Mercury 1000

#12 Original cut paper $1200

by Peter Ferber image size, 7×9″ framed size 12×14″

This is available for purchase now at The Art Place, 9 N. Main Street, Wolfeboro. It is part of the 2021 February Gallery show.

This idea originated when I was noticing several small pieces of backing board that I had trimmed from some of my larger, more ambitious cut paper pieces.  I just thought, “How can I make use of these?”  (Never wanting to waste anything!)  I thought of the vertical shape of outboard motors, and also how interesting their shapes are, when I’ve examined them in detail for inclusion in a painting.  I’ve also put some small ones into a few of these cut paper images, and was amazed how effective the results were, using only a relatively few pieces of paper glued together.  This big Mercury from around 1960 came to mind because of its tall, vertical shape, and the stripes in the design of the hood, which I could see easily doing with paper.  Well, it wasn’t that easy when I got into it!  I was surprised at how many unusually shaped parts there were, and the small-scale details that I don’t run into in doing buildings in this medium.  I decided on the size based on the scale of the “Mercury” lettering that I thought I could adequately cut and would be workable.  Then I realized things couldn’t be all flat, I had to bend the paper in several places to really make the 3-D effect pop.  Also setting it on the black background really added to the impact.  Of course I had to come up with an appropriate boat to attach it to.  It had to feature tail fins, given the era.  This is my reimagining and amalgamating of two different generations of Glastron boats.  I took the tail fins–including tail light–from the late 50’s and the chevron-shaped side panel that came to distinguish Glastrons for decades from 1960 on.  I had a great time (and spent way too much time!) interpreting the elements of their design, but it was fun to come to appreciate them for their sculptural qualities, and not just their horsepower.  I’ve got my eyes set on a Johnson Javelin from the late 50’s–which is regarded as a really beautiful engine–as my next subject.  Then I’ll have to include an Evinrude, but not sure which one to choose.  Let me know if you’ve got an idea!

Peter Ferber