Last week I fell into the black hole that is internet surfing, and happened upon something that reminded me of the Notan studies I was obsessed with at one time. I learned about Notan from someone in my mini-group, who had studied with fiber artist Marilyn Felber. She suggested that doing this exercise could strengthen one’s artistic muscles while at the same time providing a meditative resting place for a busy mind.
Enough said: I was hooked. Marilyn had referred her group to a tutorial of ArtCloth artist Jane Dunnewold entitled The Expansion of the Square for the simple rules (and a good explanation of the design principles involved), and this really got me started.
Complex shapes and design are made from a simple 5″ square of black paper, and these were the images that came pouring out of the internet from Flickr, Pinterest, etc. They were fascinating.
So I went back to the old journals (2003) and found these creations of mine; these might be just as fun as all those online, I thought.
Here are a few:
After looking carefully online, however, I noticed that the tags for many of the photos were “Mrs. Crawford’s Seventh Grade Art Class,” etc. Burst my ego bubble just a bit.
Regardless, it was easy to become entranced with this exercise because, just like most of the artistic things I do, different possibilities for new works jump around in my brain while working on the current piece.
So if you feel stuck and just want to space out and try something fun, jump into the Notan pool.
Have a favorite?