Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Taraxacum Duet

 Taraxacum Duet   SOLD
4" x 6" gozen paper



I was experimented with ideas for printmaking using plant materials.  I have a vase full of 'weeds' sitting beside me in the studio.  Of course to me weeds are just the opposite, as a herbalist.  Each represents a form of relief from a symptom causing distress, but I know that to most people, they're just weeds.

One of the plants in my vase is dandelion - taraxacum officianale, a common garden plant usually growing where you don't want it.  However, its a very useful herb and farmed as an alternative green which are used in salads or cooked before the leaves are large, the roots have been used to make a coffee-like drink  and it has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb.  Dandelion root is a registered drug in Canada, sold principally as a diuretic. The plant is known for its ability to treat jaundice, cholecystitis and cirrhosis. The dandelion also affects the digestive system by acting as a mild laxative, increasing appetite, and improving digestion.



I had a closed flower and a seed pod together, placed on tin foil to give more reflected light.  I reduced the image to basics in a photo editing program then printed the bones of it onto Japanese paper - gozen.  This is a very thin translucent paper that's lovely to work with.   After printing I started adding colour using a very dry watercolour wash in select areas of the the flowerheads to provide a stronger shape and finished with a few flecks of silver leaf.

I printed two of these on the gozen paper, but worked out my experiments on the first image.  Always a useful habit to ensure you have back up when something goes wrong!   This piece measures 4" x 6" with an approximate 1/2" border on the sides and 1" border top and bottom.

11 comments:

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

Wonderful and thanks so much for sharing your technique :). Did you photograph or scan it on the foil?
Stay inspired!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Michelle. I photographed it on the foil as I wanted to get those bands on light and dark that the foil provides in reflection. There are endless ways if approaching this and I'll see how other papers work in my Epson printer.

Dora Cooper said...

So interesting, I'm not sure that I totally understand it though. I have a large garden of dandelion around the bay, I'd love to try this.

Yelena Shabrova said...

Hi, fellow herbalist! :) It's a lovely print, so delicate and airy...

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

This is one successful image, on so many levels. Beautifully composed.

Jeanette said...

Dora, I guess its a hybrid between an edited photo and a colour enhanced print. I've just taken manipulation to a different level, mixing digital and hands on colour.

Hey Yelena, you're a herbalist too? Excellent! I like how this turned out and will try some with other plants - perhaps a mini herbal series.

Thanks Kim. I enjoyed the experimentation on the fly. It was going to be a gelatine print at first but I wanted to keep the delicacy of the dandelion head intact, so played with options.

RH Carpenter said...

You've taken something - weeds - that most would not find any beauty in; and you've made them truly elegant and beautiful! Just lovely work, Jeannette :)

Jeanette said...

Thanks Rhonda. I have a different outlook on weeds than most people. :)

JANE MINTER said...

love this image jeanette are you planning to do more ? ...we collect and eat alot of dandelion leaves "pisacane"

Jeanette said...

I am going to do more Jane. I have a garden full of medicinal herbs that would be good subjects for this technique I think.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

i don't see a lot of dandelions here if i stop and think about it, lots of thistles tho

very neat effect you have here, really like the splash of yellow colour