This diptych started with two ideas. First, I have always loved prints
(my mother and step-mother were both artists who made prints using woodcut and etching
and was interested in creating some paintings which had the same "feel" as prints.
Secondly, I became interested in having some areas of my paintings be solid black, which
I had never done before.
Notes on the individual paintings:
- Absence (I): I painted this one first. Early on, I applied masking to the leaf shape
while painting the areas around it (see
"Developing an Image" for a discussion
of masking). I had originally intended to fill in and color the leaf shape, as I wound up
doing in "Emergence", however, when I removed the masking, I was so taken with the
starkness of the empty, white leaf shape that I left it just as it was, and changed the
direction of the painting accordingly.
All paint used here is acrylic except for the burnt sienna marks which are watercolor
(I needed to use watercolor to get them to "bleed").
The "woodcut" texture in the black band running horizontally across the center of the painting
was produced by a linoleum block, hand-cut with wood texture marks, which I inked with
acrylic paint then pressed on the paper to make the repeating pattern.
- Absence (II): Only after completing the first painting did it occur to me
to paint another painting to serve as the second in a pair. My intention with this painting
was to continue the composition from the first painting and use the same limited color palette,
but make it different enough to be interesting.