It has taken a long time to finish this print for one reason or another. From the first ideas and sketches it has been nearly three months.
The only place I've seen hares near to Llangattock is in a field on the way up on to the moor on Llangattock/Llanginidr Mountain. The road threading its way up the hillside used to be part of my journey to work when I taught in Merthyr. I'd occasionally see the hares in the road. Not the safest place for them to be with traffic belting down the mountain... sometimes not the safest place to be driving in the opposite direction!
The field is quite high and the hedge curves down the hillside. I've set the scene in spring, the hedges are just starting to fill with new leaves and a bit of may blossom and some of the dandelions are just going over to clocks. Those early dandelions are important food for the bees in the spring, so I had to put some in.
I've used my usual technique of starting with sketches and drawings and developing the idea by cutting and pasting and scanning the images until I'm happy with the design. I then work on the tones using blue acrylic and often a black ball-pen. Then I often end up cutting and pasting a bit more till I'm happy. This little video shows some of the stages.
I've been trying to keep my prints to certain sizes and formats. It makes life a lot simpler when it comes to making frames and mounts and getting glass cut. This had ended up being slightly smaller than the two fox prints but much larger than my badger and otter prints. It just looked best at this size.
It's always roughly the same amount of work, cutting and inking, whatever the size of the print but with my book press these larger prints are a bit physical (note to self...buy a new press).
There are 5 layers of cutting and printing to get this image. Once again most of the layers have been rolled in a combination of colours. I've made a short time lapse film of a section of the print to show how the layers are printed on top of each other.
Wow! Don't us lefties look awkward?
I'm very pleased that I have managed to end up with an edition of 25, plus a couple of proofs, after starting out with 40. It's not as varied an edition as some of my previous prints. Most differences are just because it's impossible to roll the colours onto the lino in exactly the same place twice. Some of the fourth layer shadows are in a more purplish grey than others.
I've already managed to frame up one of the new prints ready for Oriel Cric Gallery's latest exhibition. I'm very pleased with how it looks and how my latest prints are grouped together on the wall.
Last Sunday I spent a nice (covid safe) afternoon meeting visitors there (along with some other artists), explaining about my work and how it's made.