Bill Ritchie artwork in the

Paul and Pam Lewis Collection


Study for Locus 3

Cyanotype. Prussian blue on white. Image 41 X 23 1/2 in. Rives BFK, 42 X 24 in. paper. Shown here is a black-and-white one similar to the color print in the Lewis' collection, Number 11.

About Paul Lewis: Paul Lewis was my mentor when I needed to learn about using computers for graphics. He was in the School of Architecture at the UW at that time, and guided me through all the steps of making a three-dimensional object into a computer file. I was pleased that he liked the results of our work, and gave him one of my big cyanotypes in gratitude.

I created over 50 hand-made cyanotypes (blueprints) in sunlight in the open air outside my studio. I created the layers of imagery from cartography, the movies, Japanese wood block prints, and computer shape tables. While this is a photographic process, it's unique because the transparent masters or plates are not reduced, enlarged, or half-tone-screened. Each layer is hand-cut and drawn on Mylar and tracing paper.

To create the blended gradations of cyanotype blue color, I shaded the sunlight and sometimes I got effects with water and rain.  (Cyanotype is also called ?Blue Process Photography? and was invented around 1840. )

There were three main sources of images for the handmade transparent masters: A map of the Colorado River, leaf-like or heart-shaped diagrams used in computer plotting, and the famous Japanese print by Hokusai, The Great Wave. I replaced the boats in the print with his own ?C? Squares. I used this print as a master to create my six-color offset poster in 1982 and calls it the ?mother of all posters.? (See image of this poster below).

The cyanotypes were studies for another print, a mixed media print using intaglio, woodcut, and stencil mediums. You can see a 30 minute "live" video of the process of printing this print. The printed transcript can now be downloaded free by selecting: Transcript

The poster was designed from the series of cyanotypes. It is a six-color offset print, available from the artist by mail order.

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