Further investigation

The below post consisted of drawings that were made whilst staying in my home town, Verwood, Dorset, which becomes the very centre of this project.
After emailing Jehu, it was obvious to me that I needed to ‘feel’ the landscape (well that was how I would describe it), how it moved, how it communicated and to draw excessively at a place to learn all about it. I took my sketchbook out into the woods with me. I completed some quick sketches and rubbings of tree trunks and the ground to see wha marks I could make using nature as it was. The rubbings enabled me to use marks that were literally, directly from nature/the outdoors.
I went home and developed my ideas and thoughts from my research of the forest so far. I completed a double page in my larger sketchbook recording shapes and textures that I remembered. After this I felt I wanted to bring all these techniques together and experiment layering various media. I took an approach similar to that of my sketchbook but on an A1 sheet of paper (I was keen to upscale my findings and experimentation). I stopped at various stages of my drawing to reflect appropriately, by deciding what was working and what wasn’t. I found that the piece, to me, felt as it it didn’t have any real passion, no real emotion, no excessive repetition that I was hoping to create. I re-worked the drawing using repetitive vertical lines in different shades of brown oil pastel. By doing this I emphasised the maze of trees in the drawing that I was confronted with when coming across this outside space. The colour and texture in this piece is very domineering, which is evident by the excessive lines and marks I have created. In that sense I feel, in this drawing, I have been able to portray some sense of passion in response to this landscape.


After completing these first, initial drawings I was then able to speak to my tutor about my ideas. We discussed the reason I chose this particular landscape.outdoors space. I mentioned that it held many memories of spending time with my father and sisters. We discussed further about a particular place which holds many sentimental memories and thoughts.


From here on, I base all my drawings and research on this particular place.
After my father died, this was a place where I would come on my own to reflect on memories of everything I shared with him but most recently and probably most importantly this place offered comfort and joy. Even though this place was full of tender memories, I still want to return overtime. It still held so many joyful moments shared with both family and friends. I think, because this place has a view where you can see all the way to the coast, it offers the human mind, my mind, possibilities, hope and wonder, contemplating the past, present and future. I love just staring out and simply observing nature. It’s a place where I feel completely relaxed and I can go there to either think of nothing or think more deeply.
My tutor picked up on what particular emotions this place evoked for me. I replied that it is mainly joy and comfort but also touches of loss and sadness, but this does not take over. I plan to explore these emotions through a mark making exercise, of which I covered at the beginning of the course. We continued to discuss my Julie Mehretu research and decided it would be appropriate to develop my knowledge of her work and combine with other artist that inspired me.

Observational drawing

From inspiration by Jindra Jehu and to develop my own drawing skills, I was keen to develop some observational drawings from my findings on various walks. Walking is becoming an important part of this assignment and collecting bits and bobs from my walks is something that I have always done from a young age. By observing and taking away these objects, to then draw in my studio, I have picked up on shapes that needed adjusting but also things that I need to improve on. Jehu has a collection of works called ‘Ocean Drifters’ which inspired me to collect objects.

This first image is of a pine cone collected from a walk at hengistbury head:

I struggled with getting this drawing looking 3D. I struggled with the individual shapes of each segment of the cone which affected the overall form. It was important for me to combine various media as I enjoyed completing my drawing of the tree trunk. The pine cone was looking a bit flat with no striking emphasis, especially in regards to the shape. I couldn’t quite see what wasn’t working so I asked a family member their view on it. They mentioned about making the segment more obvious and observing the shape more intricately. I kept going, adding more marks with a range of media. I added shadow to show that it was laying on a surface and then highlights with white oil pastel to emphasise the surface properties of the cone, showing where light was falling on one side of the cone, evidencing the 3D form of the object. The piece was completed with oil pastel, ink, charcoal, pencil and the use of a putty rubber.

This next drawing is what I have called ‘natures compositions’. It is an amalgamation of string, seaweed and stones that have been forced together in the ocean’s movement. I was keen to convey the texture and the movement/story of the actual object. I wanted to show my developed observational drawing skills but also create an essence of gesture and expressive marks. My use of line and mark, I feel, are evidently fluid which add to the idea of movement and flow in relation to the object. It was actually quite a challenge to draw this ‘ball of string’ with detailed observation as each piece would disappear into the next, which meant the drawing ended up being an amalgamation of directional marks and lines. I used my charcoal effectively to emphasise darker tones and highlighted areas to give some depth. I feel my inspiration from Jindra Jehu is successfully evident, as I feel I have been able to complete a gestural and energetic drawing but also include aspects of observation.