Thursday, September 17, 2009
Small Paintings Under Glass
Starting in the mid 1990's, I developed a process that creates small painted constructions. My goal with these paintings is to incorporate elements of chance & natural organic growth. The results are also about describing the process of their construction.
I construct them out of clip picture frames (5x7" or 8x10"). They come packaged in groups of 3 or more, and are made from a sandwich of glass & Masonite that is held in place with steel spring clips. I then cut tracing vellum, & thin metal to fit inside the frame. I create a drawing on the drafting velum using natural sepia ink or sumi ink. Next I draw with iron powder & sea salt on the metal plate. The drawings are then married together tightly with clamps & dipped into a salt-water bath. This final step causes the vellum to curl & wrinkle allowing the ink drawing to smudge & run into the wrinkles thus creating automatic tracings. After the sandwich is removed from the water and dried, the delicate ink lines remain visible. The water, as in nature, also activates the iron & salt to etch the metal plate in surprising & organic ways. The outcome is exactly what I was seeking. The pictures have a majestic, larger-than-life amorphous quality. They are a graphic realization of form and function, while also obscuring the hand of the creator. I hope you like them.Recently I have started making more of these. This time I am incorporating landscape & historical imagery. I have also expanded my use of materials. I am using chalk, natural pigment's, earth, as well as rust.