Secreted within soft grasses writhe and twist the limb-like knots and burls – part scaled, part burnished -of banzai furze and wind-thrashed heather. A treacherous terrain of ankle-snapping holes and rifts to the underworld. You’re somewhere out amongst the Maamturks in Co. Galway. In a moment the vision of Cnoc Lios Uachtair yaws above the tree line with a voluminous laughter of fluffy clouds racing up its back and leaping off into the blue above. With batteries flat on the camera all I had was a mental snap-shot to bring the vision back home and squeeze out the end of a pencil for the initial sketch…
When the lines get tight a little v-gouge and a craft knife with tiny blades are essential.
Consistency of the ink is important – apparently you can get a good idea by the sound made by the brayer as it pulls back on the ink. My mind’s ear strains for the moment I hear the sound of innumerable tiny suckers from long tentacles clumsily grappled at in vain from the face-plate of a diver’s helmet by tiring arms somewhere deep down in the ocean’s abyssal depths.
The whole process is physical – here’s the wooden spoon barren jig.
Proofs pulled for inspection.