Carol singers

Last night, I answered a knock on the burrow door. There was Naughty Kitten and his friends, singing carols.



Merry Christmas everyone!

A new linocut

After several weeks struggling to produce some new prints, I've finally done something that's starting to go in the right direction. It's a two-stage reduction linocut, 16 x 16cm (each square is about 5cm).







First, I cut away the areas from the lino-block that I wanted to stay white, and then printed it in red. Then I cut away the areas that I want to stay red, and print that in black, on top of the red.

The image itself combines the influences of lots of things that I have been looking at recently (though the effect of the influences is quite diluted by the time they reach the paper):

-- the "Revolution on Paper" exhibition of Mexican prints at the British Museum

-- (deceptively) simple linocuts by Robert Taverner and Christopher Brown

-- the Warhol room at the Tate's Pop Life exhibition which had a wall of his celebrity portraits

-- and even the way we hung my paintings in groups of four and nine at a recent exhibition.

A big jug of custard

I made a big jug of custard to go with the pudding that Clarissa made yesterday.

Christmas pudding

Clarissa has been busy in the kitchen making Christmas pudding!


Dancing in the snow

This morning, we opened the first door on our Advent calendar.


And we found a rabbit dancing in the snow!

My new camera

I have a new camera. I've never had a camera before. The first thing I decided to do with it was take a lovely picture of Clarissa. I thought you might be interested in some of the things that I learnt.


1. Ask before you take a photo.




2. Hold the camera the right way up.




3. Get the subject near the centre of the picture.




4. Make sure that everyone is facing the right way.



5. Make sure that everyone is smiling.



6. Get in close to the subject.



7. Not that close.



8. Hold the camera level.



9. Don't put your paw over the lens.



10. Check the exposure.



11. Check the exposure. Again.


12. Focus.


13. Keep still.


14. Don't cut off the top of their ears.


15. Too high!


16. Too low!


17. Make sure that Nigel Floppyears doesn't get in the way. Or anyone else.


Now you're all ready to take the photo.
Press the button, and --



18. Make sure that everyone hasn't walked off 'cos they're bored.

I'm going back to my pencils.

The Great American Rabbit


We're so proud! Our friend Badge the Badger has made this lovely set of four pinback button badges celebrating The Great American Rabbit, with drawings by me, Bob Tail Rabbit.

  • Uncle Sam Rabbit says America Needs Rabbits!

  • The Statue of Liberty fits her long ears under her crown.

  • The cowboy rabbit burrows westwards.

  • And a rabbit proudly salutes the Stars and Stripes.

rabbit 100

"Well done," said Clarissa. "Ninety-nine rabbits. You just have to do one more, and we'll be ready for Great Aunt Dahlia's one hundredth birthday party this afternoon."

"One more?" I cried. "No! I'm exhausted from all this rabbiting. I'm so tired, I can't lift my pencil any more... Are you sure she's one hundred? Could she be only ninety-nine?"

"She's definitely one hundred. You have to draw one more rabbit."

"It's no good, I can't go on." I banged my head against my desk. "She'll just have to make do with ninety-nine rabbits. I feel terrible."

I was sad and disappointed that I had failed to reach my target. I wrapped up the present that we'd got for Great Aunt Dahlia, and we hopped over to her burrow.

The party had already started. All of Great Aunt Dahlia's friends were there. "We got you this," I said, handing her the box.




"Thank you ever so much," said Great Aunt Dahlia. "I wonder what it is."

"Open it carefully!"

"Look everyone! Look what Bob Tail Rabbit brought me -- "


"-- the biggest bunch of flowers in the world!"

...


Late that evening, Clarissa and I stumbled home, tired but happy after the excitement of the party.

"Well done, Bob Tail Rabbit," said Clarissa as she made the cocoa. "You made it after all. I knew you could do it."

"Made it? No, I failed. I only drew ninety-nine rabbits."

"Oh, you silly Bob Tail Rabbit, look up there! You drew yourself carrying Great Aunt Dahlia's present! You drew one hundred rabbits... And then one to spare!"

"I did? I did! You're right! Good night, Clarissa!"

"Sleep well, Bob Tail Rabbit."

rabbits 96 to 99

Almost there!



96 wears a badge
97 thinks we can't see him
98 makes wishes come true
99 eats... a 99

rabbits 91 to 95

Look, more rabbits!


91 is shy.
92 is late.
93 stands very still.
94 has a nice cup of tea.
95 is -- hang on, that's not a rabbit! That's a naughty kitten in a very bad disguise!

rabbits 86 to 90

The rabbits are here again!



86 leans over the wall.
87 sits on the wall.
88 bakes a cake.
89 and 90 will make you feel better.

rabbits 81 to 85

Yes, there are more rabbits!



81 and 82 skip and jump together.
83 and 84 celebrate with champagne.
85 is a pirate on the high seas.

rabbits 76 to 80

Here they are again.



76 is just here.
77 is a magic rabbit.
78 is happy.
79 dropped his number.
80 paints a picture.

rabbits 71 to 75

Nearly there!


71 looks so debonair.
72 and 74 bounce 73 up in the air.
75 says the next one's over there.

rabbits 66 to 70

Hello again!



66 is proud to be here.
67 reads the latest news.
68 is in charge of everything.
69 and 70 are dancing the night away!

rabbits 61 to 65

They're back!


61 sits up high.
62 popped out of his hole.
63 writes a poem.
64 est un lapin fran├žais.
65 sings a song!

rabbits 56 to 60

Still more rabbits!




56 is -- where is 56?
57 and 58 have got mixed up.
59 is knitting a scarf.
60 is all dressed up and ready to go.

Ah -- there is 56!

rabbits 51 to 55

These rabbits have all travelled a long way to get here.


51 skated across the ice to see us.
52 is checking his map.
53 sailed the seven seas.
54 was hoping for somewhere with more sunshine.
And 55 came in a box!

rabbits 46 to 50

A half-century of rabbits.



46 wears a very big badge.
47 and 48 have just arrived in their new car.
49 won a rosette for "Best Bunny".
50 has brought us a flower from his garden.

Society of Graphic and Fine Art exhibition

...And three more linocuts have been selected for the Society of Graphic and Fine Art open exhibition! The exhibition runs from 5 to 10 October, at the Menier Gallery in Southwark (five minutes walk from Tate Modern).

The three prints are:



The City



Bird in a field, Umbria

...and one more, which I've forgotten to scan!

rabbits 36 to 40

And more and more and more rabbits.


36 is -- hey, 36, we're over here!
37 is ready for bed.
38 is flying the flag.
39 -- oops, I think he got knocked over by the flag.
40 has won a medal.

rabbits 31 to 35

And now for some more rabbits.


31 is just standing around.
32 is just sitting down.
But 33 and 34 and 35 want to play cricket -- Howzat rabbits!

rabbits 26 to 30

Yet more rabbits!


26, 27 and 28 have come as a trio.
29 doesn't know which way is up.
And I think 30 is scoring 29 for "artistic interpretation".

South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts

I'm delighted that three of my linocuts are to be exhibited at the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts open exhibition in Exeter, from 3 to 16 October.

The three prints are:



Podere le Vigne



High Waving Heather


Summer Solstice