About Lollipops

“Among the most elegant prints [in the show is] Allan Akman’s “Lolliipops”, a study of three
 tulips on black backgrounds”

Mark Jenkins, Washington Post art critic, July 16, 2017

The Inspiration

Every Spring, acres of tulips are in bloom at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.  There are many varieties and many colors.  Three captured my attention.  The most dramatic, a yellow tulip with red flames, is believed to have originally been the result of a virus affecting tulips in Holland during the early 17th century.   Modern varieties are virus-free hybrids, one of which is marketed as “Olympic Flame”.  Violet Beauty is a goblet-shaped lavender tulip. And, Red Darwin Hybrid is one of the most popular tulips.  While the print could be titled simply “Tulips” or “Tulip Triptych”, “Lollipops” reminds me of the sweetness of the Spring moment when nature’s renewal begins again.  
The Project

“Lollipops” is basically three prints in one.  Each tulip involved a separate printing.   Red Darwin is a 12 color print, nine of which are different shades of red.  Olympic Flame is a 14 color print, ten of which are different shades of yellow, orange, and red.  And, Violet Beauty is a 10 color print, seven of which are shades of purple.  The prints were made on Stonehenge paper.  Images are 12” x 34” on 15” x 37” sheets. Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Inks were used.  Adobe Photoshop was used for developing the screenprinting plates.  Ten prints are included in the edition.  The project was completed in October 2016.

The Print Progression

The print progression showing the development of “Lollipops” can be seen in a series of figures for each tulip. 
Olympic Flame was the first tulip printed, followed by Red Darwin Hybrid, and then Violet Beauty.
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