We like negative space, so we cast some. We laid down some odd shaped plywood pieces and filled in the space around them with wet sheets of lightly pressed cotton paper. The pebbles were pressed in for texture.
We like the thick flange-like, shadow-catching edges that run around the shapes. The resultant form invites entanglement.
We call them “holed’ers” because the pieces were initially, at least, holed by positive shapes.
The second holed’er has more color. We started laying down paper shapes to build up the form and allowed that process to suggest where the holes would go. Unfortunately, the plywood shapes worked much better than these bland angular gaps. After covering up this side in black, we used some pastel to sketch out some hole modifications. We liked the pastel and use it again in our third try.
To get some color on the black side, we increased the sizes of the holes by simply cutting and folding the paper back on itself. We added some blue paper as well. We dried the piece over large plywood shapes to complement the negative space contours as well as to give the whole some dimension and throw a little shadow.
The next holed’er began with drawings generated by swopping a pencil or pastel back and forth. Sometimes we started with the outer contour and sometimes we’d sketch those “positive” holes in first. Generally, each move with the pencil was limited to a line segment of just a couple of twists and turns as well as any erasures.
We chose the colors and worked with them for a while before one of us said, “Those are Dunkin’ Donuts colors, aren’t they?” They are, but we were hooked on them by then. (Paul was once introduced to the woman who came up with the color scheme. She was quite rude to him. He licked his wounds by deciding he could not get mad at someone whose claim to fame is a fast food color scheme of pink, orange and brown.)
To chill the DD vibe a little, we again made one side a single color. This time white. We added some pastel to juice it a bit. We liked it and covered it with plastic overnight to keep the paper wet. Next day, it suddenly seemed kinda like a schematic for a Rube Goldberg which was fine, but not on its own.
We’re not too proud to admit that baby blue is a go-to color. We tried water color, but wet lightly pressed paper requires lightning brushwork. Instead, we found we could paint on scraps of wet paper and monoprint them onto the piece.
We were happy with the piece at this point. It looked OK as flatwork, but we were hoping it would be more floppy and drape well with others. We had worked on the piece 10 days during March 2018. Though we covered it with plastic each night, it managed to dry a lot by the time we were ready to let it dry completely.
This caused some significant delamination. We put on a lot of methyl cellulose and a little jade 403, but as we worked we wondered if some dismemberment might not be a bad thing.
We chased away the flatness by folding over and twisting parts and then fitting them back together in a new way.
We shoved lumps of green T-shirt fabric here and there to create more folds as it dried – anything to break the single plane of the original.