Romancing the Music

Graham is creating a series of woodblock prints, the Concert Suite. The music box will be develop over the years, adding more images to portray the Performing Arts.

We Delight In Hymn

I find it interesting that people often use the word "patience" when talking about the carving I do for these Japanese style wood block prints. I do not consider it patience so much as a fascination with the process, It is a means of building a foundation for an image I want to create. Carving is a craft that is intriguing. Through the process I see the shapes take form and a recognizable image appears. "We Delight In Hymn" required 12 plates (some consist of 2 or 3 parts of the image of different colours. All of the colours are printed twice and a number of them 3 or 4 times for the subtle bokashi (gradation) desired. The design required 40 colours to achieve the final image. The red ceiling and end wall have a total of eight colours, four of them requiring the subtlety of bokashi to achieve the illusion of depth for the dome. Three colours of black and two of grey were used to create the delicate values within the audience and musician sections of the print.I am often asked......

"When you start out with a print like this, do you know how many colours you are going to use, and hence how much work is going to be involved, or do you just keep adding until you are happy with the result"?

I have a good idea of how many plates... major colours... I will need at the early stages of the design. During the intitial stages of varifying the registration of the plates I determine the number of burishings/colours required to achieve the image. There are times that another plate is required to add an effect or touch of colour part way through the printing to satisfy my vision. The image took me about 8 months of thought process and a month of hands on drawing and planning to be satisfied with the over all image and form. I did not do any colour sketches but just work the design up in black and white key line drawing until all elements are in place. I visited the cathedral 6 times at different stages to solve or get around mental blocks and check out different aspects of the architecture as the piece progressed. Photographs do not give me reference information quite as effectively as being on location. I have a need to touch my subject.

Edition of 29
Float mounted with Gold frame
12 carved plates and 40 hand burnished colours
Print Size 15 1/2 x 27 1/2" Framed size 20.5" x 32
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Note: Framed prints are shipped without glass.

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Copyright © Graham A. Scholes. No part of these images may be reproduced,
in any form or by any means, without written permission of the Artist.