mixed media prints

Spring Bouquets

JTP Flower Panels 3 SQ.jpg

Johntimothy has recently been working on a wonderful suite of small, delicate flower prints. Measuring 7"h x 5"w, these one-of-a-kind pieces are a mix of intaglio and screen print mounted on cradled panels.  I managed to convince him to share some of these still life pieces with our readers, as well as talk about the inspiration and drive behind this body of work. 

We'll start with a photo of one of the many vases of dry, dead flowers that adorn our studio environment. I've taken to calling our place the headquarters of The Dead Flower Society, which is a term of affection, as I enjoy these quirky arrangements as well. In this state, the flowers perform quite well as models for drawing, but there is more to the story than that, as you'll read about in my conversation with Johntimothy below.

Dead Flower Still Life

Dead Flower Still Life

PRP: What do you find interesting or compelling about flowers as a subject?

JP: My use of them as a subject matter comes from two directions really. The first is the inspiration that comes from observing and drawing the flowers as they decay. They are beautiful objects to translate into linear drawings...I really enjoy the intricate line work that I can explore through observing and drawing these forms.

The second piece of my curiosity is the connection to the art historical use of flowers, specifically in Dutch still life paintings. I find it interesting that flower imagery is layered with meaning and metaphor, but at the same time serves as visual decoration. I'm fascinated by that layered aspect of their visual being.

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PRP: There is a lot going on in these pieces...can you tell us how they were made?

JP: They begin with the intaglio line image (engraving, etching, and/or drypoint) made from an initial observational drawing of a bouquet of dead flowers. The next stage is layering the piece with screen print images from Dutch flower paintings. This mix of screen and intaglio results in a kind of abstraction, which somewhat obscures each layer through the overlapping and merging of the two.

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JP: The immediate read is something abstract and non-objective and the viewer has to get in close to see both the line work and begin to see the screen print flower imagery as well. You can't focus on both at the same time...you have to go back and forth between the two. My interest in this aspect comes from reading interviews with David Hockney and his discussion and exploration of perception and vision. He talks about how we are unable to focus on two things at once and our perception shifts between one and the other. That's also what I'm exploring in these pieces.

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I just love these intimate pieces with their delicate line work and floating color....the essence of the still life flowers seems to lift and merge with the flowers from paintings of long ago in a sort of magical interplay. There are other explorations in Johntimothy's studio based on these themes, which we will visit another time.

Hope you are enjoying spring where you are. Here we are enduring what we hope is the last snow of the season! Cheers!

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The Art Filled Home Moves To Missouri Bend Studio

Greetings! Along with resolutions and renewed goals, the new year brings with it the inclination to reorder and freshen up all kinds of things in our lives. One of my little clean up projects involves streamlining some online efforts I've had going since last spring with the Etsy shops, Missouri Bend Studio and The Art Filled Home.

Johntimothy and I started The Art Filled Home, our collaborative Etsy shop venture, last spring in an effort to bring the best of both of us to folks seeking affordable small-scale art works. We've made some work together in the intervening months that we both like a lot and plan to continue collaborating into the future. The initial Etsy shop, Missouri Bend Studio, was (and is) still a primary priority, so having a second Etsy shop made life a little more complicated. So, one of my little projects at the start of this new year is to merge those efforts and bring the works from The Art Filled Home over to Missouri Bend Studio, then close the virtual door on The Art Filled Home. All the works that were there can (or will eventually) be found under the Collaborations section of Missouri Bend Studio.

The images here are a partial run from one of the last weeks we did the daily mono print series. Johntimothy would work on engraving a small plate throughout the week, printing it as he went, usually at some point near the end of each day. I would respond to the image or marks on each print with drawing....involving watercolor and/or ink. In the few days represented here, dating from the end of November, you can see that it is the same underlying plate, though it may have altered through more engraved marks. The drawing on top is, of course, different each day. 

Each plate he began with was a "found plate", which meant that he was starting with small 3-4 inch plates cut down from larger zinc plates that had been left behind by students. He would begin by grinding and degrading whatever image marks might have been there and then engraved his own. On this plate, that horizontal line across the middle was quite deep and ended up being part of the plate, which I didn't mind at all.

Since Johntimothy was on sabbatical last semester, there was plenty of time for him in the studio (which, alas, is no longer the case now that he is back to teaching), so this project went on for a couple of months. These are some of my favorites and are all available (follow the link under each one to take you to the listing), along with many others over at Missouri Bend Studio in the Collaborations section....along with countless other small works of art that would love to live out in the world, rather than remain confined to laying quietly on the table in my studio!

I'm about to begin a new series of drawings in the studio....I've got the acrylics and inks out, along with a small stack of crisp white BFK Rives paper....a new series of mixed media pieces waiting to be born! Enjoy your weekend....feel free to comment or get in touch...would love to hear from you!