Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fascination with the Heart Shape

Thinking about my recent fascination with the heart shape. It’s possible it started with finding the shape in nature and photographing it. I wouldn’t be looking for them, I’d just come upon them. Perfect little hearts in snow or leaves or mud, a stone.

I started collecting the images. Posting them on Facebook.

I began to wonder where the little heart symbol came from. According to Wikipedia, it’s pretty old. Been around for quite a while. There are references to it in the Middle Ages.

It’s a tacky little thing, granted. Way over used. But it has its appeal. To me. Right now. Anyway. I like its simplicity and symmetry. And of course I like finding them around.

If I try to look too hard for one, it doesn’t work. It’s the same as with four-leaf clovers. One has to have soft eyes, be relaxed, not anxious or desperate. And one will pop up. Or not. It can’t matter.

Sometimes when I do find (or am given) a heart shape I want another one right away! I begin to look for one with eagerness. Never get one that way. Or I’ll see one that’s sort of a heart but not really. I do have a rule of never changing the shape myself or manipulating what I find in any way.

Missing my daily projects, and wanting something to post on this blog and on Facebook, because I’m addicted to the feedback, I’ve started another series. This one uses the heart shape. Like the project I did last January, starting with the cover photo of the Washington Post, finding a section of it and making an abstract composition from it, I’ve been cutting small heart shapes from the photos and creating colored pencil drawings from what is visible. They are quite small, so they aren’t the investment of time the other ones were. And I don’t write the synopsis of the story that goes with the photo, as I did in January, but I do make a note about the subject.

I’ve been using some old 5”X 8” index cards. I like that they aren’t bright white. I do the drawing on the unlined side and note on the lined side the date, the subject description and any notes about the technique. I also glue the heart-shaped cut out of the newspaper photo next to the drawing.

The collage above shows the first four I’ve done. 1) Fri. Mar. 21st ~ Gen. Sinclair gets a slap on the wrist 2) Sun. Mar. 23rd ~ Aerial view of the an old limestone mine where the Office of Personnel Management processes retirement papers for the U.S. government 3) Mon. Mar. 24th ~ Women Terps win the first round of the NCAA women’s tournament 4) Tues. Mar. 25th ~ Grieving relatives of those aboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

I used randomly selected pencils to color in the sections of the drawings. Some are scratched into with an X-acto blade.

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