A Good Case for the Blues

Dear Henry,

Whenever anyone asks about what type of art I create, my standard answer is photography, cyanotype, and pen and ink doodles.

The next question is almost always "What is cyanotype"

Cyanotype is a photography process that uses an iron-based solution, rather than the silver-based of standard photography.

The process was developed in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, although it would be the naturalist Anna Atkins and her hand-sewn books of cyanotype prints of algae and ferns that made the art form shine.  For a time, it was quite popular in Victorian England, at least until standard photography became cheaper and more readily available.

The cyanotypes I have been producing are called photograms. Rather than reflecting the image off of a mirror, I lay objects (or negatives) directly on the paper and expose them to the sun.

It is a slow and unpredictable process and one that I have grown to love.

The downside of the art form is that it is "solar-powered" which means I end up with quite a bit of downtime in the winter months.

Spring is coming and the days are longer and I am looking forward to getting out and getting the blues.

xoxo a.d.


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