Exercise 1.1 Experimenting with immediacy and fluid line

As usual I was trying my best not to over think the process, but once again I did a lot of thinking before I started making. However, once I started making I made a more conscious effort to enjoy experimenting with the media and think less about what I was actually trying to draw. Thinking about what the exercise was asking me to do I decided to ‘decipher’ the title. I learnt to do this in my first unit to make sure I knew what I was doing before I started ‘doing’.

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I enjoy working quickly and the majority of the time prefer to work in a more gestural way, although recently I like to combine the quick gestural marks and observe more delicate focused marks. (this was probably most evident in my assignment 5 from drawing 1).

Even though the exercise said to work quickly and not think too much I have learnt that I need to have some sort of subject mater to focus my ideas on, so before I embarked on this exercise, I gathered some visual imagery using my polaroid camera of zoomed in parts of nature. My polaroid camera is my new favourite gadget which I take everywhere with me! I love the unpredictable outcome of the photograph, although it can also be frustrating sometimes. But I like that the pictures aren’t always perfect. Taking close up pictures of nature I thought would make an interesting subject matter and I liked that you wouldn’t be able to necessarily tell what it was or where it was from. I took some voice notes on my phone whilst walking on the beach.

I also then considered the idea of roots from trees and plants, and making a connection between family relationships (linking to Bourgeois’ work) and nature.

From talking through my ideas with family and friends on my walk at Hengistbury Head I decided to do some experiments with marbling which to me suits the criteria of fluid media. I also have never worked with this media before so I was keen to explore and widen my options and explore further avenues in experimentation.

As I was piecing the 20 sheets of paper together, I realised I had not given it much thought in how I was going to lay them out. I wanted to have a rhythm within the drawing and I remembered a drawing workshop I attended (we were drawing a performance) where one artist had drawn on one long roll of paper, which created a sense of a story and I found it an interesting visual way to record a response to something. (below are some pictures of the work from the workshop)

I felt working this way would be an interesting way to work with fluid media, developing (on reflection now) the idea of a river.

All these ideas aside, it was a starting point for me to work with and to start with the first exercise.

 

Reflection notes whilst working evident in my journal along with my polaroid images.

The exercise asks to return to the piece in a couple of days to reflect upon the drawings so I will be completing this and uploading my findings to my blog.

Reflection part of the exercise:

Did you find that the pace of your fluid line stayed the same or did it change?

Realising that I poured the water onto the surface of the paper I had very little control over how fast the water came out of the cup or how much landed on each part of the page. I enjoyed watching the fluid media create an image, it was almost like watching a pollard developing as the water sunk into the surface of the paper. The media is heavier in some places also as I took back control using ink straight from the pot and didn’t dilute it.

How far did the liquid pool, drip or splatter?

I used stones from the garden to weigh down the paper but I realised that during the piece they acted as a counterpoint in themselves as they were a visual contrast to the fluid line that had been created. Because of these heavier weights the watery ink did create small ‘pools’ in areas to which I added further ink, creating a denser mark. I took a lot of time watching and ‘playing’ with the ink. I enjoyed watching the ink spread through the water. With my counterpoint media I made use of the splattered marks making them into a drawing of trees or plants.

What, if any, were the impulses that directed you to use your counterpoint medium?

I enjoy using fine liner to create the finer details in contrast to the more uncontrolled marks of the fluid media, as I like that they work together. The fluid media can sometimes be lost within itself and is hard to define any details of interest. As a viewer I think it is important to identify the details to keep an interest in the piece. I also enjoy using charcoal which was another counterpoint media I decided to use. I found myself blocking parts of the page out with various gradients of grey and black to create a visual image of stones and pebbles – linking to my Polaroid images and initial inspiration. As I was working I enjoyed seeing the evidence of each individual mark and that made me think of an artist that I find particularly inspiring – Heather Day. Images of her work are below. Her work is heavily focused on mark making and fluid media.

Figure 1. Day, H. (2018) Headspace [acrylic spray paint on stretched canvas] https://heatherday.com/2018 (Accessed on 4 June 2018)

Figure 2. Day, H. (2018) Sometimes I Mirror You #2 [acrylic oil pastel on stretched canvas] https://heatherday.com/2018 (Accessed on 4 June 2018)

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