It seems a little explanation is in order! I enjoyed participating in the “August Break” so much, and I realized a few things.
It helped me to identify what sort of subject matter interests me most in my photography (reflections, abstraction, light and shadow and strangely perhaps, architecture). I’ve honed my skills with Photoshop so I can get closer to achieving the “look” and mood that I’m seeking.
The trouble is that photography is just a little too “hands off” for me. I enjoy the actual going out and scouting for potential photographs, and the digital processing is okay (not a negative anyway) but even when I print off the result, I don’t really get the same “buzz” as I do from the handcrafted work I’ve done. Disappointing, but knowledge is power.
It made me think about the value of concentrating on a particular medium for a while, practising regularly, daily if possible to see how I go with it and whether it might become a regular part of my skill-set.
There are a number of areas that I’m very drawn to, and have only dabbled with. I’ve bought some gear, maybe a book or two or gone to a work shop, but not really gone much further. My studio is full to over-flowing, and I think it might be time to get methodical.
So…in the interest of keep me on track, here’s a basic list:
abstraction (huh! not a medium, I know, but more of a lens through which to explore:
I don’t see any of this taking me away from books, which is good, because it’s important to keep something constant!
So this month, it’s going to be drawing though not so much in a representational way, more in an abstract, tactile, material and maybe colour sort of way. I would see this as a way into both printmaking and encaustic.
A few months ago I stumbled across this wonderful book by Denise Lach, Calligraphy: A book of contemporary inspiration.
Suddenly I had found a book which articulated exactly the approach I’d been thinking about for the past couple of years. The book uses natural textures and forms as inspiration for what I would call “a calligraphic response”. The results are fascinating, beautiful and sublime, and even better, in the book Denise says you don’t need to study calligraphy before you try this way of working!
I’ve started exploring inks, because I love transparency and a kind-of calligraphic effect, without actually moving into text. I’m interested in the meditative qualities of repetition and the ritualistic nature of some of these practices, although I don’t particularly want to follow the traditional paths.
So here I am, and the first two days I’ve been playing with probably the easiest tool, the pipette. You saw an example in my last post, and here’s another:
At the moment I’ve only one pipette, so I’m limited in the type of line I can achieve, but I like the organic, hand-drawn quality.
I went out walking and found inspiration in the most mundane marks. In fact, I went back for my camera, so I could show you.
Below is my first attempt:
So I’ll be continuing my “mark making” explorations and posting a few other posts, still catching up on exhibitions I saw while away. This month I plan to draw every day, Mon-Fri, but I may post in small batches to conserve a little energy. And hopefully you’ll witness some improvement!!!