Our friends, Rosey and Steve James, moved to Stoodleigh in May 2011 and since then have transformed their property into a magnificent home and successful bed & breakfast business.
In one of their bedrooms, the Hayloft, there is a window blind with a repeating pattern of a squirrel and a bird with three chicks on an arboreal background.
I thought these images would make good subjects for a couple of linocuts; one for each animal. The squirrel was my first subject – the print was a two-colour reduction on Somerset Velvet 300 gsm paper using Hawthorn’s “Stay Open” oil-based inks: Ochre Brown for the trees and Burnt Sienna for the squirrel. I pulled an edition of five prints with the image measuring 30cm x 21cm and the overall dimensions of 38cm x 28cm.
The second image proved to be a little bit more problematic with intricate detailing beneath the chicks (their nest) and the bird itself with its feathers. In addition, there were the eyes, beak and claw to consider. The print ended up as a three-colour reduction with the same edition size and dimensions as the squirrel with the addition of “Stay Open” Dense Black with a touch of Scarlet Lake for the eyes, etc.
I had added some photographs of my progress with the bird and its chicks:
As a postscript to this, I had taken the photographs of the blind at 8pm on 15th June. We returned to Stoodleigh for a long weekend in August and I re-photographed the blind as I had noticed a change in colour and detail. Here they are…
These were taken much later in the day (11:48 pm on the 1st August). Spot the difference! The bird looks very different for sure and I might be tempted to re-do this one soon…