Eco Collograph: Young Blueberry Shoots on Watercolour Paper
“Why there hasn’t been time for the bushes to grow.
That’s always the way with the blueberries, though:
There may not have been the ghost of a sign
Of them anywhere under the shade of the pine,
But get the pine out of the way, you may burn
The pasture all over until not a fern
Or grass-blade is left, not to mention a stick,
And presto, they’re up all around you as thick
And hard to explain as a conjuror’s trick.”
Robert Frost: Blueberries
P S The poem isn’t really about blueberries. Or magic. It’s about acidity versus alkalinity.
Looking like fossilised remains of some ancient creature, this is an eco collograph of St John’s Wort, including stems, leaves and luscious red berries. I made a couple of little chemical changes to the process to ‘see what would happen’. I’ve decided to explain the process in a tutorial which I’ll post at some time on my cobwebby web site www.annisikartworks.com, rather than trying to describe it here. For health and safety reasons, basically. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this addition to my herbiarum vocabularum.
I will be writing in greater depth about St John’s Wort, named for St John the Baptist. For now, this intriguing morsel: know that its Greek botanical name – Hypericum – means “… to hold over in such a way as to protect from anything”, indicating how the plant was once held in high regard as “… possessing magic properties over evil spirits.” Flowers & Flower Lore, (Revd Hilderic Friend) his chapter entitled The Magic Wand.
My collograph does seem to be taking the stance of protector, an erstwhile knight in shining armour, don’t you think?
Posted in Art, Collage & Assemblage, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Folklore & Mythology, Nature Journal, Printmaking
Tagged Eco Collograph, Herbiarum Vocabularum, Herbiary, Hypericum, Revd Hilderic Friend, St John the Baptist, St John's Wort
“I have walked once in summer by the side of a little marsh filled with mint and white hawthorn. The mint and white hawthorn have with them a vivid, rare delicious perfume. It makes you want to grovel on the ground – it makes you think you might crawl in the dust all your days, and well for you. The perfume lingers with you afterward when years have passed. You may scream and kick and struggle and weep right lustily every day of your life, but in the moments of calmness sometimes there will come back to you the fragrance of a swamp filled with mint and white hawthorn.” Human Days, Mary MacLane (1881-1929)
A second eco collograph from Bergamot Mint. And a quote, for my herbiarum vocabularum, perhaps.
I was reminded of Cecil Collins’ painting Scene in Paradise. It has given me ideas.
Posted in Aesthetics, Art, Collage & Assemblage, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Inspiration, Nature Journal, Printmaking
Tagged Bergamot Mint, Cecil Collins, Collograph, Eco Collograph, Human Days, Mary MacLane, Scene in Paradise
What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree? Logan Pearsall Smith
The image above is another of my experiments with eco collographs on 300gsm watercolour paper.
Look like flowers at the end of stalks, yes? In fact, these are young shoots that were emanating from the base of a plum tree. They’re not flowers, but leaves. Baby leaves at the top of shoots. Reddish, they turn green as they grow.
They’re suckers. If I didn’t cull them, they’d rob the tree of its fruit. I have to shake the tree (cull the shoots) for there to be a harvest.
Something of the life, beautiful life, of these young shoots has been preserved, I hope, in these prints. They have not just been discarded without thought, mourning, honouring.
I like the quivering energy.
Posted in Aesthetics, Allotmenteering, Art, Collage & Assemblage, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Ecology, Nature Journal, Printmaking, spirituality
Tagged Brainy Quote, Collograph, Cull, Eco Collograph, Logan Pearsall Smith, Plum Tree Shoots, Sucker
One from my latest batch of eco collography experiments. I made these from herbs from our allotment. I am fascinated by the fact that the dark green colour of the leaves, during the process, changes to brown. This has happened with many of the prints. I wonder how it is that the pressure on the plant matter precipitates the chemical changes that create this phenomenon. Or it is about the chemicals in the water in which the paper is soaked? Or a combination of both?
I used Bergamot Mint to create this print. I’m thinking now of producing an herbiary, a compendium of herbs in the same manner of the bestiary, which dates to the Middle Ages and were illustrated descriptions of animals accompanied by “… a moral lesson, … [reflecting] the belief that the world … was the Word of God, and … every living thind had its … special meaning.” (Wikipedia).
I’ve wanted to research bestiary for years. And it seems that now is the time. And it also seems that I’ve for a second time in a couple of weeks invented a new word. First there was Eco Collography and now there is herbiary. I can even attribute to this name a latin origin for if bestiary is bestiarum vocabularum, then herbiary must be herbiarum vocabularum. And it also occurred to me in considering an herbiary, given that it would have, like a bestiary, its metaphysical aspect, that this would also fall within my theme, Towards the Light.
In regard to the metaphysical I’m already thinking of Jon Silkin’s Flower Poems and Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal.
Posted in Art, Collage & Assemblage, Creativity, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Nature Journal, Printmaking
Tagged Baudelaire, Bergamot Mint, bestiarum vocabularum, Bestiary, Herbiary, Jon Silkin Flower Poems, Les Fleur du Mal