As an artist who mainly works with digital images, I often wished to make something that is a little bit more unique, something you can hold in your hands immediately. I wanted to continue working with light and when I did some research on alternative photographic processes that might be suitable for me, I stumbled over cyanotype, a contact printing process discovered by the English astronomer and scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842. The light-sensitive paper used in this process is made by coating with a mixture of green ammonium ferric citrate and red prussiate of potash (potassium ferrocyanide). When exposed to sunlight leads to the formation of a dark blue pigment known as Prussian blue.
Prussian blue with a little twist
I began to experiment with this process in September 2016 and made my first contact prints using small flowers and leaves I had picked at the end of summer and dried between the sheets of a heavy book. To add a little extra, I applied splashes of red acrylic paint before I coated the paper which works very well with the blue and white of the cyanotype print.
Starting afresh in spring
The pictures of the second series are pure photograms without acrylic paint splashes and were made in April 2017 with the branches of different trees and shrubs. They show young leaves and delicate blossoms, the first signs of the new spring.
Wild flowers in square format
With the awakening of nature in spring, I was able to find new botanical material for my prints everywhere I looked and also began to experiment with different formats. In preparation for an exhibition and a possible calendar project, I began to work on a new series of cyanotypes in square format using different wild flowers that were growing in the marsh meadows as well as in our garden.
For the past few months I’ve been working with different objects, techniques, paper types and sizes, so the pictures currently shown here are just a small part of the cyanotypes I’ve made so far. A slightly larger selection of my work and a few pictures of the work process can be found in my Instagram profile. Some of these original and unique artworks are also available in my Etsy Shop.