August 19, 2006

Works In Progress

I had a good day in the studio today, was finally able to begin working with the ink and paper on raw canvas... well, prepped with a thin wash of medium but no color at all. This first in-progress canvas uses smaller squares (most about 1.5") but varying the size and grid somewhat. In order to avoid a static look, the horizontal grid lines (or spaces) are regular, but the vertical lines are occasionally staggered. The values are also grouped and not evenly dispersed. As I worked, I pulled papers from several different test batches which offered a slight variation in ink color. That also adds to the interest and negates over-all sameness. I couldn't resist adding one red square... I call that my chop mark, made with a child's alphabet block, in this case, the O. I do hope the ancient Asian artisans know that I have nothing but respect for their centuries of disciplined artmaking, but I so enjoy borrowing from it and playing my own games.

The second canvas (both are 20x20) was a change of pace and grid size. Although the canvas is square, there are four rows one way and five the other... the papers are slightly rectangle. Enlarge the photo and you'll see the beginning of the second random layer at the top. The gauzy transparency of the rice paper creates value change and the marks it carries adds to the dialog with the lower layer. I've completed these two layers but wanted to show this step in the process. I'll look with fresh eyes tomorrow to decide how much further to carry this thought.

10 comments:

Omega said...

I like these very much. I can imagine a fascinating series - a page of thumbnails of which will echo the individual works themselves.

Gramercy Galleria said...

These are both wonderful. I especially like the smaller gridded piece. And I love that the grid is slightly not perfect. Which makes it, of course, perfect.

Karen said...

Karen,
These are lovely.
What do you use to adhere the rice paper to the canvas, if you don't mind me asking?

Jacie said...

Love love love these Karen! I did enlarge and what a surprise to see the details (brushstrokes)and the indigo colors coming through, very exciting. The red is just hot!

Walker said...

I love these, too - and remember our discussion in France about using different shapes to make the whole. Looks like you are working out that idea. I like the idea of the one red square, but the mark looks too much like a copyright symbol to me.
Robin

KJ said...

Omega- if I ever get my act together and update my webpages, there will be a page full of thumbnails!

G Galleria- perfection isn't one of my tools... and I'm so glad!

Karen- I use watered down acrylic medium to adhere the papers.

Jacie- LOVE your enthusiasm!

Robin- but... who better to use the copyright symbol??? But I get your drift... best if all marks are unidentifiable.

harold hollingsworth said...

nice work, dynamic, keep it up!

Steven LaRose said...

KJ- It occured to me, last night, that your squares could be considered like brush marks themselves. I saw your loose grids hanging next to some of my newer drawings, where the repetion of marks can't help but form grids. I think you're onto a similar path. Testing that gestural abstraction that flitters on the edge of order. It is that moment right before/after we something in the clouds.

KJ said...

I've been turning this over in my mind... the idea that the squares act as painterly objects that are arranged as one would plan a brushstroke. Since I suffer from considerable indecision at times, this method works for me even better than I'd expected.

I've done a bit of detailed work such as you, never to be confused with yours, but I know what it's like to get lost in the work, then be amazed at the results. Things you didn't expect to see! Good things!

Steven LaRose said...

Thanks for the perfect paraphrase.