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The New Zealand Mandala- Heritage I

This is a linoleum cut. Some people have asked me whether the mandala is created using a series of stamps – which incidentally would have been a lot less work. But instead it is a complete lino – as they all are.
The New Zealand mandala is very much one made up of things from the natural world.

Venice II- dry point etch

The increase in flooding in Venice is due to the combined effects of land subsidence causing the city to sink, and climate change causing the global sea level to rise. Whenever water breaks through the stone damp-courses that protect most Venetian buildings, it seeps into the porous brickwork. All over Venice, walls are dissolving. Foundations are being scoured out by quick-flowing tides and the effects of wakes from large cruise ships. Is Venice to be the next lost Atlantis?

Venice IV- dry point etch

Most of the buildings date back to the 13th and 18th centuries. Venice’s little alleyways create its unique charm. It’s a city labyrinth made of islands, canals, pedestrian alleys and bridges. My aim in this series of etches is to capture the Venice I have loved and enjoyed over many years, before it disappears for ever.

Venice III – dry point etch

The owner of the home where I stayed last time I was in Venice said, “make sure you’re back by nine, otherwise you’ll get wet feet”. Early in the morning I could see people brushing away the water from inside the ground-floor rooms of their homes. This constant threat of flooding combined with a declining population, floods of tourists, water pollution and congestion makes for an unhappy mix.

Shout-out to the makers of the Slip Strop

I have done some damage in the past to tools using traditional ‘slip stones’. Lino carving tools are so much finer and require a finer sharpening method. So recently in my search for a good sharpening system I came across the Slip Strop made by Flexcut (US made) which, they state, is ‘an easy way for creating and maintaining carving tool’s razor edge’. I bought the set on Amazon and it arrived a few days later.

A Dry-point a day keeps the doctor away….

The etches here are the very first print taken from the PVC dry point etched sheet. You can see quite clearly that the lines and edges have produced a lovely full line. I am a real fan of this technique, I think it produces a very romantic finish.

Shows what can be done with IKEA products and artistic creativity.

1001 things to do with an IKEA place-mat

For many of you this scene will also represent a Dutch cliché i.e. a scene that, upon its inception, may have been striking but has become unoriginal through repetition and overuse. Popularity made scenes such as these seem trite, turning them into what we now call clichés. Whether you like the scene or not, the reality is, that this scene is alive and well in the Netherlands of today. Sure, more often than not you see large turbine driven windmills of the modern variety towering over these beautiful small old windmills, but despite that, in the foreground this scene can still be found in the Netherlands of 2019- thank goodness!

Why Draw Buildings?

Het antwoord is eenvoudig. In Nieuw Zeeland, het land waar ik vandaan kom, zie ik dagelijks een adembenemende natuur om mij heen. Die prachtige natuur dringt zich aan je op. Daar ontkomen beeldende kunstenaars ook niet aan. Elke dag biedt een nieuwe mogelijkheid om je in die wereld om je heen te verdiepen en die artistiek te interpreteren en vast te leggen. En zo dragen zij bij aan het scheppen en het weergeven van een belangrijk aspect van de culturele contekst van het land. Hier in Nederland ervaar ik een andere wereld om mij heen. Overal staan huizen en gebouwen. De architectuur levert een prachtig tijdsbeeld op….

Movement

I was also think its a real challenge to capture movement in motion. Not far from where I live is a skateboard pipe (I think that’s what they’re called). After school and on the weekends the area is teaming with young lads, in the main, trying their hand at all manner of motion devices with wheels of varying sizes and on gradients of varying degrees of treacherousness.

Italian Smalti AngelFor Sale

Mosaic shard spacing

Spacing of mosaic pieces is as critical as grout color. The further apart the spacing the more fragmented the piece will look – and the more grout will be needed to finish the piece. The closer the spacing the better the piece will read. So spacing is another of the vital design choices that have to be made when designing a mosaic.

Grouted Pique Assiette

Grouting is a far more time consuming process than one might imagine, particularly if you are using fine bone china. The reason for this is that the surface is not flat and therefore special attention must be paid to removing all grout from around each shard, so that each piece can be seen clearly.

Update on the Berlin Wall…the Bong Tree is complete

I managed to get this far and only sliced my finger once – not bad going considering I have cut up kilos and kilos of marble.I’m original mosaicing tools in the form of a hammer and hardy. More on that in another blog. These tools are usually used for cutting glass and you only have to tap the glass with the hammer and it breaks perfectly. Cutting marble is another story. Sometimes the pieces I’m cutting are 10 centimeters thick and really require some serious force, needless to say the hammer gets blunt quickly.