Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"The Motif"

(unavailable....6" x 6" Experimental Piece.....Mixed Media and Kiln Formed Glass Mounted on a 1.50" depth Board)

"Values are the motif in art and life." A motif is a salient feature of a particular thing. In the case of my quote today, values are the salient feature of a piece of artwork or a life. Without values, neither has the right foundation.

Values are the "sneakiest" of all of the design elements. I haven't quite figured out why that is except for the fact that most artists (including me) get caught up in the focal point, the colors, the line work and all of the other elements first because they are more obvious. However, it is the contrasting values that make the hugh difference.  Without value contrasts, there is essentially no piece of artwork....to speak of.

The most common error I've seen in my own work and in others is not having the darks dark enough or the lights light enough. So when you're working on something and can't seem to figure out what the problem is, always, always, always check the values. If you can't seem to tell what the values really are, then make a black and white copy of your piece and you will see it immediately.

Without the dark values, the piece will be weakened considerably. That's exactly what I was experimenting with today. Doing yet one more experiment in order to more clearly define my values in a larger work I am presently creating. I can see very clearly from my experiment today, that I will be very selective where I place text pages and may choose to paint the balsa wood white rather than black. And then use mono printed rice papers to create the "tone on tone" look I am after. Hence, the need to do smaller works to see if things work before committing to a larger work and becoming frustrated.

So this piece is all old book pages and rice papers adhered to smaller sections of balsa wood (painted black) and then making it fit together with the two pieces of glass. So my conclusion after today is that the text needs to be used very sparingly and probably exclusively under my glass pieces and leaving the rest with a variation of neutral tones with texture created from the mono printing. 

So the process I have been sharing shows a series of steps that are quite necessary in order to create a large work. Now I have a much better idea of what the next step needs to be. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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