For exercise 1 on the theme of balance I tried out an other idea. I was thinking of towers we used to build with building blocks challenging gravity by trying out precarious constructions.
I cut out paper blocks and inked them by pressing them into an inked plate.
For the first composition I chose two background colours – black and white and then added the inked blocks and a ball to it. I expected them to get a white line around them where the paper would not reach the inked plate.
Having used both black and white as background colours I was left with the problem of the paper colour. I used a beige drawing paper but the white does not show properly. This paper also has a tooth which I don’t like. The colours are less vivid than I had anticipated. I do like the composition, though. A good start.
Next I used smooth white drawing paper and a black background. I stacked the blocks in a similar way but added more circles at the bottom. I felt they were needed.
The background in this is better (except for the white spots – I think the wind has brought in debris. I was working in the garden). The colours are more distinct and show the quality of the prints made by moving the paper bits in the ink on the plate. They are interesting marks but not what I wanted for this. I am pleased with the three additional circles as a counterweight.
For my third attempt I made the background as before but inked the paper blocks with the roller. This resulted in more saturated and even colours. I like that as it also makes the white lines around them more prominent. They suddenly remind me of Mondrian, probably due to the shapes and colours.
When cleaning the plate after the previous print I noticed a nice pattern and thought I might use that as a somewhat chaotic frame around this very square composition. It did not transfer so well and looks more like a mistake than anything deliberate. Like this it does not work. Otherwise I am pleased.
I think this image answers to the exercise brief to make an abstract picture on the theme of balance. Maybe it is not as abstract as it could be? There is balance as a theme in the stacked blocks but also in the composition which is balanced up by the circles.
The strong colours underline the shapes of the blocks which is good. But it makes the whole thing rather stiff. It is strange, I like the implementation of the exercise, the way I thought it through and modified it – but I do not particularly like the images. They are too static, stiff, square. With regard to movement and interest I like my first versions better – although I am less convinced they make good pictures.