I've been diligently putting in 10 hours of creative practice per week, and nothing checks off more of those boxes of hours than carving linoleum blocks to create these designs. I made them to use with Shibori textiles, but then they were sitting around and I thought I should probably actually make art out of them. Each design is from a mosaic motif on an inner upper arch in the legendary Haghia Sophia in Istanbul. I love bringing them back to life! I am not sure where I will ultimately take this concept... but here is the start of my experimenting.
My mom had said she would love a print of these designs on a specific color peach, so I watercolored one of the colors of peach we saw in southern Utah in February. I also experimented with layering, so here is an oil pastel resist design of a motif carved into some wall in Venice. You'll notice a theme emerging.
When I was in Venice, I took a bunch of photos of every little ornamental crest or design that I found on the city's walls. I imagine they each belong to a family, and that the content of the design has something to do with the family's background. The first one has grapes. These two are leafy floral - probably grapevines again.
I combined the design from a wrought iron gate with another crest, showing leaves, under another Haghia Sophia print.
And here we have one of the lions of San Marco, usurped by Byzantine design. It's ironic, really, considering the Venetians plundered Constantinople and even their four famous horses from San Marco were actually... wait for it... Byzantine, from Constantinople's hippodrome.
It was a fun experiment, but I'm thinking of simplifying what I do with the block prints. What do you think?