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

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?” The following will take you through the second set of steps to get to this point in the creation of my collage below.

In part one of “How did I do that?”, I described the initial production where all the cut out linear and negative shapes were sorted, colored, pressed and then organized. Now it is time to compose. I prefer to create several collages at a time working back and forth between them. Currently, I have three in process. However, I will focus on one which I believe is nearly completed and share images of the other two in their current states of completion or not.

UW15 - Version 2 publish

Underwater 15 | 2016, sumi-e ink collage, 24″ x 36″

Outside of the physical activity of making the art, there is the other part which can be exhilarating, meditative or full of angst depending on what is transpiring. This realm of art making is individual to each artist. Understand that the work can come easily on some days and on others not so much. There can be a lot of emotional stuff invested in a work. This perhaps is a subject for another blog. I am a bit off track. This blog is about the process of how.

Under lying images are selected first for each work. These are the silhouettes that were produced when coloring the pieces with sumi-e ink. They become the underlayment of the composition and they suggest the linear and shape element choices. Of course, I am still thinking about the lines and shapes of which I developed a fondness. I hope that these pieces will marry with the underlayment that I have choosen.

You will probably notice but I will confirm that the background you see is the floor. Yes, I work with the art on the floor. That means I am standing with a lot of bending up and down in various positions. It is a rather physical practice.

UW15 first draft

THE SILHOUETTE – As the first choice, it determines the initial direction of the work.

UW 15 second draft

THE COMPOSITION – In this step, the placing of a few pieces in conjunction with the silhouette establishes their actual position on the paper which is by the way now 24” x 36”. Doubling the size adds some proportional challenges which relates to the the scale of the lines and shapes within that new dimension.

UW15 4th draft

SPACE – As the composition progresses, linear elements are added to begin the weaving of the space.

UW15 5th draft

CHANGED MY MIND – Oops. I had to remove the left side because there was too much confusion.

UW15 6th draft

MORE SPACE – A linear element is added to enter into the negative space.

UW15 8th draf

NOT YET GLUED DOWN – As the work transforms, I add and remove pieces in order to get the composition just as I want. This enables me to create a better sense of depth as well as movement. There are many more versions which I have not depicted because the modifications have been slight but never the less needed to be documented.

UW15 12th draft (glue down) / use for blog

DOCUMENTATION – Photographing each modification in the composition gives me a record. So if I need to go back, I have not lost that composition. And, I do go back. One last element has been added and I am done or so I think. Now it is time to start to glue the pieces down.

You have seen the most important variations in the process of creating this collage. Once the commitment to glue the pieces down is decided, the work is transferred to a large work surface where I am able to stand without all the bending. Right now, this work is as far as I can take it. Am I done or not? It does not have a title yet outside of having the label UW15. UW means UNDERWATER. I will let the work sit and focus on the others that are not quite there yet.

My inspiration from the shell remains however more and more the surf and that area just beyond are playing a greater part in my vision. This is where my thoughts about the work are generated and from which the titles are written.

Below I am sharing the other two works which I was creating concurrently with the above. I am somewhat at an impasse so these works are resting. They are on the floor where I can see them as I move about the studio. They will finally call out to me and direct me what to do and I will complete them. Yes, I talk to my artwork. It is a conversation from start to finish.

 UW#14 - not yet completely glued down -had to remove of glued down shapes on the right - just not working well in the composition - added new no final commitment to that area yet inoorder to take another step

UW14 – This collage is partially  glued down. I had to totally remove all the glued down shapes on the right. The space was too constricted. Now more open, I have added a few small shapes to keep the particular circular sense of movement.

UW16 7th draft (glue down) / use for blog

UW16 – The pieces have yet to be glued down. I ask myself, “Is the work finished?  Do I have more decisions?” In the end, the work may be finished and I just have to arrive at that understanding before I overwork it and destroy it completely.

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This entry was posted in How Did I Do That.