Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cutting Paper as Inspiration

Too many years ago, I took a photography class and one of my favorite images was a still life of a pomegranate. I love pomegranates as a food and as inspiration for my work.

Last month, while visiting the Huntington Library and Gardens near Pasadena California, I found a very nice pomegranate with fruits left from the fall. The fruits were very small and bursting open showing glistening seeds.

I often work on new images by cutting solid black paper with a sharp blade to see the negative and positive space created. All the paper cuts are saved in a large sketchbook full of only black and white images. Each small piece of paper is glued down to the sketchbook, sometimes this is easier said than done. Tweezers and the tip of the cutting blade help maneuver the pieces into place. I have also been known to scan these and "fix" them up in PhotoShop.

I loved this image and worked a bit studying the form and shape. I usually don't work directly from photographs but use a set of photographs to inspire new shapes and forms. In this case, I worked from that small fruit in the photo.

Sometimes these simple pieces become stencils just as they are cut, and sometimes I re-work the shapes many times to get a more detailed image for more complicated printing tools. And sometimes they live in the sketchbook for awhile until I get inspired again with the image. Right now there are about 6 paper cuts of pomegranates waiting to be used in the creation of some project.


Things SHE carried said...

love your blog, very inspirational! have been shooting my emerging crop of daffodils and will give your method a try.
Enjoyed your workshop on silk screening fabric last week and all the other artists participating too! thanks again, will be back for another session soon.

Plain Jane said...

oooh. love this. love pomegranates. and ah ha, you were in Southern California!