Thursday, September 3, 2015

Paper cuts

As regular readers know, Wednesday night is Trivia Night. Last night, in a discussion with fellow team mate and friend Wayne, he commented that he had seen a painting of a feather that was so fine and detailed that it was hard to believe that it was a painting. 

As regular readers will also know, I am not a great fan of photo realism as art. My view is that apart from the Wow! factor, ie amazement that it is a painting and not a photograph, the question then becomes that if it is indistinguishable from a photograph, why not just take a photograph? This is all the more so when the objects painted are people in showers, bowls of fruit, Coke cans and so on.

I further commented to Wayne that I had recently seem a paper cut of a feather that was also so detailed that it was hard to credit that it had been done with a surgical knife. . . 

The works are by artist Maude White, who lives in Buffalo in the US.

The following is from her website at:

I’ve never been a book reader, but I collect books. In a way, I’m more fascinated by the weight and permanence, the constancy of paper, than I am interested in what’s written on paper. I started cutting paper because I wanted to have a conversation with the paper, not a conversation using the paper. I didn’t want to write on the paper, I wanted to write in the paper and in that way start a more symbiotic relationship with the paper. I have great respect for paper. I trust it. There is something very comforting and safe about cutting into the paper, discovering some story hidden inside. 
I’ve said this as a joke, but it’s true nonetheless: there is no going back from the knife. One of the challenges of papercutting is the permanence of each cut. With a knife there’s no erasing, there’s no painting over, there’s no backspace. I have to be very sure I want to make each cut before I put my blade to the paper. Very often this is satisfying and empowering, but sometimes it can be stressful. Also, I sometimes find that the cut paper I end up with isn’t anything like the image I’d imagined cutting. I’m always learning and adjusting.

I have to confess that, like Maude, I am something of a paper cut artist myself. One of my works, created especially for this post, appears below. See if you can work out which one it is.


For those who haven't worked out which was my art work, it was the one that said "Bytes". The word gave it away, right?

More paper art in future Bytes.

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