Part Four: Environmental interventions
Project 1: Found Images
Aim: The aim of this exercise is to open up the mind to new possibilities in terms of what the line can be – by finding drawings that occur in nature and environment.
Method: Look at the natural processes that produce the drawing – examples as lines in the sand, silhouette against the sky, footprints, industrial processes etc. Collect photos and sketches of nature’s drawings.
I’m naturally drawn to interesting shapes/images/silhouettes that I see around me. I do collect images when possible and accumulated quite a collection – there are too many to add to the blog.
Colour: Nature produces beautifully colored “paintings” and “drawings” almost every day. I love to observe sky as the light changes during the day.
I have travelled to a few places during my life so far and have noticed how light changes depending on where the location is. I grew up in Azerbaijan and while all seasons are present, I must note that during summer everything is almost too dazzling – due to high sun and warm climate. During summer a lot of vegetation, especially in the areas that lack water supply (sands, desert areas, oil fields etc.) become dry and fragile, appear dead apart from plants that can survive the prolong heat. So, the “canvass” turns towards yellows, browns and white where dark lines made by remaining plants dominate.
The city, where vegetation is looked after and watered regularly, is quite a contrast. A lot of buildings that have glass as a main feature reflect the bright sun, green vegetation/colorful clothes/road surfaces/ cars etc. look illuminated and the shimmer of the sea can dazzle and appear almost like jeweled carpet. I can image if looked from above it will look like a carpet.
Similarly, this effect of illumination I have seen in India during summer.
There is a Big difference in sky colours if compared with UK. I believe due to difference in location, being closer to the northern atmosphere, skies here have larger variety of contrast and colour. I can understand why artists like Turner were fascinated with the light effects that can be found in this part of the world.
Living in UK I have noticed the dramatic difference of colour – sometimes on the same day – when the sun comes out from under the clouds everything becomes illuminated and 20 times brighter, almost comes alive in front of one’s eyes. Something that was dull, grey, dead suddenly bursts into life. Shadows start drawing elaborate images on objects, flowers look extra sharp against the surroundings etc.
Obviously, this effect is similar everywhere, but I have noticed the extra dramatic/tonal change especially here in the UK, because the weather changes a lot more during the same time of day/season.
This effect if applied to drawing/painting/photography could be used as a comparison between two images – one black and white and one next to it at the Hight of the contrast perhaps. The chosen tonal application could be used to imply mood, temperature, emotional state etc.
Line/shape: I am really interested in how line drawings can be found while looking at tangled lines of grass, branches or marks left in the sand by people/animals or machinery, as well as naturally occurring patterns by water or wind.
Some of the Found Images:
Lines, spills, reflections: lines and “pictures” made by animals/mashinery/plants/water/stone etc… ;
I found quite a similarity in this picture of my retina and jellyfish found on the beach. I have an idea of using this pictures to make a larger work, still figuring out how.
I’m interested in shapes and forms that occur when brunches/grass/sticks etc. tangle up or when looked through for example.
There was one image that I took of a red plant while in Wales (botanical gardens), unfortunately I do not remember the name of it. The image is blurred – the close has not got distinctive elements but rather the shape of the grouped blooms and lines of the many branches create a mesh in the background. Also, the colours here are quite simple but effectively contrasting against each other and the far back.
I tried to capture the movement and colour juxtaposition in a few drawings – using minimal number of tools and colours just to be in line with the idea and my own vision of this image.
A3, e.w. ink pen, hanza yellow and magenta watercolour – here I drew the same design ( almost) as on the larger piece. The background was created by activating the ink of the contour lines and moving it by using water. When activated this ink pen produces an array of colours from black/indigo through blues to soft pinks and that is why I used it here. It helped to create a backdrop that could be anything from sky to water surface as well as goes in line with the other colours used. Hanza was applied over the branches, it mixed with the ink in places and created soft greens just as on a newly grown branches I feel. While the paint was still wet, I dropped Magenta in places and let it run in to the mix – it can be looked at as darker area of the branches or as moss/lichen patches. For some reason the colour on the photo is totally different, same as the next one.
A3, pencil, e.w. ink pen, hanza yellow w/c – using same pattern (almost) first I washed yellow all over an let it dry. Ink lines were applied next and water washed in between the contour lines to add shadows. Here the ink washes over yellow created natural greens with pink tones. I was not sure here but decided to experiment with the focus – to bring some elements forward and the rest into the blurred background. So, I drew more branches over the first layer and then using water pulled the ink all over the rest of the area.
If looked at upside down from the starting point – It looks like a figure running through (leg shapes) I quite like that. Overall the idea is quite interesting, and I love this pen and how they act when activated but feel like something in this image needs to be added/changed. I’ll let it sit for a bit and then might decide where to add more tonal contrasts. The actual colour on paper is much more green and yellow – can’t manage to make a correct photo.
A1 – I started by drawing some branches placing them similarly to what I saw on the image but also keeping in mind the overall composition I wanted to get at the end. Using a roller I applied some acrylic colour following the drawn design ( lem cad yell; magenta). Then it was left to dry overnight.
Reflection: Collect all images and reflect on how they may inform you in your drawings/mark making
Looking back , i feel that i did not really connect my images and the experiments. I think i got carried away with the “finding” stages that using them was left for later and then i took a different path of making my own interpretation.
Saying that i feel that the A1 piece, red plant, in a way combined my interest in tangled lines, colour and some of the effects of the reflections/ripples of running water, natural “accidental” combination of elements and patches over rocks/branches etc….
I might consider cropping this or adding more tonal contrast later.
This exercise helped me to find new ways of looking at my surroundings and i now have a good collection of images that can be used to inform my work . Especially i am interesting in using photographs of jellyfish in the water/ on sand and my retina shots.