About the Process
My work starts out in the field. In order to understand the composition of flowers I prefer to study them in person. Of course, strict wildflower conservation laws means I am often found sat in the dirt with the ants and the birds to get a good study. It is here though that the magic happens. With the help of a macro photographic lens and enough time drawing, I start to find the detail of the plants; star-shaped stamens, sweeping forms, geometric repetitions. It is at this stage that my background in graphic design starts to influence my studies.
Armed with sketches and photos I then spend time in my home studio honing form. My time as a graphic designer and a decades long admiration for Pop Art begin to come into play as I reduce and refine the shapes of the subject. When the balance between complexity and simplicity feels right it is time to move onto inks. I mix the ink and I spend a seemingly inordinate proportion of my time getting the tones exactly right. My work is primarily tone and form so this step cannot be rushed.
From here on it is all systems go as I cut paper stencils and screen print them by hand. While typically screen printing is done mechanically to deliver consistency and repetition, I prefer something that is obviously made by hand. I use the same graphic detailing in each piece; various stripes, fading dots and polka dots to create shade and dimension. The paper stencils begin to buckle and dissolve over the course of an hour or so, this means that these prints are true limited editions. The paper stencils have been destroyed from the minute the screen is washed. The texture screens I have created using the more permanent emulsion method which enables me to use them repeatedly across the whole series. The repeated use of these elements across my range weld each work together, helping to create a series and a visual language. The end result is a bold colourful print that commands attention. From afar it looks slick and crisp and on closer inspection it has the warmth and charm of something made by hand with care and attention.