This has been an extraordinary time for self isolation and reflection. I took it to the studio and treated the 8-10 weeks of social distancing as an artist retreat. With no distractions and with my family buying my groceries and other staples, I accomplished a lot. I will share just one of those projects with you.
Since outdoor mobility has been on lock down, looking out from within my home has been a renewed pleasure and mindful self-reflection.
This April, I identified a Black Throated Blue Warbler in my grove of rhododendrons outside my office window. Here is handsome he:
Because my plein air painting group was no longer meeting due to COVID restrictions, I volunteered to give Thursday morning prompts for everyone. One of the prompts was to paint a windowscape that is, to combine the elements of the interior and exterior world with a window; the near and far. Often artists will arrange a still life of personal items on a window sill or on a small table placed in front of an open window. I choose to set up a still life at my computer desk consisting of an Easter lily and a wooden icon and a view of the rhododendron grove. My rhodys weren’t in bloom at the time in April but what does that matter.
And so I painted this scene in acrylic :
Which then lead to two, new lino prints.
The first print and its edition was accomplished in just one day; quite an exhausting feat for a hand pulled, reduction print edition. I limited the number of colors and used Caligo water soluble inks. I enjoyed working with these inks for the first time; fast drying and easy clean-up. The print was created for the International Print Day on May 1. All submitted prints had to be created in one day. I slept like an old, tired dog the next day.
Since I really like the theme, Madonna of the Purple Rhodys, I decided to give it another whirl by creating a second print with more colors and upping the composition complexity, typical of my method of working in reductive process. I continued the use of the Caligo inks: three process colors (red, yellow and blue) and white.
My studies/drawings for the second print:
Previously, I mentioned my rhodys weren’t in bloom when I created these images. Well here is a photo of those blooming beauties this June, doubly blessed with a glass table top reflection of the scene out my window. Such is inspiration.