Monday, February 7, 2011

Water-Resist Map Timelapse

After my last water-resist map experiment, I decided to make one with finer lines and brighter colors. I took photos after each step of painting and drawing masking lines to show the process.

The last photo is of the almost-completed map with the yellow masking fluid still on. After removing it, the finished map looked like this (as hung on the wall at First Friday):

I was going to add some pen lines afterwards, but the piece ended up being so colorful that I thought they might get lost. Next time I'll tone it down a little bit more, so there's more of a tonal difference between the river and the land space.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

First Friday Photos

First Friday last night was wonderful. It was great to be able to show so much work in one place, and I got a lot of great responses to both the maps and the pop-ups. I was especially grateful to the other artists in the building who came by to see my work and give their critiques. Here are some photos of the event for those of you who weren't able to attend.

People looking at the work:

There were some dogs in one of the studios down the hall, and they wandered through every so often, padding by the art and circling the snacks table, just like regular open studios visitors!

 Someone told me the waterways in the maps looked like this awesome effect she'd gotten by applying rubbing alcohol to a store receipt:

The best part about being in the building was getting my other artist/gallerist friends to come and critique my work.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Resist Maps

I recently went to the ICA and got to see the Mark Bradford exhibit. It got me excited about the idea of introducing map imagery to paintings using resist techniques. I first tried cutting masking tape into little "blocks" and placing them in city-like formations, but it didn't work too well. Not only was it a bit too difficult to place them accurately, but they didn't actually resist water fully enough, and it was hard to get them into a shape that read as a city and not just a grid. They kept reminding me of old-style telephone keypads.

Watercolor wash over tape:
 After removing tape:

Then I tried using some watercolor masking fluid I had used for things like clouds in an earlier series. Because the fluid dries into rubber so quickly, it was hard to paint fine enough lines, so the effect was more like batik than the spindly city lines I'm more used to. If I could get finer lines, though, I think it would be effective, since it did resist the watercolor very well.

For the next one I started by putting down rivers of blue wash, and then drew the roads around them and painted "neighborhoods" of blocks using successive washes of green and brown. Once I was done painting, the original blue shapes were almost gone, but when I removed the dried masking fluid the river boundaries thus revealed helped to bring back the overall shape of the river. I like how that worked a lot, because the organic origins of city plans is something I'm always interested in conveying.

 I would probably want to continue by making a larger version of the last experiment, with a finer brush. Any other ideas for things I should try?