Archive for November 4th, 2011


Over the past few days I’ve been pulling things together – putting my notes and work from Project 2 in order so I can write my review of it and of Assignment 1, package up a selection of work and post it all off to Pat (my tutor). It’s a good time to think about how I’ve been doing things, what is and isn’t working…

One thing that’s working quite well so far is my mix of log/note/sketch book(s). This blog is my logbook, but its electronic nature makes it better for some things (eg reflecting) than others (jotting notes while at the sewing machine). The jottings tend to go into an A5 notebook, which also travels around in my bag so gets oddments on current reading, works seen at exhibitions etc. I tend to use A3 paper when at my worktable, sketching or trying to figure how to rescue a sample. A3 was a bit too big to take on holiday, so there’s an A4 folder. The part that’s really working for me is that the A5, A4 and A3 folders are all looseleaf – I use treasury tags (a short piece of string with two metal ends like this |—–| ) to hold the pages together. Which means I can put a mix of papers into each folder, and even better means that every once in a while I can consolidate all the pages of work into one storage folder (as in the photo). It means my final “sketchbook” is a bit of a hybrid but for me easier than having four or more places to check when reviewing progress or searching for something. Hopefully this non-purist but practical approach will work for Pat and the course assessment.

The last post detailed one thing that didn’t work for me – my Stage 6 sample. A little time and reflection, plus some valuable input from friends, has helped. A couple of final thoughts – I think I tried to do too much and would have been better selecting a smaller area of the photo; and I confused visual and physical texture. Yesterday at the White Rabbit Gallery I saw a brilliant example of visual texture on a quite flat surface – High Seas by Shi Zhiying. Follow the link, click on the Portfolio tab then on the thumbnail. It can only give an idea of the actual painting, which is 8 metres wide, 2 metres high. It has amazing visual texture, you almost feel seasick, but there is no deep layering of the oil paint. The painting fills your field of vision. Dribbles and blots emphasise the paint but it is still a very realistic image. It’s almost monochrome – perhaps a little blue in the middle distance. The texture, the waves, the depth, is produced by variations of value, of brush strokes, of energy and movement in the marks.

On the bus during the week I’ve been reading ahead in the course notes for Assignment 2. Some interesting stuff coming up but what caught me was some exercises separating texture, colour and shape. I think this is really going to help me move forward.


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November 2011

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