Guarding Your Heart

Today I am sooooo excited to share my latest artwork with you. I have literally just completed it yesterday, so this is quite literally hot off the press! I would like to take you through the whole process, from start to finish, and I really hope you will enjoy it and find it interesting.

1. Concept: First of all, I start developing a concept. In this case, I was invited to participate in an exhibition with the Heart as a theme, so that was my starting point. Proverbs 4:23 says we should guard our heart with all diligence, because from out of it flows the issues of life. Whatever we allow to enter our hearts, if not examined and evaluated properly, will undoubtedly be manifested in our lives and our actions – in positive or negative ways. We are reminded of all the challenges and decisions we are faced with, and how fragile life can be.

2. Medium: Next I decide which medium will enforce the message I wish to convey. I have decided to combine linocut (my favourite medium), and embroidery. The hard lines of the linocut, juxtaposed with the delicate thread was a clear winner for me. So off I go, carving away like crazy!

Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut, in which a sheet of is used for a relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, with the raised areas representing a mirror image of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller and then impressed onto paper. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a manual printing press.

3. Printing: Once I have carved out the elements I needed, it is time to get ready to print. I make a template of where each element should go on the paper, as well as registration marks to make sure it prints accurately.  I tear the paper to the size I need and soak it in water, so the dampened paper will be more pliable and receptive to the inks, and leave gorgeous embossed marks. Meanwhile I prepare the ink, rollers, and change the settings on the press. Once the pieces of lino is inked, it is time for reckoning. I transfer the paper onto the press, on top of the inked linos, and then I roll it through the press. The next step is to pull the paper off and reveal the printed image – this part is very nerve wracking, and  the first print is always a gamble, but the printing gods were on my side, and I pulled a perfect print! Off to the drying rack for a few hours.

4. Embroidery: I wanted to keep the heart light and delicate, but also show off the complexities of life and the choices we make – but let me tell you, that is one choice I regret😉 It was quite a mission, but I am very happy with the end result, although the plasters on my thumb might suggest otherwise.

5. Finishing Touches: Truly happy with the end result, it is time to name the artwork. I chose “Guard your Heart” and left it open for the viewer to interpret it the way they like to see it. I signed it, and gave it my logo stamp. This will be a very small print run in a varied edition. I would like to make each one different, but for now, enjoy the first one! Hope you enjoyed this journey with me.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments

1 thoughts on “Guarding Your Heart

  1. Annette van den Berg says:

    Lovely, unique and illustrating the theme so accurately. I realy love the piece! Well done!

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