Immigrant Plants - Ulivo (Olive)
Plate: 12.5x12.5 cm Paper: 32.5x28.5 cm
Sepia ink on Arches Moulin de Gue Paper
This series of work features samples of Mediterranean plants collected in London. I was there when, about ten years ago, somebody planted three small olive trees round the corner from my home. Who would have thought they'd thrive in English weather ? A bit like me.
Mezzotint is my favourite printmaking technique these days, as it allows me to work in a purely tonal way. It's also labour intensive and each print takes many hours of work. I work on a copper plate which is prepared with a special tool ( a rocker) that pokes the surface with thousands of small holes and makes it rough like sandpaper. I transfer the drawing ( often from one of my paintings) onto the plate and start scraping out with a blade what will turn out to be the lightest parts. Working from dark to light, the image slowly appears.
Once I am satisfied with the plate, I edition it on my printing press. I only produce small editions.