Planning A Geological Print

I’ve recently shown my series of Geological prints on Instagram after not really looking at them for a while. I thought you might like to know a bit more about them…

The prints came about after an odd series of conversations that ended up with my becoming the custodian of a very large collection of maps that, without my intervention, would have ended up in a skip. Endless out of date OS maps, fascinating large scale maps of the Bristol area, the odd map showing land use in Africa, and quite a few of the most wonderful, subtly coloured geological maps.  It took me about a year of thinking before I came up with a way to use these geological maps as inspiration for my prints – when something is so beautiful in its own right, it becomes somewhat intimidating. 

These circles are simplifications of the maps and the colours found upon them.  I abstracted the main areas of colour from within a chosen circle (each colour on a geological map represents a type, or age, of rock), and printed that shape in the appropriate colour.  As the shapes on the map are so amorphous, when you turn them into geometric shapes, you create many areas of overlap.  As the inks I use are so translucent, this meant where the colours were printed over each other, new colours were formed, and the resulting image diverged from the colour scheme of the original map.

When I was planning each print, the process seemed very logical and precise to me.  But now, looking back at my sketchbooks, I find it hard to follow my own logic – I realise that I must do more planning in my head than I thought!  Still, even if they don’t make total sense, here are some of my sketchbook pages.  They show planning and preparation for my South London, Bath, Bristol, Lizzard and Brighton prints.

If you would like to see the finished prints, please visit my Geological Prints page.

Sketchboook page of circular composition ideas for geological prints
Sketchbook page of compostion experiments
sketchbookpage of colour experiments
Sketchbook page of colour matching and composition for Brighton printprint
Sketchboook page of circular composition ideas for geological prints
Sketchbook page of colour matching and composition for Bristol print
sketchbook page of colour tests for print
Sketchbook page of colour mixing experiments

Colour Experiments

Building up a geologically inspired print  in a range of colour permutations.

conjecture_print1

conjecture_print2

conjecture_print4