An Artist Turns His Attention to Wallpaper, Yielding Beautifully Floral Results

Spring Salad is among the four new styles..
Image: Courtesy of Andrew RafteryThe work of artist and RISD printmaking teacher Andrew Raftery focuses on the topic of domestic life. His most recent work explores the domestic area as a creative medium, in the type of 4 vibrant hand-printed wallpapers.These first wallpaper designs were conceived to be shown in a gallery as a background to the plates created for Autobiography of a Garden. His first print, Spring Salad, took the kind of a duplicating pattern of leafy greens, however, as Raftery states to ADVERTISEMENT PRO: “Once you establish your very first pattern, the very first thing that pops into your mind is another one.
Image: Courtesy of Andrew RafteryFollowing the exact same autobiographical line of inquiry as his Garden series, Raftery designed each wallpaper to show a various season of his personal growings. Summertime illustrates a coleus leaf, chosen for its pigmented strata of green and magenta that echo the layered ink fields of letterpress prints. Spring is a shifting pattern of irises and rosemary atop an acid green and turquoise gradient, while Autumn looks like an Art Deco damask of amaranth and Love-Lies- Bleeding flowers swaying over a deep blue stellar night. “All the plants in the Winter wallpaper are native plants of New England that Ive grown in the garden at my moms house,” states Raftery, explaining the comparatively sober pattern of creams and vegetal browns. “I have a special location thats simply native plants. I discover them to be so durable and so fantastic and likewise very distinctive in the method they look.” Become an AD PRO MemberBuy now for endless access and all of the benefits that just members get to experience.ArrowDiscussing his motivation, Raftery says he plumbed the history of wallpaper production to pick a format. “I discovered a French tradition from the 18th century called Domino, which is sheets of wallpaper printed in letterpress that you would get from your stationer to line closets and boxes. I believed this concept of dealing with smaller sized sheets in the fantastic gem tones of letterpress inks would really be an enjoyable way to do it,” he discusses. To reach the patterns, Raftery hand-sketched the images, scanned them, and painted over them in watercolor, developing layers of detail and tone bit by bit prior to bringing the project to master printer Dan Woods to equate into letterpress on his Heidelberg printer. “He actually helps me to find out the layering and how the colors are going to build up, whats going to provide the effect and subtlety,” Raftery says of their collaboration.Once the wallpapers were developed and printed, Rafterys home in Providence ended up being the ideal setting to bring the floral prints to life. He and his partner, Ned Lochaya had just recently purchased and restored an 18th-century home called the Powder House– formerly an arsenal for gunpowder during the American Revolution– which Raftery refers to as a piece of folk art itself. Each of the upper floor rooms was papered with a different pattern, creating a living gallery where “the setup in your home becomes its own artwork.” Though the home installation is closed to the public, an online watching space of the in situ screen is offered on the artists website.Last but definitely not least, Winter.
Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Raftery.

His very first print, Spring Salad, took the type of a duplicating pattern of leafy greens, however, as Raftery says to ADVERTISEMENT PRO: “Once you establish your first pattern, the first thing that pops into your mind is another one. Picture: Courtesy of Andrew RafteryFollowing the exact same autobiographical line of query as his Garden series, Raftery created each wallpaper to show a different season of his individual cultivations. “All the plants in the Winter wallpaper are native plants of New England that Ive grown in the garden at my mothers house,” says Raftery, describing the comparatively sober pattern of creams and vegetal browns. “He really assists me to figure out the layering and how the colors are going to include up, whats going to offer the effect and subtlety,” Raftery states of their collaboration.Once the wallpapers were designed and printed, Rafterys home in Providence ended up being the perfect setting to bring the floral prints to life.