I made the choice to lower the level of detail on the forground, as I don’t want to take away from the sharp focus of the characters. But I’m finding that the foreground is hard to visualise as I work. Like with a billboard you almost need to stand a few hundred feet away to see what you’re actually working on!

Here are three stages of the work from today.


I’m taking a pause on the baskets, and focusing on backgrounds, foregrounds and sky.

My main stylistic reference materials for this project (medieval wood-cuts and engravings), generally have no sky at all, and only texture and line to delineate a foreground, and (only sometimes) a very distant horizon.

The issue is that I’m walking a fine line between my own imagery (from a mixture of drawings not always to scale, and photos of real people) and the peculiar perspectives of these early prints that make the figures look like giants!

Also, to complicate things further, I am not going to box the figures in quite as much as these early prints, as I want the work to hang as long banners- so the temptation is to create long foregrounds beneath their feet, and details in the distant background. The strange perspective they use often places the horizon level with the ankles of standing figures or the waist of seated ones. So that foreground details such as a blade of grass, will be the same size as a tree in the distance!

Anyway, to create a foreground for the bottom third of the my prints, I will need to use almost a whole 8′ x 4′ board.

I’m setting this one to interlock with the legs of the standing figure I have completed, but it might also be possible to adapt it to the other figures by adding or removing sections of wood-block.


Overall, I have decided that technology does not increase my productivity!


Time ran away with me today! I haven’t posted, I have commented, I haven’t blogged and it’s already nearly 4pm. Sometimes you can get a day’s work by mid-morning, other times you are just starting when its already dark outside, and today was kind of the latter.

I got sucked into thinking of unusual ways of documenting this labour-heavy process. I spent much of the AM filming 2 minute sections of me carving a basket head of a goose. I am trying to make it seem like the camera is flying around the room getting a “birds eye view” (pun intended). But by lunch time I had done only a tiny amount of actual ‘work’ and had 12x 2min and 20 x 5min sequences. I’ll post those results after 5pm. But it is an important point to make, I seem to be tailoring a lot of my process for an online audience, potentially to the detriment of the art objects themselves…

Another thought I’ve had with the ‘Fast-Forward’s is that I tend to use the ambient sound sped up, which includes whatever is on the radio or podcast I’m listening to. So far, besides carving and bandsaw noises- you’ve heard an extended episode of Front Row and some D&B at 25 times normal speed. But at my core I am quite a conceptual visual artist, and I’ve realised it would be more appropriate to listen to relevant music to the action I am undertaking. Also, when it’s sped up it might reveal some new truth or meaning I can reflect on!

I’m thinking of creating a themed podcast of music relating to woodcarving, printmaking and giants. So far I am stuck with just “Under Pressure” by Queen, and “Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd! Any suggestions much appreciated!