Projects 1

Mirrored Patterns

I have been working on a series of prints, drawings and collages that are based on mirrored images. A very talented colleague of mine, Heather Ujiie, generously introduced this technique to me. It is all about beginning simple and ending-up complicated.

Using a black felt-tip pen, make a small design or sketch no larger than ¼ the size of a sheet of 8.5 x 11” paper. (You can fold the sheet of paper into half, then half again, like a card). Once your sketch is completed, make at least 4 photocopies of it—2 direct and 2 mirrored images (or use a computer program like Photoshop to mirror the image and print out your copies). Next, trim the photocopies to the edge of the design and then tape them together alternating direct and mirrored images.

At this point you will have 4 “tiles,” which happens to make a lovely pattern; however, you are not finished. Now make 4 direct copies of this mirrored pattern and carefully tape them together. It will all fit together perfectly, just like decorative tiles, matching up side to side and top to bottom. It is a confusing process, but once you get the hang of it, the results will astound you. If you are interested is seeing how I have utilized this technique, you can see some of my mirrored drawings on or on my website. Here are 3 recent works I have done using this method. They are from the Jigsaw series. My inspiration for them came from seeing pyschedelic posters in the Summer of Love exhibit at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Go see the show if you can. It’s groovy!

“Jigsaw” (Archival Ballpoint Pen) by Janet Towbin

“Jigsaw–Copper,” by Janet Towbin

Jigsaw–Pink and Blue, by Janet Towbin

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