Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Slow Dancin' : More Notes from the Studio

When I left my studio after a full day on Saturday, I had two questions rumbling about in my thoughts; how to deal with adding more layers of color without losing what I love about the piece as it is now, and how to incorporate the ancient letterforms onto the surface.

Joanne sent an e-mail with her thoughts on the piece, Rosemary made a comment after my last post and Becky and I talked about it on the phone. Their concerns about the darks in the sample area at the bottom as having too much contrast with the rest of the piece reinforced my own thoughts. I don't want to lose what I have now, just enhance it. As soon as I came into my studio this morning, I ripped off the darkest area at the bottom and knew I would add both the green and the rust to other areas on the surface, but in soft, muted tones that will integrate with the rest of the piece.

That left me with choices to make about the letterforms. In my sketchbook yesterday as I was playing with these now familiar letter forms and shapes, it occurred to me that I was limiting my options by only trying to reproduce incised letters.

Since I am happy with the lines on this surface, why couldn't I play with adding the letters more ambiguously, elongating the drawn lines so they touch and interact with each other -- and the cracks -- in ways that are less obvious and more suggestive than literal? I could...so I did!

I am happy with what I've added so far. Before I paint on the soft blushes of rust and green to portions of this surface, I'll layer on additional resist letters like I currently have at the bottom of the piece.
These will be smaller letters, like in the detail above, and more like actual Etruscan writing. I'm drawing on the resist letters today, will let them dry overnight and then when I return on Thursday will add these soft colorations that are now just on the bottom to the rest of the piece.


  1. This is so beautiful! I love your take on the letters. I love that this looks so ancient.

  2. Thanks, Mandi, I always hold my breath when I try out a new idea. What looks wonderful in the sketchbook doesn't always work out on the surface. This time I'm liking it!