Chapter 2 Design work – spiral warm-up exercises
I got a bit bogged down towards the end of working through this chapter, and it coincided with enough work to pay for the rest of the course, so nothing has been done for some time.
However I wasn’t happy with some of what I had done, so I am putting what I have done on my blog along with why I’m not happy and what I am going to do about it.
IMAGES OF SPIRAL STAIRS
I don’t think I did enough drawing in Chapter 1, so I decided to start by making some more drawings of spiral staircases. I made 4 drawings on A1 paper with charcoal with the addition of chalk in the fourth drawing.
I wanted to make big free sweeping drawings, and I think I have succeeded. But, I haven't been very successful in capturing what interests me most in the pictures of the spiral staircases, and that is the juxtaposition of the sweeping curve of the stairs and handrail, the flat radiating planes of the stairs and the vertical bars joining the handrails to the stairs.
One of my main problems is that I tend to be too literal and not interpretative enough when I make drawings. The perspective of spiral staircases is complex, and I don't really think I have got to grips with it.
I’ve found that if I draw with a pen when I am recording things in my “travelling” sketchbook, which is A5, I don’t attempt to make an accurate drawing, but draw quickly and try to capture the essence of what I am looking at and get down the information I need to remember..
Here is a relevant drawing made in the last few days on our travels.
And also notes of an installation by Fabrice Hyber, part of an exhibition of his work at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts.
So I am planning to make more drawings of the spiral staircases, trying to be less literal and more interpretative.
I’m happy with the colours I’ve chose, and with the papers I’ve painted. When I start putting together fabrics and threads, I shall expand the colours .
SIMPLE TWO DIMENSIONAL SHAPES.
All of this is OK as far as it has gone – in fact some of the shapes are beautiful. But, it’s exactly the same problem as with the earlier work – too literal. I’m planning on spending some time trying to free myself up. I’m just going to draw and make cut / torn shapes in my sketchbook, without having the source material in front of me and see where it takes me.
SIMPLE THREE DIMENSIONAL SHAPES
This is also OK as far as it has gone. I found the corrugated card quite frustrating to work with because of its “grain”, and I couldn’t make it do what I wanted it to do. I may well return to play a bit more with the corrugated card.
This is a spiral cut freehand and then suspended. It is interesting that the grain of the cardboard makes it hang differently.
This is the triskelion from earlier work.
DESIGNS USING MONOPRINTING METHOD
I’ve been quite successful with monoprinting in the past, but have only ever worked with one colour, and I did struggle a bit because I hadn’t really thought using more than one colour through. Also, I’ve only ever worked with an A4 plate, and I got given a bigger plate and thought I would try that – big mistake!
It’s a few weeks since I did them, and looking at them now they are not as bad as I thought they were. I shall tear and cut them up as I revisit the 2D work.
I plan to do more, and I shall stick to A4. I shall probably ask for a gelli plate for my birthday, and am looking forward to what I can do with that.