These daffodils, sprouting from their egg-like bulbs and resting on a detailed plate, have been made by Sandys using lithography, a printing process where the image is drawn onto a flat stone or aluminium surface using a greasy ink. A solution of gum arabic and nitric acid is applied all over the surface, to make water-receptive areas (non-printing) and grease-receptive image areas. The printing surface is kept wet, so that a roller charged with oil-based ink can be rolled over the surface, and ink will only stick to the grease-receptive image area. Paper is then placed against the surface and the plate is run through a press. Because water repels oil, the areas without an image can remain plain, or be layered up with repeated printings using separate stones.
Date of work
Original: Lithograph on paper 69.8 x 46 cm Tate. Presented by Curwen Studio through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1975 © Edwina Sandys
Edwina Sandys (born 1938) is a New York based British artist and sculptor. Sandys’ parents were aristocratic (her father was a Baron and her mother the daughter of Winston Churchill), and was a debutante herself. She had a career as a newspaper columnist and novelist before becoming an artist in 1970. At first a successful painter, she turned her attention to sculpture in the mid-1970s, and has exhibited her work internationally. In 1984 she was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours for services to British cultural interests in New York.