It’s been awhile since I’ve used my X-acto Knife and so yesterday I decided I was due to re-visit the old friend. This time, though, I wanted to try something a bit different than my traditional approach. Rather than cutting into paper, I thought it could be interesting to cut into masking tape. The shapes created could be peeled off and stuck onto watercolor paper. From that point, I would be able to paint the negative space, ending up with something a bit different from my norm.
I started by laying down strips of tape to a scrap of canvas (the canvas seems to withstand the X-acto Knife cuts pretty decently, which helps in not completely ruining my work table).After that, I simply began cutting out shapes. As I cut and transferred, I realized that not only would I have a painting created from the cut shapes, but I could create a second painting by cutting around the negative space left by the initial cut shapes.The cutting of the masking tape was pretty easy. The transferring did get a bit tricky as some of the more delicate pieces tended to come apart at the tape seam or tear, and at times the tape would roll up on itself. But overall, the technique worked pretty darned well.
From here I began painting each 9 x 12″ paper. I finished up the first, peeled the tape off and felt pretty good about the result. I got a bit of extra help from Box, our cat, on the second painting as he spilled a glass of water over the finished piece. I have to say I think it helped it the overall look, but because the paper got so saturated, when I went to peel off the tape, it did take some of the paper with it. A simple solution: Have patience and let the paper dry (something I don’t have and thus did not avoid completely).
I’m pretty happy with this little experiment. I think the color and flow of both pieces are nice and it’s always nice for my brain to try something new.