Spitsticker, Scorper & Graver

I have just taken delivery of three new tools. One of the joys about getting older is that you not only get to chose your birthday presents but you pay for them and order them too – which I did from T N Lawrence, a brilliant firm that has been supplying artists and print-makers since 1859 !

As a very visual learner I used to prefer to shop in person but that can be a very dangerous pastime (no matter what you are purchasing) as you end up spending far more money than you would prefer – its like shopping for food when you are hungry ! Online shopping is not without its perils either – the catalogues can be very tempting but somehow I manage to restrain myself and order just what I need and no more. So in short whilst I’m relatively new to shopping online – it has to be recommended and no more so when the goods arrive so quickly and efficiently, which they did from the afore mentioned purveyor of print making paraphernalia !


“Queen Elizabeth Country Park” © http://www.chriswoodartist.com all rights resereved Chris N Wood


I have signed up for another one day print making course at Omega Printmakers in Portsmouth (UK) – hence the early birthday present to myself ! Over the years I have dabbled with all sorts of printmaking but on 30th November I will be doing my second one day Wood Engraving workshop. Whilst it can be very relaxing just turning up and “going with the flow” as anyone who knows me will say “I like to be in control” and very often spend hours preparing visual research and doing my homework because for me the process is very important. Now that I have some tools I’ll not only be kitted out for the course but I’ll be able to cut other wood blocks at home and then print them when I attend my monthly print making session at Omega Printmakers or at least that’s the plan. Every month I get all excited about cutting a new Lino block and printing it on the first Tuesday of the month but somehow life gets in the way and my target of 1 new A3 print a month is way off kilter – hey ho !

I’m not sure if my wood engraving productivity will be any more successful but the blocks are very small and should be both manageable and hopefully saleable – the capitalist in me has a vested interest in this ! I’ve always wanted to really get into this and am slowly getting hooked. I just wish I’d started earlier as my eyesight isn’t all it should be but with my reading glasses and my trusty Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass on hand I will soldier on !

The next decision is what to draw and after looking at my a Illustrated Wood Engraving Dictionary I’m fired up with ideas. A couple of people have inspired me – not least Thomas Bewick and Gertrude Hermes, one for his natural history and the other for her trees. I did a photo-shoot at the Queen Elizabeth Country park in the early spring and hanker after doing some of the majestic stands of Beech trees – but then again I might do a print of a Thames Barge or a flock of crows or one of my layered life drawings but then again . . . .

I’ll show you what I got up to later – in the meantime here are those trees – I’m off for a beer !


About chriswoodartist

painter, print-maker and illustrator

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