Canada Geese – mixing up print.

27 May

Canada Geese

Mixing it up with mono and lino cut printing.

Canada Geese  lino cut print and mono print.  Bella Bee

The Canada Geese fly past the house up to the lake for the start of each mating season.

They fight, find a partner and bring up their goslings in a whirlwind of feathers and honking.

It was this noise coupled with their overhead flight I wanted to catch in print.

Geese 2 colour.2

Two of the resulting prints (shown above) are a toned down version of the original (shown below) which was far more heavy-handed and stark.  Feeling it made too much of the ‘noise’, it overshadowed the geese and made it look as if the birds were flying past aerial obstacles.

Canada Geese, Bella Bee

The geese themselves were cut separately and later with an additional plate for the larger of the two to add another layer of detail.

It brought the large goose forward and gave perspective.


Printed using a mix of burnt sienna and cadmium orange / red and white – Hawthorn relief printing ink.

The background was achieved by first making a mono print to tone down the noise design.

This was flattened further with the additional glaze of white, sending the geese forward.


Canada geese, Bella Bee

There is still dome work needed before I am happy with the outcome – need to adjust the tones a bit more.

To see the video on the making of,

click here.

Light-house land

13 May

Burnham-on-Sea is a short(ish) drive and one of the destinations a friend and I went on at the end of last summer.

The light house is set back on soft sands but they look out onto treacherous water where mud collects in dangerous drifts ready to trap the unwary.  There have been many cars lost and people in dire need of help with the odd fatality.  The Coastguard now has a hovercraft, perfect for skimming out over mud flats, which was raised after a little girl died one year.

My friend and I took plenty of pictures and I made a lino cut of the un-manned light house with the full intention of printing it up and then other projects took over and this got pushed to the back of the drawer (a dingy strange place full of old lino plates and dreams).


burnham on sea original twst

Cut in three plates, I remember disliking the final result hand-pulled at home and decided I had overdone it.

Today’s workshop session started badly and left me spiralling into a downer as each print grew progressively worse.

Trying out woodblock printing on a new machine,  was hoping for beautiful grain finishing and fine detail

Instead, I got this >

DSCF9297 smallHow depressing.

I say ‘new’ machine, but I mean new to me.  It’s another Victorian-looking wonder, all gears, twists and wrenches.

DSCF9295A break and strong coffee, brought me to my senses and I sorted the three lino plates (fully ready for more dire results).

It was as if the sun had come out from the clouds.  Joy.


Having so much sky to play with made inking up in varying colours such fun.

Burnham-on-sea lino cut plates

The three plates

DSCF9300 small twist


7 May lino cut, print, bird

Yesterday’s session at the print workshop saw a flutter of paper in and out of the Albion Press.

The lino cut series of birds is a quarter of the way through (assuming I don’t run out of juice) so it seemed a good time to mix some inks and print up some colour options along the same theme.

Lino cut printing usually leads to a mixing board full of left over ink.

I hate waste, so often end up making a mono print.


For those of you who like your images to move; here’s how they were made.


29 Apr pheasant twist
Most mornings take me down the lanes into town (where I go swimming).  The countryside has been changing into its Spring colours and one particular morning, late April, I spotted this handsome cock pheasant warming it’s golden feathers in the new sun.
Here’s a video showing the resulting watercolour sketch and lino cut print I did after being inspired.

Ploughing in the Spring

7 Apr

Driving past a field near Wingfield at the start of the weekend, I stopped to watch a ploughing match.

There were tractors but it was the shire horse which caught my eye.

The whole household was busy so it was my intention to design and cut this on Saturday or Sunday.

water colour shire horses

Starting with a water colour sketch

lino cut, horse,

Sketched out onto lino and cut.

However, my plans changed.

We basked in warm sun as Easter Monday took on a holiday air.

There was no way I was to spend all day inside!

shire horse prnt proof

Click here to see the video.

Ploughing in the furrows

4 Apr shire horses ploughing, water colour

Noticing some unusually busy activity in Pete’s usually quiet field, I had to pull over and see what was going on.

The casual observer might think all farming practise here in the West Country remains firmly in the past with all the beautifully majestic shire horses who were effortlessly pulling a plough across a strip of land.

Of course there were tractors dong their thing too, but the horses are not a common sight and so it is these which caught my eye.

shire horses ploughing, water colourThese horses are obviously kept by people who love them as I am sure no-one uses them instead of a tractor.

Each pair seemed knew each other well and worked in tandem as they made their way the short distance along the previous furrow, their brasses shining despite the lack of sun.

If you re a technophile – here’s a tractor for you.  Don’t say I’m unable to keep up with cutting edge technology.  :)


Happy Easter X

Getting stuck up

30 Mar

The usual shop I buy my bits and bobs from has closed down and I am just starting to run out of the things I use to get from them; namely the white pen I use to sketch out designs onto my soft cut lino.

So I thought I’d found a new one – but it was trouble!

Click here to see the video.

There’s also a little competition you can enter to win the resulting tote bag. :)

Bella Bee, Shakespeare quote, lino cut, printmaking,

Lino cut print base on a Shakespeare quotation.

Summer Totes


To celebrate the start of our new blog

we’ve got some pretty (and useful)

offers for the summer.

These three cards have been selected for their summer or seaside theme and are blank inside for your own message.

Each one comes wrapped with a natural brown envelops made from recycled material.


The tote bags are made from 100% cotton and may be machine washed at 40 degrees.


Hand printed

21 Mar

A friend suggested putting my new lino cut designs on tote bags.

If you have seen my previous post you will already know about them.

They are all hand printed using Hawthorne relief printing inks rolled on a design hand cut by me.

(There is a short video of me in the workshop making them).

Well, here they are; the first trial prints of the four designs, and for a very reasonable price! :)

me with bag small

One has been test-driven today, and it passed with flying colours.

Snapshot 1 (21-03-2015 14-35)

I found the good thing about these is they fold easily into a hand bag; they hold quite a bit of shopping or folders (art work in my case) and, being cotton, they are a natural product.

So much better than the ubiquitous plastic carrier.

Here they are on wix to buy directly from me. X

A different kind of print

18 Mar

Do you remember the square prints I posted about recently?

Line of washing small

Well, this is what I did with them next.

First off, the ink printed from the previous session was set and washed.

(Sounds like a hairstyle my Nan used to have). :)

Being pleased with how the calico took the oil-based relief printing ink, I bought in some blank tote bags and cut a fresh design based on another few words I really like; this time from the Beatles song,

Tomorrow Never Knows

‘But listen to the colour of your dreams
It is not leaving, it is not leaving’

Do you dream in colour small

Do we dream in colour?  I think so.

Liking the ‘not black’ colour of the ink, the same colour (with the occasional tiny tweak) has been used for each design.

The mind is everything, tote bag, small

Want to see more?

Here’s a short You Tube video :)

Oh, and if you want to buy one, here we go, the web site.


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