Monday, 30 June 2014

Cut-Outs by Deborah


I recently visited the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition at Tate Modern in London and was inspired to have a go at my own cut-outs. Matisse cut freehand from sheets of paper that had been painted in flat, bright colours whereas I decided to cut from gelli prints and ink sprayed/stencilled papers. So my papers are both more textural and earthier in colour.

I first selected two gelli prints using the Mod stencil (the negative part of the set) and cut round them, leaving a very thin border of white. Using my unadorned journal pages as a background I played around with placement. On the right hand page I placed my Mod shape onto a piece of scrap paper I had cleaned my brayer on. By chance it almost matched the colour of the Mod shape I wanted for the left hand page.

After adding my journaling (look at the illegible handwriting - you would think I was a doctor! LOL) I glued my second Mod shape onto the left hand side. Then I rummaged through my papers to find more papers to cut into. I selected a sheet sprayed with Dylusions ink through the Fire Coral stencil and cut seaweed/sea anemone shapes freehand - these are similar to one of Matisse's favourite shapes. Once I had arranged them and glued them in place I turned to a gelli print scrap featuring the Star Coral stencil and cut out some of the centres. To me they looked like primitive sea creatures.

I didn't consciously intend the left hand piece to look like a sea creature or coral reef, I just seemed to suggest itself as I went along. Although very different from mine, Matisse created cut-out artworks called Oceania so I was no doubt influenced subliminally by what I saw.

Anyway, the point of all this, I suppose,  s to say that you don't have to leave gelli prints as they are. Especially if you have ones that 'went wrong' - chop them up and play with them!


  1. A great Matisse inspired spread!

  2. Fabulous idea Debs and they look fantastic.
    Fliss xx

  3. How amazing to draw inspiration from the exhibition - both consciously and unconsciously by the sound of it! I love your page - it's earthy and organic and really exciting.
    Alison x


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