Friday, August 31, 2012

"Change Course"


"When something is not working...change course." In any area of life, this is a good thing to do. What sense does it make to keep doing things that continue to produce failure?

This piece brings me back to something I've learned in oil painting. Paintings are made up of shapes. This is the best advice I can give anyone who is creating a collage. The key is to make sure there is a conversation between the shapes, colors, patterns, line work, etc. These conversations are called "echoes". The shape and direction of the flowers echoes the gestural lines in the mono printed rice paper. The detail in the vertical patterned collage echoes the flowers and the gestural marks. The colors are echoed throughout the piece.

Edges are another important consideration. There are some very straight lines in this piece, but they are contrasted by the torn edges and the curved lines that appear in the flowers, patterned detail and gestural marks.

A lot of movement can be introduced into a collage with the inclusion of gestural marks created in the printing ink and mono printed onto rice paper. Speedball Printing Ink remains my choice because it creates such a nice print (much better than acrylics) and the use of rice paper will give you the sharpness you are looking for. Rice paper is made for printing and it is thick enough to really absorb the ink. Begin by brayering the color onto a piece of glass until it sounds "squishy" and then make your marks with shaper tools or old credit cards. Lay the rice paper onto this surface and print by running a clean brayer over the rice paper. Lift up and set aside to dry. (Don't forget that this ink is water soluble and you will need to spray with Acrylic Spray Coating before adhering to the support.)

Some of you have encouraged me to do more expressive lettering and move away from Spencerian Script. There is a good reason why I can't always do that. Space is one factor and often a straight line of script has a calming effect on the piece. I promise to mix in some more 6" x 6" pieces so that I can have an opportunity to do different lettering. The 4" x 6" are being created for a "give away" for an upcoming exhibit. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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