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|
Monday, September 24, 2018
|ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 16 x 16 cm|
Today at life drawing in Sudbury as I prepared my materials for a three hour session, I decided on ink and pastels. Jason Bowyer held a workshop in the summer and I found mixing those materials was an exciting lens to look through. I think tonally and about the shapes and as I work and layer marks, colours and tones on top.
|ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 16 x 16 cm|
|ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 17 x 25 cm|
|ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 16 x 16 cm|
|ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 14 x 13 cm|
On Friday I went back to the NEAC life drawing class with Mick Kirkbride. I thought we would be working in one of the gallery spaces and so did Mick so when it was changed back tot he usual space which is smaller, we had a bit of a squeeze to fit and I opted to sit in a chair to help out. I was looking up at the model. The lights had been taken down but I liked my view and the lighting was fine for me. I began in charcoal and moved onto pastel.
|charcoal on paper 20 x 30 cm|
Since making the scans below I have recalibrated my colour profile so the images below are not very good… Still they show monotypes made last week in life drawing where I struggle the most to amek the material become the model.
|montype 10 x 20 cm|
Thursday, September 20, 2018
|Curry Night, 27 x 27cm, pastel on card|
I decided to work on a piece of acid free mount board that I prepared by masking around an area of 27 x 27cm. In the square, I did a few coats of pastel ground mixed with some pinky orange gouache.
When it was time to name the piece I thought I'd try a new naming technique: using something from my day as a title, ignoring the image itself. It was curry night tonight.
As I was getting ready I wondered whether I should move all my tables to the other end of the studio so that I would have a bigger space with good light as the days get shorter and darker...
Thursday, September 13, 2018
For some reason I like to keep my sketchbooks of a theme. Earlier this year I piloted a sketchbook where I put everything in time order. It was interesting and I could find everything but somehow if everything that is thought of in a particular way stays together, even if they each inhabit a page and don't 'talk to each other', I just like it that way better.
Yesterday I put little pieces of yarn (colour coordinated) through my spiral sketchbooks to indicate if they were Maine, still life, life drawing/portrait or landscape. I was tired of pulling all the sketchbooks off the shelf to find the one I wanted to look through or work in. I should have been getting ready for the school workshop I am doing next week but hey ho.
When I went to maine this summer I made three altered sketchbooks. The drawings here are from the one titled, 'The Friendly Road'. I put the drawings about people and places in Maine in that one and carried it around with me wherever I went. The other two are: "Gardens" and "Lady with the Lamp". Gardens is self-explanatory and focued mostly on my mother's garden. I put one still life in it and one in the Friendly Road. Lady with the Lamp is about night light. Unfortunately I didn't have time to do much night drawing this summer.
It makes we wonder how other people use their sketchbooks. I asked the NEAC members I met. For me my drawings are personal and immediate and fix time right then and there. I am not so keen on thinking about the past, maybe that's why I like to organise them in some other way.