Decision making is a slow process – I began this set of drawings back in March, or it may have been earlier than that. The first step was applying random marks with Liquid Pencil, which is so often my go-to base medium, to the small (10 x 8 cm) paint swatch cards collected from my local hardware store. The only intention I had was that each panel should have individual integrity, but also connect to the ones next to it, and I wanted a flowing form, reminiscent of clouds, or ink floating in water, something that felt ephemeral.
Working into the drawings is enjoyable and satisfying – the base marks suggest where I should intensify, develop marks, add colour or scratch away areas. The photo above shows the work in progress – the top row has just the soft base marks, the bottom row has been drawn into and developed. This is most clearly seen when you enlarge the image.
Once I had drawn into all the panels I had to decide how they should be presented. So many options! They could be mounted and framed all together, either in two rows (as above) or in 3 or 4 shorter rows. Or they could be connected and become free standing, maybe as a concertina book, or something else. Anyway, after much thought, experimenting, fiddling and testing, I decided on two free-standing pieces, each with 6 panels.
With the first six I mounted them on light card, then joined them with thin Japanese paper, which gave very little flexibility, so the resultant form would not bend or fold, but stood as a gentle curve.
I decided to treat the second set differently, as a concertina, so mounted the panels again on card, but then pasted them onto mulberry paper, which is thin and flexible, but strong.
Both have been entered into art competitions, but in these strange times who knows what will happen, or even if the exhibitions will go ahead. Below are close up images of the panels.