I came across Katharine Watson’s work on instagram. I immediately fell for her tomatoes from her Garden Series prints. The colors and design are so appealing and happy. She recently added a strawberry version and I had to have it.
I am planning to have framed for the kids room. The cheerful strawberries feel like a perfect fit. I recently painted the room blue, white and yellow. I was intrigued to hear more about Katharine’s work so I asked her if she would do an interview with me so I could share her work with all of you. Enjoy!
Q: How were you inspired to design your garden series?
A: I’ve been gardening for several years but it took on a new life during the pandemic as it became my main hobby and social outlet. It just made sense to do a series of garden-inspired prints since I work so much with floral and botanical patterns anyway, I wanted to make that more literal. Plus, I can see my garden out the studio window so the inspiration was literally right in front of me.
What is a risograph? Risograph is a process similar to screen printing where the design is burned onto a screen and the ink is pushed through it. I knew I wanted to do multi-colored prints for this series, and when I’ve done multi-colored linocuts in the past they’re often smaller runs and more expensive because they’re time consuming to print, and then they sell out quickly. I wanted these to be more accessible, so I knew from the beginning that I would use risograph to do the final print.
I carve the design from linoleum, print the original block print, then turn that into a risograph print. That way it has the same look and feel as my other work, but I’m able to offer more of them and keep them at a lower price.
Will you be creating more design this year to add to this series?
Absolutely! I have a long list of plants I want to work on, I’m sure that list will grow now that the actual garden is getting going again. I’m hoping to add a handful of new prints every few months. It will be a waiting game just like a real garden!
Tell me more about your garden and what your excited to grow this year?
My garden is in my backyard, and has had several versions over the last few years. We fully finished setting it up and got it to a really good place in 2019, then in the fall a massive tree fell and destroyed the entire thing. It was devastating, but it meant that we started from scratch in 2020 and had a lot more time on our hands, so we built it back bigger and better.
There’s not as much structural work to do this year, although we are planting a few more fruit trees and vines this spring. My favorite thing to grow is Zucchino Rampicante because it turns into a massive vine with giant leaves that you can grow up a trellis (and I think the squash is delicious).
I’m also growing some new-to-me flower varieties this summer which I’m excited about. I know that Mexican Torch sunflowers are a gardeners staple and favorite but I’ve never grown them, so I’m excited about that! If they look good, maybe they’ll become a print!
All images courtesy of Katharine Watson
All images courtesy Katharine Watson