Something changed in my art practice in September. I put down the paint brush and started playing with a cake (block) of natural indigo dye I had brought back from Bali in 2013. It had sat on a shelf in my studio haunting and mocking me for two years… “when are you going to stop being afraid and play with me!”
So after the clear out and burning of June, the pens and pencils and upscaling of July, and the cabin bound flu of August; Spring arrived and the indigo came down off the shelf.
I had no idea what to do with it. I read the indigo dyeing instructions that the kind Balinese man, Wyang, had given me needing paw paw pulp or banana skins for the dye vat and thought: “too hard!”. So I meekly shaved a bit of powder off the hard cake and mixed it with a bit of water. Grabbing a few leaves from the garden I began the simplest printing technique I know – monoprinting.
Within a matter of moments I had produced a string of little prints quietly drying on the studio floor and felt the childlike play spring to life. Ahhhhh…. that’s the feeling I remember. The lost in the moment, ‘no me’ joy of just creating, having no idea of where it goes or how it ends up… the creative expressing being all there is.
Within a few days I was at an artist friend’s studio gratefully using her printing press, experimenting with larger pieces of paper and lotus leaves. Oh God… this was even MORE fun!
September finished off with exploring the addition of colour, pens and pencils, and working back into the monoprints.
Here are a few of my favourites from this little forage into the simplicity of leaves, monoprinting and indigo, which I’m happy to say I no longer fear. 🙂