Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hortulus - Introduction


My first two designs were band samplers and I'll always come back to them, indeed the one after Hortulus is another band sampler, but I've also always loved woodcuts, woodblock or lino prints and I wanted to try and create a design that had the feel and look of a woodcut.

This image gave me the inspiration I was seeking. It is an old motif found in some of the compilations of vintage patterns and I loved the little wood violets and their leaves with their almost deco type form. So I 'stitched' this motif and its corner motif into the software (no small task) and began pondering what to do with them. I decided they would give me the look I was after if I shaped them into a square border. But what to fill that square?

One of the exciting things about playing with images is that you will sometimes be surprised at how a combination will suddenly suggest something else and that is what happened with this design. Putting those wood violets into a square looked rather medieval and I then knew I had to find something for the center that would carry that theme.

I found him in one of the oldest 'modelbuchs', in fact he appears in several such books and is referred to as anything from the 'monk' to 'winter'. And I loved him on sight! I stitched him into the software and fit him into the center of the wood violets with a border between in the two main colors.

Next post I'll tell you more about how he came to be called Hortulus :)

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