Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Fractured colours

There has been a slight delay in the next brief for digital illustration work arriving, so today I had the perfect opportunity to finish the prints I started over a week ago . . . remember the stripes?

Well, here they are in the backgound of Version II of the night hares prints.

Silhouetted trees on an ancient hill fort . . .

and glowing sunset colours behind dancing hares . . .

I just completed printing them and got them all pegged up to dry, as the light faded away and it wasn't yet five o'clock.

There was just enough light to photograph them using the 'night' setting on the camera. As I was looking at the pictures a memory sidled into my mind - pictures I was fascinated by a long time ago . . . and there they were in a book on the shelf, a 'First Primer' with my Mum's name written neatly in the front. It's very old fashioned even for 1933 when this copy was printed, it was first printed in 1900 and the children in it are dressed in neat starched pinafores, knikerbockers and sailor collars. But it was the printing, with fractured not quite registered colours and the inky black lines printed over the top that used to fascinate me. Ideas seem to slow cook with me, sometimes for years and then pop into my mind as if from nowhere.

Not quite the end of the working day - after printing there's always the cleaning up and it's the bit I like the least. It helps that I work on my own - I hated those printmaking sessions at art college when the inked glass slabs had become a disgusting melange of every ink on the shelf. At least cleaning is now made slightly less toxic by using vegetable cooking oil, I use this vintage oil can (rescued from my Dad's workshop) to dispense squirts of sunflower oil onto the block and the glass ink-mixing slab. Ooops, just look at those messy fingers - I'll never get work as a hand model!


  1. Celia,

    I just love your dancing hares!

  2. Isn't it funny when you look at some picture or other creation and all of a sudden have a bit of memory jolt! It has happened to me many a time. Often, it's a particular color that will reveal its source, sometimes a shape, or even composition.

    Your new prints are marvelous, lots of drama and grace and atmosphere. Well done!

    I so remember my silk screen and etching days ... my hands were always a bit grimy, but I think the oils were quite good for strengthening my finger nails.

    Best wishes.

  3. They look so nice against that stripe background! Love the trees. I can always tell it's winter when the dry, cracked skin on my hands retains ink in most every crack for a few days after printing :)

  4. The version II of the night hares is fabulous Celia. The background is perfect.

  5. We so love our dancing hare, Celia. These are gorgeous too. The multi-background does add to the movement.

  6. h your night hares are stunning Celia. I can see the influence from that lovely old reading book. I think it's great to see your mucky fingers - it shows you've been creating!

  7. what lovely hares! i also enjoy how books & etc. were printed in the 30's & 40's. don't know if it is the technique or the material used, but it is certainly pleasing to my eye.

  8. I love the the hares too, but I'm blown away (literally) by the silhouetted trees, it's just so much a wild and windy autumn night(and we've had a lot of that round here!)I feel quite chilly looking at it!

  9. The night hares prints are wonderful Celia and I can see why you were inspired by pages from that wonderful book once belonging to your mum! Your prints have great drama and movement - very impressive indeed and all the more so for your messy fingers!

    Jeanne x

  10. Hares are rather special aren't they and I do rather like the way that a memory can lie dormant and then be synthesised into something new and exciting - gorgeous gorgeous prints :D

  11. Thank you everyone for all your encouraging comments. I think these prints mark the start of a new printmaking road.

    Hi Chicken lover - welcome to PPPs! I love chickens too - but I think you've probably gathered that already ;-)

    Hi Frances - when I re-read this post I nearly deleted it as I thought it would make me seem quite mad! Thank you for understanding.


  12. Stunning! This evokes some thoughts of the Watership Down movie that came out when I was young. Something about it always fascinated and frightened me at the same time.

  13. I enlarged the hanging hares image just to really appreciate its beauty. I love hares and the prints capture them perfectly.

  14. oh i really, really love the dancing hares.

    you're work is beautiful and inspirational :)


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