This etching by Cat Outram, “Fugue in Pink and Green”, uses a limited colour range in a formal arrangement of four flower stems. Each stem is from a different type of flower and is depicted realistically and in appropriate colours. Though each stem is separate from the others, there is some overlap among the leaves. The flowers are in pinks, reds and oranges, whereas the stems and leaves are green, as reflected in the title.
The stem on the far left is an alstroemeria- a Peruvian Lily. Each of the five red flower-heads features a white “frill” and a bright orange centre. The undulating stem, tight buds and long pointed leaves are a vivid yellow-green. A faint shadow adds to the naturalistic presentation. The flowers of the middle-left stem are white chrysanthemums: most of the flowers are at the top of the stem facing upwards and to the side, apart from one which facing outwards that reveals a bright yellow centre. The chrysanthemum leaves have a distinctive spiked shape. The third stem, sloping towards the upper right is a lily. The flower is the largest in the picture, and its vivid colours make an exotic contrast to the simple white flowers of the chrysanthemum. The pointed heart-shaped leaves feature a striped pattern in shades of green. In the lower right of the print there is a smaller rose stem that is half the height of the others. This stem features a single red rose surrounded by thorns, and two pairs of leaves at the base.
There is a dark green rectangle behind the flowers as well a smaller pink square between the alstroemerias and the chrysanthemum. These formal non-naturalistic elements are a feature typical of Japanese art. This print utilises a limited colour palette and the white space between the flowers to present a deceptively simple arrangement that combines attention to realistic detail with formal presentation.
Cat Outram was born in 1959 in Nairobi, Kenya, and moved to Edinburgh when she was seven. She studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1977 to 1981, and has been a professional printmaker since 1990. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across Scotland, including Edinburgh Printmakers, where she produced her etchings. She says that her inspiration is light, and she loves fine details as well as the texture and shape of things. Most of her work falls into three categories: views of Edinburgh, flowers, and collections of natural and man-made objects. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across Scotland, including Edinburgh Printmakers, where she produced her etchings.
Art in Healthcare's blog entry about Cat Outram