The starting point of the drawing weekend – first – deconstruct your chosen item -
More pics tomorrow of how this became my drawing tool.
I could continue making marks on paper and manipulating surfaces forever but I felt I should bring ideas of fabric and thread into my thinking.
I looked at a sample fragment from a recent piece that suggested a possible connection with the mass of small marks in my drawings, masses of tiny ripped photo fragments that had been stitched together in long ‘strings’ making a lacy structure. The distance between the photo fragments could be altered to give variety to the density of the mass. Also other fragments could be stitched together in ‘strings’.
Another previous method to suggest movement was made on multiple layers of the same image, cut into narrow bands and fragmented alluding to a refracted image. The silk organza pieces were painted with sweeping lines and when dry layered and threaded together with long stitches that went right through all the layers. I had a bit of fun getting the camera close into dramatic angles of this sample suspended on a window to show the interesting effects photographically which are disappointing in reality.
Onwards to explore another way of layering these fabric pieces. I undid the stitches and started again. This time I folded each piece in half and threaded the folded pieces together as in a book. The movement was more evident in this formation but perhaps too much!
An interlude to look at the delightful ‘avocado rolls’ by Alice Fox http://www.alicefox.co.uk/ and I thought I would roll a strip and double dip dye in the sunset colours of a drawing. Although I haven’t developed this dyed strip of linen scrim yet, it’s waiting for that special moment of time for me to manipulate it in some way. I like the way this long strip of fabric creates it’s own sweep just by being there. Now this thought offers something!
I can do a lot of thinking at odd moments of the day and although I might not have time to follow up these ideas, I have been making quick notes in a small postcard sized notebook. This is tucked into a bag when out and about – on a bus journey or waiting at the dentists - can give me some precious thinking time. These pages remind me of the glimpses of ideas that I can follow up later. These pages aren’t especially beautiful but I like the miniature writing and diagrams that are crammed in to each page giving me keys for future work.
If you are in London before 7th April and enjoy looking at still life drawings, seek out this delightful little gallery - the Estorick Gallery in Islington which is showing quite a large exhibition of drawings and etchings by the Italian artist, Georgio Morandi. His subject was a group of simple domestic objects which he used for most of his artistic life. He was known as the 'bottle painter'. He worked during the first half of the 20th century - so don't expect conventional drawings. www.estorickcollection.com
I enjoyed this exhibition so much that I spent the next day – yes a whole lovely day – drawing my own group of objects. I was particularly inspired by how Morandi used the negative spaces between objects and how the shaded areas of a 3D form was allowed to merge into this negative space, giving the objects ‘character’. Here is my drawing gallery, each on A2 lining paper, also showing the still life group which I placed on a mirror surface.
The full length sliding doors at the end of my studio are ideal for showing marks on layers of translucent materials and extend my working pin board.
These layers are A1 sized tissue paper and tissutex (the reinforced tissue paper that a slightly fibrey, natural coloured white surface): sometimes two layers and sometimes a few more. Too many layers and the marks are lost and the layers become too dense and lose their translucency.
The marks are drawn with a large seagull feather dipped in a black drawing ink, making large radiating movements of my arm and the odd ‘flick’ of the wrist. I was pleased when I was able to control the feather to make sweeping arcs that are suggestive of movement and flight.
Most were drawn through two layers of tissue, allowing the mark to dissipate a little through onto the under layer. This has often given an interesting intermittent effect as the ink is less effective - I almost prefer this type of mark. Many drawings later, I sorted through them to select the most successful, cutting some into vertical quarters and re-arranged into layers, sometimes swapping the layers around so the more interesting marks on the under-layers appear on the top when clipping them together for these photos.
Thoughts for development -
Make similar marks on organza and re-create these effects?
Where is the stitch? Add my loopy stitches alongside marks? Forget the stitch element? Use stich in the voids to suggest sky? Is this too corny?
Talking these questions through with my studio assistant, I think I should try it on the fabric first and take stock. Usually when I have published a blog posting and I re-read it, I can immediately see the answer to my doubts. So here goes…..’publish’!