'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.