by okayart

"Marrakech." Linoleum block print with digital manipulation.  2015.

“Marrakech.” Linoleum block print with digital manipulation. 2015.

This piece is a composite of many elements. First, the inspiration for it grew from my own travels way back when (okay, only in 2011… but it seems ages ago) and also from a recent visit to my friend Audrey, who works at the International Poster Gallery in Boston.  I had gone to the gallery in order to look at ocean liner posters, but of course found myself surrounded by a whole host of great images, hardly the least of which were the air-travel posters, many exuding an air of spicy exoticism only to be obtained via TWA or Air France.  There’s a sort of willful innocence regarding the idea of travel in these posters that I’ve always enjoyed.  I decided that I would like to conjure up a similar image, based on my photos and memories of the Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech at night (and when I was there, under the rain as well, something unusual for a city on the edge of the Sahara!).

Second of all in this tale of composites, my supply of lovely cream paper finally ran out!  I printed the block on white Kitakata, still a lovely paper, but the result was still much more stark than I had hoped. Recently, I have been experimenting with adding gouache to my linocuts, but this time I just used my laptop, amping up the yellow end of the spectrum in the image file to add warmth and the atmosphere I wanted. Voilà–the image you see before you!  Perhaps I’ll go back over the physical print with a yellow wash anyway, since I’m very pleased with the way the digital image looks now.