Category Archives: Project 3 Drawing “machines”

Project 3: Drawing “Machines”

Aim: Push the concept of marks as a tracery of movement to its logical conclusion by making marks incidental to your own movement.

Method: find something which moves and use to create an “incidental” drawing. Develop this automatic drawings using source material from sketchbooks or simply by responding to what you find as you experiment. Note what happens when you shift from automatically produced marks to considered ones.


Interestingly enough i could not find anything in the house that can move or moves on it’s own…..  Then I had a Eurica! Moment – tooth brush!!! not much but it does spin))) well partially.

I did not have much success with this – attached media just kept falling off, the brush was running away or not moving at all… then I made a small holder for one end and managed to attach a piece of charcoal – it worked!!!!! And then the battery died….

This is one of the attempts, no drawing was produced but i like how charcoal sticks “dance” here:


At least i understand what Rebecca Horn meant by saying:” they {machines} have a human quality and they must change. They get nervous and must stop sometimes. If a machine stops, it doesn’t mean it’s broken. It’s just tired.” ((Rebecca horn (the Bastille Interviews II; Paris 1993); Drawing 2 course book page 45).

The attachment:

Before my “machine” got tired it did quite an interesting geometric drawing – I guess the pattern it was moving at was determined by the attachment I added for stability.

I can imagine if this would have been a longer drawing it would have a lot of “repeating” forms/lines and just change depending on the medium attached. I actually thing that this minimum, that was achieved after a struggle, is not too bad of a drawing – less is more has a new meaning here. As I continued to walk around, move objects, and so on – accidentally (?)- I allowed myself to walk over the drawing adding my mark. So now the drawing is “top to bottom” collaboration of teeth cleaning robot (brush) with my walking equipment (feet imprints) both using charcoal as a medium (piece and dust)))).


Take 2: Sunday was a baking day – custard filled fruit tarts and meringues, yummy. Why I’m talking about it? – The electric whisk!!!!! It has a motor and, while I must hold it, does have an attachment that moves.

So next morning I had a go using only one attachment that rotates. As this attachment has 4 sides i decided to use all and attached a piece of drawing medium to all. Interesting to experiment but pastels proved to be too fragile and broke off almost immediately ( still looking for a red one), charcoal was attached using a rubber band and this helped for it to stay intact; ball point pen lasted quite long but then flew off as well. I love the spiral pattern created here – almost like see-through snakes or flexible limbs moving through space.

I got inspired and used charcoal attached to the whisk to draw a self-portrait in sketchbook (A3) – I like the softness and the marks achieved to suggest the features and hairs/lashes. I think larger sheet of paper would work much better – as it will allow to get more gesture and not to be constricted by boundaries. This is an interesting method – I think I might need to practice this approach and implement it in later works (or parallel project).

Self-portrait 2 (sketchbook A3) – Using graphite stick and hypo trochoid template (to make circular forms/lines) – I started by using rotating motion following the template and moving it over the paper. I was looking at my photo and drew the shapes on paper by moving the template. Then i drew my face using graphite and pastels – this drawing is smaller – as the size of the photograph that is printed to almost actual size (scale). I wanted to have two different ways and a feel of blurriness here. It is like two images on top of another but with a different zoom and sharpness.

I think it might have been better to use the whisk rather than circular template – as there would have been more marks – but i wanted to check the overall idea of using discovered marks and patterns and I think it worked in combination.

Take 3: Wind drawings.

I have tried this before (last course) – where I used a hanging charcoal and wind to make marks. This time i tried using similar method but more tools and places.  This technique is interesting and produces nice and soft marks especially if the wind is not strong. The weather was quite calm so this experiment could be continued to check other possibilities and weather movements.

Charcoal -tomato collaboration: this did not work there were no wind or air movement as well as moisture in the air – the result, no marks and wet charcoal. But I do like how they dangle in the space- so this is a dance drawing)))

Charcoal, pencil, graphite hanging off the ceiling and Fan:  not much of a result here, i think the sticks are a bit too heavy for the air flow. I have tried to make “wings” (tags off green onions) and change fan settings, but did not manage to get much change here.


1st set up                                                             2nd set up with a cross

Some of the marks achieved:

I took my A1 support ( two A1 sheets attached to a canvass) and the drawing implements hanging off the string outside: i attached it to the drying line umbrella in hope that wind picks up later on. This stayed outside for a few hours until the rain started.



This result is what i was waiting for – a series of random marks made when wind moves the drawing tool. These marks remind me drawings of Egon Schiele – to some extend, they have erratic and jiggered quality but are very organic and “sexual” – as much as line/marks could be.

close up details:


rain drops add “molecules under microscope” sort of feel/look


Also if to flip this particular one, it could be read as a landscape (mountains and trees in the foreground) – but I do not think there are needs to find anything representational here – the marks are lovely and organic and make the eye wonder around on their own.

This is why I think this is a drawing i do not need to alter or “improve” – but I will use it as a source material, perhaps to enlarge certain areas.



How does the element of control affect the feel of the drawings?

I think that element of control added a direction – movement, flow, marks could be used as a tool to achieve intended result (especially if recognizable elements are present – such as a portrait for example). So the marks that can be achieved by “machines” while still accidental to a degree can be used as a “technique” and a tool if needed.

 In your own composite drawings, which marks do you prefer and why?

I would say that i discovered the possibility of joining forces here. I already prefer/enjoy/love to let materials take some control and determine the overall outcome while working so joining forces with machinery can be beneficial to the creative process. And while I had very limited resources, and perhaps more downs than ups during this projects I really enjoyed the experimentation, and hope to get(find/make) more “machines” to collaborate with.

Project 3: Rebecca Horn’s Drawing “Machines” research

Research Rebecca Horn’s drawing machines.

One of the videos

I watched – mostly her sculptures and a few drawing machines, unfortunately i do not understand what was said but it was interesting to see. Not all works here resonate with me but what does is the hypnotic movement of some sculptures (needle like spikes that move) and her use of mundane and manmade materials to create something almost “living” in the space they occupy and relate to the natural element.

What do you think Rebecca Horn was trying to find out or express by making the machines?

I think she is trying to find a connection between living/breathing and made/assembled, by giving machines life of their own. It seems that her works express her inner search for “what is reality” and “fragility of living organisms”, maybe it is her search for the “eternal life”…. Watching this video for example

I felt that she was really in the space of “actual mark creation” – in the zone of being the machine herself, almost being the movement and moment when paint touched the surface. I think these machines somehow are her self-projection – perhaps as some people use avatars in virtual world, she expresses herself by creating these “living” works. It is her way of reaching out to the rest of the world. (Obviously it is just my imagination). Perhaps this idea of creating machines comes from her early experience of being very ill (poisoned by fumes) and making body extensions that were worn by her and others making them almost alien looking. Here is the video where some of her earlier work is shown

The finger extensions definitely remind me of the later “needles” sculptures that move on their own – one work evolved to another in a way grew out of and began its own life. Similarly is the “white body fan” 1973 performance act, as I see, evolved and transformed into her butterflies, flying books etc… Early works involved human “machines” while later ones became mechanical “beings”.

Here is a small version in English (same machine as above)

She mentioned that she wanted to give something else to viewers than just painting to capture the moment by using “flying” books. It was exactly what i thought about them while watching the previous video. The close up of the droplets shows really lovely marks that ink/paint made as it collided with the wall and dribbled down – to me they look like spores of a fungi that flew from the source and planted themselves to create a new life of their own. (The artist herself called this work “rain” and mentioned how nice they collide with the space).


How does the element of control affect the feel of the drawings?

Some machines have controlled movement – this has effect of repetition and similarity of some of the marks made. But still some randomness and accidental effect finds its way – adding something extra to the repetitive patterns, breaking illusion of controlled movement. I think that controlled drawing is less fluid – marks made exactly where they intended to be, while “accidental, automatic, unpredictable” drawing in a way draws/creates itself and can be looked at an entity of its own.


Parallel Project 1.



Abstraction, enlargement, looking closer/in/out; finding images/motives/patterns in nature/things around; explore tone/colour/shape/space; installation derived from created drawings (such as Assignment 1).


Use different tools, (elongated tools, and electric whisk- interesting patterns). Different media – at the moment inks are quite appealing along with diluted acrylics/water colours.

So as an example – enlarged are of chosen subject/drawing/pattern – large scale linear drawing overlapped with mirror print (?) and toned/coloured using variety of tools and angles. Step two – take this 2D drawing and make a 3D model/installation using wire or other found materials (junk).

The concept here – looking closer at the things around us in a new way – do we really see or just walk by assuming we know it all? Touching theme of environment, nature, over consumption, exploitation of resources, recycling and reusing to preserve the world and prolong life of the planet.

Limiting my language and instead expressing it through work, explore free form art – starting work without preconceived idea and let it develop itself during the process hence exploring inner emotions/feelings etc…