A Stranger Came Ashore

In my previous life as a Primary School teacher, I always put great value on the reading of stories to the whole class and would choose them carefully. One story on which I took a risk was, “A Stranger Came Ashore” by Mollie Hunter. It was a risk because it isn’t funny, it isn’t in the modern day and it is set in the Shetlands – an environment totally alien to the children I taught; the school is in the middle of a tough, inner-city housing estate. However, the story is so beautifully written that it is able to transport the children into another world and it was the only story I haver ever read, in over thirty years of teaching, where the class involuntarily clapped the ending, smiles all over their faces.

I have decided to take various sections of the story and try to represent them in print. To me, the themes of Old Magick and the supernatural, are very much in keeping with the majority of my artistic output. This first image is of the small, fictional village of Blackness where the story begins and where it is mostly set.

Avebury Magic

For some time now, I have been wanting to make a print of the magical stones to be found at the World Heritage Site of Avebury – one of the biggest stone circles in Europe. Having tried (and failed miserably) to do a collagraph print, I settled back on a lino cut. However, this time I used sponges rather than rollers to apply the inks to give it more of a textured finish. Whilst there are undoubtedly some flaws evident, I am generally very pleased with the finished result; there is a very graphic quality to the image but that reflects my drawing style, which has always ended up with quite well-defined, thick lines, even when I try not to!

Print Days

At last, with schools starting again, I’m back in the studio with all my necessary equipment and have spent the past two days, happily getting inky fingers and printing. I had a few anxious minutes (well, about an hour really) where I didn’t think I could do it anymore – nothing was going right, smudged prints, blotchy prints, dirty fingerprints on the white card – but eventually, I got into the swing of things and managed to produce some prints I was happy with. These are both on cards – the Drummer Boy is on 7″ x 5″ card, whilst the ‘Union” print is on A5 cards in either green or black.

One of Many Time Again

The time has come around again for the #oneofmanypostcard initiative. Here is my contribution – a limited edition of 20 postcard-sized prints that are free to anyone wishing to have one, on the understanding that the receiver makes a donation to a charity of their choice. The prints are actually an abstraction from a Green Man face, but I have been told they look like either courgettes or melons so take it as you will. If you would like one of the cards, please email your address to: grooveware.art@gmail.com and I’ll get one in the post asap.

Shouting At The World

Having tied up the ‘loose ends’ of my Green Man project (though it still lurks!) it seems a natural progression to move onto using other ancient forms as inspiration for my next work. Though we’ll never really know what was in the minds of the people who carved the gargoyles and grotesques found on many old churches (though there are many theories put out there), on a recent visit to the churches of St. Wulfrum’s in Grantham, and St Cuthbert’s in Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire, I was struck by just how many of the characters seemed to be shouting. What at? Why? It doesn’t matter, shouting at the world is ever-present. #SATW