Cardboard Bas Relief

Woman Supporting Weight, Bas relief construction of cardboard, kraft

paper, acrylic, 18×24 in. originally uploaded by ahtravis.

For this month’s exhibition at Longyear Gallery I am exhibiting the last of my “cardboard paintings” completed during that fabulous month I spent painting in Paris.  Sometimes I am more attached to one painting than another. This cardboard and kraft paper bas relief painted construction has occupied a special place in my heart and I had been reluctant to part with it.

I envisioned the finished piece as a section of a column that carries the weight of the column and/or a whole building. In Italy one often sees architectural features that appear to be supported by fragile shapes wielding incredible strength, a cathedral column supported by an old man, all stooped and tired.  One of my favorite of such contrivances is in Florence where four small turtles, one on each corner bear the entire weight of a gigantic fountain.  I am sure that fountain supported by small turtles is the inspiration for the book and illustrations of “Yertle the Turtle”, by Dr. Seuss.

In my studio this piece has been hanging so that it appeared to support a beam.

The construction was based on a life drawing (see Flickr images to right) done early in my residency at the Paris American Academy.  The piece itself, was completed near the end when I was so filled with inspiration I could not keep my mind still.  I picked the materials, cardboard and kraft paper, out of the street trash on my way to the studio one morning.  The painting is acrylic.

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