This was my plan:
The final series:
- Woman kneeling (woodcut and chine colle, printed on white Sakusi A3 paper)
- Belle du Jour (3 lino blocks, monoprint and gold leaf, printed on newspaper, roughly A2)
- Meditation (single linocut block, metal leaf, printed on A3 mulberry paper)
- Hunter (3 lino blocks, monoprint, printed on papier de soie, or on Chinese calligraphy paper: still deciding which I prefer. The papier de soie is a bit of a challenge to mount. Roughly A3.)
I chose these four to form the series, as they represent different fundamental human experiences, and aspects of males and females- the kneeling woman is in pain and the colours of the chine colle evoke childbirth: matched with this, the Hunter is the stereotypical alpha male, active, reaching outside the frame, and the skin colour is vulgarly pink and fleshy, dominating nature.
Belle du jour is a kneeling pose that contrasts completely with the kneeling woman above, which is why I wanted so much to include that one. Meditation is of indeterminate gender and is meant to be a very quiet print, in contrast to the others. The colour is plain and the mulberry paper soft. I finally managed to get the gold leaf to stick, and have made various versions using gold, silver, copper and bronze suggesting the spiritual richness which contrasts with the rather etiolated body.
It was very satisfying, if a little unexpected, to be able to draw such links between life drawing and printing, and to find the quick routine sketches such a rich source of ideas for prints that tell stories. I’ve tended to paint in the past, mainly landscapes, painted en plein air, and tended to avoid figures in them. I’m now very attracted to the narrative potential of figures in imaginary settings – even the rather bland and bored straight-line anatomies that are the staple of the Hong Kong life-drawing sessions can suggest an archetypal pose or evoke an emotion. This is something I will continue to explore.