Lady in Ermine, Cubed
Oh, the weather outside is frightful... Actually it hasn't been snowing the past couple days, but rather we've had freezing rain. Everything is glazed with ice, and so treacherous underfoot that I have stayed in, cleaning the studio, unframing old paintings I no longer find interesting, purging and recycling odd-sized frames.
I've also been working my way through an art book I found at the library called Just Draw It!: The Dynamic Drawing Course for Anyone With a Pencil and Paper, by Sam Piyasena & Beverly Philp. The book is nicely organized, including chapters called Line and Mark Making; Tone and Form; Composition, Perspective and Viewpoint; Movement and Gesture; Pattern and Texture; and Observation, Exploration and Imagination. I've been looking over a chapter a day, taking notes on exercises that catch my eye, and in particular looking at their suggestions for artists to research further.
One exercise caught my eye, because it involved collage. The authors suggest making a square drawing - something mixed media, with lots of tonal variation and texture, then cutting the drawing up into at least 9 squares, and rearranging the pieces so that the original image is indecipherable. Then they suggested researching Romanian artist and poet Gherasim Luca, who used this technique. I did, and I was fascinated. Luca called this fracturing of an image into squares "Cubomania." I used a reproduction of a Renaissance painting that I found save in my stash of papers, and want to try out the technique on other paintings and even advertising -- both vintage and contemporary. So far the results please me. They force the viewer to stop and think about what they see. I like that.
I think I'll go back upstairs to my studio, turn on NPR, and start making a mess.