black and white

August 29th, 2006 | Oddments

negative space

Procrastinating again. But aren’t these photographs interesting? That’s me in front of Canterbury Cathedral last February, totally in silhouette. Just like the white cat I met in Wisconsin last month. Doesn’t she looks vaporized, like someone cut a cat shape out of the photo? I love negative space.

15 Responses to “black and white”

  1. Eva says:

    Alison, you are SUCH an artist! I remember when I first learned what negative space was, in first year art…I just saw it everywhere…I couldn’t look at anything without seeing it’s negative. You procrastinate about the best stuff.

  2. Ellen says:

    Have you ever considered approaching a DTWOF strip from a “speculative artistic” point of view? As in changing your drawing style to reflect a theme or stretch the strip’s reality? I know you’ve done some very cool silhouette panels, and other panels with closely cropped characters looking over their shoulders.

  3. Duncan says:

    Actually, I recall one of the calendar strips, where Alison “mainstreamed” DTWOF by drawing it in the style of Cathy, Mark Trail, and one other. Not quite what Ellen is suggesting, but still fun.

  4. --MC says:

    Dik Browne — Mo and Lois in the style of “Hi and Lois”.

  5. Ellen says:

    Mainstreaming DTWOF–
    That was a classic, and definitely along the same lines of what I was asking about. I loved “Mo Trail” for “Mark Trail.” Really impressive how she imitates/captures the drawing style.

  6. Andrew B says:

    The cool thing about the cat photo is that you can see the cat’s shadow from the flash on Alison’s leg and foot. So there’s an empty space, throwing a shadow. (No, I have not been smoking anything, and I still think that’s cool.)

    The cool thing about the Cathedral photo is that Alison looks like Tintin.

    As far as DTWOF in different styles, my favorite is the very PoMo strip from the era of the Clinton impeachment, when we’re introduced to a character called “the cartoonist”. She winds up blowing all her circuits and producing a single panel, Family Circle-style, in which Mo is telling Lois, “See, Lois? Fornication is a sin!”.

  7. Deb says:

    I love it when the characters step out of their strip characters and talk to the reading audience. They kvetch about thier wages, roles and spotlight times in the strip, lines and futures in the strip. I thought that was a stoke of genius and it added a certain dimension to MY relationship with each character.

  8. SP says:

    You’re right, she does look like Tintin. The lock of hair is in just the right place.

  9. mlk says:

    correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t procrastination part of the artistic process?

    if you use negative space in the next strip, or a cat, this bit of diversion will have been *totally justified*! and if you don’t, well, this instance of procrastination will probably bear fruit *somewhere* down the line . . .

    I want to be careful, though, not to be TOO supportive of what easily becomes a character flaw. it’s not such a good idea to indulge in procrastination with abandon.

    hard to know sometimes how much is too much — seems to have something to do with whether it interferes with other matters of importance. your nearest and dearest probably have ideas about when it’s time to stop. if they aren’t clamoring about things that are being neglected, maybe you’re OK for now? and deadlines figure into it, too.

    happy drawing . . . or photographing . . . or inking . . . or wherever you are with the next strips!

  10. Danyell says:

    Negative space is one of the most important things you’ll ever learn in an intro art class. It’s so profound and zen. “I want you to draw what isn’t there, Grasshopper.”

  11. brynn says:

    Very cool photos!!!

  12. taylor says:

    This reminds me of a passage from Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” about a ‘cat-shaped hole in the universe.’

    I bought your graphic novel the other day and loved it. I’m so happy to support someone so recently coming into well-deserved fame. Now I get to happily wade into your years of previous work, as “Fun Home” was my introduction to you.

  13. Deb says:

    taylor, you are in for a real treat! Enjoy!

  14. taylor says:

    I’m excited! just surprised that Forbidden Planet in nyc doesn’t carry the DTWOF collections…I’ll have to amazon them!

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