosen to go with a binder medium. You arty folk will know what that is; for other readers – it’s a polymer. Any gardeners out there who spray “Envy” on their precious shrubs ahead of frosts? Well, same stuff! It’s easy to apply with a brush (don’t, for Pete’s sake, use your $95 sables for this.Get the oldest, cheapest brush you can find and ditch it when you’ve finished.) and is water clean-up.Yeah, right! You’ll be peeling bits off your fingers for hours!

Continuing to add images to the “plate.” Those dark, wiggly lines are bits of unravelled twine.I thought they’d add a little interest to the furrows in the ploughed field.But they were “messy” so I peeled them off!
The inked-up plate on the right with the first print on the left after the first run through the press.
Sorry, no photos of the inking process. I am a disgustingly grubby printmaker and it’s a new and expensive camera! But, as you are probably busting to know… for this print, I applied most of the ink with my fingers. What sort of ink? Well, sometimes I use etching ink,but these are colours mixed from left-over printing ink generously “donated” by our local newspaper. (I climbed into the big garbage skip and “acquired” some buckets that still had some ink in the bottom! ) The trick is not to have the ink too thick on the plate or it will ooze into a muddy sludge under pressure. So…I wiped it back with a piece of Tarlaton (like scrim), then “polished” it with pieces torn from a ‘phone book and used flat, not crumpled, as at this stage I needed to be careful not to take off too much colour. Small areas can be wiped with a Q tip.
Ooh! Nearly forgot…because this plate is quite thick, we used “runners” to guide it under the press. The runners were strips of corrugated cardboard, about 2″ wide, 10″ long, laid alongside the plate ‘fore and aft. Why? Well, the plate being that much thicker than the printing paper, the press roller would have bumped on and off with a helluva jolt and would probably have skewed the whole thing sideways, resulting in a smudged print. Might even have caused the edge of the paper to buckle or tear. And might have caused the printmaker to swear!
Not a masterpiece, but I hope I’ve explained the process without sending you all to sleep.
Looking at this again, I’m tempted to ink-up by rolling black ink over the plate, then adding colour (after it’s dried) with pencil. Just another way we can approach it…
Now, some of you wanted to know more about that print (link at top of post), which is an etching, done several years ago in a class. Sadly, I can’t show you any of this process as I do not have facilities for mucking about with dangerous stuff like nitric acid, which is what I used to etch the image into this zinc plate.
But maybe I’ll write a post, some day, on dry-point…now toddle off and have the beverage of your choice.
Post Script…Victor McCay, a far better printmaker than I has an excellent explanation at


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WORK VERSUS PLAY

I’m not sure who said “nature abhors a vacuum.” But, that being the case, I must be a natural housekeeper because I, too, abhor a vacuum (cleaner).*

I probably should have been applying myself to the elimination of dust bunnies.Or even tackling the gargantuan task of pruning… the driveway overgrowth is so rampant that, if we forget to retract the car’s aerial, we risk having it wrenched off!

Yes, somewhere behind this verdant paradise is a house…


But I have been busy a-doing of other things.

The Water Rat may have thought there was nothing half so much fun as simply messing about in boats. And, on most days, I’d probably agree with him. On most days…

On other days, however, messing about in ink is a much more attractive proposition. So I abandoned domestic chores, donned my inky apron and got gloriously grubby in the studio of a friend.

A friend taking a trial print off the press.

Sometimes, I work alone in the print room while others are drawing or carving blocks in the adjacent room. A radio plays in the background, birds squabble and sing in the garden, Tammy, the resident Pomeranian, trots in and out, hopeful of snacks. (No chance, Tam!)
The inking bench.

Yes, printmaking is a messy and sometimes “disastrous” business. But then there the “wow” moments when you lift the press blankets to reveal…


…a successful print. Yes, on those days there is nothing half so much fun as simply messing about in ink.
*I should be punished for that!