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
, 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
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