Exploring Boundaries: Heidi Fourie’s journey from sketch to print

In November 2023 continuing into January 2024, we eagerly welcomed esteemed artist, Heidi Fourie, back to the David Krut Workshop. Fourie returned to begin a new collaboration with the  printmaker, Kim-Lee LoggenbergTim.

In 2023, Fourie dedicated an intensive week to the creation of a series of new watercolour monotypes. Upon returning to the workshop in early 2024, she delved further into the exploration of monotypes with the specific objective of producing a cohesive body of work for an exhibition at the upcoming Latitudes Art Fair in 2024. Equipped with sketchbooks and an abundance of reference photographs, Fourie’s preference for utilising sketches as primary references emerged due to their inherent intrigue. This deliberate choice facilitated a captivating process of interpretation and re-interpretation of images. 

Kim-Lee encouraged her to experiment with translating her sketches onto Perspex using water-soluble crayons and Stabilo Woody’s (a mix 3-in-1 between a pencil crayon, watercolour and wax crayon), aiming to assess how her drawing approach might influence her printmaking process. This endeavour sought to capture the dynamic energy and fluidity evident in her sketches within the prints.

Initially utilising only crayons and Woody’s, Fourie gradually incorporated watercolour washes to enhance the depth of the work. She favoured the heavily pigmented black Woody’s, maintaining its intensity even when diluted for washes. Exploring further, she mixed Woody’s with water to form a paste-like pigment, adjusting water ratios to achieve varying shades from deepest black to lightest grey, which evidently maximised the medium’s potential. Additionally, subtle incorporation of watercolour hints into monochromatic prints imbued them with dimension and atmosphere.

Fourie continued to explore scale manipulation, encompassing both small- and large-scale works. Repetition of images in differing scales resulted in contrasting visual experiences. Manipulating scale prompted Heidi to adapt her technique, employing sweeping brushstrokes requiring full-body engagement alongside moments of intricate detail achieved through close proximity to the plate. Further creative boundaries were pushed by imposing time constraints on plate work, compelling Heidi to embrace immediacy and spontaneity, fostering a more intuitive and loose approach to mark-making.

Fourie’s journey into exploring the translation of her sketches into prints using water-soluble crayons and Stabilo Woody’s has been transformative. Through meticulous experimentation with materials, techniques, and scale, she has not only discovered new dimensions to her artistic expression but has also pushed the boundaries of her creative process. The infusion of spontaneity and working with time constraints has propelled her towards more immediate, instinctive mark-making. Which resulted in prints that capture the essence of her sketches while showcasing her evolving artistic vision. Her commitment to innovation and exploration serves as a testament to the endless possibilities within the realm of printmaking, inspiring both artists and enthusiasts alike to continually push the boundaries of their craft.

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