Tuesday, July 20, 2010



I have been experimenting with creating abstract black and white drawings. For this I have been using the computer. Several related pieces of the series started with the same basic shapes, including lettering in some shapes, and rearranging them in different configurations.

Drawing has been done on the computer with various techniques. These include, erasing through a dark layer to a white layer beneath, or through a light layer to a dark layer beneath, directly with the paint or pencil tool in black or white on a contrasting shape, or cloning from another area of established texture to put bits of it somewhere else. Some shapes were cut out, copied and rotated to complete the design. Lines and directions were accented to make the composition dynamic and balanced. Cutting a shape creates an additional different set of shapes. Often I use the “invert” command under image, to create dark where there was light, and vice versa. This too creates different shapes.

I was inspired by a fashion design I saw in Vogue, recently, and wanted to capture the rich textures of the different fabrics, using ink and pencil.  I used my own model for the face. I changed the fashion design slightly from the one created by Natalie Chanin, from Alabama, in my drawing. I included her name as a tribute to this woman’s work, because she is both an innovative artist and a person who values recycling.

 Notice how she collages different patterns and textures into one design, and then sculpts the figure with the volume and depth of fabrics and cording in the clothing and headdress. As an artist who works in collage, and has also worked in fabric collage, how could I be anything but inspired by her designs?

The drawing was rather light or high keyed in value next to the stark darks and lights of the background behind the figure. I increased the contrast of the drawing so it didn’t get lost, but left it in a grayscale to contrast with the background. The background creates the impression of a patchwork quilt. I think the blacks, whites and grayscale tones are very effective. You almost get a sense of color where there isn’t any.

Writing and Art work by Ruth Zachary © Rights reserved.

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