Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Engraving... Eventually

J 'phoned from France at dinner time and reported a hot and relaxing day. Definitely cooler here but still very pleasant and spring-like. I lingered over the outdoor jobs such as watering in the greenhouse and collecting the eggs from the hens.

Despite the fact that I have a long list of jobs to finish, I decided to relax a little this evening. I did a little preparation for the engraving on the block - a magazine illustration - and then made coffee, which I took through to the sitting room.

I decided to watch a film and chose Krzysztof Kieslowski's magnificent Three Colours: Blue. I run out of superlatives when I try to describe this visually stunning and poetic film. As always, the rich score by Zbigniew Preisner stayed with me long after the film ended. It is a remarkably precise film which drew parallels in my mind with engraving - everything considered, detailed and deftly wrought. I paused the film at one point to fetch tea and a bowl of figs. I returned to my large. comfy sofa and indulged myself some more.

Of course, I was putting off my work. I decided to concentrate on just one thing tonight and that was to engrave the hands of the child on the illustration. Actually, during the film, I found myself rehearsing the movements of the graver and, when I started for real, everything went smoothly and, examining the block, I know that they will be fine. Hands, like faces, are expressive and mistakes are obvious.

I will not include an image here yet as this is a commission. I did find a photograph of the CG bookplate in progress. I had just finished engraving celtic patterns on the stone cross and was rather pleased with the results. Please disregard my rough hands - I'm a worker!

Afterwards, I had time to frame and hang a recent purchase, a wood engraving by John O'Connor depicting a nude in an interior. It is an artist's proof of one of my favourite O'Connor prints and I was delighted to hand it on my print wall. John's work was so much broader in treatment than mine. I do think that one of the reasons that I enjoy it so much is that it is so different to my own work.

Well, its after midnight and i had promised myself an earlier night so... off to bed

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