I started my day by conceptualizing some ideas for large scale works that I want to eventually work on. I knew that I was going to finish up the final monotype today, so I wanted to start developing ideas for how to bring the work in this series into a grander scale.
I went back to thinking about a Chinese calligraphy exhibition I saw at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last spring. At the exhibition, they had a wide variety of different kinds of scrolls. There were many of the typical scrolls that you expect to see: tall and vertical, and hanging on the wall. The scrolls that really got me going were two scrolls in the back of the exhibition. They were horizontal scrolls that were insanely long; each scroll showed at least 20 feet or so, and there had to be many more feet of image because only a portion was being displayed. Today, thinking about those scrolls got me wondering how I could translate the extreme horizontal format for some ink drawings.
I started considering extremely long, horizontal ink drawings that would dominate and cut across a gallery space with their length. The scrolls at the MFA exhibition were on flat tables, approximately waist high, encased in glass for protection. In the end, I saw that there were essentially three different formats, and of course variations on each of those formats: 1) having the drawings lie flat on long tables like the MFA exhibition, 2) hang the drawings with invisible wiring from the ceiling, which would make them behave more like three-dimensional objects, and 3) hang the drawings on the wall, at eye level in a continual line across all of the walls to create a drawing that never ends. Of these three options, I got really excited about the third option, and did a very quick sketch of how it might look. It might still be a while before I get around to actually executing the idea, but I find that the longer I have to ponder and simmer on a thought while I’m working on other parts of the project, the stronger the idea will be when the time comes.
For this last monotype, I went back to a single figure format. I made a concerted effort to work more intensively with the very thin brush strokes towards the end of the process. A few months back, I had tried the opposite approach, attempting to make the compositions as sparse as possible with just a few large brush strokes. I think the results are a little fuller and there’s a greater range of variety in the different brush strokes.