In the image above you can get a better idea of how her interest in an aspect of landscape is also an interest in how materials can be played with. The smoke from a volcano is rendered using a series of marks that come naturally from the way that ink and resists whorl around the surface of a plate as you add solvents to them. This being an image as much about the materials of intaglio printmaking as it is about an Icelandic volcano.
Etching approx 4 to 5 feet wide.
The scale of her prints gives them a physicality that helps make a direct connection with the landscape experienced. She also likes to link the technique of printmaking to the subject matter, so in the case of the mountain landscape below, this is a woodcut, the technique echoing both the northern expressionist tradition of printmaking and the clean cut shapes that can be made with a wood chisel closely mirror the way that snow sits and falls away from rocky surfaces.
It's hard to get an idea of the scale of her images from reproductions, but this image of her at work might help.
Emma Stibbon at work on a drawing
She is not just interested in the sublime as an aspect of our experience of nature, she also deals with similar experiences in the built environment, in particular in Berlin, where she finds traces of a Nazi preoccupation with grand building schemes designed to awe the people and make them believe in the permanence of the 3rd Reich.
She also draws water and those of you that have been following these posts should be very aware by now that I have a particular interest in the way various artists over time have responded to this seemingly endlessly inventive fluid.
Emma Stibbon: Sea 3
In Stibbon's case it is of course a storm at sea that interests her, storms being another of those sublime tropes that re-occur at different times during the history of Romanticism.
Stibbon is well worth investigating, especially if you are thinking about what scale to make your drawings and how a printmaking aspect to your work could be developed. The printmaking is of particular interest to myself, in the case of the 93 inch wide image below she has had to make the print on several sheets of fitted together Japanese paper.
Abandoned Whaling Station, Deception Island, Woodcut, 117 x 238cm, 2006
When prints get this large you have to get inventive. In this case the image is cut using wood carving chisels from two sheets of plywood fitted together. The ink is then hand rolled on to the wood and the paper then placed on top and burnished from the back. I have made prints of this size with students at college. They do take a while to make, but the final product can be wonderful. You can vary the weight of the burnishing to achieve different tonal values and by very carefully peeling the paper away, whilst still holding it in place so that it doesn't slip, can work on re-inking and further burnishing in order to get very strong blacks. The grain of the wood can be used to good effect too, especially if you don't over ink the areas of wood that you want to get good grain quality from.
If your idea is grand, then why not look to make that idea with ambition.