Archive for the 'MMT 3 – Sketchbook' Category

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Weekend sketchbook

Increasing, improving and extending my sketchbook work has been one of my focus points for this assignment. This had a big boost on the weekend when my friend and fellow OCA student Claire came over for a day of mark making. You can see Claire’s work and read her account of the day at https://tactualtextiles.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/mark-making-with-paints-and-tools/.

The plan was to go big and go wild. We both started with some paper Claire had found at http://reversegarbage.org.au/. The printing on one side and coated (waterproofed?) reverse suggested it was roll ends from jiffy bags or similar. We worked on the blank but coated side which gave some interesting interactions especially when I attempted a watercolour wash which turned into a watercolour speckle.

sketch_20150926a

sketch_20150926a

sketch_20150926a detail

sketch_20150926a detail

More often than not I work on A3 paper. This piece is 102 x 76cm – more than 6 times the surface area. It felt so freeing, making big sweeps with the shoulder. It’s mostly acrylic paint, but also water colour and printing inks. I remember palette knife sweeps, fruit net bag rolling and stamping, scraping with a serrated knife, dabbing with paper towel, pouring watercolour, a jittery-bump movement like going over corrugated dirt road… It was an exciting ride.

Next up was 100 gsm cartridge paper. White cartridge paper is my go-to base, but not at this size – 84 x 72 cm.

sketch_20150926b

sketch_20150926b

Claire and I were swapping paints, tools and ideas, and it was amazing to see our work side by side and how different the results were. I have a definite tendency to chaos and mess! This has acrylic paint and screen printing inks plus some red oxide (from the hardware store for colouring concrete, but didn’t make it into a plaster sample). There was printing from a bracken leaf (conveniently grows at the garage door), various sizes of bubble wrap, paper towel, cork, sewing reel, peg bag side, drainer “thing”, jar tops – anything circular within reach. Also some lovely circular swirls using Claire’s new patent-pending technique involving a pipecleaner and considerable dexterity.

The final piece for the day arose from frugal determination to waste not a smear of paint.

sketch_20150926c

sketch_20150926c

My favourite corrugated cardboard, tiny at 48 x 27 cm.

Obviously none of the above are resolved works. They are the physical leavings of a fun and freeing process. I think there’s also a huge amount of detail that could be explored with L-shape frame finders. Lots of texture, lots of movement, lots of ideas, lots of space.

The next day I continued, this time responding to some casting samples. First sample p3-51, plaster and resin in a juice jug.

sketch_20150927a

sketch_20150927a

83 x 64 cm white cartridge paper. Water-resistant crayon and watercolour wash.

Cramming (too?) many ideas into one sketch this is a blind, continuous line drawing, overlaid in two or three layers. I then tried to make sense of all the lines with a “clarifying” wash of black watercolour. Lots of energy in the lines and I felt I had good focus and observation of the sample. The result isn’t informative as a picture but I’m pleased with the sense of pushing myself.

sketch_20150927b

sketch_20150927b

The drawing part is 66 x 64 cm white cartridge paper, not filling the page particularly well, once again based on sample p3-51.

This uses charcoal for the plaster areas and grey oil pastel for the resin. There’s something very odd going on with the proportions, especially in the centre. My main focus was the lines and planes formed by the jug, and I think the curves of the handle went well. The big spike of resin contrasts effectively with the smooth mass of plaster. Once again I was happy with my maintenance of concentration and keeping my eyes at least as much on the sample as the page. I think this shows good progress for me, although I actually prefer the first version – so much more lively and expressive.

Next some work with sample p3-47, the cast of ribbed knitting. I actually started this a couple of days earlier, using the 3D pen and “drawing” in plastic filament.

sketch_20150925a

sketch_20150925a

The photograph above shows both sides of the drawing, which is roughly 13 x 5 cm.

Lots of energy, and it was good to work in a palette of mainly neutrals which is a change for me. This is based on just one small section of the repeated pattern. Given the knit is so regular I wanted to understand the structure more.

sketch_20150925b

sketch_20150925b

The base is 54 x 33 cm, brown paper that I crumpled and painted with gesso a few weeks back.

I started lower right using conte crayons. The not particularly complicated pattern was eluding me and the drawing was clumsy, so I stopped and concentrated on a simple graphic map. Seen on the left, this is a different kind of clumsy but at least the pattern repeat emerges.

Top right I changed to two pastel pencils held together to make a very loose and simplified interpretation of some of the patterning. This is the most successful section of this page.

Moving forward in time, I returned to sample p3-47, this time using tissue paper as the base.

sketch_20150927c

sketch_20150927c

A direct rubbing of the sample using a large wax crayon. Little pattern emerges.
sketch_20150927d

sketch_20150927d

Another direct rubbing, using oil pastel. Some of the pattern can be identified, especially the original woven band area, but the knit section is still indistinct. It’s amazing that something so clear on the cast is so lost when only the top layer of the surface is recorded.

I decided to move to ink on the tissue.

sketch_20150927e

sketch_20150927e

Above is a messy trial of tools – corrugated cardboard, the end of a clothes peg, the side of some styrofoam packaging and a bamboo pen.

sketch_20150927f

sketch_20150927f

A more considered stylised version. I like the curves of cardboard very much. The herringbone columns were drawn with the bamboo pen and have a pleasing variability. The simple uprights used the corner of the styrofoam, giving the broken effect I was looking for. I think there are some useful ideas in this.

Liking the marks, I tried combining them in different ways.

sketch_20150927g

sketch_20150927g

All three of the marks are included here. The combination is balanced, but there is movement across the sheet with the waves of corrugated cardboard.

sketch_20150927h

sketch_20150927h

A less interesting version using cardboard and styrofoam.

My original intention using tissue paper was to layer pieces up in interesting combinations. Unfortunately none of the combinations interested me. Wanting to take them forward somehow, I finished by experimenting with the photo of sketch_20150927g, using a series of distortion filters in gimp.

sketch_20150927g emboss

sketch_20150927g emboss

sketch_20150927g weave

sketch_20150927g weave

sketch_20150927g polar coord

sketch_20150927g polar coord

sketch_20150927g ripple

sketch_20150927g ripple

sketch_20150927g iwarp

sketch_20150927g iwarp

sketch_20150927g illusion

sketch_20150927g illusion

sketch_20150927g fractal

sketch_20150927g fractal


Some of the above look quite textile-y in nature, and it was good to explore some corners of the software.

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Weekend sketchbook
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 2: Casting the internal space of a vessel
Weekend sketchbook

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Holiday sketchbook

Last week I was away on the south coast for a few days of relaxation. Naturally the new drawing materials came with me. The holiday was great. The sketching was fun and absorbing – until I looked at the results and wondered what I’ve been doing the past few years. In the spirit of recording and reflecting on failures as well as success…

sketch_20150922aI can’t complain about inspiration, waking up to that view (actually that’s one small part of the 180 degree views from ocean front and right, across bay, to mountains not seen here on left).

sketch 20150922a

sketch 20150922a

Working on colour matching, drawing on my android tablet. Looking across the bay towards the mountains at dusk. No detail, just light airbrushing, but I was pretty happy with the colours, especially the transition from mountain to sky.

sketch 20150922b

sketch 20150922b

Wax crayons on A3 cartridge paper. Not too bad, focusing on colour mixing, texture, two particular trees against the background of smaller, barer trees just to the left of the photo above. There’s some movement in the main trees, and the rhythm of the other tree trunks. My idea was to apply a wash for background glimpses of sea, sky and land.

sketch 20150922c

sketch 20150922c

Applying a wash was not the right choice of technique over water soluble crayon. Or rather, I should have used different crayons for the original drawing. Some mildly interesting water marks, but basically a blurry mess.

sketch 20150922d

sketch 20150922d

Trying to get some value out of the previous disaster, I put on lots of colour that may or may not have been in the ocean, and tried moving the colour around and creating texture. Looking for a positive, maybe this could be used as a background sometime. Perhaps I could collage some tissue over first.

sketch 20150922e

sketch 20150922e

The markings of the fish on the dinner menu reminded me of that rhythm of tree trunks, so I tried using that as my base. The idea of the fish (at a different scale!) swimming in the ocean behind seemed a nice touch. Realising the strong original design would want to take over I used oil pastels, hoping for decent coverage. I think it nearly, nearly works – but doesn’t work. I felt my observational skills were improving, it was an absorbing problem, I’m really liking working with the oil pastels – so if I focus on the process and not the outcome, OK.

sketch 20150922f

sketch 20150922f

An unfinished sketch of a banksia pod, this time in the water resistant wax pastels. Obviously I was just mucking around with colour. I was planning to do more and finish with another attempt at a wash, but ran out of time. Just as well, while there was still some life and movement and lightness to it. The lower right area where I worked more has gone very dull and bland.

sketch 20150922g

sketch 20150922g

Naturally I was also thinking about the next round of casting samples, making quick notes and sketches as ideas came. I’ve been home a couple of days and have attempted a few of them. More on that in another post.

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Holiday sketchbook
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 2: Casting the internal space of a vessel
Holiday sketchbook

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Casting sketchbook

Attempts continue to expand my range of mediums when sketching. Inspired by fellow OCA student Sally Harrison (link to just one of her exciting posts) I’ve acquired a range of oil pastels, water-resistant wax pastels, and water-soluble wax pastels, all from Caran D’Ache. Together with my existing Conté crayons that should give me lots of drawing options.

sketch 20150914a

sketch 20150914a

Above are first baby steps with all four mediums, on pastel paper. I started with the nice line from the 3D pen on sample p3-26. The oil pastel is particularly luscious, so I continued with that looking at the bubble-wrap based sample p2-23 (on the left in blues). Liking very much the quality of lines I was getting, I tried a more blended approach still with oil, looking at sample p3-25. All samples are from 6-September-2015.

sketch_20150914 b

sketch_20150914 b

The second sketch continues with the oil pastels, my new tool of choice. Wanting to extend my repertoire of drawing base this is A3 kraft paper, an old favourite but varied given previous use as a drop cloth in other sketching, followed by a rough coat of gesso. The sketch itself was thinking about future molding options – this is a computer motherboard, and I’m wondering about its use to create surface design on a molding sample. Doing the sketch I became more aware of all the colours used on the board – on first glance it looks drab, but there is a lot going on!

sketch_20150914 c

sketch_20150914 c

Going a step further, and still within my recurring computer component theme, the base here is cut from the box of a graphics board. Glossy and dark, I wondered if any of the new mediums could handle it. The wax pastels gave a lively line and clung to the difficult surface well, but didn’t have enough coverage to cope with the busy printed design. Back to the oil pastels. The subject above was a piece of bubble wrap draped on my worktable. It’s on the “definite” list for future molding sampling.

sketch 20150914 d

sketch 20150914 d

Back with wax pastels, this is looking at sample p3-33. I thought the finer, still lively lines would suit the delicate energy of the sample. The base is a toned gray sketching paper and my focus was reflected light. The paper was a poor choice, looking dull and drab rather than the bright sparkle of the sample. I’m also not taking advantage of the properties of my new mediums, so will need to start experimenting with layering washes.

T1-MMT-P3-p2 Casting sketchbook
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 2: Casting the internal space of a vessel
Casting sketchbook

T1-MMT-P3-p1 Sketchbook, refocus

At the end of my last post there were so many ideas bubbling around. Impossible to follow every path – I wanted to spend my available time carefully. So I stepped away a moment.

Sample p2-18

Sample p2-18

In her recent feedback my tutor mentioned Henry Moore and Anthony Caro when commenting on sample p2-18. I did some research on Moore during Understanding Western Art (15-December-2013, 22-June-2014, and briefly 13-July-2014)). Some points noted then that could be relevant: Moore’s interest in working with volumes and forms, drapery used to create more tension in a work, the space between – a piecing opening or separate elements with the space between as integral a part of the whole as the solid forms.

I’m not familiar with Anthony Caro’s work (although I remember spending a little time with Duccio variations no.7 at the National Gallery of Australia (link)). So I started my sketchbook time by looking at a couple of examples.

sketch 20150903a - looking at Anthony Caro Emma Dipper

sketch 20150903a – looking at Anthony Caro’s Emma Dipper

Sample p2-74

Sample p2-74

Emma Dipper is in The Tate (http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/caro-emma-dipper-t03455). I was taken by a remark in the display caption “The opening to the left creates the sense of an internal space, which is penetrated and activated by the tubes and rods.” I thought of sample p2-74, where I wanted to create, to claim, space.

The sketch above is crayon on A3 kraft paper. It focuses on the internal space of the work rather than the metal. I would love to be able to move around this work, experience it in three dimensions. From this angle it is a wonderful, dynamic shape.

sketch_20150903b - looking at Anthony Caro's Paper sculpture no.4 'Big White'

sketch_20150903b – looking at Anthony Caro’s Paper sculpture no.4 ‘Big White’

The sketch above is based on Paper sculpture no.4 ‘Big White’, held at the National Gallery of Australia (link). The sketch helped me concentrate on observation and is useful as a reminder of that, but is not successful standalone. It is static and flat, the marks clumsy and unvaried.

sketch_20150903f

sketch_20150903f

The base is from a salvaged gift bag, a heavy off-white paper, crushed and highlighted in gold paint. I worked in acrylic paints, a fine black liner, and a little in pastel crayons trying to rescue the image. It was also a good reminder of a technique that would have been helpful in Assignment 1, highlighting the effect of crumpling paper. Inset is a quick version using crumpled brown grocer’s bag paper and diluted gesso.

sketch_20150903c

sketch_20150903c – Collage based on sample p3-9


Sample p3-9

Sample p3-9

Above is a collage on cardboard (A3), using various tissue and other papers and modpodge. It is a scaled-up version of some of the fine marks created by the computer card, such as in sample p3-9 (26-August-2015).
malevich_02The final result reminds me of Kasimir Malevich – House under construction in the National Gallery of Australia (http://artsearch.nga.gov.au/Detail.cfm?IRN=36797), and some sketchbook investigation I did in December 2012 (link).

In the collage there is energy and interest and an overall balance. It is an interpretation, based on observation of the sample but bringing something new.

I originally intended to develop the collage further with higher relief elements, and to use it to take a mold in composimold. Possibly that will happen later.

sketch_20150903d - based on sample p3-12

sketch_20150903d – based on sample p3-12

Sample p3-12 Join failed

Sample p3-12 Join failed

Conte pastel crayons on A3 cartridge paper are a fairly literal observation of sample p3-12 (1-September-2015). The different colours reflect the various shadows created. Fast and free, there is good movement and I think the different natures and weights of the two materials can be seen. Working on it made me more aware of the strong, rigid, geometric structure of the shapes that have been captured in the organic forms of the molds.

sketch_20150903e - manipulation of photo of sample p3-8

sketch_20150903e – manipulation of photo of sample p3-8

Sample p3-8 side detail

Sample p3-8 side detail

Sample p3-8 (26-August-2015) has some wonderful lines and edges. I used gimp to manipulate one of the photographs. A section has been isolated and presented above. There were other areas of interest, but too much wonderful detail was lost if scaled down.

While working on this I have gone back through past sample in Parts 1 and 2. I have a list of possibilities for development of my molding sampling- which I am confident will change as work progresses.

Digressions within digressions
While looking at past posts mentioning Moore I came across my photo of Robert Barnstone’s work once removed (13-June-2014). At that time I was researching recent figure sculptures. Made of cast glass, the work is clearly relevant to my current assignment.

Robert Barnstone once removed  cast glass

Robert Barnstone
once removed
cast glass

There are more photos and lots of other interesting work on Barnstone’s website. The link here is specifically to the once removed information: http://rbarnstone2.wix.com/art-architecture#!once-removed-2014-bondi-/c317. As well as using a relevant technique, the language and content in the written material is interesting given recent tutor feedback. There is descriptive information, background on the meaning of the work, a brief mention of material, and quite a lot of space given to the impact on the viewer. “The feet recall bodies from the past that are connected to the sea or toward us the viewers.” “We feel the figures collectively in a backdrop of dreamscape.” “…raising an awareness in us all of how frail our existence may be.” In this blog / student log “I”, the first person form, is always in use. I write about my reaction and thoughts and leave it open for the reader to have their thoughts. Barnstone has taken a step back as creator and shares the viewers’ experience. There is a confidence in the strength of the work, confidence that it will deliver the intended message, confidence that others share his perspective.

Without getting too lost in the spiral of digressions, a brief mention of the clear areas of similarity between once removed and Susan Benarcik’s installation Loosing Touch with Reality http://susanbenarcik.com/project/loosing-touch-with-reality/. There’s a looser link to Dadang Christanto’s Heads from the North (http://artsearch.nga.gov.au/Detail.cfm?IRN=131001).

T1-MMT-P3-p1 Sketchbook progress
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 1: Molding from a surface
Sketchbook, refocus

T1-MMT-P3-p1 Sketchbook and change of plan

After the session using composimold (26-August-2015) I felt the need to step back and think about next steps. Wanting to examine results so far more closely I worked on my photographs in gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program).

First I manipulated individual photos.


 
Then I tried layering.
Photos layered in gimp

Photos layered in gimp


 
I like the combination of the different materials, so I tried printing out photos (glossy), carefully tore them (Assignment 1) and then combined.
Woven photos

Woven photos


The layers of photo paper separated as I tore, effectively widening the photos in one dimension. This meant they didn’t fit neatly overlapping when combined and my attempts to force the issue caused distortions. I want to carry forward the idea that a combination of materials can create tension and distortion.
 
I’ve also spent quite a lot of time handling the samples themselves – looking at them, bending and stretching, layering them in different orders… Below are a couple of my favourite combinations.
Sketch i

Image i


Sketch j

Image j


Sample p3-9, composimold impressed using a computer card, is the most effective as a top layer. There is enough patterning to create interest without obscuring the lower layer too much.

I want to take composimold further, plus I want to use it in combination with polymorph. The two materials seem to have an affinity – they are both 1 part molding materials that soften with heat. Both can be reheated and reused multiple times. The honey and white, transparency and translucency work well together. On another student’s blog I read about El Anatsui – “He feels it is important to work with a newly discovered medium until you really understand it and can “get something intrinsic out of it”” (ninaoconnor.wordpress.com).

I’d planned to move on to moulding with some silicone and some plaster that I purchased at the same time as the composimold. Instead I’ve decided to use the time to explore deeper rather than wider. It means I’ll work with few materials than suggested in the course notes, but I’m confident it’s the right choice.

===============================================
Post edited to add a detail of image d, which was based on an image of sample p3-11 (26-August-2015). Zooming in based on Lottie’s comment it looks like human skin under the microscope.

Detail of image d

Detail of image d


With colour inverted it looks to me like fibres, a closeup of felt. That suggests development possibilities.
Detail of image d, colour inverted

Detail of image d, colour inverted


===============================================

T1-MMT-P3-p1 Sketchbook and change of plan
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 1: Sketchbook and change of plan

T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Initial sketching

Recent sketchbook work has been preparation for the coming casting and molding exercises.

sketch 20150808

sketch 20150808

Sample p2-65

Sample p2-65

This sketch is on A3 kraft paper, roughly painted with gesso, then a charcoal sketch of sample p2-65. I worked from the photograph – the sample doesn’t exist any more.

I’ve written before that I regard this sample as the strongest in terms of a completed outcome (2-August-2015). Drawing this sketch and glancing at it on the pin board over the weeks actually had me going back to the course notes on recording outcomes, because I’m really beginning to understand the value and power of the process. I was already aware of the dynamic diagonals and the semi-transparent disguise, and perhaps the repetition of circles and bumps on circles. However what really is attracting and fascinating me are the indeterminate edges. Wraps disappear, lines change direction, bubbles form the edge but there are edges within edges, reflections and shadows complicate. Where is the edge?

Sample p2-72 c

Sample p2-6 Side view

Sample p2-6 Side view

It’s made me look again at other samples – p2-72 and the missing handle of course, but also the haze of p2-6. A quick search shows I have written multiple times about a fascination with boundaries, so I’m not sure why it feels like a revelation. Perhaps because I am beginning to develop a store of visual means, evoking (provoking?) that moment of hesitation and search for the edge.

sketch 20150809

sketch 20150809

Sample p2-70, conte pencil on newspaper. Curves of the shrinkwrap. I like the movement and the busyness of this. A fairground ride.

Victoria Brown research page

Victoria Brown research page

I’m continuing the sketch/information pages as I research, but as I had permission from a number of artists to use their photographs I didn’t include my pages in the original research posts.
Rebecca Fairley  research page

Rebecca Fairley
research page

Sketch 20150815

Sketch 20150815

This is research that got away from me. I was looking at Louise Nevelson’s Luminous Zag: Night on the Guggenheim website (link), and was taken by a sudden need to work in pattern blocks.

The base is newspaper, with white gesso painted on then blotches of blue and brown acrylic paint when I tried to print off large bubble wrap (unsuccessfully). I cut some thin craft foam into shaped strips, then printed in red trying to create visual blocks from individual elements. Fast, fun, quite effective, plus it’s got me thinking about how to make the molding samples in some way uniform to build up into something larger.

Victoria Ferrand Scott Research page

Victoria Ferrand Scott
Research page

Some more research in progress. Looking at work done by Victoria Ferrand Scott during her time as Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence (http://tinyurl.com/vfscott-AIR).

Lindsay Harris Research page

Lindsay Harris
Research page

More research in progress, from Lindsay Harris (http://lindsayharris.co.uk/plaster.html). This is A3 cartridge paper, outlines in black crayon, washes of ink trying to explore values which got lost and I tried to recover using white acrylic.

Obviously lots of artist research outstanding, plus I haven’t yet blogged about materials research and selection or my list of goals/ideas for the exercises, but I feel the need to make a start on practical work before I overthink and it all gets stale.

T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Initial sketching
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Initial sketching


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In Basketry NSW Transformation exhibition Sunday 2 July. More info fibresofbeing.wordpress.com

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