Sunday, March 30, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes

What A Difference A Day Makes; well a few days, anyway. After the snow last week, we woke up to a lovely sunny spring morning. After a lazy breakfast we walked out across the fields with Bella and back to the garden where I leapt into action and dug up a Mulberry tree. The job is done but at the expense of lower back pains that threaten some days of printing that I have scheduled for the first part of the week.

The Hares bookplate is finished and here it is:

Thanks to Evan for agreeing to let me show the finished item - I'm very pleased with it. Despite my aching back, I managed to pull 60 copies so far.

Here is another recent project - two tiny woodlice. the block will eventually be separated into two.

The clocks went forward last night so the evening is much lighter - I can still see sun across the fields towards Ely. The first blossom is out on the cherry and the cowslips are in flower outside the kitchen door. This has been the first day of the year where we have been able to sit out and take lunch - hens pecking around our feet.

We have a double sided painting by Peter Cummings - a small oil on panel. We change it round every six months with the changing of the clock. This was the winter face, painted in the late 1940s and showing a red door in a student hang-out near the Royal College of Art:

The reverse - the summer face - was painted in the 1960s. the boy outside the window always remends me of A as a child:

Spring is here - Hoorah!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Deep, Deep Snow

With such an early Easter, it was not surprising to find chilly weather. I watched the deteriorating weather through the window while I made the finishing touches to a commissioned block of a tortoise:

The snow, when it came, was the heaviest that we have had here for quite a while. We live in one of the driest parts for Britain. The garden was slowly veiled:

Out for a walk through the fields with J and Bella:

The cathedral was partly hidden:

On Tuesday, J and I attended a performance of Bach's St Matthew's Passion in the magnificent Kings College Chapel in Cambridge. the music was sublime and the setting unsurpassed. We sat in the carved oak choir stalls. In front of me, a prayer book printed by John Baskerville in the 18th Century. His name is very familiar to typographers and most of you will have read books printed in Baskerville font.

Back home, I was working on a commissioned bookplate. A trio of hares and a Celtic knotwork border:

Between them, a wreath of wild strawberries emerges from the wood:

Add young fern fronds and a field of stars in the centre, as well as some uncial script and the block is nearly complete:

This morning I printed the tortoise block in an edition of 50 copies and proofed the hare bookplate. The snow has given way to rain. All is well with the world.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Match It For Pratchett

Our son O works for the Alzheimer's Research Trust and he is being kept very busy dealing with the donations coming in as a result of the publicity surrounding Terry Pratchett's wonderful donation of a million dollars to support the work of the trust. This is my only non-art related post in the blog but I hope that you will take a moment to read it.

Here is Mr Pratchett's speech where he explains his reasons for the donation.

"Match it for Pratchett" has grown up among the blogging community to try to match the donation with a further million dollars.

You can make a donation directly here.

My grandmother and J's father both suffered from Dementia and fighting the disease is a cause close to our hearts.

I am donating 100% of the proceeds of the auction of my large engraving "Walking on Water".

Here is the Ebay Listing.

Here is the engraving. A is the figure on the right; O is on the left.

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to read this.