Thursday, April 2, 2009

Test Patterns

Taking all these viewfinder photos has got me thinking about color; or more specifically how I usually try to avoid thinking about color. So I've decided to set myself up with a project where color is the primary focus. I've begun with several sheets of paper to which I've glued blocks of tissue paper in a variety of colors, to which I have added swaths of colored gouache, gesso, colored pencil, and inks. The goal is to create a wide range of color variations.

The next step is to take the sheets and to cut them into 2- and 2-3/4 inch strips, then to cut the strips into random squares, occasionally adding more color with gouache and ink. Some of these remind me of swatches of madras fabric.

The final step is to use these colored squares as building blocks for collages, not unlike putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Here are some finished pieces - with some of these I've incorporated collage elements from other sources, such as text fragments from old comic books. I'm thinking I might use some of these as studies for larger pieces (these are approx. 4 x 4 in. square.) They remind me of color television test patterns:

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