Friday, March 26, 2010

more sea tales

Here are some more test prints for my 'sea tales' series. The first one has a slightly sinister story behind it. As a child in the 60's and 70's there was a strange little character on the TV, and to this day I don't know if it was a programme or a film. Anyway, this small male leprachaun like character lived in a whelk shell. For some reason I found him very scary indeed and recall having more than one nightmare about him. I have created a much more benign character in this print, my hermit is quietly reading. The spanish dancer is my interpretation of the largest type of nudibranc (or sea slug). I've been lucky enough to see a few of these whilst diving, and they are quite exquisite. Free swimming in open water, I can understand how they got their colloquial name.

The next print is of a frog fish and an unsuspecting victim. These really are clever fish - they have a lure somewhere above their eyes which they wave around to attract 'food'. They are also known as anglerfish, which is a better description. They don't tend to move around a lot, although I have seen some swimming. They usually wedge themselves between rocks using their pectoral fins for balance and wait.
Years ago I got to learn alot about seahorses as I designed a website for a seahorse charity. I've got quite good at spotting them now underwater - they don't often look this 'perky'! For the most part they cling onto a piece of sea grass and sort of flop, oh and turn the other way if you try to look at them carefully or take a photo! I had the idea of a sort of yin/yang pair of seahorses - I thought it might work graphically with lino. I also checked with Marcel - have we ever seen seahorses use each other to cling on to instead of just sea grass? Apparently yes... and there is a photo somewhere which I'll see if we can find.

My late father was very keen for his eldest daughter to be inducted into the world of science. I have a clear memory of one of the experients he set up one on more than one occasion. In a large glass jar, there was a diver which would slowly rise and fall. Sadly my Dad is no longer around to ask what scientific experiment he had set up here. I don't think it is a Cartesian diver as that involves a plastic bottle. I will do some investigating... I wonder if in some subtle way this got me interested in the world of diving.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

mini prints

I've been working on a mini print series for the Pameran Poskad show in Singapore. Perhaps because I'm staying right on the quayside in Fremantle that I've beccome preoccupied with all things marine (but all things marine are not usually far from my mind anyway). I've called the series 'sea tales'.

Being away from home my challenge was to create something that didn't require a press and would be relatively easy to make and transport. I bought with me a small roller, a couple of perspex plates, already torn printmaking paper and just one small pot of printmaking ink. Here are my test prints, not great inking and some on lined paper but it's just to give the idea.

My first print fell onto my sketchbook easily - a tiny mermaid baby in a sac. I have to explain right now I am a lifelong beachcomber, addicted since a child (I could write a book about beachcombing...) but to keep things short, it was always magical finding a 'mermaid's purse washed up on the beach. They are in fact egg capsules holding the eggs of a species of dogfish. But what if they lived up to their name in some way?

My second print is related to a story my sister posted to me recently about hundreds of starfish washing up on a beach in the UK. The link to the story is here. The image of hundreds of starfish on the beach stayed with me. The moon gazing character? Up to you...

Ahh... sea angels. What a lovely name. There is a tiny illuminated display at Underwater World in Singapore with some sea angels (Clione limacima) and next time I go I will take some photographs. They are swimming sea slugs and live in the Arctic and Antartic Oceans, so not much chance I'll be seeing them anytime soon in their natural habitat. They are almost transparent and have that ethereal quality like jellyfish - except they really do look like little angels with their 'wings' beating. One thing I love about them is that they have little 'horns' (head tentacles) so they are little angels but a bit devilish too! More images to come...

Monday, March 22, 2010

new website

phew! It's been a long time coming but finally my website is up and running! Here's the link:
The majority of work in the site has been made in the last two or three years, but I did put in some old favourites like the batik pieces. My intention is to update with new work, and either take older work down or archive it. Think I need to link my blog to the website next update I do aswell... Either way, I hope it'll be a site that's worth returning to.
Big big thank you to Marcel, my ever supportive husband in so many ways :)
And thank you to my mac for making it easy.