To Endure Beyond This Moment

To Endure Beyond This Moment cut paper art by Patrick Gannon

medium: cut + torn paper / wood
size: 14 5/16 x 20 1/4 in • 364 x 515 mm

If I learned anything during the making of this piece, it's that you can't hurry a whale. They are stubborn, willful critters, and they'll do exactly what they please at the precise pace they want to do it. With that much bulk, who's going to argue?

Surprisingly, they also have some very definite and peculiar feelings regarding color schemes. Take this massive gentle-whale above. My original intent was to create a soft, romantic mood. Maybe a little pink, perhaps a touch of lavender. After all, the basic concept for the piece grew out of love and its fleeting, ephemeral, transient nature. Not to mention nature's loveliest metaphor for transience: the cherry blossom.

Whenever I start working out colors I try to keep an open mind, testing out all kinds of papers even though I know most of them won't work (and the occasional one will kick off the gag reflex). More often than not, instinct works its magic and tells me which paper is the right fit. Every once in a while, the paper that works best visually runs up against my preconceived notions or my original concept. And that's when I've got a fight on my hands. This whale fought. Hard. As usual, in the end, I lost. Hopefully that's a win for the piece (and my subconscious).

To Endure Beyond This Moment cut paper art by Patrick Gannon

So, instead of soft, pop-py, and romantic, the whale got red. RED. Instead of transient, he got tempestuous. He got sex, passion, and maybe a touch of violence. He kept the cherry tree.

As a side note, I'm pretty sure this is the biggest, largest, hugest piece I've done yet. It seemed appropriate for a sperm whale. Which explains why I've settled for posting an iffy photo of the piece. I just can't get up the gumption to scan it in. Especially since my copy of photoshop insists on crashing during every third save attempt. One of these days, I'll gird my loins and dive in. I'll be sure to post a better shot then. Until that far-off day, please enjoy.

To Endure Beyond This Moment cut paper art by Patrick Gannon