Browsing Instagram for inspiration, I came across a stunningly beautiful and moody low-contrast animal portrait. While I mused over it, I happened to glance up at one of my works in progress. The lingering impression of that portrait and the work in front of me merged and solidified into an exciting new idea.
My gaze had landed on a raven formed in black paper, which I usually do for my black birds, except the pen and ink work on top was in the same neutral gray-blues of the background as opposed to the metallics and rusts I normally used. It occurred to me right then and there that in twelve years of developing and mastering my technique I had not once used black paper as background papers for my subjects. And I now knew exactly how I could make that work.
You see, the low-contrast animal portrait was done in such a way that it reminded me of those black and white, high contrast portrait photographs we are all aware of, where a person’s face is brightly lit on one side and the other half sharply fades into a black background.
And thus, the beautiful lightning had struck! This flash of inspiration for a new series of animal portraits where the animal’s face is papered in white, the background in black paper and half of the animal’s face disappears into the surrounding pen and ink work, occurred in less time than it took for you to read the first sentence.
The Welcoming Night, the wolf, is the second piece in that series.
About the artist:
Through her original technique of pen & ink on sculpted paper, Col Mitchell fluidly melds texture with intricately layered lines of colour, creating magical impressions of the beauty and mystery of nature and wildlife.
An international award winning paper artist Mitchell’s work has featured in CBC Arts Paper Cuts video series; Times Square digital exhibition, NYC; the 2010 G8/G20 Summit Media Centre, Toronto; online & print magazines; art publications; popular art blogs; and juried global exhibitions.
Col operates a working studio & boutique in Bracebridge. Her originals are showcased along with creative goods inspired by select original works, both in her studio and on her website.
Follow the ravens up a garden path for an engaging studio experience: View her most recent works, watch the artist at work & learn more about the process. Collect an original piece, shop the boutique, or inquire about a personal commission.
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