Fifty shades of green
“Land, Sea and Sky” is now on exhibition in “Celebrate” at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, until 6th September.
For my next project I am exploring a green palette. Hence the title of this blog Fifty Shades of Green.
For inspiration I have been looking back at my photographs of the bright fresh greens of the Peak District in early June, while staying at Blore Hall, near Ilam.
The sunlight on fields, woodland trees, dappled shade over rivers and ponds.
I adored the fields of buttercups – the golden yellow hovering over the green – the texture is just crying out to be captured in a collagraph plate.
How to create this range of greens in the studio? I have printed lemon and primrose yellows over ocean blue and turquoise lake; and over crimson on white and black Somerset paper. By varying the transparency and thickness of the inks I am obtaining differing hues and tones of green.
My visit to the Peak District timed perfectly for the hawthorn blossoms. The clear white flowers and the bright translucent leaves against the blue sky made for a perfect June day.
I love the shape of the gnarled wood of the hawthorn hedge and the patterns the branches have made interwoven with the remains of a fence.
The boundaries of fences, hedges and dry stone walls and the lines of pathways all form inspiration for boundaries and edges of shapes in my prints and collages. For the printing plate I am using textiles – blanket pieces hand stitched with a herring bone stitch to create the pattern of fields. These are textured with an artist’s medium before being sealed and printed by the intaglio process. This creates a beautiful rich embossing.
I have been printing sheets of paper for use as collage, just as Matisse did for his Cut Outs, The magnificent exhibition of these works at the Tate Modern gallery last year was a joyous inspiration.
Mondrian’s shapes and compositions are reminiscent in this farm building in Tissington, and also in my work in progress, prints hanging up to dry in my studio. These may well have further printings and/or collaged printed papers applied. I shall be working on these prints over the next few months, heading towards Fifty Shades of Green, with the deadline for this project being “Life Illustrated” 12 October – 15 November, which will also show my sketchbooks. The sketchbooks and workbooks will form a future blog.