In the summer of 2010 my wife and I drove to the North Cascade Institute to attend art workshops offered by different visiting artists. I was in Nikki McClure's The Basics of Paper Cuts. I had no prior experience with this art form and was ready to give it a try. Her paper cuts on cards and calendars had delighted me. If I could acquire even a modicum of her skill with scissors and an exacto knife I would be satisfied. A steep learning curve was at hand, figuring out figure-ground relationships when cutting away or leaving paper. Below, Takes Two is my paper cut from her class.
Each paper cut presents the same, as well as different challenges--for me. Where do I want the viewer's eye to focus? How much detail, either in negative space (white) or positive space (black) will I leave? As I cut into the black paper I have to keep my attention on keeping adjacent areas connected so the paper image hangs together as one piece.