It has taken a year to complete “The Watchers” lithograph print. I began working on the print in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. In 2020 we released a monochrome gray print and now a year later Blackrock Editions and I are very happy to present the 14-color lithograph version. I adore the bright color palette of New Mexican turquoise and coral. The giant limestone on which I drew the image has now been retired, canceled and ground down afresh.
I never thought that a lockdown could have its advantages. In this case, it gave us time and opportunity to explore a side of lithography we never had the chance to do before. After completion of the small monochromatic edition of Fatima’s “The Watchers”, we began to ponder an approach to a color version and since Fatima’s painting style echoes the neo-classicism of a hundred plus years ago we reasoned a similar lithographic rendition would be appropriate. Jack (Lemon) has long been a fan of the Jules Cheret lithographs of 19th century Paris and suggested we follow a similar manner of working. The result is a 14 color lithograph not only in homage to old Jules but printed on the same kind of machine that would have been [in] use back then, our c. 1870 Marinoni Voirin Press. I feel the resulting print was a huge success with overlays and a saturation seldom seen in contemporary prints. It’s really a print to let the eye linger on.~ Steve Campbell, Blackrock Editions, read more here
Unusually, I created the oil painting “The Watchers” after working on the print. I felt a deep connection to the subject matter and wanted to keep exploring it. The idea was born from my interest with 19th Century naturalist art and illustrations. In these works by artists such as Audubon, I found a fascination with the artist’s impetus to discover, catalog and illustrate the flora and fauna of the natural world. In the present time, with so many animals and plants becoming endangered and extinct, the desire is to preserve and protect. The black-footed ferrets in “The Watchers” have a precarious story. They were once thought to have become extinct in the 1970s. Miraculously, a tiny population was rediscovered in Wyoming after a rancher’s dog brought home a dead ferret. Through conservation efforts there are now about 700 black-footed ferrets. Their story is an inspiring tale of tenacity and hope, for in this case a species was rediscovered from extinction. In “The Watchers” the figure and ferrets are on their watch, ever vigilant for unknown dangers and glimmers of opportunity.