Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Relay Replay, a whole new font?

I've been thinking about the cover for this book, a lot. Even though it seems like I've been doing nothing. A couple of days ago, I finally decide on the next step.

When we last met (to title the prints), I arrived at her apartment just as she was finishing a piece that she was making for her sister—she was drawing by drizzling Elmer's glue onto a large sheet of pink paper. The white glue against the pink was very pretty, as was the push & pull of the lines as the glue drizzled out of the bottle. She also got the glue on the table, which she let me clean up because that was our only available work surface; but there was glue on her dark blue bedspread, which she would not let me clean up. She thought the white lines were very beautiful and wanted me to admire them as well.

I was really struck by this. I decided I'd write the title of her book by drizzling as well.

At first, I tried drizzling balsamic vinegar using one of those glass dribble-free decanters. I mean, I already had the decanter full of vinegar, so I might as well just try it. Vinegar came out fast and furious, and although I was able to write her name somewhat legibly, the lines were way fatter than I wanted and it all soon pooled into a mess. And plus I was using up vinegar really quickly.

Then I mixed up some some lamp black gouache, and this time tried another decanter. I practiced on some newspaper. This time, the paint poured out even faster and in greater quantity, and I made a even bigger mess.

So I thought I'd try a syringe, see if I can get better control. I have a pile of syringes from when one of my rats had to be on antibiotics, and they've actually been really useful in the studio. I use them for all kinds of things.

Anyhow, it was at this point that I took this picture:

I was able to reuse a lot of the paint, since it was just pooling on the paper, by drawing it up in the syringe. Here's the 3rd practice attemp:

I thought it looked decent, so I did it again on a sheet of bfk:

Too many missing bits, so I continued to add to it at various places, eventually ending up with this:

And this:

All together, I had 8-9 options to choose from; I eventually decided to go with the 'S' and 'h' from 2 later versions, but used the first version for the rest, and came up with this:

And here it is, printed in a ink mixed from silver, navy blue, and some black:

I'm really liking this. And now I'm wondering if I should do this for the interior pages as well. My original plan for the text was to print the collection of the possible titles we went through for each print. Some of them, we were all over the place with different options until we finally settled on something she liked. In some ways, those titles resembled our conversations together...sometimes they followed from one to the next, sometimes they didn't.

But I'm liking this a lot, and am wondering if I should create an alphabet with the drizzling technique, and print the titles this way? And since this is somewhat hard to read, I wouldn't print all the possible options we went through; I'd just print the final selected title for each piece, and let the 'font' speak, rather than using the extra words.

When in doubt, sleep on it.

In the mean time, here are the room divider screens! These are part of the grant project. I had them custom made and we picked them up in Tacoma yesterday. They're wider than I had pictured in my head, although they do measure to my specification. Half of the openings will be filled with the gocco screens we used in this project; and if I don't have enough, I'll use the actual prints themselves. These will be shown at RSM.

Eventually, I want to fill in the rest of the openings with small paintings. Lets see, there 324 openings all together, 162 will be filled with the screens/prints from this project, which leaves 162 small paintings that I'll have to paint before I'm finished with these screens. Lets see, I made 1 painting this entire year...


Dr. Russ said...

I love the drizzle alphabet. How about using condiment dispensers? You know the old ketchup bottles that they have at diners. I love them. I using them for gluing projects. You have a lot of control and can vary the lines by the amount of pressure you use on the bottle.

As for your room dividers. How about interspersing the different openings with colored paper or stained glass panels. This way you don't have to make so many original paintings. Also, if you back light the screens, it will take on a great effect.

Just some thoughts--russ

Michael5000 said...

I love seeing the process! It's the same kind of fun that designing the Symbol was....

fingerstothebone said...

dr russ -- I thought about condiment dispensers, but I'd have to go out and buy one, and then I'd have to buy some ketchup, or something equally dense, since I'm pretty sure the gouache/water mixture would just pour out fast & furious. I like the stained glass idea. Maybe I'll do some stained glass and some paintings. I kind of like the idea that light will only come through some of the openings but not all.

Sundry said...

Love the font!