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A printmaker's progress


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Tapestry – A Picture Book


Tapestry

Tapestry

This year seems to be a year for re-imagining older works. Earlier this year I created a work of art using portions of older prints in combination with new pieces, collaging them together into a paper scroll entitled Island Tapestry. Around the same time I was working on an even larger, more complex piece that I will blog about soon. This second piece left me with many remnants of prints I had cut up and gave me the idea to create Tapestry, the piece above, a multiprint patchwork of images that together create a cohesive whole.

I began with a loose idea of collaging darker pieces for the left third of the board and using lighter pieces for the rest. I had the dark pieces and found that they worked well as horizontal bands of color but I soon realized that I wanted more defined and recognizable imagery for the remaining two thirds of the piece. So I dug through my stack of prints and picked out the images that worked well as two-inch squares and assembled them into a pleasing, connected and vibrant collage. Some of these pieces were left as 2x4s or 4x2s for better impact and to break up the symmetry.

The images used for the piece were taken from prints both large and small, representational and abstract. Many are figurative. All give just a tiny glimpse into a larger world. As a good friend and fellow artist, Ann Semple, put it, “ it feels like the tapestry is a book and each piece is a short story that culminates in a complete tale”. The piece is indeed a “picture book”, though each picture only hints at the full story, leaving the viewer to fill in the gaps. The dark portion on the left is even more clouded, with the merest hints of the world, and acting as both a metaphor for the entire work and a visual foil to the more delineated imagery. The details below shows just how necessary that foil is.

Tapestry, detail 1

Tapestry, detail 1

Tapestry, detail 2

Tapestry, detail 2

Tapestry, detail 3

Tapestry, detail 3

I have always considered myself a storyteller with my artwork. Lately I am realizing that my storytelling is deliberately incomplete, that I prefer to tantalize the viewer with hints and impressions. In this way he is drawn in, reads between the lines and finds greater resonance with his own experience.

Happy reading. Please share your experience of it in the comments below.

Tapestry, a 12″x36″ multiprint collage on paper mounted on board, is offered at $650.

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