Monday, November 19, 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
|Touched with Poetry, opened book, pastel on prepared book pages|
I'm not sure what drives me to glue the pages of books together and then to draw on them but for the past few years that has been something that I have loved to do. Mostly I use the title as a theme and the glue pages together, gesso them and use a tinted ground so I can use it as a sketchbook. I think doing this narrows the parameters of what I am looking at, and I love having an artifact that says something more than the pieces. Lately I have been trying to make pieces on the book pages that stand alone.
The most interesting part of this project may be that in some cases I have worked from drawings instead of from life which is something I find problematic. Maybe it's the playful nature of the book surface, even if it takes a long time to create, that helps me to 'let go?'
The top pages are what I might do in an altered sketchbook, two drawings side by side that are related and work together (for me). The bottom image is a vista, a drawing made from drawings and photos taken while climbing a mountain in the lake district.
I am trying to decide what to submit for the pastel society annual show. I am feeling poor so will only choose a couple this year, entry is £18 per item! I can't make my mind up about whether to choose what I do or the other thing I do… I will find it hard to sleep tonight even though whatever I do is bound to be not quite the right thing for the group of people in the room who select.
|Fairfield and her Friends, opened book, pastel on prepared book pages|
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
|One More Summer, altered book pages with pastel, 19 x 27 cm|
In this, I glued pages together in a book I began altering ten years ago. It was no longer relevant and I didn't feel I needed to preserve the pages any longer. I could imagine the name and some of the words on the page in a double page spread - it could be something relevant now, something intentional that would use the surface to say something more. I went through my sketchbooks and found a drawing that felt like the title then I found some photos from the area to change the composition and choose some specifics from. The original drawing is vertical. I know this scene. It is a windy day and the summer is ebbing so I was looking at the pastel and making choices from my memory mostly.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
|Fried Green Tomatoes, pastel on paper, 16.5 x 16.5 cm,October 2018|
I made a few changes to this image but it was too dark to photograph the final product, but you get the idea.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
|pastel on board 54 x 34 cm, Category Four, October 10, 2018|
After what felt like a busy week, making Pauline's book cover, going to London twice and having a friend (and her mother) who I haven't seen in 30 years visit, everything was a bit on top of me. To avoid feeling hysterical, or paralysed I started a weekly habit of thinking about what I need to do over the week and spent my first free evening making a book to put those lists in. Ah, the art of distraction!
After Charles' class, one of the things on my list was to read ( or probably re-read) a book on contemporary drawing my mother bought for me or our daughter.
Much of what Charles said or hinted at or maybe what I was thinking about as I went through his exercises is the focus of the book. I began taking notes…
Margaret Davidson, 2011
1. ‘What the surface is determines the nature of the mark. Furthermore, a focus on both the surface and the mark and the relationship between the two is one of the hallmarks of contemporary drawing, and one of the most fundamental abstract issues drawing artists deal with.’ p 10
2. ‘One distinguishing feature of contemporary drawing is the choice being made by some artists of the source of the mark-making. Some artists let natural forces produce, or help produce their drawing marks. Others look for cultural influences to map out or even control their mark-making. Many combine those two factors into a third realm of mark-making wherein they set up the parameters but cannot foresee the outcome… (these) contemporary choices add a significant layer of meaning to the drawings.’ P 10
3. ‘The relationship between space and surface is a key thing, as well as the artists’ intentions with illusion and reality.’ P 10
4. ‘Composition is a structure of one kind or another within which artists present their imagery and clarify their ideas.’ P. 10
5. Scale – 3 points of view:‘how the scale relates to the artist, how the scale relates to the mark (which has to be quite different, depending on the size of the drawing), and how the scale relates to the viewer of the art, upon whom the impact is, maybe, the greatest.’ P. 11
6. ‘the concept of materials (and tools)’ p. 11
7. ‘some artists today are crossing media boundaries, making drawings that are also sculptures… if you find that following the direction the art is taking you means going outside the boundaries, well do it. In the end, the boundaries don’t matter.’ P. 11
8. Intentionality: ‘must be learned, and then practiced on one’s own art, and when looking at other art.’ P. 11
So today when I began drawing, all of that was in my mind. I went through the usual stages of feeling overwhelmed, sick, disgusted and then slowly found my bearings. I think the image here is a little greyer than it is in the flesh.
At one point when I thought it was garish and all was lost, I looked at Matisse for answers. Seeing his riot of colour helped calm my nerves…
Below is my experiment using pigment mixed with pva and methyl cellulose in an altered book. I liked the freshness and it feels like the pigment will stick to the page!
Monday, October 8, 2018
|The Human Stain I|
Charles went at the issue by showing us slides of artists who have different sets of values when they make their art. Charles described his own training and compared that with other artists and how that context can be a lens through which to look at their work.
At the Royal Academy, Charles was taught to draw tonally. Our first exercise was to use only tone (no lines at all) to hone our perception of two or three ping pong balls on a surface. My surface was a folded paper box on top of a stand. We had quite a long time, about 45 minutes, for this. I was working in an A4 sketchbook. I masked the edges and worked right up to them. Although I was told not to focus on the composition I just couldn't help myself! This was not meant to be expressive. It was meant to be objective. Of course I was most interested in the expressive moments but I worked to refine and reassess the shapes. I love working tonally. I find it almost therapeutic.
|tonal drawing - no line|
|The Human Stain II - A1|
Friday, September 28, 2018
|Partisan Day, pastel on board, 27 x 27 cm|
The image above began as a matching exercise: I decided I was going to begin with Matisse's colour scheme, colours I might not gravitate to myself.
|Henri Matisse, The Piano Lesson|
|Cold Incessant Rain, pastel on board, 27 x 27 cm|
|Wednesday Carboot, pastel on paper, 17 x 18 cm|
|Tangerine Zinnia and Tie, pastel on paper, 16 x 16 cm|