I woke up yesterday morning with a new series of prints in my head. That space just between sleep and wakefulness is often fertile ground for me creatively. And I love the excuse to lie in bed another half hour chasing down the details from my brain and calling it work. One of the best parts of my job.
Having the new press is opening up possibilities for color prints and larger sizes. I've been using a calendar this year of old British Railway posters (many of them look like screen and block prints, though they don't give the artistic process, frustratingly). My new idea is to do a series of Art Deco inspired prints of places I love, complete with the names underneath. My own travel posters for Memphis. I've got this one plus Dixon Gardens in my head so far, and then this morning I woke up with a vision of the Mississippi River, looking up at the bridge from the center of the water. I'll need to take my camera out next time I paddle to fully plan that one.
I started with an idea in the abstract, but then I took Merlin over to the park to draw this study yesterday. Once I was on the spot, I added the folly in the background and changed the proportions. I always come back to drawing from life, and my work is invariably stronger when I do. The middle of the river one, though, will have to make do with a photo instead of sketching on site. It's impossible to sit still out there in a tiny boat.
This block will be 12x19", which is larger than I've done, so I went ahead and ordered my linoleum yesterday. (I can only get 12x12" in town.)
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.