Saturday, 14 October 2017

Poppies & Lavender

Open Studios demo - poppies & lavender
© Teresa Newham

For our last couple of Open Studios sessions I made a reduction linocut mini-print based on some photos I took back in July at Cadwell Farm, home of Hitchin Lavender.  I wanted to bring out the contrast of the red poppies against the lavender fields.

the initial cut
© Teresa Newham

I simplified the design to use as few layers of colour as possible - it was quick to cut, ideal for a demonstration.  I cut away the white cloud and wiped the blue ink off the poppy petals with a cotton bud before printing the first plate.  Caligo Safewash Relief ink can be thinned with extender to make it more transparent; I started with a squeeze of extender and added a tiny amount of blue ink to it!

the first printing - Phthalo Blue
© Teresa Newham

During the week I printed the Rubine Red plate, this time wiping off any areas intended to be green.  The plate was still the original design with just  the white cloud cut away.  The image was registered upside down, as the path area would include all the colours and would not be removed.

the second printing - on the same plate!
© Teresa Newham

The following Saturday I cut away the parts I wanted to keep lavender-coloured, and printed Arylide yellow over the rest of it, avoiding the sky area.  This produced a vivid lime green, but the poppies themselves were at best a disappointingly weak orange:

the third printing with Arylide Yellow
© Teresa Newham

Time to experiment! I cut off the whole of the top of the plate - this somehow felt wonderfully liberating - and applied Napthol Red to the poppies and the path area with the small brush I use for touching-up wayward prints, before printing as usual.

the fourth printing and the cut-down plate
© Teresa Newham

The result is an edition of some lively little prints - some, shall we say, livelier than others - with interesting textures where the various layers have interacted - it looks as though the lavender is interspersed with wild flowers.  And the whole process has given me a number of ideas for the future!

the final result!
© Teresa Newham

1 comment:

  1. I loved this when I first saw it. It's really eye-catching and vibrant. A happy memory of the summer months!