Baby Blue, ink on Gifu green tea light paper; image size 8 x 20 in, paper size 16 1/2 x 28 in; ed. 4
After working at Cone Editions on digital prints (which I wrote about here), I began to think about pushing my cardboard prints a little larger. The composition for Baby Blue (lightheartedly named for the color, though I couldn't stop thinking about the song by the Echoes while I was working on it) was originally going to be made up of three ovals, so I expanded it to five. I like the sense of a huddled group that comes from the additional shapes, although I miss the iconic quality of three. To get the color, I used a new tube of ink that I'd gotten from Graphic Chemical, a cobalt blue, which I mixed with a bit of orange and some white. My other ink supplier, Daniel Smith, has only a phthalo blue, which has a very different character.
Baby Blue, detail
I wanted to show a detail of this print so you could see the mottled surface of the paper. I chose it because I thought that its tiny specks went along with the spirit of the image, and added some life to it.
Blue Cloud, ink on Masa dosa paper, 15 x 12 in.
I work on my prints in my kitchen, so when I set up for pulling a cardboard print edition, I extend the working session by using leftover ink for some potato prints. I generally do between 8 and 12 prints, pleasurably stamping away with potato shapes. This session though, did not go well, and though I did around 10 prints, I was happy with only two, which is why they don't have their own blog post as usual. Sometimes I do something that is so simple, so buoyant in feeling, that it makes me really giggly (this is aside from any judgment of quality). Blue Cloud was like that; it seemed complete with just two shapes.
Blue Cloud detail
The blue comes from the color mixed for the cardboard print, stamped using an irregular oval shape. I chose to pair it with a slightly more regular circle, but a circle made of a mix of colors. It seems that sometimes I can't resist metaphoric titles, a lot more fun than "blue oval".
Waves, ink on Masa dosa paper, 17 x 22 1/2 in.
More metaphor in titling, as the shapes bounce along. In both these potato prints I've placed shapes toward the center of a larger sheet of paper; for me there's something touching about them floating, surrounded by all that empty space. I don't want to solely rely on this as a compositional strategy, but it's quite wonderful to work with as one idea among others.