The first of these two pieces started life as one of my not exactly series, but better described as a group of works based on players of musical instruments. Most of the individuals are women, and one day a woman with red hair playing the flute came into my mind.
I like rendering my drawings as relief prints – showing the carving too. There is something in this which seems to combine the flat image with movement and even three dimensionality, I find. In any case, I like the effect, so have been using it a lot. The digital graphics can also add to the layered look.
For Jazz flute I wanted her hair to be red, and the whole atmosphere to be a warm and sunny one. The fact that I have a friend who plays the flute and who loves the sun may have influenced this desire. So I tried out printing the lino block on yellow tissue paper which had been crushed once then flattened (adding more random elements with a batik-y feel). I think she looks good even starkly thus in the initial image which was scanned.
The digital work gave her the red hair, the green dress, and the pastel scattered background from my ‘background’ digital files – much used many times before, and once I was happy with the image I printed this out onto a prepared A3 sheet of cotton lawn.
I am really happy with the effect of the yellow rather than white base, and I am now adding the final layer of stitching with fine silk threads.
In the case of Ginkgo rider the final image came about through trial and error. When learning to print collagraphs one of my attempts used leaves. The image of that attempt I thought might be worth chopping up digitally to use as elements in a future piece.
One of the great advantages of scanning at a high resolution, then cropping is that I’m not limited to the scale of the physical piece of paper. The ginkgo leaf was its actual size on the print – as can be seen in relation to the stamps; but I am able to render its looks much more appropriately sculptural with a crop.
Turned round the sweep of the stem and the fan of the leaf made me think of kites and windsurfers,… although a sail is usually above the sailor my thoughts took me to a rider – someone who would be swept off on top, holding the mast, so to speak. The digital processing in this case simply added the red rider. The rest of the image is a high resolution scan of the cropped print. This will also be printed onto A3 prepared cotton lawn, and more colour will be added with thread when I start stitching.