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gira hanging out with a chalkboard jelly doodle

The next project I tackled, as I continued to get the hang of my new screenprinting studio set-up, had to be the jellyfish drawing I started working on W-A-Y back in 2015! If you’ve been visiting here for a while (firstly, thanks for sticking around despite an intermittent posting schedule!) you might remember these work-in-progress posts: jellyfish wip [1] and jellyfish wip (2)… cnidaria have been floating about around here for quite some time!

oral arm ‘dummies’ gathering dust on my studio window back in march 2016
(with a little bull-headed shrike from this project :)

I shelved the unfinished drawings for many months in 2016 while studio set-up and other work/life stuff demanded my attention.

(re)tracing tentacle tweaks

But I kept returning to the drawings, trying to get them to where I wanted them to be. (If you’re a drawer/maker of stuff you have no doubt also experienced the disconnect that can sometimes – or often! – occur between what you actually draw/make in the real world and what you imagined it would look like in the magical fantasy world in your head ;-)

Sometimes the drawings and I had effortless fun together…

Sometimes we got caught up in dark, tangled, indecisive ‘to-vectorise-or-not-to-vectorise?’ webs…

And sometimes things just didn’t ‘gel’ and had to be figured out anew…

heeding the edict of my furry overlord helpful input of my studio assistant

But finally I decided it was ready to print! (It still didn’t look like the thing I’d imagined in my head, but sometimes you’ve just gotta move on, right?!)

double vision: film positive and exposed screen on light table

let the printing games begin!: setting up the registration

(finally!) finished print

This project was as much an exercise in perseverance as anything else. I created all sorts of printing headaches for myself by including so much fine detail in the original drawing, but the setbacks and challenges I encountered during the printing process taught me a great deal and hopefully have equipped me to better solve or avoid similar issues in future projects.

finished print: tentacle and oral arm details

Naturally I could not resist incorporating some glow-in-the-dark details…

finished print: patterned jelly bells (and a smattering of marine bioluminescence) glowing in the dark!

The deckle-edged paper I printed on has a lovely knotted watermark which obligingly echoes the tangled tentacles and oral arms of the jellies…

the dutch papermaker’s ‘van gelder zonen’ watermark

This jellyfish print, the third in my ongoing ‘Animal Diorama’ series (remember the owl and the octopus?), is now available to buy in my Etsy shop >

the jellies’ diaphanous qualities enhanced by the late afternoon play of light and (plant) shadows in my studio

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

Here are some more jellyfish work-in-progress pics. I’m gradually working towards making a new silkscreen print in this ongoing ‘animal diorama’ series and, with this future print in mind, have been experimenting with tentacle layering, stippled shading and possible patterning for my jellies…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

tentacles… some of my favourite things to draw!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

stippling… also a favourite pastime (it’s very relaxing)

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

don’t touch the wet ink!
oops… too late

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

… more stippling (very relaxed now :-)

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

I’ve been drawing jellyfish lately… and I realised pretty early on in my attempts that, despite the plethora of photographic reference material to be found in books and online, without access to a real live model I had no idea how to articulate the twisting, undulating, entwining, knurly oral arms of these compelling creatures.

What’s the next best thing to observing a live model (without leaving your desk)? A highly scientifically-inaccurate dummy hastily constructed from scrap paper, pipe cleaners, tape and bits of yarn, of course!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish stand-in

Fun to make… and it really did help me to figure out how I might draw those tricky, twisty oral arms!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

Taped to a window, the overlapping paper ‘arms’ coupled with the play of light and shadow create some interesting abstract shapes too…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

My trusty assistant has been on hand to offer advice on the best brush for inking…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

… and to engage in a bit of virtual interspecies arm-wrestling.

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

More jellyfish WIP to come…

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Beautiful, enchanting (and almost certainly enchanted) creatures by Japanese artist Yoshimasa Tsuchiya [@yoshimasa_tsuchiya_info]. Currently on display in an exhibition entitled ‘Private Myth’ at Amsterdam’s Jaski Gallery [@jaskigallery] - The five works shown here are: Nessie (detail) | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 24 x 49 x 18 cm Qilin | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 40 x 44 x 17 cm Leopard (detail & complete work) | Woodcarving, glass doll eye & polychrome, 2018, 21 x 38 x 14 cm Deer (detail) | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 34 x 24 x 14 cm Unicorn | Woodcarving, crystal & polychrome, 2018, 35 x 24 15 cm - #yoshimasa_tsuchiya #privatemyth #woodcarving #sculpture #art #wood #creatures #animals #mythical #chimera #qilin #unicorn #nessie #lochnessmonster #leopard #deer #jaskigallery #amsterdam -
This is the 8th instalment of the long-distance sketchbook/notebook collaboration I’m working on with @yokocelt. IG is not the best platform for displaying tall, portrait orientation images so I’ve split it into two parts (swipe left for the bottom half) but you can see the full image, various details, work-in-progress pics and Yoko’s previous entry to which this is a ‘response’ over on my blog, link in profile: tinyurl.com/y9tssgba - #yoko_suzanne_collab #mujinotebook #collaboration #cross_section #earth #seedlings #cat #skeleton #bones #earths_core #molten #fire #gouache #ink #papercutting #mulberrypaper #kozopaper #colour #pattern #tribute #gira #rip -
Space invader vs Hermes… - #graffiti #streetart #mosaic #tiles #spaceinvader #ufa #invader #hermes #mercury #caduceus #staff #serpents #wings #relief #sculpture #architecturalsculpture #stonework #brickwork #negenstraatjes #centrum #amsterdam (artist: invader) -
A post in honour of this little fella, who would have been celebrating his 6th birthday today. We still – and always will – sorely miss the tummy-tickles and all the good times we shared together. Happy birthday Gira! #gira #rip #best_fur_buddy #studiomate #cat #russianblue #greeneyes #grey #furry #stretch #catsofinstagram #fuckcancer
When the furry host at your temporary AirBnB lodging doesn’t want you to leave… #attemptingtopack #suitcase is futile! Thanks Mustard, aka The Colonel, for the warm welcome and fond farewell #mustard #ginger #cat #airbnb #capetown #southafrica #catsofinstagram
Powerful, compelling work by Zanele Muholi, from her 'Somnyama Ngonyama' (Hail the Dark Lioness) series. -- 1. ‘Thembeka II, London’, 2014, 50 x 46 cm, Silver gelatin print 2. ‘Somnyama Ngonyama II, Oslo’, 2015, 50 x 43.6 cm, Silver gelatin print - #zanelemuholi #photographer #visualactivism #art #portrait #selfportrait #blackandwhite #photography #zeitsmocaa #contemporaryart #museum #capetown #southafrica - @muholizanele @somnyamangonyama -

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