We like negative space, so we cast some. We laid down some odd shaped plywood pieces and filled in the space around them with wet sheets of lightly pressed cotton paper. The pebbles were pressed in for texture.
We like the thick flange-like, shadow catching edges that run around the shapes. The resultant form invites entanglement.
We called them “holed’ers” because the pieces were initially, at least, holed by positive shapes.
The second holed’er has more color, and we started laying down paper shapes to build up the form and allowed that to suggest the holes to us. Unfortunately, the holes didn’t look like we had cast negative space around positive shapes. After covering up this side in black, we used some pastel to sketch out some modifications. We liked the pastel and use it again in our third try.
To get some color on the black side, we increased the sizes of the holes by simply cutting and folding the paper back on itself. We added some black and blue paper as well.
We dried the piece over plywood shapes to complement the negative space contours as well as to give the whole some dimension and throw a little shadow.
After the piece was dry and we had been composing with it a few weeks, we went back and exposed a lot more of the black paper along the edges of the colorful side. Somehow emphasizing the black edges makes this side more substantial, less flat. The two sides seem to relate better as well.
The next holded’er began with drawings generated by swopping a pencil or pastel back and forth. Sometimes we started with the outer contour and sometimes with those positive “holes.” Generally, each “move” with the pencil was limited to a line segment of just a couple of twists and turns as well as any erasures.
Why the Dunkin’ Donuts vibe didn’t occur to us when choosing the colors is a mystery. (Paul was once introduced to the woman who came up with color scheme. She was quite rude to him. He licked his wounds by deciding he would not get mad at someone whose claim to fame is a fast food color scheme of pink, orange and brown.)
To chill the DD a little, we flipped the piece and made the back white. We added some pastel to juice it a bit. We liked it and covered it with plastic overnight to keep the paper wet. Next day, it suddenly seemed kinda like abstract Rube Goldberg which was fine but not on its own.
We’re not too proud to admit that baby blue is a go-to color. We tried water color, but wet lightly pressed paper requires lightning brushwork. Instead, we found we could paint on scraps of wet paper and monoprint them onto the piece.
We were happy with the piece at this point. It looked OK as flatwork, but we were hoping it would be floppy and drape well with others. We had worked on the piece 10 days during March 2018. Though we covered it with plastic each night, it managed to dry a lot by the time we were ready to let it dry completely.
Unfortunately, it had delaminated significantly.
We put on a lot of methyl cellulose and a little jade 403, but as we worked we wondered if some dismemberment might not be a bad thing.
We chased the flatness by folding over and twisting parts as fitted it back together.
The lumps of green fabric added more folds – anything to break the single plane of the original.
On the wall alone.
And as part of a studio sketch.