Thursday, 2 April 2009

365 Cards - Day 33 - Two Thirds Blank (White Space)

Bit of a killer challenge this, to only use the top or bottom third of the card, leaving the rest blank.

I started off wondering if white on white would be fun, thinking of Kasimir Malevich (again) as he did lovely paintings of a white background with a diagonally- offset white square, or the British artist Ben Nicholson who spent a long time working on a series of white on white reliefs using squares and circles. But couldn't get any inspiration that only covered a third of the card.

So, I leafed through my 'art' postcards for ideas : temporarily toyed with the idea of a mosaic border in gold blue & white like the Austrian Weiner Werkstatte artists (Klimt, Forstner etc), or maybe the square cutout motifs used in Rennie Mackintosh interiors, but it's late, I'm tired and it was a bit too fiddly; what about Matisse type papercuts like his Jazz book, nice and wide shapes, not too hard to cut out, but when I tried with copier paper, I got stuck with the one-third proportion again, a single border didn't really work; maybe a pen & ink bird or animal, but again it's late, the ink is downstairs and I've not drawn anything for a couple of years....

All great ideas for cards at some stage, but not this one.

Then I found a postcard I picked up at the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice a while ago of a 1940s solid silver 'bedhead' which I didn't remember seeing at 1.6m by 1.3m, but I must have done as I sketched a bit of it in that year's ideas notebook. Beautiful though it is, I can't imagine it was comfortable to have as a bedhead but maybe Peggy didn't sit up reading books very often...

It's a really lovely & delicate piece of metalwork with a dragonfly on a chain, a couple of fish, lots of spirals and this zigzag motif I used on the card that I suspect is some sort of stylised fern:

The URL for it is here

So, happy as larry, I start work - scalpelling out the motif took some doing as the paper is a bit floppy and the trapped fibres wouldn't cut cleanly; then after making sure the gold underlay was the right size and in the right place, I spent a lot of time very carefully sticking lots of tiny bits of double-sided sticky tape onto all the bits that would stand out if not stuck down because I couldn't be bothered to go downstairs for the glue - only to find that I'd done this on the right side of the blue paper, leaving all my pencil marks on display on the wrong side, which made me scream with frustration, but I wasn't going to start again....

Then to cap it all, when I finally stuck the pesky thing down, the feathery bits stuck in the wrong place so I had to get the glue anyway so I could peel them up & glue them down and then I got the glue spread out over the gold bits.

And of course, this handmade type paper doesn't take erasing at all well and got fluffy where I'd tried to get rid of the pencil marks.

Then the photo came out the strangest colour; it's actually that blue paper I used as background for the origami fish a couple of days ago, and the gold paper I used yesterday for the spirals card, but I can't be bothered to keep faffing with the camera. One of these days I'm going to buy a USB lead for my scanner, which will make life a whole lot easier.... if it works with Vista, which would be far too convenient to be true.

Ms Grumpy is now thoroughly fed up & going to bed (lol)

ARGGGGHHHHH I've just gone and looked at everyone else's cards, and realised the brief was white space not just 2/3 space. mutter mutter mutter. I'll do another one over the weekend that actually does what it's supposed to. mutter mutter mutter


  1. don't grumble you did great, and it challenged you to think in a new way so no worries, besides white space is more like a guideline, right.

  2. i really love this! i took it to mean "white space" not "white." So by my book you did perfect. And I love Calder's work. this piece is especially moving. great job with the challenge!

  3. Great job...I love your interpretation of the's your take...and that's what it is all about...I love it.

  4. I love that you didn't use white. Awesome take on the challenge!

  5. This is stunning. Love your "white".

  6. Cool "white" card! It's exceptional.

  7. Very cool, I think all the faffing was definitely worth it!


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