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Week 7: Fall
The beautiful and familiar are falling away, leaving bare spaces for winter's approach.

Week 7 Fall

I think this may be one of my favorite cards I've ever made.

The original title for this was 'Leaf Fall' which I originally visualized as one word and then realized that wouldn't work. And because I'm limiting myself to just one word as titles for these cards, I played around until I realized that 'Fall' could refer both to the season and the falling of the leaves. Excellent.

One of the impetuses for this was a discussion I had with Delia about an art project she was working on for her Introduction to Drawing class. She was to draw a common object (she used a hole punch) and then draw it different ways over the course of fourteen days, using a different medium each time. The trick is to keep finding new ways to convey the object when you start to run out of ideas. I suggested that the line could be conveyed by negative space. Two of the ideas I gave her were 1) to use pinpricks through the paper to outline her subject, and then 2) to use cut outs: negative space in other words, like you see in some of the marvelously ornate pumpkins that people have been carving the past several years for Halloween: you suggest the line of an object by illuminating what's around it.

The autumn here has been gorgeous, and the fall colors just about reached their height last week. Even as I was enjoying the colors, I've been feeling increasingly uneasy about what's coming next. I was struck by the very strong correlation between what I'm going through, with this job search, and the leaf fall all around me. When I was laid off, I had my severance period, I could enjoy my suddenly free time, take walks, visit with my family, etc. A lot of people who are laid off initially treat this time as a mini vacation. But I'm aware that world I lived in of my job (routines, friendships, tasks) has fallen away. It felt a little unreal at first, but it really feels real now. My severance period will eventually be coming to an end, and then my income will drop precipitously when I go on unemployment. And if I can't find a job then...

So I see the beautiful leaf fall and at the same time, the bare spaces left behind that are growing. Winter is coming. Hard times are coming. Have I stored up enough acorns to see my family through?

I loved, loved, loved making this card, and to do so, I used a method I've never tried before. I cut out small delicate leaves from my collected images, but instead of gluing them on the card, I used them as templates; I laid them over the card and drew tiny brush strokes of paint away from the leaf edges, first in white and then with a wash of autumnal colors over the white (the color on black alone wouldn't have shown up). Then I peeled the leaves away, leaving the finely edged outline of a leaf behind. Finally, I added a few, spare touches of gold.

I had a tough time capturing a good scan of the card with the scanner app I have on my iPod touch. Reflections of light on the black kept washing out the paint. Finally got a good one on my screened in porch (indirect light) and toned down the brightness to make the scrim of white reflection disappear while keeping the leaf color true, but that made the card look almost as if it is deep purple rather than black. Then I had to monkey with other parameters to make the card look black again.

Made this card yesterday, as part of a lovely day I spent with [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K. Thanks for the use of your paints! And I really enjoyed your company.
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