Friday, July 8, 2016

Black and White Studies

It is always fun to narrow down the focus for a bit, return to what feels like "basics" that turn out to be not so  basic. Working in black and white is a practice I return to periodically to re-set my sensitivity to the spectrum of values (light to dark), quality of line, depth, and other aspects of painting that are more subtle than the strong language of color.  You can view previous posts on the topic here, here, and here

I was recently introduced to the video below about Hyunmee Lee, whose work I have admired on Pinterest.  She talks about working in black and white, and then introducing just one color, and working with that for several years.  My attention span is a bit shorter than that (I'm thinking:  hours, maybe), but I loved the concept.

Hyunmee Lee: Gesture and the Flow from 15 Bytes on Vimeo.

Here are some pictures of my studies.  I began fourteen pieces, all 12"x12" except for two of them, which are 10"x10"  I actually gessoed over old work-in-progress that was getting stale (I've never done that before!), so some of the previous painting comes through as texture.

Here are six after only one or two passes.

This was one that spoke to me in its simplicity.

This is after one or two passes with paint, etc....
And then I turned the above piece upside down and painted over more of it.


I think this is the 10"x10" piece that is in the bottom row, middle, of the first photo.

Will keep working on this one....

Definitely need to push back more elements on this one. 

This one may be close to done.  I'll let it rest for a while.
 I love the process of exploring the nuances of veil, gray scale, and breathing room.  I find I am generally putting stuff down on the paper, lifting with cheap drawing paper or a brayer, making marks in graphite and crayon, or scratching through paint with a nail; and then when everything is dry I paint over, paint over, paint over in thin layers of white paint (veils of fog, as I think of them).  I do only one or two things to each piece at a time, not letting myself go so far as to get stuck or even ask what happens next.  Just do one or two things, and move on to the next piece.  It's refreshing.  No pressure to finish anything.  And yet, I think that some of them will come to be finished pieces.  I just have to not rush to get there.

Some of my black and white originals are available on my gallery site.  More are available as prints here and here.  

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Jane. Thank you for posting such a peaceful and stirring video. I feel like I'm in a deeply meditative trance after experiencing its powerful impact. Honesty, honesty, honesty, in every mark she makes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the video. Thank You Jane, for posting it. Also browsed Ms. Lee's exhibition pieces on her website, great paintings. I like her statement, "My canvas is a place to feel both emptiness and fullness. Contrast and imbalance of shapes and lines are playful and floating around." To feel both emptiness and fullness, that is ZEN! I like the first three pieces of your paintings. Interesting to see the difference in cultural nuances between Ms. Lee's work and yours. Thank You for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. what a great video. I love the way she puts her full body into her painting. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great video, Jane. I see a lot of you in her paintings- you both are wonderful artists!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been doing something similar on a daily basis,more like an exercise. I do 10 A-4 sheets every day. My idea is to work on them later using various techniques. I recently discovered(after 300 trials) that a combination of Chinese ink and distress ink (pads) works well for me. Example on my blog: www.majdaz.tumblr.com. Thank you Jane and Hyunmee Lee for sharing.Inspirational.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think I overwork pieces or make bad decisions when I know it needs more, I'm not sure what, but I just do something because I want to keep it going. I love your idea of just doing one or two things and then moving on. Definitely going to try that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to be clear, I do the one or two things and move one, REPEATEDLY. Go through the whole collection doing one or two things, then go back and do one or two things more. And some of them might "finish" themselves. Not all of them will.

      Delete
  7. thank you for introducing us to this artist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just passing it along. I'd seen her work, but it was an artist in my workshop the other week who introduced me to the video.

      Delete
  8. Such an enlightening video. It makes me want to rethink my own practice. I can see why you are drawn (no pun intended) to this artist.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for sharing the video and your paintings. I've been exploring using black/white/grey collages recently. It's so challenging and inspiring at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So inspirational, both she and you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Like to see connection between artist present and past...Lee to Motherwell....check out YouTube ,Motherwell and Abstract expressionists.....mraz

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am tempted to put all my colorful paints away and just use black and white for the time up to the workshop in August. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Jane,
    Since the Gloucester workshop I have been working with a white, black, gray and red palette. I learned so much from your workshop and it seems to be coming together now. The layers of fog, the scratching away, the painting over, the lines. Your black and white studies are great! I love the bold shapes. Gwen

    ReplyDelete
  14. Alfred Leslie's "One Hundred Views Along the Road" is interesting. I think I remember him discussing 'notan' in the introduction.

    ReplyDelete
  15. windows 7 product key free online , Buy Windows 7 Product Key Online , windows anytime upgrade key ultimate , Office Home and Bussiness 2016 for Mac , windows 7 proffesional key code , microsoft office visio professional 2007 activation , windows 7 thin pc product key , genuine key for windows home edition , lKXsMq

    cheap office project 2013 product keys

    buy windows 7 ultimate sp1 product key

    Online Windows 10 Pro Product Key Store

    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 key code

    buy cheap windows 7 product keys

    ReplyDelete
  16. I conclude I have selected the smart and inconceivable website along with interesting stuff. profit maximiser,

    ReplyDelete
  17. LOVE your black & white paintings - I've been intrigued with the concept of veiling & revealing, scraping in, layering, layering, layering. I'm a calligrapher and am incorporating that into my paintings - this just gave me a boost! I teach mixed media classes here in San Miguel de Allende, MX, and I'm always trying to get my students to loosen up - this will definitely help! So glad I found you on Pinterest . . . Jane

    ReplyDelete