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Daring to frame a fearful symmetry : a song of experience

Updated: Jan 19


In the last days of 2021, I sat at the table outback, in the thin Chihuahuan desert winter sun, carving the lunar new year Water Tiger printing blocks. The William Blake poem played on a loop in my head.

On mild and sunny days, the outback really comes into it’s own as a winter living room.

A space to do yoga, eat and create.

I couldn’t help thinking about the wasteland of dust and goats head thorns which it was on that mid October day in 2018 when first we met.

Two years in, a garden of delight is slowly taking shape, the bones of it visible even in the almost dormant season, thanks hugely to professional horticultural input, advice, and the creative eye of the Last Emperor who watches over us from across the seas.

That said, this almond tree-in-training is all my own fumblings into shaping a more beautiful, gracious world. The vision is for graceful almond bough arches drawing one in, beckoning, embracing, spreading shade in the warm months, offering fruit for the easy plucking.

There are a few years or lifetimes still to go on this tree sculpting endeavour. Fortunately there are other projects to pursue while we wait.

The Tiger was first designed as a three colour way print.

Then, on impulse, I carved another block to add a fourth colour.

In all these images of the printing process, the final colour - black- is not yet printed. It is a laborious process.

When your card arrives, (if you are friend or family) you will see the final print. I can’t decide whether I prefer the 3 or the 4 colour way better. I knew I was complicating things with every colour I added to the design, but still I did it. My register is off in all the final prints, and even more so with the 4 colour ways. Oh well. Truth is I like it that way: the tiger seems to sparkle as he burns bright in the forest of the night.

This week Water Tigers are being despatched to international destinations to arrive, hopefully, by February 1st. US addresses will be mailed in a week or two.

Because I have spent considerable time examining concepts like privilege and entitlement, and because art supplies and postage stamps are not free, if you are not family or friend who makes attempt to maintain meaningful contact, and you want a card, (or are family/friend and want more than your annual free greeting from me) they will be available to purchase from February 1st.

The back catalogue of cards is available in the shop already.


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