I am working on the new Hill & Heathland Birds title at the moment, and have painted a few new species. Golden Plover; Redstart; Crossbill; Red Kite and Woodlark and Great Grey Shrike to finish.

I am working on my paintings in a job lot and moving from dark to light (on the most part) so that I don’t have to keep mixing new paint and inevitably wasting it and having to keep rewashing my brushes and changing the water. Crossbill, Redstart and the Red Kite all used similar burnt sienna and umber tones, then I moved on to ochre for the kite’s tail and the Woodlark. The shrike was painted after the kite’s wings and the back of the Redstart!

I have painted the double page spread for H&HB and put it on the front of the InDesign document:

On Sundays I try and do some art which is not related to books and gouache, and I had bought myself Pressing Matters magazine for Mother’s Day, as it’s such an inspiring read. I felt I wanted to do some printing, and practise some linocut but really take some time to properly think about what I was going to carve. I found a photo of a Peregrine Falcon on Instagram on an account I follow and decided to give it a go.

I still find I get really puzzled by what I am keeping and what I am cutting but I am pleased with the detail and the energy as I haven’t managed to get that before. My Pfeil tools are gorgeous to use and I really enjoyed calmly gouging away while catching up on my podcasts.

I like how the noise of the background reflects the strata of the cliff face, and personally really like those random marks. I love the actual printing too, and end up taking far more than I really need as I rarely sell any. It doesn’t really matter though as I absolutely love the smell of the lino; that feeling of rolling tacky ink on the glass; seeing the design suddenly come to life with the application of jet black; and then you get the reveal of the print itself – and each one is slightly different…a little bit darker, a missed or patchy bit of ink. It’s all just magical and I love it!

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