Blackbird in the Magnolia Tree

A multi-plate woodcut printed with Caligo Safe Wash Inks on 145 gsm Zerkall print paper with deckle edges and hand painting of the blackbird’s eye and beak.

Edition: 12 (plus 1 Artist’s proofs)

Image size: 150 x 225 mm

Paper size: 220 x 325 mm

Mount size: 300 x 400 mm to fit a standard sized frame

Price: £70 mounted

This Spring a blackbird has taken to perching in our ‘Star Wars’ Magnolia tree where it can survey the garden and sing to its heart content! His black plumage is enhanced by the striking forms and colours of the Magnolia’s lily-like flowers and it’s dark twisting trunk and branches, silhouetted against the clear blue of a Spring sky.

Using Shina plywood allows me to integrate the natural marks of the wood grain and the textures of different wood cuts into the design. The first plate has the flowers cut out so there is some white of the paper showing when the second plate is printed. The first plate is printed with a blend of dark grey to sky blue. The second plate has had most of the plate cut away to leave the flower forms. I have used the woodcut marks (called chatter) to add interest by orientating these vertically. The ink is also semi transparent so it is not too dominant when over printed on the blue back ground. However, where printed directly on the paper, the pink ink looks more opaque and is therefore a stronger colour. The third plate has been cut away to leave the trunk and branches of the tree and the blackbird. For this plate I didn’t want any chatter so the plate has been cut back quite low around the tree forms. Lastly I used a mix of yellow and red printing ink to hand paint the blackbird’s eye and his beak.