Sunday, June 10, 2012

Night Sky Code

10" x 10", paper, stencil, metallics, white ink.

UPDATE:  I added some black lines and photographed again...this time with I think better lighting!

First of three on paper using three elements: stencil, metallic and code. I would like to complete three in this size and three larger ones on clayboard. Because I'm exploring it will take more than three or six to arrive at my goal, counting failed efforts. Actually this one has already changed with a few straight lines drawn with graphite. I was feeling too lazy to photograph all over again but will post the changes  in the sidebar next week when I post again!

My research into code has taken me to several Secret Code sites for kids: (I'm an artist not a scholar!) cipher wheels and decipher codes, Morse code to name a few. Will be learning to encrypt messages and even reading about codes used by Julius Caesar. Sure wish I had those cereal box tops to mail in for a decoder ring!

The metallics are still a stretch for me. The sheen is beautiful but for me they are a challenge. I keep thinking about how I love Russian and Greek Icons and hope to interpret my own brand of glow!


  1. an interesting combination of the circles by hand and the stencils which have a much more formal feel. i look forward to hearing how working on clayboard goes.

  2. Smiling at the de-coder ring, remember it all too well.
    I've never worked with metallics to speak of,,,I wish we could get a better feel for their glow here.
    Wonderfully soft colors, and very nicely designed.Eager to see the graphite marks,,,they can add so much to a piece!

  3. Beautifully done, love the whole idea of secret codes tucked away in our work

  4. It's fascinates me how you come up with subjects to explore visually, backed up by research, leading to various series of related work.

    I personally love using metallics (mostly gold, bronze, or silver) but find that less is more, using them for edges or highlighting textures rather painting than broad spaces. It's frustrating that they don't come across in photographs or prints, though. I'm looking forward to watching your new series unfold.

    Speaking of decoder rings, have you thought of doing a series based on x-ray glasses?

  5. This piece is elegant.
    ...Be sure to drink your Ovaltine?

  6. Just don't throw your "failures" out! I'm betting they will want to be de-coded too.

  7. Fascinating work and thoughts. There's a memory of being involved in code making when a chid for our wee friends only club!

  8. Suki, Actually I'm working on paper and then my intention is to glue finished work to clayboard I already have in the framing will be complete with the clayboard edges.

    Babs, Posted the piece with the addition of what turned out to be crayon over graphite lines.

    Bren, Yes, codes...not only interesting marks but the concept of secret messages!

    louciao, I agree, I've used the metallics as edges or highlights but I have a bucket of metallic powders that beg to be used full out. Challenge in use and to photograph. I usually photograph my work in morning shaded North light but I need to try another way as it washes out.

    Karen, Missed the Ovaltine trend but it's never too late! I love to receive packages in the mail!

    Carole, My failures disappear under the sander or are ripped and thrown to the collage box!

    Bridget, Yes, codes and special clubs were always great fun! Now my codes speak my personal story and ancient traditions!

  9. Whoa, you sure did!!
    Amazing the depth and DRAMA the additional work made to the piece.
    Loved it before,,,but this new look really brought it all home.
    SO well done!!
    (I'd have never guessed crayon could look so good)

  10. I like the juxtaposition of the classical decorative lines with the more primitively drawn code marks, which do remind me of marks made by a child. Maybe this wasn't your intention, but only my own weird psychological reading of the piece. I love it, though!

    I have to agree with Lynne that when it comes to metallics, a little goes a long way, at least in my own experience. The sumptuous gold of the old Russian icons, though, is absolutely perfect, so I think it depends on how it's used, and the subject matter. Can't wait to see what you come up with next!