SERIES| APPLYING THE LANGUAGE 2004
The title for this body of work derives from the book, “Wallcoverings: Applying the Language of Color and Pattern” by Chuck Fisher, about wallpaper and how to apply the principles of color and pattern to home decoration. Each chapter features a color. Traditional ideas of color theory are explained with many beautiful wallcovering patterns as examples.
The titles for the thirteen drawings in the series come from the chapter headings that associate each color with an emotion. While the idea of linking words and feelings has always had a strong basis in my work, I nevertheless discourage their obviousness. Add imagery, and their meaning is not only elusive, but also can become subversive.
Because it was made in another country, in another’s studio, this body of work presented the challenge of finding a subject broad enough to encompass working away from my studio – away from my comfort zone and known resources and equipment. Even though confronting the unexpected is the purpose of travel and collaboration, I felt that I still needed to “plan”. The color theory idea, as organized in this how-to book, offered me a strong general structure with which to plan to organize a series. My self-imposed restrictions were to use the book’s selected examples of colors as the predominant source for drawn or appropriated material as well as examples of wallpaper patterns.
I prepared for the project first at my home studio by drawing an individual figure on each of three separate sheets of mylar – a transparent film with a rough surface for drawing. These images were then used as photographic positives and transferred to photo offset plates by Tom Blaess, owner of Printshop/Gallery Tom Blaess, and printed by him on his offset proofing press at his print shop in Bern, Switzerland. Approximately thirty pieces of paper were finally printed in about twenty-five colors.
The figure or figures that were printed on each piece of paper were then used as the beginning image for each new drawing. I had brought to Bern some material from home, but also combined newly gathered imagery, such as pictures and text from Tom’s book collection, including his grade school dictionary and color copies of wallpaper from a local decorating store. Many images were completed at the atelier; the rest were completed at my home studio in Ithaca, New York.