Seeking a perfect print is not my goal – or at least I am looking for a print perfect for my purposes. With the few exceptions of print as end product, I have to bear in mind that stitch is to be added without looking superficial – or even worse, excessive. For this reason I look at the proof stage of my relief printing as a possible source of material to progress. I am looking out for happy accidents which make the image speak louder in its own voice.
Sometimes I am compelled to put (at least) two elements together: such as this figure
and this background (street furniture in Oxford),
which was altered thus when I thought of the figure.
The idea was developed when I had taken the idea of a grid as a theme/exercise – and so I elaborated onto the body.
This became the template for my relief plate, as I want the movement to be to the right.
The proof onto plain paper came out boldly.
I had digitally printed the background onto 42gsm Murakumo Kozo Select White, which is actually cream-ish white. Perhaps because of my being aware of the thin-ness of the paper I did not press enough – I hand burnish my prints – and the result was much fainter:
I am delighted with the ghost-like qualities, and although I shall most likely print another, bolder version, I shall still consider the possibility of taking this proof forward to stitch. The original design was one of a happy conjunction of elements, but now I think I might be approaching ambiguity of meaning as well – which would be a much more desirable outcome.