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.