How did I do that? Creative Process. Part One.

Do you stand before a work of art, wonder about it and say, “ How did the artist do that?”. Even artists stand before the work of other artists, puzzle over it and say, “How did they do that?”

CUTTING OUT – After cutting with scissors for hours, lines and shapes are scattered on the floor. What a mess to clean up but not to be thrown away!

Every artist has their own method of creating a work of art and I would like to share mine with you. Shells and water have played a huge part in my perception of the subjects that I create. Although my work has a definite structure, I do work intuitively to create my collages. Keep all this in mind as I describe the process of production.

My collage system developed when I could not bear the thought of throwing out unsuccessful sumi-e ink drawings of shells. see : 2014 Shell Essence  My question was, “What do I do with them?”. My answer was, “Re-use them.” I chose to keep the good parts. Instead of tearing them out, I decided to cut them out instead. The best lines were selected. Even while in the process of cutting out the lines, I was not sure about how I would use them. Along the way, I discovered that some of negative shapes were just as interesting. I saved them, too. So in the end, I had a pile of lines and a pile of shapes. From this point forward over the last few years, the process has expanded in an organic way to include a number of steps. The above was the very first step and then became the first step in the process of my collage creating.

SORTING LINES - The second step entails sorting the lines by similarities. During what seems like a mundane exercise, I am finding a fondness for certain lines.

SORTING LINES – The second step entails sorting the lines by similarities. During what seems like a mundane exercise, I am finding a fondness for certain lines.

SORTING SHAPES -The third step duplicates the second except I am sorting the negative shapes by similarities. I am finding a fondness for certain shapes as well. This is when I begin to visualize using them.

SORTING SHAPES -The third step duplicates the second except I am sorting the negative shapes by similarities. I am finding a fondness for certain shapes as well. This is when I begin to visualize using them.

COLORING and SORTING SHAPES - By the fourth step, I have already decided which negative shapes will be colored and with what material. In this phase, I color the shapes with graphite and charcoal. They are then sorted by shape and value.

COLORING and SORTING SHAPES – By the fourth step, I have already decided which negative shapes will be colored and with what material. In this phase, I color the shapes with graphite or charcoal. They are then sorted by shape and value.

SERENDIPITOUS GENESIS -There is a by-product that comes while coloring the shapes with graphite. I realized that these shapes were acting as stencils. They moved slightly while in the process of coloring them, thus creating multiple over-lying patterns. The resulting graphite residue created a unexpected structure from which a totally new work could be created. See: 2016 Serendiptious

SERENDIPITOUS GENESIS -There is a by-product that comes while coloring the shapes with graphite. I realized that these shapes were acting as stencils. They moved slightly while in the process of coloring them, thus creating multiple over-lying patterns. The resulting graphite residue created a unexpected structure from which a totally new work could be created. see: 2016 Serendiptious

COLORING SHAPES -The fifth step is a continuation of the fourth although these negative shapes have been chosen to be painted with sumi-e ink. They are then sorted by shape and value. Despite the continuation of the mundane action of sorting, I am visualizing how to use them. During this step, there is another by-product of the coloring. This time there are similarmulti over-lying pattens created although much messier versions. These sumi-e ink structures have been used as an underlying layer to start compositions. See: 2016 Underwater

COLORING SHAPES -The fifth step is a continuation of the fourth although these negative shapes have been chosen to be painted with sumi-e ink. They are then sorted by shape and value. Despite the continuation of the mundane action of sorting, I am visualizing how to use them. During this step, there is another by-product of the coloring. This time there are similar multi over-lying patterns created although much messier versions. These sumi-e ink structures have been used as an underlying layer to start compositions. see: 2016 Underwater

SORTING COLORED SHAPES - The shapes get wrinkled and curly as a result of the sumi-e ink application and the drying process. The final step is making sure they are pressed flat. The pieces are layered between sheets of paper that are sandwiched between dense sheets of cardboard. Big old, art books are quite useful as weights. The paper sandwich is pressed for a couple days. Then the final sort is done.

SORTING COLORED SHAPES – The shapes become wrinkled and curly as a result of the sumi-e ink application and the drying process. The sixth step is making sure they are pressed flat. The pieces are layered between sheets of paper that are sandwiched between dense sheets of cardboard. Big old, art books are quite useful as weights. The paper sandwich is pressed for a couple days. Then the final sort is done.

Once all the linear and negative shapes are sorted, colored, pressed, and then organized and maybe organized again, it is time to start composing. I prefer to create several collages at a time working back and forth between them.

TO BE CONTINUED in Part Two which will be announced in the 2016 Autumn Newsletter.

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