Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Topography of a Page

Something that's been on my mind for a good two or three years now is the idea of paper as a landscape. Just like the hills and valleys of a city, I wonder what the citizens and growths of a page are. I get kind of weird, I guess, about relishing in the dips and dry ravines of a crinkled piece of paper. Hovering my hand above the surface of a page, and feeling it's jagged peaks and shadowy creases is such an intimate experience---it teaches me things I couldn't learn anywhere else.

This picture was made by crumbling a textured gray paper, then slowly scratching curves into it's waxy surface with a salad fork, then cutting lines and shapes from both sides with an Xacto knife. A few accents in value were made with a white charcoal pencil. 

The actual mark-making didn't take long to make, but I've been learning how to make those marks and how to apply and combine them for about three years. I love making colorless impressions on a page that only show up when turned just so into the light, or when they become a bowl of shadows or a belly on the backside of the page. I love making both sides of the paper become the backside and the frontside---making them interact, and creating a dialogue between the two.

I'm always amazed how so many pictures can be more than the sum of their parts, a pictorial synergy of sorts. It shows that I love the process, but the actual making of a picture is just as appealing to me as the finished piece.

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