I was asked to submit something to the River Falls library's upcoming flower and garden gallery show. I have several finished prints on hand that would fit the bill, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to create some new work. It's also an opportunity to get started on a project I've been meaning to get to for Maple Leaf Orchard: a series of fruit and apple prints.
So to start off with, I selected my favorite garden flower, the poppy.
I decided to produce these in the moku hanga style of Japanese woodblock printing, so the first step was to produce a keyblock, and print up some proofs in black:
My initial idea was to separate out the colors and cut blocks to print the various shades of red/orange.
I cut three blocks, but after I proofed them, I quickly decided that this was not the direction I wanted to go with this print. It was looking less and less like a flower, and more like a brain...
So I started over, nearly from scratch. I cut a base red/orange block, and instead of trying to break up the gradations of color with additional blocks, I whitelined it and inked in the individual petals and folds by hand, carefully wiping them as needed.
The results are much better:
A bit of a background, and hey presto! I like it!