Monday, 30 June 2014

16 Landscapes (After a Treatise by Alexander Cozens)

Back in March, I said

I am hard at work on a new small book, which I hope to finish up some time in the next few weeks.

This small book ballooned out to take several months, which (along with further commercial work), accounts for my prolonged silence. I have now finished and fully released the book, which is entitled

16 Landscapes (After a Treatise by Alexander Cozens) 

The main content of this work is 16 A4 prints, based on plates from Alexander Cozens' 1785 artist's manual 'A New Method of Assisting the Invention in Drawing Original Compositions of Landscape'. The pictures can be viewed in an imgur album here. The book describes how to compose pictures by using semi-random ink blots to create suggestive natural forms which can then be developed into fantastic landscapes, predicting in a way some of the key ideas of the surrealists, though Cozens kept his ideas grounded in a firm study of nature. You can see the original illustrations here. Whilst keeping within certain limits (I excluded colour, for example, which I'm glad of because otherwise I might still be working on these for Christmas) I wanted to explore my approach to digital printmaking, using distinctly contemporary techniques that would be extraordinary to an 18th century artist. These not only include the approach to the drawing/painting using multiple blended layers (up to 30 in some images) and various brushes, but also extended techniques such as the incorporation of photographic textures (of leaves in Plate 8), overlays (soiled, crumpled paper in Plate 15) and even 'sampling' or directly 'quoting' from other artworks (some of the foilage in Plate 14 is taken from Albrecht Altdorfer's 1510 painting 'Countryside of wood with Saint George fighting the dragon'  . However, most of what's on display here is the result of relentless and sometimes (particularly in Plate 10) refinement through drawing.

It is available for purchase from here

Individual prints can be puchased from Deviantart here