Why I made this print
The original linoprint featured a person and dog beneath a tree looking out to sea with the title "It was not always clear who had rescued who".
The idea for this print first came about after hearing lots of wonderful rescue dog stories with a common thread running through them… the people who rescued dogs from shelters and charities discovered that the joy of saving a dog actually goes both ways - and it is often the case that the dog also 'rescues' the person (in a metaphorical sense at least).
Life is often hard and our dogs are with us through thick and thin - a furry rock in times of turmoil - giving us peace and reducing stress, simply by being by our side, taking us out into nature and resting their head on our knee when they know we need some support.
How I made this print
I used collage / mixed media when I created my "Rhyme of a Rescue Dog" print and the "Barkside" range of greeting cards. Both these used 'found' papers - taken from existing printed matter and vintage ephemera - however this time I wanted to create my own papers for collage.
I used monoprinting techniques and Graphic Chemical water based ink on a sheet of metal used as a plate. Inks were applied to the plate using a variety of different tools and methods. I used random items (sponges, toothbrush heads, brushes, cotton buds, fabric etc) to create lots of colour combinations and textures on the plate.
Then I place the paper over the inky plate and transferred the ink to the paper by rubbing over the back of the paper, again using different methods and pressures - my hands, the back of an old spoon and various types of printing barens.
Any type of paper can be used for collage but I used Japanese papers like Kozo which are thin but also very strong and take up the ink easily.
Here are some of the papers I made using this method...
To create the artwork I started at the top with the sky, selecting papers of the desired colour and texture. I either tear out the shapes or cut them out with a scalpel depending on the complexity of the shape and whether I want clean, sharp edges or a torn edge. I use matte medium to glue the papers in place.
The following are photos taken as the collage progressed...
I then used a selection of other media - oil pastels, acrylic paint and coloured pencil - to add texture and detail, especially for elements that were too small to collage, like the rowing boat!
The finished piece is then professionally photographed so that it can be reproduced as a fine art print using archival inks on acid free 285gsm rag paper which captures all the details and texture of the hand printed papers in the original artwork.