Stripes and Spots
Taking the time to plan ahead for each exercise has made a tremendous difference not only in my attitude towards each activity but has also made a large impact on the outcome of each one. This particular exercise got me inspired and excited which led to sketching many collage layout ideas. I posted these on cartridge paper and taped them above my work space. This was a fantastic way to keep me focused and to select designs that felt more like individual parts of a collection. The following works are shown on A5 paper
At the outset of this exercise, I was feeling more confident about stripes than I was about spots so I began with stripes. Using both sides of a double-sided printed paper, I created vertical columns staggered in various arrangements. Upon completion of this piece, I reflected on what the configuration reminded me of and I immediately saw the basalt columns on the shores of several Icelandic beaches.
*note – the turquoise zig zags atop each page is tape and not part of the design/layout. Kindly ignore.
While these stripes in the herringbone pattern were cut from the same batch used in the previous piece, adding the 45 degree angle cuts at 2″ intervals definitely made the placing of these pieces far more challenging and much less random. I didn’t use the aid of a measuring tool or mark making tool, rather I went by instinct and by feel. This is one of my favourite pieces from this exercise. I particularly like the repetition paired with the irregularity of the placement of the herringbone pieces. The visual tension makes my eye want to explore the page while still having adequate spaces for resting.
Not wanting to get overly comfortable with the stripes, I ventured into the realm of circles. I used the inside of my roll of zigzag washi tape for drawing the circle shapes. They were then cut by hand. I had wanted to arrange them in a horizontal row but overlapping them in a way that is reminiscent of fish scales. The metallic finish on the print side of the double sided paper lent well to this concept.
This piece was created using similar papers from those used in previous pieces. I wanted to explore weaving with paper while leaving lots of open white space. This piece held no surprises and came together exactly as I expected it would. Not a challenge from a technical perspective but nice to generate a sketch and produce a finished piece that went according to plan.
Realizing that it was much easier to create individual pieces with either spots or stripes and less so do create a piece with both, I knew it was wise to try to put both shapes in one piece. I think the repetition and bringing together of the rounded and linear shapes is interesting, thus making this a worthwhile exploration.
This was my final collage in this series. What I love about this one is the repetition and blocks of lines. As with the previous works, I again used double sided paper so the variation of print/solid was achieved by merely flipping the paper pieces over to reveal the alternative print/solid. This was done randomly while placing the strips into sequences of stripes – vertical and horizontal which created the appearance of blocks.
Upon reflecting back on this exercise, I found that I had a strong preference for using limitations within the work. I continued using limited papers which forced me to think more creatively about how to use the papers to achieve various designs and layouts. I also found that there was a definite preference for lines over spots. The lines refer to the linear nature of weaving. That said, my dislike of circles in this exercise tells me that they are something to explore more deeply. The challenge and opportunity for growth definitely resides in the resistance. However, I can look back on the whole of this unit and see how a little planning, limitation, and inspiration can lead to a deeper appreciation for materials and that resistance points toward potential.