Some of my prints originate from doodles. Others develop from photographs. “Rising Flowers” is a series of woodblock prints that is a combination of both. The floral concept was inspired by exotic flowers rising above volcanic rocks that I photographed in Hawaii.
I used yellow as the dominant color for the flowers in the first print. At the suggestion of my friend Virginia, with whom I later collaborated on “Interlacing Chords,” I decided to experiment with different colors, using the same set of woodblocks.
Reversing the environmental colors, I created the second version using navy blue for the flowers and light orange for the background sky. Next came a return to blue sky, but with orange flowers, followed by versions with two different shades of red flowers. The color scheme for the fifth and final version, with vibrant red flowers and light red sky, was chosen for my sister-in-law, using her favorite color.
The same four woodblocks were used to make each print, typically one color per block. Over time, the repeated use of the woodblocks can wear down the edges of the woodcuts, which can render the lines in later prints thicker, softer, and sometimes blurred. I purposely limited the number of versions to five to prevent such a change in aspect.