Work Process/Studio Practice
My cut paper compositions begin with a pencil line drawing on vellum which is worked to perfection and becomes what I call my "master tracing."
Following the "master tracing" I "draw" with a sharp x-acto knife by cutting into the back side of rich "color aid" paper which results in a cut out color form. I then apply each cut out form to my composition board.
As I work I am always vigilant of the placement of the each shape; background shapes are glued down first, middle ground, foreground and lastly details. It's a meticulous process but I always leave room for formal invention which keeps the work on the brink of excitement.
You could also say that this technique straddles painting and graphic design -as the vibrant paper is my varied color palette and the knife, my implement.
I gravitate towards complex subjects: the urban landscape, Coney Island rides and attractions and underwater worlds. In these cities and formations I observe that there is always something in front of something else.
This way of "seeing" parallels my studio practice as I cut and apply. .... one piece in front of the other....always thinking "what's in front of this, and what's in front of this and......."
Color-aid paper, a line drawing ready to trace, and a sharp x-acto knife.
All works are done with archival glue on archival board.
(Color-aid is an art industry paper coated with screen printers ink.)
Below: The beginning of a large very complex work:
"I Hear the Brooklyn Bridge Singing" The background shapes are cut and glued down first: each component in position: sky, blocks of far away buildings and the distant arches of the bridge.
As I work the composition, I am constantly keeping aware of what shapes need to be glued on top, next to or overlapping the already secured shapes. I follow my "master tracing" for positioning.
"I Hear the Brooklyn Bridge Singing" 41 X 54 inches, is one of my largest cut paper works and took approx. two months to complete. Below is the finished work.