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Desert Discovery of a Catalan Cactus

Now that the huge stresses and celebrations of my London solo exhibition of paintings and prints at The Strand Gallery in May have finally started to calm down, and those 42 sold artworks have comfortably found their new homes, I am moving on to a new even more positive period of creativity as I start to work towards new goals and projects. Foremost amongst them is printmaking, not least because in September I will be exhibiting with the East London Printmakers in London Bridge. This means that my paintbrushes are temporarily down, and instead I am spending more and more hours scratching into hard metals, carving into wood, dipping in acids and turning the stiff wheel of a printpress as I continue making new prints for these forthcoming shows.

Readers of The Daily Norm will know that I have been making gradual progress with my printmaking since I started dabbling in this extensive medium over a year ago. Now as well as etching, which has always been my favourite medium in which to work (largely because it enables me to capture all of the detail I love to pack into an artwork), I have also stated working with multi-plate woodcutting which has given me equal pleasure.

Catalan Cactus

Desert Discovery of a Catalan Cactus (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, etching and aquatint)

Desert Discovery of a Catalan Cactus (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, etching and aquatint)


But in this next print in my series featuring the Norms, the little white blobs who are at the centre of this blog, I have returned to the medium of etching, here using aquatint for the tone, and zinc as the metal basis from which the image is transferred to paper. This latest print, Desert Discovery of a Catalan Cactus, was inspired by my February trip to Barcelona, and shows the Norms, in an arid dry desert, stumbling upon a cactus which bears a striking resemblance to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral.

Illustrating Gaudi’s masterpiece as a plant isn’t too far from the truth either – Gaudi famously drew inspiration from nature in designing his buildings, and here I am simply taking his most famous building back to nature, albeit that the familiar cranes which surround the still incompleted building are still present.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this limited edition print, contact me through my website

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at

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