Slide Show: From Start to Finish

It’s been a really long time since my last post and it feels great to be back!

Thanks to those of you who keep reading BoveyBlog.

This year has been totally insane and it is astonishing we are in November already. Where does the time go?

Oh, right, mine all went to cutting paper. Many people are curious how I create my work.

Here’s a slide show that offers insight into what it takes for me to make a cut paper piece. Hope you enjoy it.

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The Creative Process Behind My Cut Paper for The New York Times Magazine

Who would have thought that my first cut paper artwork for the New York Times Magazine was a Cannabis Sativa? Since the Magazine is published weekly, there was very little time to work on the piece. Time is always a challenging issue, for my creative process is naturally slow. In addition, I already lined up my calendar for the rest of the year but pretty much had to push everything back in order to fit it into the schedule.

Despite its simplicity, a lot of preparation and work went into the cut paper leaf. As I said in the last post, what seems easy is not. Firstly, I read Bruce Barcott’s fascinating article and learned about the angle of the story. And then, the Art Director and I discussed how to represent the angle of the story all in a single cutout leaf. The color scheme and composition were then decided. After a dozen back and forth with the AD, I went about to research hundreds of images of the Cannabis leaves. Realizing there were three different types, I had to make a quick choice on which one to depict and settled on the Sativa because of its graceful shape. I also researched images of vintage botanical and scientific illustrations.

The article centered around the investment and marketing of marijuana for pharmaceutical use. On the computer, I rearranged, reshaped, and adjusted the spacing and symmetry of the leaf. The idea was to give the leaf a clinical look, almost like a specimen drawing. Before cutting it out, I did a pencil drawing based on the computer image to show the AD. After approval, I then began the hand cutting process until it was completed. The finished artwork was shipped to a photographer in New York for the post production work.

Bovey Lee, Cannabis Sativa, pencil on paper, for The New York Times Magazine, June 30 issue, 2013

Bovey Lee, Cannabis Sativa, pencil on paper, sketch for The New York Times Magazine, June 30 issue, 2013

Given the photographer who has never taken pictures of my work before, he did a good job for white-on-white is very difficult to do well, especially because the leaf has very delicate, thin lines.

I want to thank The New York Times for inviting me to collaborate on this interesting project.

Bovey Lee, Cannabis Sativa cut paper artwork for the New York Times Magazine, June 30 issue, 2013

Bovey Lee, Cannabis Sativa cut paper artwork for the New York Times Magazine, June 30 issue, 2013

5 Tips for Paper Cutting

I originally wrote these five tips for an author who asked what techniques that were unique to my practice in cut paper. So if you cut paper like I do, i.e., with a template, these few pointers might help you:

1.  To align my cutout template with the rice paper, I use staples on the top two corners for registration and paperweights to keep the template from shifting while cutting.

2.  I make sure a cut paper piece in progress is structurally sound by starting in the center and working out to the edges.

3.  For large pieces, it is best that you do not lift the cut paper before it is complete and to also cover any cut section with a blank sheet of paper when resting your hand or arm upon it to cut other areas. These precautions protect the delicate areas.

4.  When doing intricate cutting, it helps to lift your knife to the very tip of the blade at the end of a line to prevent over cutting.

5.  Instead of blowing or shaking stray pieces from a cut paper piece, I use a soft sable brush.

boveyleestudio-cutting

5-year Anniversary – A Mini Retrospective

I began my full-time career as a cut paper artist five years ago (the clock started with my first solo exhibition as a represented gallery artist, although I started making cut paper in summer of 2005). Looking back at the works that I have created, there are several pieces that I consider to be door openers.

“Hanging Gown” is the first piece I used the chain link fence motif. Later, I expanded the idea to create series of works including the “Little Crimes,” “Falling Water,” “Memory Windows,” and “The Butterfly Gown.”

Hanging Gown

Hanging Gown, rice paper cutout, 7×14, 2006

“Atomic Jellyfish” is the first large cut paper with an elevated level of intricacy that I created in late 2007. Although taking as long as four months to complete, it allowed me to push the technical and conceptual limits of cut paper. “Atomic Jellyfish” inspired works that came soon after that dealt with both man-made and natural powers.

"Atomic Jellyfish"

Bovey Lee, Rice paper cutout, 2007

“Beach Ball Blast” is significant as it was the first piece that I focused on environmental issues.

Beach Ball Blast

“Beach Ball Blast,” rice paper cutout, 2009

“Falling Water I–V” is the first series that I created as an installation. Coming from a painting background, I was curious to create a painterly effect using cut paper.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

“Sewing Highways” brought back the narrative-based expressions in my work. I created it after coming back from Beijing in 2010 after visiting the capital of China twenty years prior. The changes in Beijing’s landscape and people’s lives were staggering and overwhelming. It inspired me to create works on the effects of industrialization and urbanization.

Sewing Highways, cut rice paper on silk, 2011

Sewing Highways, cut rice paper on silk, 2011

“Lifting Clouds” is a recent work that explores how we use super machines and high technologies to claim ownership and alter/shape nature to our liking. I developed the concept to create many works in similar vein, such as “Trimming Feathers,” “Painting Corals,” and “Welding Branches.”

Bovey Lee, "Lifting Clouds", 2012

Bovey Lee, “Lifting Clouds”, 2012

“Vase I” modernizes traditional Chinese vases that always depict nature in purity and untouched by humanity. The fact is, there is literally no place on earth that human beings have not interrupted in some way.

Bovey Lee, "Vase I", 2012

Bovey Lee, “Vase I”, 2012

Gallery Shots of Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory at Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Coming back to open my solo, Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, in Palm Beach not long ago. The opening was very well attended. I love how subtle and elegant the color scheme we use for the show. Thanks to Sarah Gavlak who is director and owner of Gavlak. When I first exhibited cut paper, I chose a tone on tone presentation and it gave a very quiet and airy feel to a show. This current solo recreates that same impression. Below are several gallery shots that I want to share with you:

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has a Memory, Solo Exhibition, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA

It’s only a week away from the opening of my first solo exhibition with Gavlak Gallery that represents my work in Palm Beach, Florida. The water motif is in majority of the cut paper pieces in the show. That’s why it is titled Water Has a Memory.

Bovey Lee: Water Has a Memory opens on Easter Friday, March 29 and the exhibition is thru May 11. I will be showing both recent and new works, including “Falling Water I–V (after Pat Steir)” that are in the image below. New works include “Palm Tree Snowflakes,” “Painting Coral,” “Sawing Waves,” and “Trimming Feathers.” Visit boveylee.com to see these and more images.

Bovey Lee: Water Has a Memory, solo exhibition, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, March 29-May 11, 2013

Bovey Lee: Water Has a Memory, solo exhibition, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, March 29-May 11, 2013

My work in The Armory Show and Scope, New York

I came back from New York last week to attend the Armory Show and Scope. I had works in both art fairs. In The Armory Show, Gavlak Gallery that represents me in Palm Beach, Florida chose “Rolling Roses.” At Scope, Grotto Fine Art showed “Wingtip Voyage,” “Dragging Cows Up a Tree,” and “Wash, Cut, Dry.”

Several blogs selected my works as one of their best picks:

Opening Ceremony – Scoping Out the 2013 Scope Art Fair

Arts Observer – Spotted During Armory Arts Week: Incredible ‘Paper’ Creations

New York Art Leaf – Scope New York 2013

boveylee-Scope-NY-2013

From left: Wingtip Voyage, Dragging Cows Up a Tree, Wash, Cut Dry, at Scope New York with Grotto FIne Art, Mar 6-10, 2013

Grotto Fine Art booth, Scope New York, Mar 6-10, 2013

Grotto Fine Art booth, Scope New York, Mar 6-10, 2013

"Rolling Roses" in The Armory Show with Gavlak Gallery, Mar 6-10, 2013

“Rolling Roses” in The Armory Show with Gavlak Gallery, Mar 6-10, 2013