Number 2 of what could be a series – six of which I feel are almost there. I’m hanging them on the walls in my studio, waiting for them to ‘speak’ – more colour? tone down or highlight an area? add more ‘features’? Sometimes it takes weeks before a piece is silent and lets me put it on the shelf. I did the ‘base’ last summer in a flurry – I could almost call it inspiration – but it was more of finding the right colours to use. Kept looking at them but nothing moved me to start drawing. Did try though but had to erase my efforts. Colour is what I start with and with the monoprint I’m leaving it up to the unpredictability of the print to create a structure. I can now use a quote from Braque “Let us forget things and consider only the relationships between them” – in this case colours instead of “things”.
A title for this piece has not yet arrived, but might turn into one in my tree series. The tree itself is one that I can see from my work space, it’s a gigantic alder growing at the edge of what was a large pond many years ago. I stopped myself going further – I have a tendency to stuff an image with too many details, now you can, if necessary, complete the image yourself.
Icon I has now been moved from a work in process to a finished drawing. It is a progression from ideas I had way back with images of trees depicted as entities to be revered, in these times it seems more appropriate than ever. At the time I tried using coloured pencils to create a luminous background but was not happy with the result. Since then I have used gold printmaking colour for my linocuts and had the idea to go back to my thoughts on trees as icons. So in Icon I (which started as a monoprint) the shape of the trees were worked out using the printmaking colour.
The inspiration for this work was a photo of a storm cloud hovering over the archipelago outside Stockholm. However, as the work progressed the cloud turned into water and I decided to heighten the ‘wateriness’ with each layer of acrylic paint. This was done by adding very diluted paint and tilting the canvas to steer the colour over the surface.