Category Archives: Assignment 1

Assignment 1 and Parallel Project sculpture 2

The sculpture was made as part of the Parallel Project (intuitive/ found images) .

 

Using Assignment 1 drawing and preparatory studies i have made a new sketch that combines all off the above using line to create a shape.  This shape was used to make a 3D “drawing” using some wire that was attached to a cut slice of wood – the shape of the wood was chosen as i feel it benefits the overall structure ( irregular and in a way that mimics some of the angles);  then i used plaster mix and newsprint to build it up, working slowly in order to retain the shape without collapsing. During the process i had to support the structure using wire attached to the ceiling, also  strips of hessian was used for extra support and to get some texture – I deliberately left some of it showing even after plaster of Paris was later washed over. After the whole shape was build and let to dry i used diluted mix of plaster of Paris and a large brush structure was covered to make it white as i wanted in the beginning.

As an idea the sculpture envisaged to be much larger – perhaps 20-30 feet – so people could walk beneath and around it as if between large trees, and when the gaze would be directed upwards the connected circle would create a window to the sky and help to connect the viewer with the space by creating a boundary for the eye ( as if sky was “falling” on to the person or a personal window to the above etc). This is why i wanted the structure to be white – it will reflect the colours around it but still creates breaks/borders/edges between spaces and the views.

Below are the pictures of working process and different placements – using white/black background, a manikin, and infront of the two Assignment 1 pieces.

 

Short video ( this may be changed ) with the sculpture on a rotating tray:

 

 

Assignment 1. Exploring Composition

 

After going through sketches and exercises , i decided to go with the idea of scaling up and using all the space available in order to create a semi abstract drawing that includes natural elements. As i had some troubles with shading and perhaps use of too much colour i chose linear approach using  ink pen. Personally this is what i enjoy and feel drawn to – lines, shapes.

While walking my dogs i tend to make a lot of close up pictures of areas that interest me ( trees, mushrooms, flowers, branches etc.). The one I’ve chosen contains a group of mushrooms on a log (rotten log not really visible) with branches and fallen foliage.

I did a small ( A5 sketchbook page 11) sketch using pencil and ink pen – this is to familiarise myself with composition and work out how to take this further.

 

Next i tried to enlarge the whole drawing ( A3 sketchbook , attached to page 11)  and change it a little ( sizes and placement, smaller number of elements) – but was not very happy with the composition.

Next i used a piece of paper with an area cut out ( as a viefinder) and using my original sketch chose an are i was happy with. In the sketchbook ( A3 sketchbook page 11) this area was emlarged to fill the space and check out the composition. Using watercolour and ink some colour and shading was added as a start.

         

How much to scale up was the question, so going with the flow i took a risk of attempting a larger format for this (A1) – partly to explore how the space will work and also to get some gestural marks as the initial linear markings. Using a pencil i quickly drew the design, then charcoal stick was used to reinforce the lines. I used a roller ( as in exercise 4 – scaling up) to apply acrylic paint over the “branch” areas. I liked the texture and this particular colour combination when used previously.

        

 

Next day , after a few hours of staring at the paper, yellow watercolour wash was applied ( as in the sketchbook sketch) over the “background area) – this really started to feel like a sun shining shtough the miriad of branches i see in the forest.

While this was drying i went through a variety of thought of how to take this further – in order to find shapes and forms, steer towards abstraction but still to keep idea of mushrooms/forest within the design. As Leonardo DA Vinci ones said ( not exact words but the way i remember) – if you stare at the wall long enough the shapes will appear – this is something i do as an exercise quite a lot. Here are a few small “finding” design sketches i’ve made using gel/ink pens, while may not be relevant for the assignment i want to mention this because this “doodling” gave me an idea of going with the flow and let the design emerge rather than fall into struggle of loosing myself here:

 

 

Using dip pen and black ink i “found” more mushrooms and leaf shapes ( using the drips and textured marks from the paint roller), a few more “branches” etc. The tall mushrooms ( bottom of the drawing) have spores flying off them, leaves appear as if catching light on their uneven surface.

 

Later Watercolour paint was used to add form and volume to the elements. During the process i was walking around the board to make sure i was not thinking about the source photograph,  trying to apply shading to create contrasts between light and dark areas.

This is the result – a combination of initial sketch from scaling up an area, “found” elements that were created by texture and marks from the initial wash and rolled paint, plus engagement with the process and composition. Looking at it the right way up it is possible to recognise some elements but  i feel that it does look abstract on the first glance.

or upside down – i think it looks more abstract

Personally i think it is quite a successful use and realization of the things i have learned in the part 1 of the course.  Overall, the project exercises did not always come to a successful realization but i believe i have managed to combine the thought process behind the exercises and create an interesting drawing with elements of abstraction and composition that uses all of the space as one, without separation into unused areas and main elements.

While I was working on the main piece ( as it was drying) another drawing was also worked on using a different approach. Here i used technique that really captured me in the Part one – where i used plastic and paint to make the first drawings as prints, where paint created interesting blobs and shapes. The design is the first drawing ( at the stage where only charcoal lines are present) overlaid with a sheet of clear plastic and diluted acrylic paint was used to follow the contour lines. Next a sheet of paper was placed over and pressed down gently using a roll of tissue paper as a tool. The result is a mirror image printed onto same size (A1) paper. I did the same thing in the sketchbook as a tester to figure out the design first.

I really like how paint creates intricate random marks and blobs – the drawing is almost unrecognizable this way. It took me a while to decide what to do next , in the end i remembered research on H. Matisse earlier ( part 2) and his use of colour and shapes and decided to take a risk and use colour here.

 sketchbook A3 page 12

 

The pallet is limited but i feel that it really works here. Sketchbook drawing/painting was painted upside down in order to “forget” that it is a mushroom , but interestingly enough somehow the mushroom found it’s way back. Looking at it the right way : it could be an illustration of the surreal forest or a walking stick person.

The large piece is more abstract ( looking at it upside down in regards to initial design) and has loose painterly paint application, i dropped water into the wet paint on purpose – to get some fungus/mushroom shapes. Is it finished? I would say that for now, yes – i think  if i were to add more shapes or use dip pen then i go back to the first drawing approach. I’m quite happy that it is different and slightly surreal. 

 

Placed next to each other (the same way up)

 

 

 


Thoughts on parallel project – to be completely honest i have not finalized the idea yet but do have a few in mind ( for example is to look for images and shapes in the surroundings and environment to create a composition and perhaps an installation using found materials, which is in line with my previous course), i would like to start part 2 before i choose a direction on this.


Review against Assessment criteria

I’ve realised that this was not posted with the assignment piece i hope it is ok to add now ( 25/02/18), i have written it for the assignment before sending:

 

Demonstration of technical and visual skills: Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

Building up from what i have learned so far: i believe my technical skills are improving, espetially with the painting and ink(linear) media. Drawing and tonal contrast still needs improving when dry media is used. I believe that desidn and observational awareness improved and i am staring to incorporate this in to the final work ( assignment 1 piece).

Quality of Outcome:  Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner,  discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

During the exercises the approach is almost like finding my way in the dark room – but in the end i believe i’m starting to find the way of how to put this learnt experience into a more finished work. Quality would need to be worked on , perhaps by changing the support and time spend on the final piece. Saying that i find that sometimes spontaneous approach can get better result and help to visualise idea better than when i’m trying to please the viewer. This hopefully will come into one with more practice.

Demonstration of creativity: Imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

I try to combine my imagination with the experimentation and the process, there is still work to be done on getting them connecting to create the intended result. But i do find it interesting and somehow important , to allow the process  and materials to take part in the outcome – i feel this help to open the mind and create/add unexpected into the work. My personal voice – it is emerging, still working the way out but definitely getting the feeling that i work more on thing that interest me rather than how to please others.

Context Reflection: research,critical thinking ,critical review.

I need to get deeper into research of artists/movements/techniques that interest me. Steps was taking towards it – I’ve visited galleries ( need to write about experience), also engaging into the recommended as well as my chosen reading materials.

 

Assignment 1. Contextual fucus point : Prunella Clough Tate Archive

Prunella Clough (11 November 1919 – 26 December 1999) was a British artist, very private person and comes across as a very strong individual.

She chose to depict mundane objects and places, spaces and relationships of objects – things that most of people overlook, disregard or just pass by. It seems to me she was intrigued by the composition and how objects interact with the space they inhibit.

I found interesting how she used pictures of places/objects and created new  her own visual language. Her note taking instead of sketches meant a lot to her – i believe she used words as mental notes/pictures that recreated the experience of chosen scenery that was very personal and unique to her.

She expressed her inner feeling of this experiences through her work – in a way she captured the fleeting moments and the impact of looking at something very quickly without thinking, as we do most of the time.

She chose to depict rural, industrial everyday life scenery, dock workers, fishermen etc.. – in one way this could be a rebellion against her privileged background but perhaps, i think, she found inner peace and calmness being among normal people doing their everyday task, earning the living to support families. This people are ones that make the world work everyday but mostly forgotten and ignored higher up the chain. So in my opinion one of the reasons for the chosen subject was her understanding of everyday life which is not always a pretty picture. Perhaps that is why she felt closer to real people, life, objects and felt the need to immortalise them – because not many did.

I think this also evident  later as she mowed towards abstraction, while deriving elements from nature and surroundings – she was , in a way, looking for the essence of this element, the momentarily impact it made on her and a search of what exactly captivated her attention.

To some extend her abstracts – reminded me of Georgia O’Keefe close up paintings. Espetially while watching the tate archive vide http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/prunella-clough-921/look-again-visual-language-prunella-clough

I felt that the similarity is is in the way they were looking at things – in depth, really investigating and digging deep into the “soul” of the chosen subject.

She was very experimental but kept her work quite secretive so there is not a lot about the actual methods of working , but i as i understood sometimes she added materials from the site into her paintings. As mentioned in this extract from Tate website ” The surface of ‘Yellow Mesh’ includes particles of dust (identified by the artist as either ash or silver sand) mixed with the paint. ” http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/clough-wire-and-demolition-t03451 ; Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986 ”

Also she used objects to create prints and textures to explore the tonal marks and shapes that could be achieved. As well as experimented with contour lines of objects and how they might interact, as in “Can and Basket” http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/clough-can-and-basket-p07907

Some of the other techniques she used : frottage, drawing/painting on the objects themselves to get an imprint, combining tone and line, various mediums , painting and drawing along side, layering and overlapping sometimes leaving previous lines to show through – this created texture and volume etc.

As I’ve noticed mostly she used neutral or low key pallet and sometimes added a stronger saturated or dark colour to create an impact and attention to a particular area or mark.

There is quite an interesting entry about her possible way of working during making of this painting “Broken Gates” 1982 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/clough-broken-gates-t07318 , as it said she possibly reworked same canvass and then used the other side, application also varies from diluted thin paint to thick impasto. The tonal arrangement is very low apart from one bright area on the right – is it on purpose or happened accidentally?

 

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/clough-fence-climbing-plant-p07917

This work “fence, climbing plant” really intrigued me. I immediately had the connection between the title and the image – black paint really recembles the imprint of the plant that was pulled off the fence or a wall  leaving just the memory of being here. Interestingly she used the print and then worked over it with paint.

We asked to looked at her “Bypass 1” and determine how she developed the visual material into this composition.  IMAGE numberCOU225309 and IMAGE numberCOU225320 on Bridgeman Education website (now here i’m a bit confused as on Bridgeman the  first painting is titled  Wire Tangle II , while in the course materials and other websites it is titled Bypass 1) , I’m going with the visual from the course materials and will look at both .

I’ve looked at some of her photographs of that era (1950-60s) – most of the ref pictures are black and white but it is easy enough to imagine how this would look in color – probably dull, dusty, busy and along with the weather mostly as on photographs. So perhaps all this played a role in her choice of colours – small addition of bright colours is the rust or water that could be easily found in the docks, or building sites. I would say that complicated geometrical design was derived from the busy and “tangled” combination of materials, buildings, roads, machinery and to me has a quality of being staggered/crammed together or perhaps looked from above.  I think she used quite a few layers and reworked the design adding or eliminating areas to achieve the effect of “cells” being pushed together – just as all the objects and things that occupy and use space on the industrial estates she was observing. Of course i’m speculating but it is just what it seems to me.

http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/gallery/e3536b85.html (Bypass 1, 1960)

http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/gallery/e3536b85.html ( Wire tangle 1, 1978)

 

When looking at the “Wire Tangle II”, 1978 – i would say here she used memories or actual props of tangled wire, nets, ropes etc ( she has quite a few photograph of those). She could have used the prop as a guide to create a contour line, or followed the shadow of the wire on support. The background resembles a surface of a building wall where some paint started to crack , or perhaps dusty old concrete road. Maybe she used some sort of a sheet or perhaps tree bark to create the texture, or scraped some paint after applying a layer to get this effect. The only bright colour is a bit of orange in a shape of , what it looks to me, a shoe print, or maybe mark that could be left on the ground by excavator or perhaps imprints left by rusty wire.

 

This was a very interesting and useful research. There is a lot to take from P. Clough’s approach to use of source materials, composition built up and experimentation with application as well as tool use. I will definitely be coming back to look more in depth later.

 

bibliografies:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/mar/30/prunella-clough-artist-industrial-life (assessed 20 jan 2018)

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/prunella-clough-921/look-again-visual-language-prunella-clough (assessed 23 jan 2018)

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/clough-float-p07909

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/clough-geological-landscape-p07906

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/archive/tga-200511-4-3/photographs-taken-by-prunella-clough-as-source-material-for-artworks?page=3