July 16, 2014

Kousa Dogwood – New Work in Progress

Kousa Dogwood, a work in progress by Sue Reno, Image 1
I am always looking closely at my yard and garden for inspiration and subject material.  I have a pair of Kousa dogwood trees I planted decades ago that have grown into lovely specimens.  They are sited so that I can look down on them from above on the deck when they are in bloom, a clever arrangement that lets me fully appreciate their graceful form. 

I spent some time recently making some Kousa prints, starting with my old standby and perennial favorite, the cyanotype print. In the image above you see treated cotton sateen fabric, with the leaves and flowers arranged and lightly pinned in place on a piece of foam insulation board.
Kousa Dogwood, a work in progress by Sue Reno, Image 2 I covered the arrangement with a sheet of plate glass and took it outside in the bright sunlight for a timed exposure.  I like this process shot showing my shadow.
Kousa Dogwood, a work in progress by Sue Reno, Image 3
Above is the fabric after exposure.  The exposed areas have turned grayish, while the areas that were masked by the leaves are unchanged.  The areas covered by the flowers have been partially exposed, as the petals are semi-transparent.
Kousa Dogwood, a work in progress by Sue Reno, Image 4 Here is the rinsed and finished print.  I am very happy with the way the cyanotype process captured the delicacy of the blossoms.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Up next: I experiment with Solar Fast printing.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful capture of the essence of the kousa. I look forward to watching your progress to the finished work on this one.

KAM said...

This is lovely, Sue. The details you get with this process of printing is amazing and ever so wonderful. An article about the process is in my "work basket" and I will let you know when it gets to the top of the list - I will definitely focus on the history you sent to me and share your beautiful work as well.
Bravo for taking this process to such heights...every piece is more beautiful than the ones before...you just keep getting the very best possible images, I believe. Looking forward to following the process with this piece. Kristin

Anonymous said...

I also love the way a cyanotype print captures the blossoms. Your dogwood is so different from my CA varieties -- but then, they are all so beautiful!

I've used cyanotype with my oakleaf hydrangea prints and can't get over the look! Have just heard of the Solar Fast myself and need to try it. Thanks for the great intro.