December 2022: Finding new shapes

December 2022: Finding new shapes

Artists always need shapes, but sometimes finding new and interesting ones can be harder than it seems. Big blobby shapes that look sort of like boulders are always the first thing to come out of my hand, so if I want to incorporate other shapes into my markmaking play I have to be intentional about it.

Here are two ways that I go shape hunting without even getting up from my desk, in all its dim and cluttered glory. I took two quick photos without moving things around at all.

Then in my photos app I duplicated each photo a few times and cropped them WAY down, dragging the photo around a bit until I found a composition that caught my attention. I spent a few seconds finding each and didn't overthink it. I made 8 crops and then picked out four that I liked:

Using one color of dark paint (that bottle that's actually in the photos, which is a left over mix from my last series) I went in and blocked out darkest shapes that I could see in each photo. My marks were imprecise, loose interpretations of the shapes I noticed. Here are photos from the next morning in better light:

Since my paper was off-white, I knew I could come in with some true white to create a bit more contrast. I used a bright white to mark out the lightest parts of each image.

Already I had made something different than usual.

Here's another way. I grabbed two pieces of colored paper, a purple and a yellow. I used the same two paints (dark mix and white) and filled up both pages with marks. I moved quickly without overthinking.