Thursday, 25 February 2010

Process

'Process posts' have been popping up on blogs in the last few days, all fascinating, all completely different - Daisy Janie, Cicada Daydream, A Little Hut, Jess Gonacha Swift, Jenean Morrison. (Have I missed any?)

What they have in common is a sense of process, work, fiddling around with pieces till they fit. It's a state of mind: starting something just to start, working at it not sure where it will end up, getting things down to have something to work with, going in a direction just to see what will happen. It's addictive and delicious and exhausting and relaxing. It can be very very hard to get into, too.

If you're stuck on a problem, hitch a ride on any one of these thought processes. You'll likely get into the right state of mind to start finding solutions.

And, of course, I wanted to play too! So here's my contribution:

This is a design I did as a commission, which didn't work for the client, so I kept it. The way I usually work is to carve a block, ink it and start plonking it on fabric to find a pattern I like. This digital thing was a bit new, so I apologize for the lack of elegance.

The client wanted flowers and petals and stems, so I drew this:

See the dots? That's a blockprinter trying to work with intangible pixels; how else to line up the repeats?

I tiled the drawing. Hmm, a bit boring.

Rows going the other way. Still too stiff.

Ok, what about flipping every other one? Better.

But if this is going to be a linocut, what will the block look like? I could have 2 blocks, and print them alternately, but that's a recipe for disaster because I'll muddle them up. 4 repeats per block? That's a big block, not so easy to ink consistently. But now I'm thinking about creating the 'unit repeat' instead of the overall design, and that leads to this:

And suddenly I'm looking at the negative space, and the pattern the stems make.
Here it is printed, in a slightly different alignment. (I hadn't noticed that I'd shifted it in printing; it's more open and undulating, but I've lost that 'crossy' thing the flowers were doing.)

I think I'll have to try printing it more tightly, because if I add colour to the flowers, the X shapes start to jump out.

And then I could add random stuff around the flowers, and then....

This might just be my first 2-colour print. Time to carve a block, I think.

12 comments:

Anabel Fournier said...

Great!!!! I truly admire your work. so much detail on every piece. I struggle with the repetition, especially when trying to do it on Illustrator...

BellaVitaInteriors said...

This is great!I find (when preparing a piece for screen printing) that by taking a piece of paper (the total size of your 1 repeat)and folding the left and right sides together and later the top and bottom sides and drawing the design over the meeting points of top and bottom/left and right makes an easy continuous pattern. You're really left with the centre square to fill with a design.You can then scan it in and play with Illustrator, etc.

daisy janie said...

So pretty Jesse! Your artistry is awe-inspiring. I like how the detail of your element lends itself to a simple layout - and it's perfect! I like the bottom one, with the random filler. Oh, and 2-color?? That would be gorgeous blocked out. Thanks for sharing!

patricia said...

Your initial illustration to start off the process is beautiful!! I'm with Jane. The bottom one is great.

Freshly Found said...

Intriguing to follow your process! I love the way it tuned out!

Jenean said...

Oh, my, this is fabulous! I love the original illustration and this was very fun to read. I love, love, love where you ended up! That last image is stunning!

ibb said...

You make it to seem so easy. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your drawings are really great. And the result in brown and pink incredible.
Lovely, really.

Michelle said...

I love the view into your process to develop that design. Thanks for sharing. The original flower design is wonderful and the end design in the brown and pink is very stylish.

Danya Ristić said...

Yet another cool window onto your work!

Clare said...

What a beautiful design and so interesting to see how much work went into creating it.

L'Atelier said...

thanks for letting us get a glimps on the process that is involved for your gorgeous pieces! its so interessting and very inspring.
the result is beautiful!

Ruby in the Dust said...

I've been meaning to say how nice it is to see how you came up with the final design. thanks for sharing; I'm about to finally start screen printing some of my designs, and the repeats scare me a bit. you make it look easier :)