Untitled 1 (Papercuttings)
Untitled 1 (Papercuttings) (Detail 1)
Untitled 1 (Papercuttings) (Detail 2)
Untitled 2 (Papercuttings)
Untitled 3 (Papercuttings)
The technical term and origins of my artwork is: Scherenschnitte, which is German for scissor cuts but examples of paper cutting can be found in Jewish, Japanese and Mexican traditions to name a few. Surfing the web for paper cutters can be really interesting.
My process: I use a fine quality art paper; it's an origami type of paper and the specific one I use is called fadeless art paper. I usually just work in black and white but have varied the paper color. I'm crazy about symmetry so I fold the paper first and my personal temptation is to always do the middle of the fold first but I ration that part through completion to maintain my inspiration. People ask if I sketch out the design but the answer on the most part is no. There may be a part that I sketch out so that I can wrap my head around how I can create dimensionality in a 2 dimensional medium. I free associate with the knife and draw with the knife and I change a lot of blades. The portions I am cutting are both negative and positive images, in other words, sometimes the process is reductive – removing paper to create the image in the void left behind , sometimes the process is to remove the surrounding paper to create a positive image left behind. To me the most important thing is dynamism, that the lines draw the viewer's eyes around the imagery in a fluid motion. People always associate the cuttings to children's snowflakes and the "find the blank" games found in children's art. I actually really like that association because all too often we gloss over artwork, thinking we know what it has to say to us already. I like to make the viewer work at the viewing. Also, I see things in my cuttings that I may have intended in that moment but went on to change, and then that imagery comes back to me much later.
In the past I have made these with a specific person or purpose in mind such as a wedding gift or event. In this particular case, I started the cutting for myself, a rarity and my theme was inspired by the submission to sub-scribe's call for submissions and their theme of "Exposed". I felt particularly raw and exposed while creating this cutting. Much of the imagery is hidden and obscured and many of the emotions expressed just become part of the overall design. See what you can find in there. Is it 2 rabbits kissing?
In Elementary, Jr. High and High school the art teachers always liked my work but weren't really quite sure what to do with me. As soon as they started to describe the assignment I already had another idea in mind. There was a teacher in my early years of High School who ran out of things to keep me busy so he handed me some paper and an exacto blade and told me to cut. He was blown away with the results and entered me into a hometown art show where I placed somewhere in their ranking system. I think I'm a little ADD or ADHD and so doing things like this and beadwork with my hands keeps me from going berserk.