June is now in progress.
Having pushed the boundaries a little with lovely purples and lime green in 'May' I decided to take a step back and change the course I was on slightly. I love doing these summer months in lino …the colour palette gives so much opportunity to think again about where I'm taking this series.
I'd sketched several different scenarios, each time adding more ideas and interpreting the various shapes and forms of my compositions. From sweeping wide valleys with rivers to open prairies with fields of gold, there seemed to be no end to what I wanted. This process inevitably led me to over doing the detail by trying to fill in as many interesting parts to the design. Because of this I took a big step back and re-examined the earliest designs from October and December. It is alway important to get back to the roots of this project and keep on track.
My plan was to evoke simple seasonal emotions through use of shapes and colours. It was agreed that this was still the right way forward. Taking notes to guide me, I made some adjustments to the drawing on the lino block. Noting that trees are the focus and the landscapes are backdrops to these scenes, I refocused where I was going and I stripped down my drawings.
The lino block drawing
You can see from the drawing on the block above that with the middle-froreground, I had originally planned to have a band of trees flowing down the hillside. After some thought I decided that this may complicate the design. If I manage to mix my colours correctly and if they are applied in just the right manner, then there is no need for complicated detail anywhere in the design. Future photos will illustrate this point much clearer.
Colours 1 & 2
I used the shapes of cloud in the far distance to centre the focus of the drawing. This was a nice addition, which I had not used before, but it suits summer scenes. I then printed the first colour in a light blue with a tinge of turquoise. I'm going back to the original influences I had for this series - influences from renown painter William Heaton Cooper, early British map illustrators and the Canadian Group of Seven who were all artists from around the same early 20th century period. Their colours were so vibrant.
The second layer of colour sets the sky apart and allows the viewers to start seeing the design take shape (between the trees). The use of the second colour once again uses vintage hues for the distant hill and it starts to distinguish the form of trees against the sky.
So far so good. More will be posted as this print takes shape.