Friday, October 22, 2010

The First Cutting - The Female Nude

I set out to decorate my apartment with work that I created.  After several hours painting only a few square inches and being displeased with the result I thought there had to be a faster way.

I remembered hearing that Van Gogh, in his later years when his vision was failing, took to cutting out paper to create his work, and I had recently read about the artist, Brian Crede, similarly using cut paper to create not just pieces of his work, but the entire image.

Using paper seeemd to be a great way to quickly create a large work, and I had a lot of wallspace to fill.  So I set about testing it out.
Each layer is lighter than the one on top of it and darker than the one below it.  The cut out portion of one reveals the colors of the ones underneath, giving it a sense of depth.  It reminded me of my earlier single color paintings; each layer representing a single shade of a different color in between the extremes of black and white.

The piece above, measuring 9"x12" is the first result,  a nameless woman's torso, cut out of matboard (not paper in the strict sense of the word) which served to stiffen the piece and give it a visual depth.  It was fairly simplistic and my choice of colors wasn't the best.  Even at a distance I don't think the image is all that clear.  One family member mistook it for a tree.

But if I squinted at it or stepped back far enough to make it blurry, the original image was still discernable, if less than perfect, so that kept me motivated.  A few months later another family member asked me to recreate the work, bigger and in different colors.

In order to make it more clear about what the subject matter was I inserted a layer to see if it would provide more detail.

Additional layers do provide more detail but the more of them there are, the more difficult it is to control the relationships between them, and the more precise my cutting needs to be.

The second version of this work measures 16"x20".

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