Category Archives: Assignment 2

Parallel Project. Found Images – Sculptures 3, Assignment 2

Continuing with the sculptures. This one is to complement Assignment 2 drawings of plants. In the previous posts i have explained the process of making the sculpture using wire, plaster, newsprint, tape, wood, plaster of Paris etc.

In this sculpture i have omitted the use of heavy plaster to bulk it – main reason is because the object derived from the final drawing of Agapanthus and i wanted it to be more linear. Also i really enjoyed how it moved while deciding on the placement. I believe it works better being light and movable. I also used dried poppy seed heads at the end of the wire.

In order to keep it steady and retain shape i attached it to a piece of board ( this was too flexible and i had to glue another one for extra support). Initially i wanted to use watered down Plaster of Paris to cover the wire and make it white – but during the process came upon a few difficulties. One of them is that liquid did not want to stick to wire and kept running off – this and overall observation of the sculpture made me change my mind. I decided to keep it as wire – i am going to try and spray paint it silver later ( never done this before so will see how it goes).

I used remaining plaster to create textured surface on the board itself – this will add some interest and will help with the shadow creation as a backdrop ( as an idea anyway).

For some reason the plaster isn’t drying!! it’s been a week… as i touch the surface it feels soft and crumbly, falling off and definitely not transportable if has to be sent off for assessment.. However i do like how plaster appears on wire – hit and miss, in a way resembling how natural plants dry in the wild – not at the same pace, some areas could be decomposing ( darker) faster than others.

Using Binder i have covered the plaster and hope for it to harden before spraying. It may need a few more coats , but this is where it is at the moment. A few short videos with it being shown from all angles.

sculpture inspired by Agapanthus drawing

Combined video



Separate shots(same as above)




Reflection on Tutor Feedback Assignment 2

We had a great conversation with my tutor – loads of positive feedback and pointers on what to improve. The main Assignment pieces are quite successful (blue poppies and the large black and white agapanthus drawing)  show investigation into use of materials, dog portrait has a lot of interesting gesture marks but may benefit by cropping – which i realized also and that is a good point. Overall i believe i’m on the right track with the experimentation, tuning in with materials and exploring the drawing as a whole.

Parallel project – ,i need to start on this as soon as possible but let the course direct me and help with the choice of subject. So far i have enjoyed using scaling up exercises and use of unusual materials  so it probably needs to go towards this. My tutor recommended to look through a few online libraries and a variety of artist in this field – so this will be the first step.

Part 2. Review against Assessment Criteria

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

I am experimenting more with techniques and materials and combining them in order to find something else that will work with me in the future. The composition and design working well – i believe i started to used learned principles quite intuitively now and feel when something does not work as a whole. I need to continue improving on “looking” at the subject/object this will help with bonding and feeling the subject better in order to capture the essence. I’m acquiring more materials when possible in order to improve and continue with experimentation/application but believe that i am definitely tuning in with some of the chosen media.

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

I believe that i am combining together what I’ve learned so far and implementing it in a more experimental way than at the start. I am using my own opinion as well as researched materials to make a picture of a subject/artist/topic and putting it together in an improved manner. I feel that the quality needs improvement ( polishing the skills) but it is definitely on a right track to achieve a “finished” work.

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

I am exploring more and more ways to express myself and ideas through use of techniques and materials, it is different from what i thought at the start but i can feel my interests and voice opening up and becoming more visible in the resulted works and experiments.

Assignment 2

Make a drawing of a subject using the subject itself.


This was an exiting brief and allowed to explore a few new ways of using and applying materials.

I decided to stay along the lines of previous subjects ( plants) espetially as the garden is full of flowers and also i have a few dried specimens from lat year.

First i tried to use fresh flowers – while pretty to look at, when dipped in ink/paint the petals lost all the shape and mainly produced blobs rather than required shape on paper. Saying that, there is something intriguing about unexpected marks made using petals.

This example is an aqualigea flower dipped in white acrylic, sketchbook page was covered with dark blue paint previously ( page 15, A3) – some petals got stuck to the page , some of the shapes are still visible. Stems were used to make an impression as well as used as a drawing stick. I drew pencil lines into wet paint but found that they appear too harsh here.  The thing i like here is the contrast of uneven dark background and white of the flower drawing.

Next experiment ( A3 sketchbook, page 16 covered with gesso) – I wanted to see if the colour can be used as paint. Here I’ve used drying rose and  placed it on the page – the petals have fallen in a random pattern away from the stem itself. Using pencil i have marked the placement of petals firs an then lifted each one and rubbed in to the dry gesso, then the leaves and stem accordingly. Using the tip of the stem dipped in inks a some yellow was added and black outline as well.  What i learned here – being a few week already the colour remains relatively unchanged which is an interesting discovery. Perhaps if it was exposed to light this will change but gives an idea that i can use petals for colouring later on.

Slightly off topic but this painting gave me an idea of using water as driver – i used diluted acrilycs here to paint an imaginary blooms, the stick was used to draw the image but larger areas was appliyed using brush. i really liked how wet paint runs and creates drips and runs here. ( Canvass, 30×42 cm)

Assignnment2 Piece 1 – Blue Poppies

I used Poppy flowers, stems, dried sead heads for the next drawing on a 3/4 of the A1 sheet, cartridge paper, acrylic inks. The actual Poppie flowers were red but as i only have blue, yellow and white ink i decided to make them Blue poppies. I dipped 3 flowers in water and applyed it over the paper where i wanted the heads to be, then dragged stems down to mark the stems. There was quite a large amount of water on the paper and this exactly what i needed – next i added blue ink to the centers of these puddles using dry poppy seed pods and waited for the pigment to move. Stems dipped in yellow was used to add some colour below; Some pigment was moved using petals.  This technique of using water and pigment is not new and i have used it before – i find it fascinating, never know what will happen at the end exactly. Partially this technique is inspired by works of Barbara  Nichols ” Sedimentary Flow”. I have came across her work a few ears ago and have attended her exibition in the Walsall New Art Gallery last year

At the moment the piece is on A1 sheet but requires cropping, as below. Overall I think this is a good use of materials and qualities of media used, and is submitted as one of the assignment pieces.

 Cropped detail

Below is the whole A1 sheet , next to poppies is the drawing Using Chives flowers and stems.



Using similar method as above – dipped flower heads/stems in water to wet the paper, and then using thick acrylics to apply the colour. Here some paint was let to dilute and some was added over dry areas to explore the variations of textures. I like the combination of soft and hard edges as well as difference in paint thickness here – they look more like alliums rather than chives due to size and shape of the flower head.

Sketchbook A3, page 18 – Chives, here i kept the size as close to real as possible and only undiluted paint, magenta and grass green acrylics. Also i have used a hammer to bash the leaves on paper to get soft imprint for the background – i really like the combination of synthetic paint and natural pigment. This is  my favorite result using chives.

Getting Brave i decided to scale up and use an A1 sheet to depict Chives. I wanted to add some bachground to represent sky and air flowing through the flowers. The desicion to make this composition into a still life came spontaneously while working out background in the sketchbook ( Below, page 17, A3) – using a jar the circles were added , the idea was to have unrolled vie of the jar by dipping it in paint and rolling under the flowers.

Assignment2 piece 2 – Chives in a jar

Background: brush 2″ white, Ultr blue,magenta acrylic; water; chives

Jar: glass jar dipped in paint and the rolled over the paper to get edges and glass form

Flowers: Chives flowers – stems/leaves dipped in acrylics

Starting with the background the directional stiokes were used to add some movement and represend light/clouds/sky etc. Next I used glass jar and rolled it to get imprints of the edges and glass itself.

The flowers were added first and then using stems dipped in paint paint was applied to place them into the jar. The result  – while i enjoyed the overal process and getting really messy and covered in paint i have a mixed opinion here. I like the idea and actually was quite happy with the result to start with, but during next few days the doubt crept in – do the look like chives? do they have to look like chives? is there too much colour? perhaps i need to crop it? is this too representational? and so on …. Below is one of the ways this could be cropped to make it a bit more abstract…

Assignment2 Piece 3 – Agapanthus

Next week I decided to make another piece – going back to the original idea i had earlie during this part ( I’ve mentioned it in the project 2) and use Dried Agapanthus Flower/Seed heads. They are about 1m tall , with loads of spikes and seed pods. I decided to go with less colour – well with only black ink actually and try to achieve a more abstract linear image.

I thought of using just white as the background but decided that it would be too straight forward and then i looked around and re-discovered an earlier piece. This  (A1, black card, gesso, acrylics) piece was created earlied during project 3 – Narrative, where i was trying to create an imprint for a drawing of my dog.

I felt that this is exactly what it was made for – texure, overal shape of the gesso on black card, some colour ( blue) could be read as patches of sky and as reference to the Agapanthus flowers itself ( this ones were blue).

To start with I’ve used the flowers and placed them in different arrangemet over the surface – in my opinion using them as a bouquet did not really work with the background so individual placement works better. Also because they are linear ( marks) this work better as a contrast to the gesso print.

While douing the arrangement i noticed the shadow the stem throws on the surface – this was when the decision was made. Using one of the flowers ( all parts was used in the making the drawing) dipped in ink I drew over the shadows that were casted over the surface. To get a variation in shadows I directed a table lamp at an angle and the whole board (it was placed flat over a chair on wheels) was moved and turned around during the process.

 during the process

The Result : I’s been a week at least and i still think it worked here. Even my family had nice things to say about the idea and overal composition which is a bonus.

It could be viewed at this ange also – it just gets a bit more “hard to read” quality.

 on the side

Here it is on the wall above my PC – just reviewing before the submission day.



Overall this part was really challenging and made me realize more potential behind materials, ideas, working out and processes as well as directions that piece could take if allowed to become part of the process.

I think the Assignment pieces show the experimentation and exploration into use of materials and how they can be worked with. I am quite happy with the Agapanthus drawing and the way it came together; Poppies while may seem a simple method helped to discover spontaneity of pigment flow and that colour does not matter;

Perhaps i haven’t used my sketchbook as much – but i have used other surfaces for most of the experiments, so they are a bulky sketchbook on their own.

I have not figured out the Theme for the Critical Review and Parallel Project itself yet – as talked with tutor in part one, i am still thinking in the lines of abstraction, nature and human input, reuse/recycling and installation. At the moment i’m in the process of picking a starting point – i understand the earlier i start more time i will have, so this is the main agenda at the moment for me – get it moving.



Part 2. Contextual Focus point: Cornelia Parker

She is quite versatile and imaginative artists – i found it interesting that she uses repetition or continuation in her series. This helps to explore the subject/idea in a variety of ways and discover different angles of how the materials/place it relates to/ space and time etc. and creates a collaboration with the chosen topic through exploration.

I feel that she lets her intuition combine with the process, deriving what works as well as letting materials dictate the direction. Some of her works i found really intriguing and thought provoking – such as exploding shed that is suspended in the air and casts a shadow all around – the object works as what it ones was getting a new perspective and turning into a new entity that continues living by making the space around it change according to angle it is viewed upon.

 Cornelia Parker, ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View’ 1991 Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991 ; Image source:


The object is transformed into drawing but in space and not on paper. As she mentioned in conversation with Jack Southern (London, November 2010; “Drawing projects and exploration of the language of drawing” book by Mick Maslen and Jack Southern pages 54- 61) – “It is like it’s being true to the materials, which are also the subject. So I might suspend the charred remains of the church that has been struck by lightning, and it is not a drawing of the church that has been struck by lightning; it is the church that has been struck by lightning. ”

I feel that she is trying to capture the time in space when the matter occurred to the object; she also explores the materials by transforming them through melting and stretching into wire and then measuring distances  –  the wire is the line and becomes a drawing suspended in space and time.  She dissasembles elements and then places them next to each other capturing the in-between stage – this sometimes triggers viewers imagination to think “what else could have happened to this well known object?”. As an example her work “Embryo Firearms,1995” – where she used Colt 45 guns in the early stage of production, before they are assembled , but polished them to the way they appear at the end. They look like guns but they can not harm –   this work made me feel of people or things at the beginning of life, before we become what we are, before we have changed into “good or bad” entities.

What interested me in this video is how she captures the moment and finds what works – she took photographs of the prison wall and later combined it with the event ( escape) to name the series of this pictures.

There are quite a few videos about her and her working methods, i really enjoyed watching some of them, it helps to reveal the person behind the works.  For example,  great footage of how she created some of the works and her comments “What do artists do all day?”:


Research the work of Cornelia Parker.  Make notes in your own words in response to the following:

What do you think Parker is trying to do in her piece Poison and Antidote Drawing (2010) ?

The easiest answer would be – to see what will happen and what image she will see in it, as well as the other viewer. I found out that this type of drawing is derived from Rorschach blots test – which is a psychological test to reveal the inner self. So perhaps she wanted to figure out what she has hiding inside her mind.

Poison and Antidote Drawing is created using rattlesnake venom and black ink, anti-venom and white ink. Parker often uses bits of her subject to make her artwork. Why do you think she does this?

I think she is fascinated with the materials and what they can do, what they can become from what they ones were. The use of dangerous materials implies certain impact on the viewer at the start – so using poison will trigger worry and danger while antivenom can bring ease and reassurance in a way. The black-white can be read as oppositions, bad – good, madness – sanity etc..

British Museum website has an extract with Curator comments:

“Parker describes the process of making the drawings as follows: ‘In the ‘Poison’ and ‘Antidote’ drawings (nb ‘Antidote’ drawing 2000-5-20-11), which is a series of linked pairs, I began with the idea of different sorts of oppositional things. I was thinking of Hitler and Freud, for example, in terms of how they seem to personify contrasting parts of the psyche. I also wanted to make something physically dangerous. The idea of poison appealed to me when I thought of someone literally dropping dead on reading a ‘poisoned’ letter…Mixing snake venom and ink had a lot of resonance for me and using Rorschach blots was significant as I could not fully dictate the result. The drawings literally come from the material…I used Parker ‘Quink’ and this created a fluid substance which rendered soft, almost oriental shapes…The way I thought about the antidote drawing is that it should be molecular in form, rather like antibodies in the body. By dropping the mixture of anti-venom and correction fluid onto the paper the final form was, once again, beyond my control.’ Quotation from unidentified source (London Institute publication?),”

How do you think it feels to stand in the presence of artworks that are constructed from original objects of great cultural significance? How does that differ from, say, standing in front of a painting of the same object?

I think standing in front of the artwork that was made using the object itself adds another dimension to the story, we can imagine the history, experience the tactile qualities and volume of materials in space they occupy, walk around it and sometime through it, hence become part of the work itself, in some cases. The painting of the object would have mainly a representation or a “flat” image of the subject – this does not mean it will not have greater effect it is just a different experience – visually as well as space related. In painting the encounter rely on the artists ability to represent the materials while in the first example we experience the actual materials that object is made.