This year I have grown my own Dahlias for the first time. For years I have admired other peoples' beautiful Dahlias on social media and been captivated by their colour in that latter part of summer and early autumn when there is little other excitement and colour in the English garden. They are so fun, so bright and beautiful, and really brighten up the transition into autumn.
I have been growing Dahlia 'Wine eyed Jill', a beautiful Dahlia gifted to me from a friend, and Dahlia 'Wizard of Oz'. I also have Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait' but they're much later in flowering.
I became quite obsessed with drawing these flowers for a while. The perfection of their petalls, the beautiful shapes all interlinked with one another. It's a flower that's so simple and yet so complicated when you stop to look at them - that spiral of perfectly formed, delicate petals, all fitting together like puzzle pieces.
My favourite of these drawings is the one on the left hand side which I call 'curl' because it has some anomolies in the petals here and there, a curled one, one that's been slightly eaten which gives it an unusual curve. So I chose this to make a print out of.
So began the process of re-drawing the image I was going to use on my stencil paper and cutting it out. I love the delicate look and feel of the paper stencils. And then mixing paints to create the colours I want. All of this is done by hand, so while all my prints have a blue background, each time I mix it the shade of blue might differ a little. But if you imagine it as a blue sky background it makes sense it's not always the same.
These are the prints hanging in the studio as each colour layer is added.
My prints are basically drawings in a different medium. They all come from hand drawn pencil drawings, and the line of those drawings is translated into a paper stencil and then into a print, but the line is the same. The white line of these dahlia petals is so lovely to me - the simplicity of the individual shapes and the flat blocks of colour. I hope you like it.
You can find this print on the shop page.