Thursday, April 7, 2011

Part One: Project 1 - Stage 4

Friday April 1st 2011 - Stage 4: Making marks - working from your sketchbook.

Time has passed since my last pieces of work were completed..... I started teaching in school, I went to India, I had an operation on my hand.
Things just got in the way! I was finally unable to multi-task and be everything to everyone.

I am now working less hours - now working in a ladies arts centre here in Saudi Arabia, just a few sessions a week. I have been able to spend more time with my family and finally, felt able to restart my course work.

I have been to art exhibitions, read (and bought!) lots of new art and textile books and have been filling up some sketchbooks....more about those later.

I started reading up on the stage 4 ...and was initially confused. Everytime I thought about starting, I looked at the exercise in a different way. Finally - I just got down to it.

Looking at Stage 3 - we started working from photographs. Then the next stage was to work from real objects. Stage 4 was to work in a similar, textural way from our sketchbooks.

I chose 3 pictures - and, using a viewing frame - isolated areas from each that had some interesting textures. I plan to create sketches from these each using a different technique or media.

Arabic basket: These are beautiful objects - made by arabic women, from palm leaves. The strips of leaves are gathered together in one hand and stitched (almost like couching) together to form a very strong, usable basket. The colours and styles are amazing.
Sketch of arabic basket from the top and the side
Concentrating on the patterns created by the placing of the colours - I decided to tackle this with printing.
I made a printing block by glueing a square of foam onto a pencil.
By dipping this into the different colours of acrylic paint, I created this:

Arabic basket - printing produced from sketch
Having produced this textural sketch - I can now see the potential for taking "arabic baskets" further:
I would like to experiment with different joining techniques.
Look at creating fragments of cloth.
Investigate the history and the different ways the baskets are made.
The finished page:
Finished page - Arabic baskets

Landscape sketch: This was drawn while we were on a trip to South Africa last April.

Moholoholo, South Africa
I isolated part of the sketch using a viewing frame.
I chose part of the sketch that depicted the tangled foliage that appears to hang down towards the ground.
Tangled undergrowth
Using a stencil, coloured inks and a sponge - I created 2 sketches to represent the image.

Sketch 1: repeated stencils of part of the image. Using yellow, green and turquoise inks.

Sketch 1
I was a little disappointed by the finished product. I had repeated the image so the pictures were 'tangled' - but it didn't 'tangle' when the inks were dry.
This was possibly due to the colours being too similar to each other - if a darker blue, rather than turquoise, had been used - the effect might have been better.

Sketch 2: repeated stencils of part of the image. Using yellow and green ink.

Sketch 2
This turned out better. Less repeats worked better.
The work shows the changes in colour.
Further work:
I would like to try this using screen printing.
Overlaid sheer fabrics may work well.
The finished page:
Stencilled sketch - South African landscape

Landscape sketch: Using the same South African sketch:

Moholoholo, South Africa
 I isolated a different part of the sketch.
I chose part of the sketch, the tree trunk, that had lots of texture.
It has lots of cross hatching.
Tree trunk
Using Quink ink, bleach, a paint brush and implements to scratch into the surface, I created 3 sketches.

Sketch 1: Using ink and bleach:
Ink and bleach 1
This was the first attempt - too much bleach was added. Either the ink was too wet, so the bleach 'bled' into it too quickly. Or the bleach should have been watered down a little more.
Also - I applied the bleach with a reasonably large brush, maybe a smaller one would have been better.

Sketch 2: Using ink and bleach:

Ink and bleach 2
I like this one more.
I used a smaller brush.
I let the ink dry slightly before I applied the bleach.
I continued to scratch into the surface as it was drying - this added some ink lines back into the bleached areas.

Sketch 3: Using ink and bleach:
Ink and bleach 3
This one depicts the sketch more - the lines have a cross hatched effect, and they aren't uniform in size or shape.
The lines were scratched with bleach using the metal edge of a pallette knife, so the bleach did not flow as far as before.
Further work:
I would like to try discharge techniques on dyed fabric.
Burnt edges of fabrics overlaid.
The finished page:
Ink and bleach South African landscape

Landscape sketch: This one was drawn in the summer in England. It has some really nice marks made from a mapping pen and ink.I also like the different greens that appear from the overlaid washes of watercolour.

England in the summer
I isolated part of the sketch that had some interesting textural marks and shapes:

Sketch through a viewing frame
I created a collage from this using: newspaper, tissue paper, watercolour, reed pens and ink.
This is my favourite of the texture exercises - I was able to just keep adding and painting!
I would really like to take this further - the variety of fabrics, papers, stitches that could be used to work on this sketch, is endless.
The finished page:

Finished page - English landscape
In conclusion: This was a great exercise - once I started!
A sketch is just that - it's not a finished piece of work - just a starting point.
Follow the direction the sketch takes you. Try out different techniques and mediums.
Make notes of your thoughts - you may come back to them later.
Be organised! Gather your materials - that way you can try out different ways of working without having to find everything.
The last point is one I'm still working on.........!

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