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No expectations

March 8, 2015

Doodling in black and whiteI started with no expectations, and I got so caught up in playing with black and white (my last post) that I’m still at it—a good reason to look through old work or your sketchbook to revisit ideas. At the very least, more exploring might be in order.

One of the things I like about dividing space on paper with tape is that it is rich with possibilities for interpretation. I’m drawn to Diebenkorn’s  Ocean Park series, and these little black/white vignettes that I make suggest architecture or the reduction of buildings to mere intersections of their components, much like Diebenkorn’s paintings and drawings reduce the landscape to its basic geometry…not that these aspire to Diebenkorn heights.

Work from Richard Diebenkorn

Two works from Richard Diebenkorn: Ocean Park and an untitled Ocean Park drawing

I started with paper (300 lb. watercolor paper, around 8 x 9 inches) that had several coats of white gesso, followed by taped off sections that I covered with black gesso. To that I added more tape to create divisions, then white and gray gesso. I like the randomness of taping without a template or plan. It creates wonderful surprises.

Beginning with tape...

Once I pull off the tape, I sand the surface so it adds a bit of erosion or wear. I’m going to finish with some collage elements and then mount these on panels. I like the starkness of the gray/black/white palette and the way the shapes divide up the space.

Black and white studies, painted with gesso


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