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......."

Left:

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.