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A group of bullfinches is a bellowing, and this linocut shows a bellowing bellowing, singing loudly. I am making a series on the weird and wonderful terms of venery - the collective nouns for groups of animals (and other things). Some are evocative, some strange and obscure. This is the third in a series of such prints.

How could I resist a "bellowing" of bullfinches? We don't actually have bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) here in North America, apart from the odd, very lost, Eurasian stray. We do have many other types of finches, and living next to such a huge park, we get them regularly in the back yard. Without first hand knowledge, I had to wonder, are they loud? Do they bellow? Perhaps the "bellowing" is an allusion to the 'bull' in 'bullfinch'. So, I hunted down a surprising number of YouTube videos of a bellowing of bullfinches. They do not appear shy. They do like to sing. I listened to their songs and hear triplets and short strings (tuplets) of likely irrational eighth and sixteenth notes. So, I tried to illustrate my bellowing of bullfinches bellowing their songs in this fashion.

This linoleum block printed bullfinches are printed in black ink on Japanese kozo, or mulberry paper with chine collé breasts in pinkish-orange and dun for the males and females respectively. Each print is 12.5" by 8" or 31.7 cm by 20.3 cm in dimension. There are 7 prints in the edition. The typography is designed to match the words. The letters of 'Bellowing' ("to make the loud deep hollow sound characteristic of a bull") are hollow and capitalized. The serifs on the 'B'of bullfinch are evocative of tail feathers. The letters are cursive and organic to suit the birds.
Ele Willoughby

A Bellowing of Bullfinches Linocut - Terms of Venery, Collective Nouns for Animals, Birds, Bullfinches, Typography Lino Block Print

$26.00 USD
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  • Handmade item
  • Materials: ink, linoleum, paper, washi, kozo paper
  • Feedback: 246 reviews
  • Ships worldwide from Toronto, Canada