Thursday, 26 February 2009

'Where the wild things live'

- that was Juanita's comment on this drawing. You have seen a small detail of it already and today is the day for all of it*, and some more details.

Where the wild things live, Detail
Where the wild things live, Detail
Pastel on Arches paper, 58x39cm

'Where the wild things live' - I was well chuffed with that title. She got the eeriness and moodiness straight away. I made it a couple of weeks ago when I took more of the handmade Arches paper to draw with pastels. The palette is again similar to the earlier one, but less limited. The marks are drawing marks with some later reworking to calm some areas and to introduce more highlights. It is less sketchy than the previous one, and - at least for me - a fair amount of time working and reworking was spent on it.

I was meaning to write-up more on Wolf Kahn's approach to landscape as subject matter along with this post. But: I left my notes on that in a notebook in Glasgow, while I am - again - in Berlin for a week. So: the WK's landscapisms have to wait a little long.

Do go and visit the wild things in the meantime, though:

Where the wild things live
Where the wild things live,
Pastel on Arches paper, 58x39cm

* oh, dear, there's a bit of stage fright going on right now:
what if the detail was so much better than the whole piece???

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Happy hour - not just in Falkirk

Have this for a travel interlude along with some appropriate music.

Winter sun at Falkirk
Winter sun at Falkirk
Pastel on board, 35x25cm

Monday, 23 February 2009

Local landscapes in monoprint

These are so local so known and yet so distant in time and place.

So: what is it we see in reflection?

Trees on Water, Monoprint 1
Trees on Water, Monoprint 1
Ink, coloured pencil, oil paint
15x15cm on paper

Trees on Water, Monoprint 2
Trees on Water, Monoprint 2
Ink, coloured pencil, oil paint
15x15cm on paper

Trees on Water, Monoprint 3
Trees on Water, Monoprint 3
Ink, coloured pencil, oil paint
15x15cm on paper

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Monotypes of Pond reflections

When I came across Wolf Kahn's monotypes I was intrigued to go back to monotypes. I remembered how difficult I found the painting on the plate - remember my complaints back in autumn here?
I have also been meaning to use oil paints as printing medium rather than the oil-based, washable relief inks I've been using so far.

I am preparing for a couple of oil paintings of the two scenes I'm working on, but I am not quite there yet, I feel. But one way of moving towards these was trying to include some of WK's pigments of choice: notably cadmiums. I had bought cadmium reds and yellows very early on when I started oil painting but have never used them so far. There are a couple of powerful pigments I'm fairly familiar with, notably phtalos - no, that' s not right: I use them in acrylics, but have never used them as oil paints (except dioxazine purple), and I have stayed clear of the cadmiums.

But, yesterday was the day: I prepared a palette, including also a pale violet grey, a pale rose, lime green, prussian and ultramarine blue and some umber to soften this in-your-face-pigment-fest.

I had new copper plates I wanted to try and here are my results:

Trees on Water, Monotype 2
Trees on Water, Monotype 2
Monotype with oil paints on Tosa Shi paper,

Trees on Water, Monotype 3
Trees on Water, Monotype 3
Monotype with oil paints on Tosa Shi paper,

I diluted the paint with a mix of turps/stand oil, ended up wetting the paper and with the final, a ghost print, I did quite a lot backdrawing to get most of the ink onto the paper. The mix of paint/medium may need some more experimenting, but I am taken with the marks and the yellows.

I also tried some reductive monotypes: inking up the plate in ultramarine and removing ink to build up the scene - with brushes, painting knives, paper towels, and at points adding more paint (also in black and prussian blue). These are very different, much more abstract and moody. I will try this out more.

Trees on Water, Monotype 4
Trees on Water, Monotype 4
Monotype with oil paints on Tosa Shi paper,

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Drawing with pastel and not painting

Trees in lake #3
Trees in lake, study, 29x21cm
Coloured pencils on cartridge paper

The way I tend to use pastels is very much like paint: I tend to treat the support as a surface made up of different shapes, colour fields rather than developing a piece of art out of lines and linear marks. I also tend to work with pastel board - usually Colorfix board in darkish purple, light blue or anything in between. When I tag my pastel pieces in Flickr or Etsy, I have to remind myself to also label them as 'drawing' not simply as 'painting'.

So, although I work in dry medium I tend to say that I paint with pastels.

Just recently, I begun to draw with them. Not only that but I also reverted back to white paper as support - something I had given up as early as I could leave some sort of semi-competent mark with pastels quite a few years back. Admittedly, the paper I am using now is no longer cartridge but handmade, heavy-weight Arches paper.

And: how wonderful the white paper is and what drawing marks the pastels can make!

You may guess that the inspiration for this has been Wolf Kahn's use of pastels as his plein air medium of choice and my delving deeper into his palette, working process and subject matter.

So, while some smaller studies in pastel and coloured pencils preceeded these (like the one on the top of this page), here are two studies of the Pond Reflections. Both use a fairly limited palette, with greens introduced to the second one.

Pond reflections in colour
Pond reflections in Colour , no. 1
Soft pastel on Arches, 58x39 cm

Pond reflections in colour
Pond reflections in Colour , no. 2
Soft pastel on Arches, 58x39 cm

It's with these ventures outside comfort zones that I surprise myself: oh, are these really your marks? Your choice of hues? Of building up tension between different marks, hues and shapes?

Hm, maybe ownership isn't the way to approach this... let me think about this a little more.

I've been trying to draw with pastels for a while now and it's slowly building up a repertoire of marks and lines that will stay. It is also interesting to see the different hues that are being introduced - my small travel box now includes very different sticks to last summer - they are much more pigment-laden and full of reds, orange and magentas. Interesting...

Friday, 20 February 2009

Moleskine Exchange Exhibition

It's been a bit quiet around this, but the Moley Exchange is almost finished. Just last week I received my moley back. And, how different did it look to when I posted it off in Spring.

Gesa's entry (1)
Page 1 in Lines, Lineages and Linings Moley
Quote and sketch of one of de Stael's paintings

Its theme was Lines, Lineages and Linings. I started it with a quote by de Stael on the abyss opened up by lines on an empty sheet of paper and my favourite composition of the study plains.

Now it acquired a multitude of different approaches to the theme, as collage, a bit of oil, pen and ink, some free-hand sewing, some pop-out men-in-skirts, some delicate pastel work and more mixed media wizardry.

I remembered that one of my earliest questions to do with sketchbooks was on how to stretch their versatility. This is the main thing I've learned through the exchange: so many different ways of using the sketchbooks as galleries and experimental planes for a variety of media. And that's something I greatly appreciate and want to thank everyone involved in this!

Do you want to have a look at the sketchbooks? They will be on display from Monday onwards at the Learning and Resource Centre of the University of Ulster, Belfast Campus, York Street, BelfastBT15 1ET.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Goodbye and hello

I am feeling rather smug. Not only did I sell my first painting via Etsy to a stranger a couple of weeks back, but it has now arrived in Alabama and has found a happy new owner (phew, was I worried about my photos and the postal service!). Yesterday I received a phone call from another stranger who wanted to buy one of my framed study plains as a birthday present.

Study Plains 2_1
Study Plains, 2_1, 18x12cm (framed 35x25cm)
Gouache on Board by Gesa Helms

Cornfields #2 Final
Corn in late summer, 45x35cm
Pastel on board,

And, now I am officially in profit: the costs of the framing odyssey last summer are finally paid off. So, rather quickly, I welcomed a new necklace to my collection. Goodbye and hello. There you go.

Tight Twist Pendant by Chris Lewis.
Now mine :)

A little PS: I needed (!) to add a picture of the study plains framed. They looks so different that way:

The fields all together

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wolf Kahn's monotypes

While still mucking about with the relief prints (and likely to do so for another few months), I had come across these monotypes by Wolf Kahn a while back.

Just last week I had ordered a couple of copper plates to use as plates for some more monotyping experiments. And following Casey's exercise of copying one of WK's paintings to learn more about the process, I think I will put this on my list of things to do.

But, first, take a look at this gallery here which has many of his monotypes on display. I very much like the way how the printing medium provides a different expression in his work.

Neptune Fine Art - Wolf Kahn Monotypes

And in relation to one of the earlier posts regarding naming conventions, Julia Ayres offers the following definition of monotypes and monoprints:

"Monoprint is a term art dealers often use interchangeably with monotype. While the dictionary does not differentiate between the two, in the academic art world, the term monotype is used for work developed on top of an unaltered plate, utilizing its flat surface, whilte monoprint refers to monotype work that also includes elements of another printmaking process such as etching, woodcut, lithography, silk screen and so on."
Julia Ayres, Monotype: mediums and methods for painterly printmaking, Watson-Guptill Publications: New York, 2001, p. 8)

... a short and somewhat lazy post to pick up my Wolf Kahn exploration. But a post nonetheless.

Does anyone know more about his monotypes? What inks does he use, e.g.? Do you know of any publications where these are available? Have seen any IRL?

Monday, 16 February 2009

No boat today

... well: none on Saturday is more correct.

Excited about the prospect of some pleasure boating on Loch Lomond in proper Scottish fog, we found the pier closed. So it was a little walk around the proper park instead. And, as luck may have it: I may have found a spot for regular visits.

It's an old and familiar one, indeed. But I hadn't been for a while. I don't think it'll be frequent, frequent but maybe once a month? That may get me somewhere to chime in with my fellow Watermarkers regular sketching/painting spots. So: for the March installment possibly with less fog, more green? Though I rather liked this weather - but I don't think I convinced the other two.

But, have this for the time being:

No boat today, 29x20cm
Soft Pastel on Arches paper

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Reminder to self: creativity and recession

A few days back when I was walking home I listened to this here:

And I came up with a fabulous research project. Not quite sure with whom, how funded and how to be specified.

But it is about popular culture, the arts and recession. It is about the flip side to some of the comments I've been hearing: how great a recession is for good art. Just look at all the great music that came out of the late 70s, early 80s.

Hm... True: great music. But at the same time: crisis can go terribly wrong all the same. So, those who see it as opportunity need to have good plans, networks, and ways of doing in place to see some of that through.

I've been meeting a few new people recently who are working on fascinating projects around labour, employment, social relations and stuff. Some of them are historians. So, maybe there's something be done along the lines of oral history here. One of the ideas I had been kicking about with colleagues for some time is a project on how understandings and practices of works have been changing across generations in places like Glasgow. Both of these songs, Billy Bragg* and The Clash pick up on the stuff that is so prevalent now: to try and turn (un)employment into individual achievement, aspiration and employability - and the lack of it into incompetency, laziness etc. But, perhaps just as what is going to happen here over the near future, the late 1970s of course where a time where unemployment could not be reduced to immoral fecklessness.

But - as the half-cooked note to self that this currently is - have another song I've been trying to get into some of my academic work for a while. And this would be the place.

* Well, this is off topic but still firmly my Billy Bragg favourite, and with Kirsty MacColl even better:

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Who's fed up yet?

Na, enough Trees on Water? Or can you deal with another one?

This is the one I will submit as part of the assignment:

Trees on Water, Final
Trees of water,
Lino print on Japanese paper

Do you recognise the colours? It's straight from Wolf Kahn's palette. I figured if I don't get round to the pastels all that much, I can do a bit of palette exploration in print. So, this is lime green and ultramarine blue. There is some intentional misalignment and some wiping back on the blue block.

Good. That's that pretty much done. On to the next. It'll be a reductive lino cut. Should I chose a trees on water reflection or something new for a change?

And a PS in form of a personalised message.
I., I may not have mentioned this before,
but I have a personal preference for your choice of three?
A subtle hint? How's this?
Thank you!!!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Trees on water: final comments on markmaking

If you've been reading over the past four weeks, you will know that the scene for this print developed out of a series of sketches in c/p and pastel.

As I said in my first post on this three-colour print: each colour exists in a separate block. So, the cutting process is a bit involved:

First, I loosely transferred the design onto the first block from my sketchbook. Cut away all that was going to remain white. I then inked up the plate generously (with printing ink, acrylics and acrylic ink did NOT work), printed onto paper and then transferred the paper onto the second block. I gives me the imprint of the cut out areas. I cut them out again.

Print Project 2_3, Single layer
Trees on water, Block 1
Lino print on Japanese paper, 15x15cm

Print Project 2_3, Single layer
Trees on water, Block 2
Lino print on Japanese paper, 15x15cm

I actually continued using the first block (with the full image transferred) for cutting the next layer. Once finished, I repeated the transfer as above onto the third block, cut that away.

There is a possibility to proof each print: lay tracing paper on top of the block and use a soft pencil to cover the whole area, press reasonably hard and most of the finer lines will transfer onto the tracing paper.

Print Project 2_3, Single layer
Trees on water, Block 3
Lino print on blotting paper, 15x15cm

Once I had all three cut, I printed a test print: to see the effect of them overlaid. See this post here for the test print again.

I felt the composition and weighting between the different layers worked well, the obvious marks and the more subtle ones were a nice surprise and I was glad that I did change the carving direction of the sky between the layers.

I tweaked block 2 and 3 quite a bit around the pond reflection: the stripey lines were too fussy. All I could see myself doing was taking more away. Now it is not solid enough but there's nothing I can do about that. In the final print it works out alright, though.

Lastly, yesterday I tweaked the first block. It had some accidents with the cutting tool which I tried to rectify. Only partially successful though, but I think this is the final stage of the stuff I will submit. [otherwise I'll be tweaking til next summer, I fear]

As you can see, there is not much variation in terms of the marks the various layer have: it's mainly a wide gauge I used, the very wide one produces the flat oval shaped hollows in the foreground. And, yes, the skylights in the trees are a v-gauge pushed at a right angle and twisted. [that's the mark I gonna use for stars in my nocturnes to come :)]

15x15cm is a fairly small format, that's one of the reason where I felt that fussiness wasn't going to do me any favours. At least not with the cutting/carving. I think the recent experiments with wiping back, misaligning, overprinting the same blocks get me to more inky fussiness which I like better - it's more painterly and kind of undermines (?) the medium just ever so slightly.

I've done about 25-30 prints with the blocks right now. Unfortunately, Block 2 shows already severe decay: it's broken in one part and one of the tree trunks has come off. So, yes, unless I am going to be much more caring about the blocks, the ones with more fine lined carving may last 30 prints? But that's ok.

I've done some colour experimentation with the last run. I'll show you tomorrow, once that thicker prints are dried. But I had an idea with regards to Wolf Kahn's palette.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Trees on water: the details

I finished scanning in the remaining pieces of the edition of multi-colour lino prints. I also installed the open-source image editing software Gimp to replace Photoshop for the time being. All this takes a lot longer than it would have taken a week ago as I keep getting sidetracked with trying to suss out how a Mac OS works with all my implicit knowlege of Microsoft that has successfully cluttered my brain for 15 years.

It throws up some interesting insights into my fumbling about with the 'proper' computer stuff. Ports? Terminals? Developer tools? Where is the remove programme tool? I must uninstall properly! No: just 'move to trash' does the trick. Where is the registry?... And so on...

So, a 2 min photoediting job took the best part of five hours. But I think both my comp and I got a lot ouf of it... well, my intermittant frustration aside.

It reminds me of my brother's main argument against my getting a Mac: 'Gesa, you play around with your computer far too much, a Mac is just for taking stuff as it is and working with it.' But then again, the key reason for experimenting with the comp is usually borne out of frustration that stuff doesn't work, doesn't do what I want it to, and my knowledge that it SHOULD be able to do those things. I think there are lot other things I'd prefer experimenting with than a messed up XP OS. So, let's see what it will bring.

Apropos: getting sidetracked with new comp. Do you see what I mean? This post is about the remaining Trees on Water prints, and I already spent half of a normal post length on the comp.

Here is a slide show of the full edition.

For the OCA assignment, I need to provide a critical reflection on each of the prints I submit. And while I keep the logbook for the course largely offline, it is also the bit that I tend to not do. So, in line with trying to record things differently, I will try and provide those little reflection pieces in blog post and then just copy across or link to the logbook.

1. Choice of colours and exploration of these.

The first test print had a high chroma high contrast colourway. It works well in terms of high, mid and low values and respective weighting across. But: hansa yellow, orange and black didn't get me to the feel I was wanted to explore in these piece: cold, winter afternoon with a plenty of stillness and emptiness. You can almost see the heat glimmering across the horizon line with the orange mid-ground.

I played with different hues in Photoshop to get elsewhere. And some of those experiments were quite interesting: one for summer morning dawn and one for nightfall. [notice: the cold later winter afternoon is still not present]

I printed the three blocks in two sessions. The first one used dark purple and a coolish, darkish blue for the night scene. This, it seems to me, is only moderately successful. Too little contrast? Too many dark values?

Trees on Water, 5/10
Trees on water, 5/10
Linoprint on blotting paper
15x15cm (3 colours)

The next day, I tried to get a coolish day setting. Key for me was getting a cool pinkish red in mid value for the first block - which largely shows as sky. And, well, the naphtol red ink caught me out. I ended up with enough mixture to print 100 of these. And as soon as I added a bit of Pthalo blue I always ended up with a purplepurple. It would cool into something more cool red/not purple. I tried a similar approach with a ruby red (my blue red), and similarly unsuccessful.

I kind of gave up - or: wisely decided to let my other colours do the work for me. That's been one of the key insights with c&c for me: the thing that bugs me is often dealt with by attention to its surroundings. It is rarely ever the thing itself that is wrong. So, rather than producing yet more red/purple/pink ink in vein, I printed quite a few with different variations of these: some more purple, some more red, some a bit lighter.

The second block then went in two directions:

(a) to tame the glaring purple, I mixed a strong turquoise blue (Phtalo, a bit of Hansa Yellow, a bit of black plus white).

Trees on Water, 3/10 Trees on water, 3/10
Linoprint on Tosa Shi paper 15x15cm (3 colours)

(b) A limegreen to add a lighter contrast in the middle ground (Hansa Yellow, a tiny bit of black and lots of white).

Trees on water, 7/10
Trees on water, 7/10
Linoprint on Tosa Shi paper 15x15cm (3 colours)

And: I was in luck. The turquoise tempers the purplepink sufficiently. But, my real luck came with the limegreen, don't you think so?

2. Printing process

I am printing wet on wet layer, so I don't need to wait for the first layer to dry. This makes it pretty quick, and it works well. There is, depending on how much ink is on the plate/paper a bit of squashing, intermingling etc, but that looks good to me.

I align the lino by hand (no registration other than steady hands, good eyesight). And it works generally pretty well. While I had huge problems with this in the monotyping, it is much easier here. The paper lies on the counter, I position the lino on top, then carefully lift lino and paper, turn it round (now: paper on top), and use the brayer.

Yet: two smallish problems: the Hessian on the back of the lino produces some fluff printed around the actual block. I keep cutting it back, but still it's there. Some people recommend mounting the lino block onto mdf or other wood, that would possibly see to it. And it would also see to another problem: the blocks are so curved and bent, it is difficult to straighten them. I also think, the blocks are slightly uneven, so registration will always be a bit off. Yet, working with the same block for some time, I am picking up on this and can just compensate.

Trees on water, 1/10
Trees on water, 1/10
Linoprint on Tosa Shi paper 15x15cm (3 colours)

My lucky accident? This print here: The second layer (limegreen) was decidently misaligned. I had written the print off because of it. But then decided to try and print the same layer again in the turquoise blue. BECAUSE of the misalignment it ends with a limegreen shadow. The shadow softens the starkness of the linoprint to something rather painterly. I need to try this out more, maybe mask the sides a bit or similar so that the print looks cleaner.

The third block is done in some blackpurpleallremainingcoloursmixedin. It's an easy one to do, not much to say about it really.

There's more on markmaking etc., but that'll be next post, I need to go now: Sunday morning breakfast awaits ...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Trees on water: a preview

Trees on water, 9/10
Linocut on blotting paper

High time for a bit of art. I do have a good excuse, however. Well, that is one other than 'too much work mangles my brain too regularly'. I have a new computer [doing a little dance], and besides its sleek fabulousness it not only lacks the 'everything takes three hours' frustration of the old yin but my photoshopping software. And it cannot be transferred. So, it's been bare photography for a week, but since yesterday it has the scanner attached to it at least.

And, seeing that now last weekend's printing spree is properly dried, I scanned some of the linoprints, proudly to show it off in all its wonkied skewedness. It's an edition of ten. Only, that it isn't an EDITION in a printmaking sense. Hardly any are identical as I experimented with the colour combination and use of different blocks. But, let us not be unsettled by such small matters.

Here is the first one. The middle block of my earlier test print. First: darkblueviolettblack; Second [same block] blueturquoisegreen. Any colours here are going to be descpritive of endless mixing experiments. I think that is definitely a downside for working with printing inks for me:
What on earth are the pigments I am working with? I don't have a clue. But it's looking good nonetheless. Having worked with the same blocks for a while now, I am beginning to get a sense of what happens when you overlay the same blocks with different colours, how much wiping off results in something good, how much misalignment results in something equally good. Etc. Hm, VERY nice... there is a lot of potential in this to end up with something fairly painterly.

There are more to follow (seeing that edition is full of variation). I was hoping that this will be the final version for submitting the assignment, but I discovered some more tweak I may want to do with Block 1 and Block 2. So, there'll be possibly more printing of this over the weekend.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

I am wrapping my arms...

M. had stayed at mine to catch an early flight and left an hour ago for a weekend in NYC... As I'm writing I so wish I could go too, and hope that no Schneegestoeber will stand in her way of getting there.

Well, and as we were drinking coffee, this was on the radio.

I heard it a few times before, was kept updated by my other friend M. on the words on the street of this latest offering by Morrissey. While generally being a bit hesitant about it, I listened to the lines more carefully, and grinned no end.

Yes - while he may be wrapping his arms around Paris, I envy M. for doing that with New York over the next days and am enjoying doing this a bit more with Glasgow for a little while longer.

But, of course not without changing Moz's line from absence to presence. Which then completely and utterly takes apart one of the key fundamentals of any of his songs. Sorry, cannae help it.

And, yes, ... this here is generally about painting... have a good day!

Monday, 2 February 2009

This morning I remembered:


What a wonderful word. I had forgotten about it. It hadn't occurred to me in a long, long time. But when I left the department, there it was. Snowflakes. Thick ones flying everywhere and there was no way of me being able to say where they were going.

So, I told M. But of course, I didn't have an English word for it. We looked out of the window. And there it was: a snow flurry.

Two minutes later: sunny skies and snow flurry. Another two minutes later: all grey and more snow flurries.


You know it when you see it. Even on the Scottish West Coast. Makes a different to the usual rain flurry, I suppose. Well, wait... that's not a weather word either, I think that is just miserable RAIN.

A photo? Just look out of the window.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Pond reflections on darkness

Ok, with getting sidetracked yesterday. Here now a little gallery on cool coloured pastels (I think claiming to be working with Wolf Kahn's palette would be pushing my luck a bit) and exploring the pond reflections further.

This was an experiment not so much in subject matter or colour but in support. For the past few scenes I've quite deliberately been pushing the format of my studies to being smaller and smaller still: from 18x12cm to 9x7cm. I was contemplating this for the pond reflections, and will probably do this at some point soon. But I chose something different a couple of weeks back when I did these.

Pond reflections on darkness

I had some ready-prepared, pumiced and gessoed Bristol Board stretched on MDF - and wanted to use the 70x50cm as a drawing board: to develop each sketche's size as I went along. The only snag was the yellow ochre underpainting of the board. I quickly resolved that with a liberal application of raw umber, dioxazine purple and payne's grey across different parts of the board.

With the board lying flat on my kitchen counter I begun to draw. How much fun... the large format meant I could begin here, then flit over there and back again, explore some unusual dimensions and it seems to work rather nicely. Afterwards, I kept the board as a whole but soon ended up cutting it apart - and stretching a new board.

Pond reflections on darkness

Pond reflections on darkness
Pastel on board

Pond reflections on darkness

Pond reflections on darkness
Pastel on board

There is something rather intriguing about this little group. Some of the sketches are getting pretty generic, abstracted. I introduced bright orange and ultramarine which both work well.

I prepared a new board - dark again, and wanted to introduce some collage - probably white tissue paper to lighten it again.

Apropos: lightening. I have always preferred a reasonably dark underpainting: raw/burnt umber; a grey purple or similar. It now seems to stand in my way somewhat. I want the paper/board to sparkle. And it doesn't. It seems to take the dark eeriness too literal.

Well, guess what: next experiment is with white paper - and that can make some justified nods towards Wolf Kahn.

Pond reflections on darkness

Pond reflections on darkness
Pastel on board

PS: I've begun to upload some of the drawings to my etsy shop... it needed some restocking