No, I haven’t dropped off the planet, though with all that’s been on my to-do list, lately, there have been times when I’ve wished for wings to enable lift off. I’ve considered investigating cloning options, but doubt the world would cope with two of me. So, what has stretched my time to the outer limits? Keeping the garden alive during a long, dry summer (and no decent rain, yet), community involvement, spending special time with my four-footed best mate who is in his twilight years and unwell, revamping the studio, and assisting with a friend’s writing project, the fascinating life story of a strong woman, which we hope to complete before the elderly subject herself is history.
For as long as I can remember, two creative passions have vied for attention – writing and art. There is often a battle of the muses. Both nags, Epistolaria sits on one shoulder, whispering hot-breathed, alliterative plot ideas (she thinks they will stick better in that form), and when ignored resorts to metaphors in rhyme, or dirty ditties. Not to be outdone, on the other shoulder, Caprice tweaks my nape hairs, whooping and firing images into my brain at Ack-Ack speed, complete with technique diagrams.
To shut them both up, at least temporarily, and to incorporate my passion for wildlife, I’ve been working on these little books with wings. I love the Superb Fairy Wrens that visit my patch. They make me smile. They flit and flirt, amidst the twigs and dirt (thank you Epistolaria!) and generally bring joy to my day.
The basis of the ‘book’ is a linocut, hand printed, cut out, re-printed on the reverse, hand coloured and folded. The mini text block tells a little about these little blue birds of joy. Constructed from a single, half A5 sheet, printed on my Canon, folded, cut and hand stitched into a ‘cover’ that serves as end papers, it is inserted between the body of the wren. Assembled with the inclusion of jewellery findings, as ‘eyelets’, ribbon holds the book closed and provides a hanging loop.
Many hours later, I have a small flock, and large dollop of happiness. Yes, I know, Caprice, the display hanging system needs work, and there’s the new flock of Red-capped Robins to finish, and then there’s…