Assignment 3: Reflection and Assessment Criteria

Part 3 had been a whirlwind. As always, I wish I could spend more time than I have on the tasks.  I feel that I am reflecting on this at a point where it is 80% complete. I would like to return and update these reflections once I complete the colour book.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed studying the colour in the Rubens painting. I would have happily spent more time on that, playing around with the different ratios of colour. It had so much depth. The more I looked at it the more I could see different colours and tones that I hadn’t picked out before. I have certainly gained more knowledge on the use and application of gouache and watercolour, the properties of colour mixing.

I have sent my incomplete book to my tutor. Despite picking up the pace a lot more in this assignment, I have still found it very hard to be bold with my selections. Learning how to choose what is priority to get everything done within the time allocated. I felt like I wanted to do more, explore more and play more, particularly with the yarn wraps and the collages.

So I would rather hand in the ‘book’ as is, since I am interested and excited at the prospect of considering presentation and layout. I have learnt that this part can often go unforgotten, and something I am clear and would like to focus on just as much as the making and the researching is how to communicate all that. I want to consider what are the moods of the colours I am presenting and what would suit best. I didn’t want to rush it for the sake of it. I feel there is a lot to learn in this area.

I have found it challenging to pick out my strengths here as I feel it is so unfinished and incomplete. I think some of my collage work has some interesting elements. With almost all of the tasks I found it imperative to try them out a few times. To do more than what is asked for as the first ones are often trials/getting it out of the way so to speak. More confidence is gained by trying this out, knowing that not everything hinges on one idea/experiment being ‘successful’. I am also learning to follow my own interest and voice. For instance although I did paint out some colour ‘swatches’ to use, cut and rip up. I was much more drawn to using found papers, old magazines or old art pieces.

To summarise what I feel is incomplete.

I have not:

  • written up my research on artists (Research Point 1)
  • Made and bound the book
  • Stuck in my work and added labels, considering presentation of themes, aesthetic and layout.

Reflection against assessment criteria

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – as I worked with the gouache, my understanding for its’ properties improved. The yarn wraps became less awkward the more I did them. My watercolour work needs some refinement and painting out stripes I realised I left some gaps in-between.
  • Quality of outcome – although there is no finished book I think there are the beginnings of communicating my work with some sense of coherence. There is an emerging format
  • Demonstration of creativity – this is probably strongest with the collages, especially the monochramatic and multi-coloured study. There is something about both that I have found to be my strongest pieces and I look forward to seeing how I can present them as a certain mood.
  • Context- some of this has occurred in the making. I have found making notes the best way rather than only rely on the blog. The blog allows me to summarise, but as I am working and making and experimenting many decisions are being made that are not noted or articulated other than in the way they inform my next decision
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Materials and Composition

The collage studies.

Just as I did with the masters paintings and watercolour/glass vessels. I took some time taking photos of various ‘clutter’

I opted for the photo of the backseat of my car, which with a toddler becomes full of clutter fast! I’m still unsure if this was the best choice. What would make a good photo?

I struggled with my collage making even though I enjoy the technique itself. It was good practice to really study a confused composition, to have to translate the colours in to tones too. I found the solution with recreating the composition was to keep focused on any strong lines of direction and the main shape of the orange plastic bag to keep the focus and some sense of clarity.

The monotone piece was interesting to me, probably because the lack of colour allowed me to focus on composition.IMG_4230

Research Point 2: Digital Resources for Colour

Investigating and researching the digital resources has been a mixture of fun and interest and frustration! I tried out and played with all the links but found the Adobe and Colourpixel the easiest.

I found the concept of colour hunter is great – the fact that you can feed in an image and get a palette created:

The problem I had was with the interface (lots of pop up ads) and I just could not work out how to access my colour palettes! So I only ever got one at a time.

Using digital resources could really help when wanting to experiment quickly with how colours might look together. I did find inevitably when printing out that some colours weren’t true to what they had been on screen.

 

Part 3: Colour Studies

I have ended up using my notebook more than the blog for this project, as I wanted to keep focussed on the practical tasks and literally took notes as I went.

I will briefly summarise my thoughts here:

Project 1: Colour Palettes and Proportion

I enjoyed working with gouache although achieving the delicacy of each colour takes a lot of practice with colour mixing

The yarn wraps are a fascinating way of dissecting colour- st the point of taking these notes I’ve made two so far and need to look at other examples and blogs to get an idea of the different ways and interpretations to create one.

The same with the watercolour studies.

I took a number of photos and spent a bit of time choosing composition etc. The changing light inevitably changes the colour tones for an exercise like this and I am aware that capturing and ‘fixing’ would only truly work if I had worked from a photo rather than a real still life.

Assignment 2: Written Reflection and Review against assessment criteria

I began work on Part 1 18months ago and Part 2 last November so in the first instance I acknowledge that this assignment  has taken me a very long time to complete.

Here is what I have learned over the projects:

  • The importance of tutorials and having a dialogue about my process is of huge importance and heavily influences my work output.
  • I like to go into ideas and processes, exploring materials and techniques with more depth than I had given myself credit for.
  • It’s better to keep turning up and working on tasks, ignoring my inner critic and focussing on what I am doing rather than all the things I know I am not doing!
  • For Part 2, I particularly enjoyed the paper manipulation and sewing into the smaller samples. My interest waned when working on the more composed larger pieces. I think this is due to the pressure on myself that I had to create a focussed almost finished piece. On reflection it would have served me better to take the task less literally and work on however many more developed samples I wanted to. This would have probably kept my interest going. This is why I liked working on the paper manipulation library, the stitched smaller samples and the textile preparatory samples I made for Assignment 2.
  • Drawing and planning ideas out can be done in a variety of ways apart from literally sketching ideas. Using photos, layout and pinning up samples, selecting ones in particular to juxtapose together are also ways of drawing. I discovered taking photos of some of my inboards a good way to show my planning stages. These also influence my watercolour drawings where I make attempts to combine some of my selected images together.
  • I needed to break up the leap from paper to textile even further, spending a long time on playing with textile samples.
  • My understanding of drawing and recording has developed: I find that observing and looking at something, needs practice and for me sustained engagement. My drawings improved the more I got to know my subject (sounds obvious now!).
  • I do spend time thinking about my process and approach to my work and draw on my observations of this.
  • Folding and pleating fabric and making it go where you want it to go is so much harder than it looks!

My strengths are that I do have a strong aesthetic and can create samples and outcomes that show dynamism and delicacy. I do feel that there is energy behind the work I make and was very inspired and excited by the assignment. I recognise the importance of sampling and trying things out.

I certainly felt a frustration that I didn’t have the capacity to address all points, tasks hints and tips (that are in the course booklet) with the depth and focus I would ideally like to give. So much of my learning with this project is getting to know what my capacities are, how to make decisions and selections and where to prioritise my focus. I would like to spend more time further addressing the following:

  • Using a wider range of marks and tools in the same image/drawing sample
  • I also felt that I missed some of the point of the assignment and found myself not being very experimental with different forms of stitch? I think I might have stayed too ‘literal’ in interpreting the pieces as images rather than as textile samples.
  • Spend more time playing with layout and scale
  • Stop and look at what I am doing and ask questions half way, look at the back of the textile piece and be open to searching and experimenting with different stitch techniques – keep looking for different solutions to create textures with stitch
  • Annotating and articulating my reflections and thoughts through writing and the blog
  • Being open to drawing and designing ideas in different ways at the planning stages
  • Reading and looking at more artists, in more depth to gain a deeper understanding and to cultivate a better sense of enquiry and finding way to make links with my own work
  • Folding and pleating fabric and making it go where you want it to go is so much harder than it looks! This is an area I would like to explore and master more.

Review against Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I did employ a variety of drawing techniques in Part 1 and drew on my printmaking knowledge. I was pleased with much of my observational work although recognise now that I could have extended my marks and worked with a wider range of them.  I had only used dissolvable film and discharge liquid once before as a quick experiment so was pleased in how much my technique improved with each use.

I do work naturally and intuitively with my materials and processes and feel like my formal art background helps with the basics of colour, texture, line, composition.

Quality of Outcome:

This is possibly the hardest to evaluate and critique since I feel that the assignment needs further work. However I am pleased with what I have achieved so far. My last very unfinished sample still excites me with where I could take it, and I am pleased that I have had the boldness to value it enough as I could have easily finished it ‘for the sake of finishing it’. I feel this way there is a better chance of creating something of high quality.

What I need to work heavily on is drawing connections and noting my observations as I go in a more obvious way. I do use the blog more that just to log each exercise so I hope that with time I use images of my work and words to connect my thoughts together further. I know this will help me to refine and formulate new ideas.

The way I work is partly due to time constraints and I would rather ‘keep on top of it’ by posting more regularly. The flip side to this is that my posts sometimes lack the depth. They don’t articulate my decisions clearly. The blog behaves more like an online journal of thoughts in which I don’t spend time editing and adding to a post in order to make it ‘readable’ or to make sense?

I would like pin more of my work up and take photos of these. I feel this would be a good way to solve the problem. Then I can show drawings and samples and images which I feel all connect next to each other.

Demonstration of Creativity:

I think I have been up and down with this. Most of my paper samples are nothing groundbreaking and remain relatively simple in concept. My use of base textiles is varied and I think I did explore different possibilities – reaching the conclusion that both velvet and organdie can create soft/gentle/delicate outcomes.

I feel like I could have pushed the materials further, and I think this is one of the reasons why I stalled on my last piece. Trying to find the edge, and to take more risks.

I think some of my personal voice does come through – there is a playful and energised attitude that is beginning to emerge.

Context:

This is still a weak area of mine. Partly to do with the pressure to verbalise, articulate my thoughts and critical thinking. I know I do it, but it’s all in my head and I have not yet found a process or the tools that would work best for me to create a habit of putting it on paper/blog. I have a strong sense that this is very much linked to what I have previously communicated about keeping up a dialogue of my work. Hearing myself speak out loud to someone makes more sense to me. It is then so much easier to put some of these findings into words.

I am also conscious that I am a critical thinker but this has in the past also inhibited me from actually getting any making done, and it is vital to me that I establish  strong art making practice.

 

Assignment 2 – Final samples (photos missing)

** I will need to revisit this post and add photos of my samples to illustrate **

Piece 1

Influenced by the collage drawing of a vase of flowers, I zoomed in to a random pinky/red part of the collage.

I wanted to explore how to create this sense of fibres, tone, transparency and found using dissolvable film a way to focus on creating a whole piece of fibre, I intertwined wool and cotton threads. Once I had washed it and dried this I pinned and sewed this on to organza to mimi the thin tissue paper I had used in the collage.

I went back to this piece later on and added little ochre stitches close together to create small patches of tone.

I feel that this sample needs more work and revisiting, especially since I didn’t manipulate my base material!

 

Piece 2

The second piece was a culmination of looking at the 3 images I had chosen in particular to inform my decisions, and the words that describe the watercolour drawing I had made. To find ways to create

I had experimented with denim and then found a linen that looked like denim but was less robust and moved a little more freely. I punctured this with a needle, similar to one of my earlier paper manipulations. I also spent some time fraying the edges as I wanted to create a torn effect a little like the collage I was using as one of the main pieces to inform the sample.

I folded and pinned this and focused on making light stitches, angular with ochre coloured threads. I used a range of cotton and yarn, sometimes doubled up. The randomness of the stitches create a light, playful look.

This piece developed and my focus was influenced by my research on Celia Pym, where some of my stitches hopefully began to mimic.

I then used a combination of even smaller stitches and French knots to create the overlay of redness, to create a sense that there is pink/red everywhere but yet translucent.

Again, I think I could overlay even further with more stitching on this piece.

 

Piece 3

My final piece was a development from the second where I became increasingly focussed on how to create movement but also influenced from my first piece and the collage image of the flowers. I found using velvet connected with the words I had chosen to describe my image selections and an answer to exploring soft/delicate against heavy and bold. Velvet is a weighty fabric yet has connotations of elegance and is very tactile.

I used discharge to make marks and echo triangles to keep the fabric more playful. I also folded and pinned the velvet accentuating the triangle concept.

I tried out different ideas and samples, I thought I would go back to the first sample/drawing and investigate the pink/red mark making as an overlay. I also experimented with machine stitch, french knots but nothing was coming up so I have chosen to send the sample as a final piece to my tutor. I hope that with some distance and feedback I can find a way forward with this piece that remains very much unfinished.

IMG_4080

 

Making connections

In the run up to sending everything off for this assignment I am writing a post to show clearer connections between my choices of fabric/textile base manipulations/stitch and yarn with my previous drawings.
I have mainly worked on folding, puncturing, slashing and markmaking through discharge as a follow on from some of my earlier paper manipulations.
The images below hopefully illustrate this better:

My textiles choices have been based on a selection from what I already had in the cupboard.
I opted for a selection to start:
Muslin, organza, linen, denim, velvet and a thicker woven cotton used for upholstery.
These were chosen as I felt they would both emulate the following qualities to work with:
Playful
Dynamic
Strong
Fragile
Delicate
Movement

I have become more and more focussed on the ‘triangles’ ‘that are evident in some of my earlier drawings and then emulated through puncturing and folding the paper with angles.