In my spare time… I’ve been doing some printing; actually it is becoming a little obsessive which surprises me as it has taken a while for the process to become second nature. I no longer approach the press with trepidation. Anyway, there is a lot to learn which is good, and the block or plate making part of the process is great – full of possibilities.
I have been organising a life drawing group and the first print shown below started life as a transfer print from a photocopy of one of my drawings. The inked plate was run through the press after making the transfer print, so that the drawing appeared on this second printing as a white line. The mossy, stone-like inky background has possibly a good connection to the second image which is a lino block print – and my second attempt at carving lino. The print shows the reverse of ‘Meigle No 4’ which is a Pictish cross slab. The decoration surrounding it is what I can only call an exercise in ‘control of the carving tool’.
We visited the Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum in Perthshire, Scotland, in 2012 when staying near Alyth which was home to the generations of Barclays and Colvilles in my family tree. The cross slab image was copied from the photograph in George and Isabel Henderson’s book, The Art of the Picts. This is part of my cultural heritage that I feel I can use in my art – by association with place if not by genetic inheritance which, if you go back far enough, will be unknown. We also saw the Pictish stones at the Eassie churchyard in Angus, and my two photos taken there follow the print images.
This Eassie cross slab is enclosed in thick glass for protection, accounting for the reflections seen in the photo. Very impressive object. The Historic Scotland information panel explains what is known about the iconography and history of these stones.