Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Black and White

I've been in awe of Mayako Nakamuro's black and white work for a couple of years now since discovering her on Flickr.  The rawness and energy of the mark making is breath taking.  See her work on Pinterest as well.

Using her as inspiration, I began a series of 12"x12" black and white pieces, using India ink, graphite, acrylic, and crayon:

1. I'm considering this and the two below provisionally finished.

2

3

A dozen or so pieces in various stages of the process
#2 above, in process

Another in process: a layer of marks, then a layer of paint

This is the first layer: India ink washes, graphite, pencil, and white Caran d'Ache crayon

Same materials as above, the first layer

This is the piece above, with a layer of paint.
I'm finding working in black and white very freeing.  It allows me to pay more attention to the quality of marks and the range of value.  When stuck in a rut, it can be extremely helpful to look at the work of another artist and use it as a springboard.  Some shy away from "copying" another artist, but I feel that even if you begin by copying, if you do enough pieces you inevitably make them your own.  For this group I really did have a couple of Nakamura's pieces up on my computer screen, and referred to them when I felt I was repeating my same old familiar marks.  But for the most part I feel I found a way to move forward with my own work.  THANK YOU Mayako Nakamura for the inspiration!!

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday!

Yesterday was my birthday, and I want to thank all of you who posted birthday on my FaceBook page.  It was, indeed, a very happy birthday!

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this, Jane. I like your work and your comments about copying in the beginning and trusting the process, that working and working will lead to one's own voice. And thanks for the referral to Mayako Nakamura. Her work is wonderful and I had an aha moment when reading her artist's statement, "I trace shapes of space and boundaries in everyday...". Of course! Tracing the shapes would lead to wonderful abstractions of the everyday all around us.

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    1. Glad this was useful, Jo. ISN'T that interesting, tracing shapes of space... what a concept.

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  2. I aspire to producing some work vaguely like this in your workshop. Happy Christmas!

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    1. Isn't that funny, the first two comments are from Jo's. YOU WILL DEFINITELY be doing some work based on this in the 100 Drawings class. Happy holidays, sunny and warm I bet!

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  3. HI Jane - your post reminds me that 100 Drawings on-line workshop is coming up soon - so looking forward to it. Your post also gets me contemplating color (which I love - color is the primary reason I create art). But, I feel curious about it all. Do I use color as a crutch? And, could doing without color free up other areas? of course, giving up color would only be temporary!

    Happy Birthday and hope you holidays are warm and loving.

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  4. I really like these and your sharing about how emulation leads to our own expression.
    Happy birthday Jane!

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  5. I Have always liked Black and white!
    Merry Christmas to YOU, Too!

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing your amazing black and white artwork. I will check out Mayako's work. I'm glad you posted about using other artist's artwork as a starting point when we're in a slump. Your artwork inspires me! Happy Birthday!!!

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  7. Great post. I especially love the first three.

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  8. Jane, these are indeed inspiring and your words so welcome! May your days be merry and bright!

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  9. Would you do a video of you making these pieces? How did you start?

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    1. Ha! Peggy, I JUST today shot video, which I am about to edit and post. I was hoping to get it up as a new year's day post, but it depends on how long the editing takes (a LOT longer than shooting, in any case). Stay tuned. Happy new year!

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  10. I like the ideal of black and white. I wear it a lot for cloths so I can see how it would would free myself up as far as not having to worry about complimenting colors. I also have heard that it's also harder to do than expected. Looking forward to the class Jane. Sorry I missed your birthday. I wasn't checking my iPad. So......now I will wish you happy new year! Hugs to you. Ciel

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    1. Please tell me what class you are in! I'm wondering if I have you on the right list - can't find you. Do you go by Carole or Ciel in your e-mail address?

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    2. Oh my goodness . I go by Ciel . Looking forward to seeing this class posted.

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  13. Love the work and yes I think that it is freeing, mark making. Another mark making artist, Rita Britt. And she makes some of her lines into sculpture - 3rd line!

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  14. ...and a whole lot cheaper! Great way for artist who are on a tight budget to create wonderful pieces of art at a low cost entry point!

    It's amazing what that transparent layer at the end does to the piece - it ads so much depth to the image. I hope to participate in this. I think these type of paintings would benefit from Golden's high flows.

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