Monday, July 1, 2013

My Love Has Only Grown

I hesitated before posting this project. It's a very personal project full of personal symbolism and is difficult to photograph since it hangs in a narrower hallway than my lens but it incorporates a number of my skills and perhaps highlights my main fault: pre planning. For a more professional look I'd definitely have done some things a bit differently but this was the culmination of one of those ideas I have before getting asleep and I wake knowing I'm going to do it and I was going to do right now. You see, my main planning time was spent sleeping-great planning skills right there!

I made this as a last-minute one year anniversary present. Last minute? Erm...yes. Well, we'd said that due to our budgets, there'd be no presents but at the last minute I decided, for chrissakes I can afford a large piece of watercolor paper! My time is my own and the 80p watercolor paper wasn't going to break the bank! Certainly I've got enough supplies for any number of print projects! It got finished 2 days after our anniversary (see, that pre-planning thing meant I didn't give myself time for making sure the thing dried.)

So we've got a blue wash for the background out of acrylic (I seem to only have green watercolor paint). The branch poking up at top is deliberate-there's a message up there in tiny script. Anyway, so the bulk of the drawing is done in ink and pen. The sepia tree is an oak tree and because we're in the beginning stage of our relationship it's to the left. The layout of the various elements was only vaguely planned, most of it is free hand. In the branches are black stencils of major aspects of our relationship (castle,  fiddle, cakes, baglamas, mandolin, ceramics, church architecture, Keity the car, the guitar in our room with my heart garland, and an archaeological trowel). The dancing couple is traced from an old woodcut illustration and on the ground are the Black Hares and Polly. Underneath the ground is a lino-print of an anatomically correct heart and fancy script in teal. 

I wanted the whole thing to have texture to complement the huge bulk of intentional image choices. Hence all the linework contrasting with the rather heavy stencils. There's nothing in this picture that is not directly related to our activities together and so I wanted to imply that our activities added texture to our lives together.

So the main techniques are that of pen and ink which I'd never really used on such a large scale. To be honest, I had no idea what size this was going to be until I drew out the tree-I ended up trimming the piece of watercolor paper. The whole thing had to be worked on sideways to avoid smearing because I didn't really have the time to let things dry before working on the other elements. A few of the stencils were made by hand especially for the poster (others are merely masquerading as stencils and are actually drawings) but the lino-cut was from my valentines so that was just inked up and printed-literally the easiest part of the whole thing. I took the precaution of penciling the letters first and embellished them during the inking. I'd say all in all, it took about 8 hours plus drying time=4 days.

To redo, I'd say it should take at least a week, if not two. I failed to do proper layout work which is why the heart, text, and groundline are bit off as is the blue background to a certain extent. The stencils should not have been done in pen and ink as the paper got quite saturated needing intensely long times to dry.


  1. Replies
    1. thanks-obviously it's a bit of an old project but it still works