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New work

Post #938 • January 15, 2007, 8:54 AM • 13 Comments

People at a Table and Woman Dressing Her Hair. Since my current series is inspired partly by Matisse's collages, I've been meaning to try some myself. Of all the media I've worked in, cutting up bits of colored paper brings one closest to one's inner kindergartener, X-Acto knife notwithstanding.

These were laid down right on the scanner, and maybe this is a little too much fidelity for presentation purposes. You can even see the watermark in the paper and the warps from the glue, an acid-free PVA that costs more per ounce than Jagermeister. I'm going with them anyway. Truth in advertising, and all that.




January 15, 2007, 10:46 AM

"Too much fidelity for presentation purposes"? A strange thing to worry about. How can you have too much fidelity? The texture and the wrinkles and the overlaps and all the little sensual detail are very much a part of the work.

Collage is a natural for your method. just as color is. I would think you might want to vary these surface effects even more. Get some Color Aid paper (if you can afford it) and shop around for anything flat that has interesting color. These can be really interesting.


Marc Country

January 15, 2007, 10:48 AM

I didn't expect that colour pallette (in Woman Dressing Her Hair)... These look good Franklin... I like the hi-fi images.



January 15, 2007, 12:20 PM

I was standing there in Utrecht thinking back to my first days at RISD and wondering, what the hell is the name of that inordinately expensive colored paper that came in a beautiful, big assortment and dead-flat colors? Color Aid! Of course. As it happened, I just went to the Mi-Tientes rack and got one of each, and even that was cheaper, in retrospect.

Marc, thanks!



January 15, 2007, 12:35 PM

These are really nice Franklin.

I do a lot of collage and paint a lot of paper to make the colors I want. I also collect lots of scraps of things for textures, patterns etc. I know you're going for the all flat color thing, but a wallpaper sample from Lowe's could make some interesting spatial things happen. But beware the scrapbooking look...

As for color-aid, even 15 years out from those early art-school days and I'm shuddering with fear at the name.



January 15, 2007, 3:19 PM

definite progress with these and the watercolors.

"women dressing her hair" completely works. nice piece. composition, line and color in harmony with interest.

it seems with this color aid paper that the colors are all working in the same key and are not fighting each other as much when you started with the acrylics in this style.

the 2 water color pieces color interacion looks good also. only hesitation is concerning the figures in the foreground on those 2, more so in the "new jacket". otherwise the backgrounds are quite good. the women in the foreground of "women dres..." ties in seamlessly.

also the less rounded-off line that had been more evident with the acrylics works to good affect as well. more free hand or unpredictably wavy and loose with the water color and the cutting angles with the knife on the collages work well.


Julie P

January 15, 2007, 4:07 PM

Hey Franklin, was checking out your new work....
I like the collaging, the cutting out and texture of the paper gives so much more depth to the flat colors..They seem to move...
Hope everything is going good!!! Miss ya...



January 15, 2007, 5:18 PM

Frannklin: you're such a neatnik. I remember seeing a Bob Goodnough collage that was chock full of glue. It was really pronounced and hid much of his collaged paper bits. It rocked.



January 15, 2007, 9:56 PM

Nice! My favorite bit is the reflection in the mirror. Bummer about the glue-bulges. There must be a standard way around this . . . spray adhesive?



January 15, 2007, 10:16 PM

I have been using colour aid for over 20 years and love it...great colours, huge selection and a wonderful velvetly texture....but buy the largest size cause u only get one of each and they get used/cut up size does count.
its nice to have a change every now and then from paint....



January 15, 2007, 10:25 PM

Very intriguing development, Franklin.

I would agree with comments that I understand to be saying such sensitivity to edges and colour demands similar consideration of the varieties of papers (surfaces/textures) used, both in number and kind. Also I think I'd like to see some sort of whiter lines in some places, especially on the darker People at a Table - maybe by inserting slivers of lighter-coloured papers into particular gaps - otherwise there are only the darkish shadow-lines between tucked edges in an already very dark picture.

My daughter, twelve, notes about Woman Dressing Hair: "I like it a lot but the woman's head is tilting the wrong way in the mirror."



January 15, 2007, 11:13 PM

Wwc, some different papers is a good idea, maybe for after I figure out what to do with these. I think Max Roach once said that he never went up from a five-piece drum kit because he was still trying to figure out how to use the five.

1, I've been looking hard at that more angular lines made by the knife and the scissors. It seems like as soon as I start drawing, things get "fixed" whether it helps the overall result or not. I think it's making the edges in the acrylics too placid, or out of agreement with the level of abstraction. Good point, there.

Julie, thanks! Hope you're well.

Bob, I have some good reproductions of the Matisse collages and it struck me how rough they are, to their enormous benefit. Alesh, I guess that answers your point there.

Elizabeth, thanks for the tip. It has been nice to switch over from paint.

Ahab, your daughter made exactly the same comment as Supergirl. I told her that it's Cubist, so it's not all happening at the same time, but really, I haven't had hair to fix up in a long, long time and just blew the reference. Actually, I don't think the picture would work as well if the heads were leaning the same direction. That, at least, isn't BS.



January 16, 2007, 11:38 PM

yes... I actually love the suggestion of #7; that is, of using the glue as a medium, in a circa-2005-style Franklin piece. That sounds liberating, fun, and aesthetically promising.

Quite apart from that, though, is the need (by somebody, somewhere (or at least so I'm sure)) to be able to make collages out of pieces of cutup magazines without seeing the glue marks. Surely THAT technical question can be discussed independent of Franklin's aesthetic issues? (Which, fwiw, I think would also benefit from a relatively clean execution.)


Ewart Gouh

January 21, 2007, 8:58 PM

[Deleted. - F.]



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