The Tree that wanted to fly

May 2018 / April 2018: These prints have gone through a few changes.  The finished prints, both collagraphs are shown below.  I have put them in for a number of exhibitions in the UK:

  1. Trowbridge Arts in the West Country
  2. National Original Print Exhibition in London
  3. Art Depot in Barnet
  4. Gemini Art

The Tree That Wanted to Fly: Touching the Moon


The Tree That Wanted to Fly: Return to Earth


February 2018:  I am going to the studio this week to print my latest collagraphs.  I now have two collagraphs for the tree project: this one and the one below.


Hand made papers, foil, card and wood glue on millboard, which I’m going to shellac before printing intaglio

January 2018:  This project incorporate woodcut, drypoint, monoprint and now collagraph.  I have printed the relief blocks at home but for the collagraph and drypoint I will have to go to a studio and print intaglio.


Collagraph plate, pva surface


The sky and moon: carborundum and foil

Carborundum applied onto pva through two layers of scrim


gesso and hand made paper

January 2018 :  I went to the studio today to do some monoprinting. The intention is to work with the imagery from the tree poem and prints to explore this theme in more detail.  So far I have done woodcut and drypoint, I am upping the size to A3 which is a change and now I need to decide where I am going next with this image. I eventually want a trio of images using cross processing:  maybe lino and monoprint, or monoprint and drypoint.

Using the symbols and shapes from my Tree that wanted to fly I created some monoprints.  I haven’t done this method for a while and found out how much better the colours are and effects when the colours are pale so that you can overlay different colours.  You can also reverse the paper shapes and double print them.

I used Caligo water based inks, with soaked Fabriano paper.  The shapes are cut out of newsprint and overlaid or reversed.  I also used a feather.  I used an etching press which has embossed the paper cut outs.  I am very pleased with these as I really didn’t know what I was doing!  the first printing was yellow and blue with extender, the second is red mixed to make orange and a dark red.

January 2018:  Background for The Tree That Wanted to Fly;

This is the last printing of the backgroud, it has had five printings:  pale blue for the sky and water, dark blue to lighter blend on the sky, tan for the ground, dark green and purple/brown for the landscape.  Some of the colours work some don’t, wood is not as easy to cut and change as lino. The tan ground does not work, it  needs something darker, maybe I can rescue it by creating a shape to fit over in a darker colour.


Next the flying tree will be printed on top.  The image below is a rough idea of what the tree will look like once printed on top. It does manage to coer up the light layer.


December 2017Woodcut of the tree that wanted to fly. The tree block and the inked up wood plate with stips of paper to mask the background and create soft edges for the colours and the original drawing of the tree.

The backgrounds:  I tried various colours on the base plate to see which would work as I have no idea what the finished print will look like – this is a trial and I will rework the colours once I have an idea of what I got and what I want….

The finished woodcut with the top image of the tree printed.  I use a registration method whereby the plate sits in a card base with the paper marked carefully on the left side edge.

Two of the final images with the tree printed. Lino : 2 blocks

December 2017:  We are starting the 30 day sketchbook challenge on 1st January.  I’ve got my drawing media together: graphite, pastels, charcoal, pens and inks… I will be posting my image each day on this project.

November 2017: Drypoints on aluminium and plastic; Lino Prints and Woodcut prints:  New series : the Tree that wanted to fly

I have been doing drypoints on acetate but recently I did a workshop at East London Printmakers in London where we worked with carborundum and aluminium plates.  I like aluminium and prefer it to plastic/acetate.

I have bought some carborunum powder to work with, however you need to print on an etching press so I will be doing two methods for my new series: one drypoint and carborundum and lino with monoprint.

My new series of 3 images is entitled The Tree that wanted to fly and I wrote a poem to go with the series.

There was once a tree that wanted to fly like an owl

Across the dark fields

To swoop unseen and unheard

To touch the moon

and then

fly down to the dark grassy meadow

and plant once more its roots

into the cool dark earth

and live with the memory

of its concourse with the winds, the moon

and the stars.

Image 1:  There was once a tree that wanted to fly : this image was created at a workshop last winter 2017, the first time I used metal for a drypoint and a very thick needle to get those lovely rich dark lines

Image 2: The Tree flies across the dark fields

I am also doing this image as a woodcut with two layers: one for the background and the other for the tree.