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  • Writer's pictureGregory Kitterle


The depth of this labyrinth is as thin as a sheet of paper, yet one can wander in it for miles and hours. As one does the stains, blotches, scratches and irregularities of the surface created while working become walls that rise up to tell their tale, each as individual as the eyes that behold them. Some are clear and offer easy images to share. Others are sunken and only whisper possibilities. The images here are tales told to me during my wanderings in this labyrinth of surface.

In the paragraph above I used an analogy of wandering in a labyrinth as a process for creating my images. Staying in that same line of thinking, pacing becomes an issue worth considering. As a painter, I often wonder about the approach to a piece. How does it take place in a visual context? Not only in stylistic, plastic or spatial concerns, but how one is visually introduced to the work. How and at what stages or pace does the work reveal its various elements? Can reflected light, which is usually considered an obstruction, be incorporated as part of the works gestalt?Traditionally, the proper visual distance with painting was determined by doubling the height of the work. If one goes outside of those constraints can the work still maintain a predetermined wholeness? In the series of drawings I am currently working on I explore this line of thought and seek to see if it can be successfully incorporated as part of the creative process. Some of the drawings will use gloss black over a slightly impasto ground. The drawing elements will be in graphite, white conte crayon, chalk and powdered pigment. The light in a few will radiate downwards illuminating only the edges that would catch light and use the reflective light to hide the graphite elements. While at the same time highlight others dependent on the position the viewer is seeing it from. The drawn areas in white will be a continuous image which first engages the viewer. Others will use white on white with charcoal or pencil as the continuous image. The key to these drawings will be the sheen. Below is my first attempt to incorporate the sheen as an added 2-d spatial concern. Originally, I thought the gold leaf would assist in this process and found it to be too much of a visual distraction.

1st attempt with a gold leaf back ground

This drawing is the first attempt with the pacing/sheen concept, as described above, photographed with the same settings and different distances from the art.

The distance was from 4 to 2 feet. No flash was used. Graphite was used and the white areas were achieved by sanding back into the plaster ground.

This is from 4 feet.

This is from 3 feet.

This is from 2 feet.

Here is another example of the effect how the sheen can change the composition while standing directly in front of the piece and in the second half a step to left.On the viewers left the sheen remains after the step was taken, while on the right side it disappears shifting the composition slightly.

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