Friday, March 2, 2012

Tree of Souls (Pranayama) Screen Print

This print began as a series of sketches that were later refined into a pen and ink drawing. Rochelle uses a tiny .005 micron black pen to create the various lines and shaded dreamlike worlds. Each color separation is drawn by hand and printed one at a time to create the limited edition of prints. The process from sketch to final piece can take up to 2 months. 

Tree of Souls refers to the ancient connection with nature and generations past. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning  extension of the prana, life force or breath, as portrayed in the central element of expanding, life-like lungs. This print is a culmination of the various flowers, plants, and architectural elements that have influenced and grown in my work for the past 3 and a half years. In 2009 I went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and took a series of photographs, which inspired several drawings, prints and artist books. I was fascinated with the pointed cactus plants, tiny buds of botanical forms and the serenity of floating lotus ponds.

Last year I traveled to Italy, which became another breathtaking source of inspiration. I took in every little detail, from the hand-painted ceilings of the Sistine Chapel to the leaves of the gardens surrounding the Bourghese Museum. The smooth, marble-striped columns of the Duomo have transformed into twisting, tangled vines in "Tree of Souls."

My most recent work has evolved into purely imaginative worlds of hybrid flowers, ornate birdcages and abstract plant-like forms. I marry these natural figments of the imagination with symbols of Hindu and Buddhist deities, mandalas and Buddha himself.

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