Shape shifting

In January the seeds of new ideas -shapes shifting from dark to light,
and back again,
inner eyes opening.

I am playing with shapes in anticipation of my February class at the Textile Center.

Notan: A Study in Design
Mondays, February 6, 13 and 20, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Notan is a Japanese concept meaning dark-light, or the interplay of positive and negative space in design. In this workshop, we will explore the dynamics of this principle using black, white and gray paper to work through a series of exercises exploring and applying these ideas. We will discuss the applications of notan in textile design and share and discuss our studies and experiments in class.

For registration information, click here.


Expanding the square: stencil design warm-up

I’m beginning new stencil designs this week. To loosen up, I’m playing with paper, scissors and a glue stick, following some intriguing exercises in the book Notan: The Dark-Light principle of design.  This goal of the exercise below is to create symmetrical and asymmetrical balance by cutting shapes out of a basic 6×6″ black square and expanding them outside the boundary of the square (with some guidelines).  These exercises help develop what the authors call the “dichotomy of attention” to positive and negative space that is necessary to create Notan (think right-brain).

Not surprisingly, creating asymmetrical balance is more challenging. Here is one of several iterations I tried combining a rabbit form with a kale/leaf-like form (remembering the rabbits that frequented my garden this winter). It’s easier to start with abstract rather than representational forms and see what emerges.

 expanding the square asymmetrically
expanding the square asymmetrically