I am currently working my way slowly carving a new series of linocuts which I have called ‘Wildflorals’. Perhaps they are ‘wild’ but maybe I should also have bracketed the title ‘slightly mad’. They are a series of 6 designs based around 6 different Australian wildflowers – Banksia, Waratah, Waxflower, Wattle, Firewheel & Gum Blossoms.
The designs have been a long time in development over several years. They began in my sketchbook with the idea of circular designs, evolved into a single central square and then slowly finally into an extended square. Like many of my works in progress I would work on them for a while, leave them & come back around. About 4 years ago I finalised the designs but my life has been pretty busy looking after family over this time & they are such large & intricate designs to carve that I kept putting them on the backburner. I can say that there are a fair few of these backlogged designs! I did finish carving one of the designs in October last year but am yet to get to the printing stage as they require a far bigger press than my tiny book press.
I have for a few years been exploring the idea of taking a particular wildflower & pushing the elements of it into patterns and structures which I then work into designs. As with my ‘Enkindled’ design I finished last year, this new direction explores an extension of my previous work towards designs based on the concepts of ornamentation, beauty, patterns and embellishments. I still have works I have been developing based around my previous style but felt I needed to push what I was doing further. So I have been exploring these ideas and if you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook you would see snippets of this exploration of style.
Below is just a small snippet of each ‘Wildfloral’ design in a collage. I will reveal the whole designs over time.
The first design – Wildfloral Banksia – I finished carving last year. It is based around the Western Australian Banksia baxteria. It has quite ‘structural’ leaves which were lovely to explore and use in the design.
The linoblock is quite large & the carving intricate with lots of very small pieces to cave out. I cave quite deeply to achieve clean neat spaces that I can hand colour so it takes quite a while to slowly work my way across carving the the design.
This is the final carved block ready to print.
I am now currently carving the second linoblock in this series – Wildfloral Waxflower based around the Philotheca myoporoides.
It is again a slow careful process to carve but I am slowly making progress.
You can also follow along on my Instagram to get more regular updates