It's hard not to voice an opinion on the crisis in Syria and the world powers' current stance concerning it but I'm resisting the temptation to add to the debates, at least online, though in conversation with friends I can't help saying what I think. I'm aware that my knowledge of the complex factors involved in the situation, being based only on what I read in the media, is so limited that any words I can say on the subject are about as much use to the problem as the meowing of a cat or the tweeting of birds and Tweeters. Therefore I'm posting more artwork to distract your attention from more serious matters, if only for a minute or two.
Here's another of the rough black & white sketches for the book, with one stage of the cut block lying on the table. The vinyl tile is about 2mm thick and quite bendy so the block is fragile because of its large open areas. But after it's been textured with gesso, I glue it to a second vinyl block which acts as backing and brings it up to the right height for eventual printing. The vinyl is quite resistant and cutting blocks with a scalpel requires a lot of effort - I wear a thin leather glove so as not to get sore between thumb and index finger where the handle of the knife rests. Stanley or other chunky knives are not suitable for intricate cuts. The second photo below shows the block upright.
And now for some entirely different artwork. I did the little painting below a few months ago, working fast and loose as a break from slow, concentrated effort. As sometimes happens, such exhalations can turn out surprisingly well - this one's going into my Apple Series.
A Happy Apple NdA 2013. Oil on canvas board. 25 x 30cms (10" x 12")
Another artwork, this one from a very long time ago: a portrait of my late ex-husband Reg which I painted in San Miguel Allende, Mexico where I first met him, when I was an art student and he was a teacher at the Instituto Allende (see this part of my autobiography). The portrait will soon be going to Vancouver where some of his grown-up children and grand-children live. It was painted in Duco, the industrial paint which was used at the art school and by many of the Mexican muralists. I like this painting, it captures Reg's personality, the sunny time and the enthusiasm I felt.
Reg in San Miguel, Mexico NdA. Duco on board. 24" x 36"