Beyond Bloom

You may, or may not know, that I love cyanotype. Cyanotype is a photographic process where prints and images are created by the sun . I cover fabric with the solution, which is then placed in the sun with plants on - and where the plants are the fabric stays the original colour while any fabric exposed to the sun turns blue. It's a very magical process and you can read more about it here in my earlier blog posts. Over the last few years I've had customers say they like the cyanotype images but they didn't want blue, so I've started experimenting to get the same type of images but without the original cyanotype. I did this at first by scanning in the original cyanotype images, which are silhouettes of the plants, with detail picked up where the light is slightly prevented from passing through the plant. I found the digital process didn't pick up the etheral feel of the cyanotype, and in some ways I didn't want it to be exact - cyanotype is special, but in the process of scanning I started to scan in the dried plants that I use to make the cyanotype images.

When I saw the detail that gets picked up in the digital process I moved onto using the dried flowers and plants. I fell in love with the multiple colours that make up the plants and using a digital process that almost looks like the plants are painted. This year I took part in the Highams Park Arts Trail in May and worked towards getting a number of pieces ready to exhibit based on this scanned images. Alongside the images, I traced and drew the outlines of the dried plants and also added their silhouettes. I imagined pictures that had layers of plants as if they were growing in fields but I also wanted it light and delicate. 

Snowflakes & Bluebells



Agapanthus & Hedegrow

The exhibition was put up in Hale End Library in Highams Park, London. I've exhibited in this space for the last 3 years, with previous years showing cyanotypes in a variety of ways including large, framed pieces and lampshades. The year the focus was on prints, although I still had a few fabric pieces displayed in tapestry hoops as frames. I also had a large cyanotype that I had from last year that I put on display to show the connection between the different designs.  

Scanning and digitizing the plants brings out the different colours and textures

 A4 prints in 'Agapanthus', 'Medowfield' and 'Cornflowers & Cosmos' are avaiable to buy, as well as a set of postcards.

Below are some mock-ups I created so you can see what the prints might look like in a lovely space.

Dried florals and plants in frames against a cream wall