After my late night monotype session, I was going to have a lie-in but I got woken up by the dustmen so I went for an early run in the rain and discovered a great new little trail winding up a very steep part of the reserve to a viewing point. This morning the pine forest was swathed in mist and it looked wonderful. This set me up nicely for a day in the studio. I’m feeling far more at home there now and had another bash at my big monotype of a pine forest. I’m still not happy with the results but here it is:
I then had a good rummage around to see what materials there are for making collagraph plates. It doesn’t help that a lot of the pots have Swedish labels and my phrase book is proving worse than useless for life as a printmaker in Sweden! I resorted to shaking, sniffing and poking with a brush 🙂 I selected a few things that looked promising and decided to make some test plates. I found some filler for car repairs and I’ve heard people say that’s really good so I’m giving that a go although it smells awful and will probably need to be used outside if I am to preserve my braincells! I also found some acrylic mediums and I sealed all the plates using gloss acrylic varnish. I usually use shellac in the form of button polish but if the varnish works, it could prove useful for teaching purposes.
Then I decided to use some of the gesso that I’ve brought with me and make a small collagraph plate of a birch forest. I’m still working on it and hope to finish it tomorrow. On Sunday, one of the visitors to the gallery was a woman called Alison who comes from Manchester but has been living here for twenty years. When she found out I was in residence she asked if I’d like to meet her for a coffee so she could show me around a bit. We met today and she took me to her lovely summer house on the lake. She’d bought some traditional ginger spiced biscuits and cinnamon pastries to have with our coffee, I warmed to her instantly! She is interested in birds and told me that there are ospreys at the lake and capercaillie in the woods. She also has roe deer sleeping in her garden at night. Yesterday, Christina told me that elk live in the area and that last autumn one came into town and was in her mum’s garden! I’d love to see one. Alison has very kindly lent me a decent Swedish/English dictionary so I can now look up words like glue, plaster, varnish etc.
back to the subject of birds, there was a fieldfare pecking at the apples in the garden this morning.