“Obstinate & Concious”


I’ve shared some little snips and bits of my doodlings with you over the last few days to introduce you to my projects. Today I thought I’d explain a little more of how some pages come about.

I advocate the belief that art materials can be made of pretty most anything. Beyond “making use”, “recycling” or other worthy intents, this is closer to a manic scavenging, edged with disproportionate glee, in discovering a source of free material that is unwanted by the world.

The basis of this page is a case in point. I work in an office, everyday there’s a delivery of interestingly patterned paper. Business envelopes.
Opened up, inside outed to see the squiggly abstract patterning, the best of the bunch get flattened and hoarded up for later.

I’d already dyed some envelopes, by layering them in a plastic tray (yup, scavenged from the kitchen) with dilute Procion dyes and inks in shades of blues and green. Purely experimental. Or just mental? Whatever, in their soggy state the pre-gummed bits re-gummed themselves to their neighbours. This page made use of the scrappy torn bits, picked apart shreds + the borders around the windows, (window frames?) deemed too bitty to save for future who-knows-whattery.

detail from page

Collaging with Mod Podge, I built up a background for doodling on. Before it dried I added more color with little sprinklings of dry Brusho powder in gamboge, lemon and orange. Swishing with water got the colors to liven up a bit before being left to dry.

Layered up 3-4 deep in places, the overlaps and natural crunkling of the paper caused by heavy dosing with liquid, gave an undulating surface. Less camera-friendly (at least at the time of light I chose), but pleasing to draw on as the contours and furrows guide the lines on which the patterns build.

The doodlings take on a life of their own in a setting like this. Torn edges and inky tide marks sew the seeds from which the lines grow. The padded quality of the surface make biro doodles dimensional as the pressure of the ballpoint makes indented patterns. Marker pen sits on the surface and gives iridescent sheen at the right angle of light. Felt pens glide over the surface and make subtle marks.

Torn words grow new meanings, Private & Confidential became Obstinate & Conscious.

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