Final Piece for Assignment 2

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Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

Throughout this unit I feel that my drawing skills have developed more and more. I really enjoyed working in mixed media in some of the past exercises and wanted to bring this through to the final drawing. I decided to focus on some of the feedback that I got from assignment 1. A lot of the targets from Assignment 1 have been given to me to focus on for assignment 2 so I tried to re-evaluate my drawing techniques and thought processes. My main points to re-focus and re-design my final drawing were; positive and negative space, layering of drawings – something that I wanted to bring into the work more and after researching artists I found this easier to tackle – almost a collage of drawn images and varying scale. I wanted to keep an element of perspective. I feel that my technical skills in this final drawing aren’t very well executed. I feel that this piece is a slight failure from all the research and development thought process aI have gone through. I feel that maybe I have had too much impact from too many thoughts and artists to make a decision on how to tackle the piece. I was able to use mixed media, something I wanted to include in the final drawing. I used; oil pastel, oil bars, biro, ink, charcoal and pencil. To create the layers in the piece I used grease proof paper (as I didn’t have any tracing paper), which I felt worked with Mehretu’s work as I feel her drawings have lighter use of marks in the background of her drawings. I was certain that I didn’t want to have a monochrome piece and I wanted hints or aspects of colour through the piece, which I think have faded away nicely using the grease proof paper so it is not too domineering.

Quality of Outcome:

I think the quality of this outcome is not very well executed and I feel that I need to develop my ideas further. Looking at artist’s that my tutor recommended was helpful and I feel they fit into my own processes well however I think it confused me and my development process was quickly bombarded with all new information that I couldn’t visually process quick enough. I find drawing difficult so I wanted to try and put emphasis on the conceptual idea behind it and these artists such as Giacometti and Mehretu enabled me to do this. However I really struggled to get to grips with their processes and techniques and I think this is a big part of the reason the quality of the work isn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I still wanted to combine my ideas after looking at Green’s work and having to amalgamate various drawings from different rooms and layering these to make a final drawing.

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Demonstration of creativity:

This was a big box for me to tick. I really wanted to show my creativity and go beyond what I have been doing so far. I wanted to ‘get expressive’ and really go for it, but again I think my creativity was blocked through the confusion of my thoughts. I was eager to get on with the drawing. However I don’t think there is anything wrong with treating this piece almost as a development piece as I am keen to develop this style and my personal understanding of the artists I’ve researched so far.

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Context:

I continually recorded my thoughts and feelings throughout this project and feel that I connected with the project much more than previous ones. Something that was noted from the feedback in my first assignment was to record my thoughts and reflect before, during and after I have completed a piece of work so I was very conscious of making sure I did this. Even though I feel that the final outcome isn’t the best I feel that my contextual understanding and personal reflection is getting stronger, which has always been the case for me as an artist. I get frustrated when something has such a strong contextual meaning, for me as an artist, and its not portrayed that way in my skills to execute my drawing.

Thoughts and Processes during this final drawing:

After deciding that I wanted to ‘re-do’ my final drawing for assignment 2 I made sure to write my thoughts and reflect as I worked. My thoughts and processes are below:

I wanted to combine all aspects of research and development that I and completed so far, but also the new research that I had taken on board from notes my tutor picked up on from assignment 1. I had already completed assignment 2 before I received my assignment 1 feedback so unfortunately I could only take her advice on board to finalise and re-think my processes. I wanted to re-assess my work and apply as much as I could of what my tutor had mentioned. I decided instead of moving onto assignment 3 in a completely different way i’m still going to try and find my ‘personal voice’ in this new way of working looking at various artists. I’m very apprehensive about tackling this drawing but also excited and looking forward to experimenting, I want this to be my final piece for assignment 2 but I know that I will be treating it like a development piece – I will try my best to ‘polish it off’ but also want to learn a few bits about my own processes and the processes I am trying to learn from other artists that I have researched. I have decided I am going to combine aspects of all different rooms around the house – but taking a Mehretu approach. I also really like my simple line drawing on the development stage so I will use these but attempting to complicate them by adding layers of more drawings on top.

Giacometti approach – I have taken away my rubber to leave ‘mistakes’ in.

*Remember* I also want to vary scale. I’m thinking of creating marks rather than an ‘actual’ drawing using different media to pick up on shapes or aspects of preliminary sketches and re-use them to make patterns.

Half way through the drawing:

I HATE IT – I CANT DRAW – I CANT DO IT!

I covered the drawing in white paint to ‘calm’ it down and layered greaseproof paper (as I didn’t have any tracing paper) on it as it was too loud. I think i’m scared of ruining a piece, which is why a lot of the time I never go for it or I cant be as expressive as to what I think I want it to be. I’m going to now focus on shapes picked up from the drawings of ‘the home’ and be confident in my decision to do so. I’m always worried that its not going to be right – I feel VERY out of my comfort zone and I’m struggling – but I guess thats good right?

After I finish this I am going to be so much more experimental and confident in my own pathway!!! (Maybe)

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HATING and EMBRACING IT

I’m letting accidents happen, forcing it to look messy/unpolished as a finished article.

I’m finding that I don’t ‘feel’ that it is finished and that this piece is still part of the development process, but why do I need to worry about a finished article? I’m going to carry on this theme and develop my understanding. I WANT to learn more about how to work this way.

So far I’ve hated everything about this process – liked it a little – hated it – thought of other ideas and so on…

I’m finding that because I’m working on a flat surface and because I’ve varied scale and because I want to bring all my ‘room’ sketches together its feeling like separate drawings on one piece of paper rather than one piece. Now that I have been able to re-emphasis/suggest where the fireplace is I am going to use some more grease proof paper over the top of the fireplace and then draw some aspects of other rooms and visa versa to bring the piece together a bit more. I‘m just building up, again and again with layer on layer on layers – I hope its starting to work.

I think I need to put this to rest now. I’m happy with it but not. I think I need to move on. I’ve pushed myself for this drawing and I need to continue to do so – in this style and adapt my abilities to embrace more learning of new skills. – my tutor mentioned to me bout drawing everyday. Today I received my ‘Experimental Drawing’ book so I think I may delve into that this evening as I have finished the day on a low as I cant see the final piece, (in my mid) as a finished article. Sometimes I hate being an artist its hard and stressful when your work doesn’t work.

Feedback from Assignment 1 – Research Point: Giorgio Morandi

Giorgio Morandi 1890 – 1964

Italian painter and etcher of still lives and landscapes. He admired the works of Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Uccello. He was born, studied and lived in Bologna where he taught drawing at a school. In 1918-19 his style was related to metaphysical painting creating ambiguous distortions of perspective. (Tate, s.d)

Morandi’s made his still life drawings simple. he used a limited amount of objects to draw in one composition, basing his choice of objects on everyday domestic items, such as; bottles, boxes, jugs, jar etc. He would paint them with a ‘flat matt colour’ to show them without any lettering. He would paint this way to allow him to explore the objects abstract qualities and re-arrange into different compositions.

Once he has set up his objects and decided on a composition the objects work together creating a quality that reflects the architectural scene of medieval Italy – a style in which he feels comfortable with. (Art Factory, 2016)

Morandi’s Observation

His choice of subject mater could easily be seen as receptive and boring. However his intensity of his observation raises his drawings to the ‘next level’. He slows down the fast paced movement of multi media and focuses for a length of time on still life objects for his paintings. ‘Morandi always looked at his still life objects as if he was seeing them for the first time’. He would concentrate on the form and shape of each individual object and then reflect on how they work together as a group. He focuses not only on the objects themselves but the space between and around the, – the negative space. Once happy with the arrangement of objects, he would then draw around the bases of the objects.

“It takes me weeks to make up my mind which group of bottles will go well with a particular colored tablecloth……Then it takes me weeks of thinking about the bottles themselves, and yet often I still go wrong with the spaces. Perhaps I work too fast?”

He carefully things about the negative space that he creates. (Art Factory, 2016)

Use of light

Morandi’s use of light creates a very peaceful and tranquil mood in his paintings. The way he uses light suggests that the image was painted at a particular time of day. His distinctive use of light convey Monet’s influence in paintings such as; ‘Haystacks’ and ‘Rouen Cathedral’. He would complete his paintings over several days which meant that the source of light would change from one day to the next. This explains the fragility of the outlines in his forms, as he draws/paints on top of each drawing from one day to the next. (Art Factory, 2016)

He considers his composition terminally important in creating a perfect painting. His negative space is just as important as the objects (positive space). He uses light in his paintings to between the two creating a real life, still life painting that can be seen as 3D.

I might play around with some objects an experiment with photography to grasp an understanding of composition and Morandi’s use of space within a still life group. I have never considered composition an important principle of art so I think I would benefit from taking a step back and appreciating it for a while. Even if its not drawing but photography ideas.

I also like the idea that he would draw around the bases of his objects. I have an idea to create a 3D drawing from this. Paint it and then photograph it and would look like a Morandi painting.

Focusing on his work and really looking at his paintings he create a very fragile and inconsistent line. His objects aren’t rigid. There are no strong shard lines. I feel that his work is quite textured in his use of line and marks – you can see brushstrokes. There is a very slight movement to his pieces. With Morandi eliminating the text and advertising on the objects, I feel it creates a stronger narrative between the viewer, the objects and the piece.

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Tate. (s.d) Giorgio Morandi. At: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/giorgio-morandi-1660 (Accessed on 10 November 2016)

Art Factory. (2016) Giorgio Morandi – Natura Morta (Still Life). At: http://www.artyfactory.com/art_appreciation/still_life/giorgio_morandi.htm (Accessed on 10 November 2016)

I would now like to experiment with different compositions. MY tutor mentioned about using photographs to experiment and learn so I plan to now investigate into Morandi’s style compositions and still life’s… 

Personal Voice – (Peter 2016)

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Fig 1. Personal Voice (2013)

I was given a suggestion by my tutor to read a short blog post about creating a personal voice on the OCA forum. I was asked to read and give my thoughts on the piece:

I completely agree. Its about you – you as an artist. You should not immerse yourself in what you like or more importantly what you understand. Every piece of art that you see, you should ask questions – and this is why I love art. I love that the works don’t make sense. It drives to question itself. Personal voice is not about style, technique or originality. It is developing a voice that anyone will be able to distinguish for you as an artist and be able to say – yes that is Alice Powell’s work. I should research my interests, my thoughts, my topics through as many sources as possible. Reading and seeing and taking in as much information as you can will ultimately define you and your art.

Really interesting and really love it.

Peter (2016), Personal Voice. At: https://weareoca.com/education/personal-voice/ (Accessed on 7 November 2016)

Figure 1. Montgomery, K. (2013) Personal Voice [graphic drawing] At: http://blog.trap.it/blog/bid/361953/3-Ways-to-Build-a-Unique-Content-Voice (Accessed on 7 November 2016)

^^^^^^ I have also tried to get to grips and practice using Harvard referencing.

Assignment 2 – Final Drawing (take 1)

Sooooo I completely forgot to post my final drawing for Assignment 2. HOWEVER – since I forgot to post it and I have recently had further ideas and thoughts AND I have now had feedback from my first assignment I have decided to re-work my final drawing. I really want to test my own boundaries and the boundaries of drawing. I have some exciting ideas that I want to try out and to really make the final drawing stand out.

All this said, at the time I was initially completing my Assignment 2 I felt that it was my final outcome. I completed a reflective evaluation on my work. The below post will show this but please note this is NOT my final drawing.

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Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

Throughout this unit I feel that my drawing skills have developed more and more. I really enjoyed working in mixed media in some of the past exercises and wanted to bring this through to the final drawing. I feel that my observational skills have improved greatly by really concentrating on the still life forms, and grasping the shapes of each object. Perspective was then added to the mix when drawing interiors. I found that I really had to focus on making the objects and my surroundings 3D. I found that this made me understand the idea of visual awareness as I was being forced to ‘fill in’ gaps in my drawing, as I was going around the room. I found that I struggled a lot with negative space when it came to my composition. After researching Sheila Whittam’s work I found that her use of positive and negative space really interested me as her drawings were so full and busy. I tried to make this a focus for my drawings. I was always trying to limit negative space but I think this failed. I somehow found that the use of media and colour became slightly more important for me, rather than the composition. With the use of mixed media I wanted to create texture in the piece so I used a lot of biro to add in cross hatching and mark making into the drawing. I feel this defined a lot of the furniture in the room, along with marking shadows. 

Quality of outcome:

In the development process I wanted to take the skills I had learnt and the ideas that I had with me through to the final drawing. Researching artists Anthony Green and Sheila Whittam, I found it sparked some inspiration into my work. I wanted to bring something different into the final piece, tying all my ideas together throughout the exercises I had worked on. I find drawing difficult so I wanted to try and put emphasis on the conceptual idea behind it. I found when drawing interiors you would only be focusing on one part of the room. After researching Green, I liked how he amalgamated different aspects of the room and on a flat surface he could combine all aspects of the room together in drawing. I wanted to create this too. It was a very similar thought process when researching Whittams work too. Her busy drawings made me want to fit as much into my drawing as possible. With this in mind, reflecting back on what I have drawn, it doesn’t quite suit the ideas I had in mind. It needs to be so much busier. I find that once I have drawn something ‘decent’ I don’t want to add to it in case I ruin it. I am precious about something I have done and I am proud of. I think my use of materials could be improved and slightly more care taken. 

Demonstration of creativity:

I was finally excited about being slightly more creative and taking this project into my own personal voice. I find it tough to stick to the exercises and they are so strict as to what you can produce and if you are doing it wrong or right. For this project I found myself developing ideas without focusing on the exercises too much. I wanted to experiment with my own ideas and then create this into a final drawing. 

Context:

I continually recorded my thoughts and feelings throughout this project and feel that I connected with the project much more than previous ones. Even though I feel that the final outcome isn’t the best I feel that my contextual understanding and personal reflection is stronger, which has always been the case for me as an artist. I have never been able to create perfectly executed work but my conceptual thoughts behind the task have been able to get me through, to make people understand where I’m coming from. 

I have found since reflecting on this and finding it harder to connect with the course that there is an underlying problem erupting and I’m frequently fighting the course content. My thoughts as an artist at the moment are very perplexed.

Reflection on tutors formative feedback – Assignment 1

After reading through my formative feedback for assignment 1, alongside other pointers that my tutor picked up on, I found that there were 3 main points that my tutor raised and emphasised that I need to focus on:

  1. How to formulate my compositions using negative and positive space.
  2. Make preparatory sketches throughout the exercises and before going straight into the final drawing
  3. Focus on different ranges of mark making and texture.

My tutor noted that I had achieved a good level of reflective work on my drawings once completed, however she also identified the importance of conducting some reflective thoughts and ideas before I start the drawing – asking myself what my aim is to explore in the drawing, which will also help towards creating my own personal voice. During my preparatory stages I need to experiment with different mark making.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity

I need to focus on the placement of my objects on the page and composition to make the viewers eye travel across the drawing. My tutor also pointed out that I tend to ‘treat the negative space as ‘background’ rather than an important aspect of the drawing’ – I will need to focus on making the negative space more of a feature of the drawing rather than trying to fill in the space. With improvements to my composition and placement of objects I will be able to create more interesting drawings and the negative space will become an important part of the piece.

Another point that my tutor flagged was to improve my observational and drawing skills. I know that both these skills need improvement and I find drawing challenging. She recommended that I try to draw everyday. This sparked quite an interesting thought that could be a side project that will help assist my skills during this unit. I hope to see my drawing skills improve along the way.

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Within the first sentence of this part of the feedback was ‘a fair range of research’ – which in my eyes, needs to be an excellent range of research. This slightly disheartened me because I normally have very good levels of research – I enjoy this part of the development process –  I was frustrated at myself for not pushing myself further on this part. However I do agree with my tutor on this statement and feel that I did what was asked and nothing more (which is very unlike me). However this was my first assignment and I now feel confident of what needs to be done for the next assignment in terms of ‘going beyond’ of what needs to be completed.

Another of a key aspect which I normally thrive at was applying my research to my own personal development. I love the development process of my art work and enjoy it more than creating a final piece. I love the journey that I take so again I felt a fool for not applying this to my own work. I need to explore similar ways of working and marking making to ‘communicate texture and energy’. I feel that this is something I have applied more during my Assignment 2 (as I have already completed assignment 2, I knew what I needed to focus on more which is in agreement with my tutor in this feedback). 

All my research needs Harvard referencing – something that I am not confident at what so ever so I will need to go back through this assignment and assignment 2 to edit and re-reference my work. I need to use quotation marks!

My tutor mentioned I would benefit from looking at the course reading list – particularly ‘contemporary drawing and practice’ and ‘experimental approaches to drawing’. I have now bought these books and waiting for a delivery! I look forward to some extra reading and helpful process to guide me through.

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

In terms of my reflective thinking, my tutor noted that I am doing this well once I have completed a drawing, however it has been advised that I record my thoughts before, during and after the drawing or set of drawings has been completed. This will aid my reflective decision-making process as I work. Again this is something I noticed during my second assignment and I have adopted this way of working since. As I have mentioned throughout my blog posts I have found it very challenging to get to grips with the way of working on this course and that at times I have become very frustrated with the course. I have noted and reflected each time how I have felt throughout my drawing process. I now feel that I have come to a point where I am finally engaging with the course and feel my reflective thinking is becoming much stronger.

‘Your analytical approach offers a sound basis to further explore some specific aims in your drawings’ – I should give myself a couple of simple aims to explore before I begin drawing. These things should be perhaps one of the main pointers that have been raised about my drawing – Negative and positive space/texture, marking making. In addition to the tasks and assignment I should start setting aims for myself – i.e drawing everyday – which will help in developing my own personal voice. 

I need to explore other various mark making – I have achieved bold marks when drawing the objects and then I fill in the gaps (negative space) rather than consider the negative space as its own thing.

I need to consider completing more thumbnail sketches before I tackle the final drawing and focus on my research and how I will use it in my drawings.

  • Look at Georgio Morandi’s still-lives – How can I apply his approach to negative space in my work? 

An interesting point that was raised (and I had never thought of) is to look at my drawings through a mirror. I need to spend more time looking at my drawings – instead of rushing through them.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, demonstration of creativity

Before even looking at the feedback from my tutor I knew that (on reflection) I needed to demonstrate more creativity during this assignment. My way of thinking is difficult to show through drawing and – as it has been noted a few times – I need to show and develop my own personal voice.

A key point here is to USE my sketchbook. It is a place for exploring and experimenting so use it to do this. I need to complete more preparatory sketches, exploring compositions and marks. ‘It would be useful to try out (photograph and draw) a greater range of compositional possibilities prior to drawing’ – don’t be afraid to sketch and photograph things that interest me, to aid my skill and knowledge for the course.

I need to think more during the preparatory stage! I just like to get into it – thinking isn’t for me!

Bring my reflective and analysis to the forefront – How might I apply my research to my own development – reflect on Mehretu’s work and think about what you appreciate and how this might inform your work. 

Next steps/suggested reading:

  • Regarding research on contemporary artists’ approach to drawing: Vitamin D New perspectives in drawing. Read the essay and look at William Kentridge/Julie Mehretu (and others)
  • Kaupelis, R, (1992) Experimental Drawing. Watson Guptil Publications
  • Look at how Georgio Morandi approaches negative/positive space in his drawings and paintings