My immediate response is relief. I have been trying to work on so many levels with Part 5 that at times it has been difficult, even though I have tried to direct myself more specifically and critically, to stand back enough to see where I am going.
To have, as always such a sensitive and supportive report which is also challenging as well as penetrating is a joy. There are so many questions, suggestions, thoughts, impressions as well that I need/want to unpick over time that the future feels very rich.
Just to contextualise the reasons for taking the OCA degree was that I had nothing and no-one to bounce off or with whom to have a creative conversation. As I come to the conclusion of this first part of the course I am more than ecstatic about moving forward with my work. This is no exaggeration having taken a lifetime to get to this point. However, I am more than aware that it is that lifetime/my lifetime that I am now working with and is such a rich source for engagement.
Without going over every particular suggestion or comment I would say that this is a very fair precis of where I am at the moment. Some pieces/materials/sections have been more successful than others. But at the same time the breadth of the investigation has been necessary and useful.
Although I have worked hard to integrate academic resources and other artist’s work in my evaluations this is not a natural process and I have to continue to build my process in order to make this a more natural flow of thoughts and ideas. As yet I am finding this part difficult to hold – in terms of feeling comfortable with understanding some of the ideas. My perception is fleeting and I am endeavouring to capture this thought process in different ways including using Evernote so that the fleeting is hooked in the moment.
The other factor is that there are so many levels and studies that I have undertaken in Part 5. I need to give myself time and space to stand back from all this.
Needs More Attention
I believe that working on Part 5/Assignment 5 has opened up some really big questions. The variety of the investigations has helped in this process. Clearly by stopping and looking at the learning model,slowing down and standing back has helped in the articulation of some of the thinking and contextualising of my work so far.
The important part now is to allow myself to stay in the question without feeling that I have to come to a resolved answer/piece of work. With this comes the selection for the overall assessment where I have chosen pieces that “tell the story” of my work through the whole of Drawing 1. As an exercise in itself it has been a very useful part of the learning process.
At the last stage of putting together my Assignment 5 I attended an all day life drawing day.
I saw this exercise as a continuation of the previous multi-faceted drawings.
As the piece became larger and more complex I worked on it from different angles and positions.
What finally emerged was a complex amalgamation of the figure. Currently I enjoy this particular aspect which has other figures emerging on the right hand side. It could be interesting to draw from this image and/or overwork the piece.
I have included this under conclusion because I think it is an indication of future direction of work.
Overall Comments Thank you, Trisha, for submitting Assignment Five for Drawing 1. You have taken up my suggestion to integrate yourself much more in your written reflective practice and I have to say that you have done extremely well throughout this whole assignment. It is now much clearer through your writing as to what you are thinking and you are asking yourself many more questions about why you are working in the way you are as well as unpacking the overall context. You have integrated your artists research much more, particularly through Drawing and have managed to put together a highly personalised, driven project for this last Assignment. Your academic writing now includes good secondary research too. Your writing around becoming a woman particularly resonates. We will talk through the work you wish to present for the assignment in a few days.
From Roll on to Shapewear – my bodily journey Own anatomy as metaphor exploring the human condition through Drawing.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
It was agreed that you should make:
• An enquiry looking particularly at material exploration using the subject matter as text • Series of drawings and makings
• Responses to drawings – lots of self – critical analysis and reflection • writing about why you are interested in this material
• looking at other people’s work about identity and ask yourself a series of questions.
• maybe become voyeuristic with a camera and focus in on skin.
You have got off to a great start by pulling your work apart to view it from the outside rather than keeping it inside. You have taken a step back to review the work so far and this will really help you have a good sense of what you need to present for the formal assignment. It would be a good idea to present a body of work with the emphasis on this last assignment whilst including drawings to support this. You can include objects, photos and so on but we can talk about this next week on the phone.
Working through material investigation is something that you do naturally. This research practice is fine and it is good to see that you now have supporting evidence that this is a ‘real thing’ for a lot of creative people.
I think that you are starting to become confident in working with non – representational drawing. It feels to me like the work you are making is much more expressive as well as being much more about the experiential. Your interests in the darker, blacker work of Redon and Peere have allowed you to really extend the more representational objects (the underwear) into more personal drawings that incorporate text and dolls. I think again that showing these drawings in series from the object to the drawings and so on will work well as a ‘series’ in the formal assignment portfolio. Any further developments between now and then can also be considered. Again, linking text with objects is another way to represent your ideas so the sketchbook for Assignment 5 fits that quite nicely in terms of supporting the body of work that you have accumulated over time.
I really like the links you are making between photograph (of your skin) with the image (and this can be object for assessment) in terms of the curatorial and for presentation. Stripping back your wall has allowed you to edit and see hopefully much more clearly. I can feel you editing as you are thinking and writing on your blog. Lots of discernment going on which is great.
Imprinting as in genetic sense as well as in the physical could have room to expand on at a later date, you have provided some very insightful comments here. I am wondering why you think cloth is cheating…paper and cloth have very similar elements to them.
The imprints in cloth onto paper remind me of shrouds. I think wrapping a body in cloth and imprinting could produce very interesting drawings…the trace of the female form, over time could fit into your project at a later date quite happily, again I don’t want to confuse things for you anymore.
I like the ‘frottage’ drawings that are being made through the stencil and collage work in your sketchbook. For me, although no resolved take drawing elsewhere. They are a very physical part of what is essentially your thought
process. You have analysed this well, this part of your practice is really progressing now.
Latex and skin layers of skin
Again, in terms of investigative drawings these work well. Although perhaps abstract on their own think about if you did present them, then how would this look? Working through your materials here, don’t worry too much about trying to make sense of them otherwise they may become a little too literal. Although I recognise that working through the monoprints process, these are interesting investigations but feel less resolved.
Moving on with different approaches
Again, lots of material investigation. I am reading the words collapsing and deflation. The theatre of skin idea is interesting, it still feels to me like you are trying out new things. It may be that you need to work on one or two things next and really get to know them through material investigation on a much deeper level. I like the idea of ‘Impressions of Surface’ as it seems very fitting again.
Impressions of surface.
Again, a frottage drawing. These feel like they having a bit of running power to me. Could you draw/paint/project more? As they are on tracing paper perhaps lots of layers could be worked on at once? Delicate, pink paintings or drawings would look quite beautiful perhaps or they could be scrunched up of course…
You have been brave to go out in the woods skin on skin and these again are an interesting extension within your practice. I am wondering if you manage to do more whether colour could relate as well as texture perhaps as it has been so integral to everything else you have been doing recently. Will this work be taken into drawing or create cut ups or be presented crumple up…for me it seems like the touching of skin against bark is important.
You have unpacked theses shows well, a good development there, well done.
We have talked through this. It works well including everything that needs to be said for now, well done.
I love the idea and thoughts behind the 7 layers of skin drawing. Kathe Kollwitz’s work is very strong and I can see her influence.
Theatre of Skin Drawing
Working with The Theatre of Skin has produced a great drawing. The documentation on the blog works well. You have analysed and evaluated very clearly the process and the reasoning behind this approach. This is a real step forward in terms of drawing I feel.
There is definitely more room to develop this for the future as it embraces the doll, fragments, colour and context of the work you have been pursuing. On a personal level I would love to see this on a much bigger scale so that it felt almost all consuming or perhaps life sized?
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Great personal enquiry happening as usual in your sketchbook. Select a few that think best represent your body of work for formal assessment.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Your learning log is easy to follow and the content easy to digest. Visual links to research and other content works well and overall you are writing extensively as well as critically. You are clearly engaged in Contemporary Drawing as an area of study and you have manage to write a very competent artists statement.
Check your work critically against the assessment criteria for the whole of Drawing 1. I think you have done this already but just double check it against the assessment work when collated. Go back and add or alter work that you feel needs a revisit and demonstrate what you have done and why in your learning log in support of your action.
• Demonstration of technical and visual skills
• Quality of outcome
• Demonstration of creativity
Pointers for the formal assignment
• Check what is required for you to send for formal assessment
• Apply for formal assessment
• Read through my reports and make sure that your submission reflects what I consider to be good work to support your submission. Include works that you think work well against the criteria i.e. in context with both primary and secondary research. Ask if you need any help with putting work forward for submission.
Strengths / Areas for development
Working with materials to problem solve
Don’t be afraid to continue to stop, look back and evaluate and edit. It’s always good to take stock and then realign your ideas whenever possible.
Knowing the context for your interests
Continue to underpin your investigations but reading deeper into your subject to underpin the making.
Responding to tutor guidance
This last assignment has really made you unpack your ideas to see if the making is on target. Continue to do this as it will strengthen the work.
…Sketchbook work very strong…keep the same approach if working larger
..explore more academically around the purpose of Drawing
…there is still some way to go in terms of material exploration
…develop a more established voice when it comes to unpacking my own drawings
These 5 points seems to sum up the comments from my tutor’s report most succinctly.
In the time between submitting my assignment 4 I have been thinking about what I am most interested in and following the receipt of the report I put some notes together which I sent to my tutor. The basis of which was a telephone conversation regarding my focus for Part 5 – Personal Assignment.
Assessment 4 – Drawing 1
Overall Comments Thank you for submitting Assignment 4 for Drawing 1. You have clearly worked very hard at what can be a very difficult Assignment as Figure Drawing and Portrait work is far from easy. Your sketchbook work is very strong and many of the preliminary studies and enquiries are more successful than the larger, more final works. Try if you can to keep the same approach if working larger, not easy, but certainly something to be aware of when scaling up.
You have attempted to move away from your normal approach to drawing by stepping back, slowing down and looking. Whilst this has created some issues, I think you have en route started to consider your own interests through your studies. You deal with interests in female identity, of the female form and what it is to be female and I think this has a lot of scope as you progress through the next Assignment. You have been ambitious when it comes to viewing work and I think that the doll idea that is starting to fester is a strong one.
You need to explore more academically around the purpose of Drawing. I have given you a number of links for you to research in your own time to support your own ideas.
There is still some way to go in terms of material exploration. Don’t be afraid to work with non – art materials or materials that link more to the context to add kudos to the work. For example, drawing in plastics or drawing the body parts of dolls or figures will add further context to your drawings. Could you draw through the eyes of the doll or make drawings up by tracing around limbs or use the foot of a doll or draw in the exact pink (or other skin tone) of the doll. This might seem a little ‘out there’, but further reading and intelligence added will enhance your drawings as they should be limitless in terms of the enquiry.
Continue to look, react to and make work as you discover new things. Develop a more established voice when it comes to unpacking your own drawing. This is crucial in terms of your personal development. Write and analyse much more around what has worked and what hasn’t and whether you have built up on the things you have learnt so far or seen.
Assignment 4 Assessment potential
I understand your aim is to go for the Painting Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.
Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Part Four The figure and the head Project 1: Fabric and form Exercise 1 Drawing fabric using line and tone You have explored this exercise through a number of materials The strongest work for me is the smaller drawing using water pencil. The broken line against the more tonal aspects of this drawing has a good balance. The other preparatory sketches are ok but lack the depth overall. Don’t be frightened to really try and get something out of these exercises from a personal perspective. You could for example make a study of cloth but hint at a figure lying beneath. It’s really important to have a go at these exercises but really find something of interest to you within them. Set yourselves challenges.
Exercise2 Emphasising form with cloth You have challenged yourself with your material here. Tonally things are starting to be understood (the chair arm, the seated hip and the seat itself in this section works well. Try to make connections from the clothed arm to the armrest, the collar to the breast and so on and don’t be too tempted to overwork all of what you see. Start off by mark making and getting the form, then fill in the areas that are of interest. Where there are tonal differences, things will happen through connection. The eye can fill in the rest. Do you know the drawings and prints of Glenn Brown? They may be of interest.
Research point You are clearly engaged with ongoing research both requested and personal. The sensibilities around intimacy, both protective and passionate hold a way in to you making more personal work perhaps distanced through inanimate dolls or through your own body, of movement and emotion. Using your own anatomy as a metaphor could easily house your own investigations into the self through drawing, something that feels very exciting in terms of exploring the human condition and its vulnerabilities, of what it like to be human.
Beyond this you look at the female nude and start asking many questions around this through practice. Your research is varied, well done.
Keep going and remember to really unpack it in written form as you move through. Underpin this by wider reading. You could expand your narrative through literature, philosophy and experience.
Project 2 Proportion Exercise 1: Quick studies For this exercise, you have managed to produce a developing body of work looking at tone. Where you have convicted the black of darker tone this does ground the work. You manage to concentrate on stance well through light and dark. For me the figures at the start are competent and allow the eye to fill in the gaps. The dynamics of the figure in space work well. There are moments when the sense of proportion gets a little lost, this is normal as often it is being you are trying to grasp another approach so try to allow yourself the time to think before continuing any marks. Remember to hint at the context. Decide what may ground the figure in space such as a chair, the corner of a room, the floor.
Exercise 2 A longer pose Despite your initial difficulties where some of the measurements are out the second drawing feels more considered. Think about the connecting parts before you join up the dots if you can. Consider the form through a series of lines and measurements in the first instance. This may seem painstakingly slow but will allow you the time to understand the skeleton underneath when tacking complicated poses of the figure. It is good to see you researching around the figure in space. This will get you the understanding you wish for over time.
Project 3 Form Exercise 1 Basic shapes It feels at this stage that you are not panicking and drawing without looking, instead you are looking and representing the form through lighter lines which is giving your drawing ability the time and space to interpret the information in front of you. You are starting to allow the form to flow much more carefully. the second drawing for this exercise has a more considered feel to it. The figure lying back on the sofa feels grounded and you are starting to command the work much more by adding tonal aspects as well as line. No overworked, the component parts appear to be coming together with much more fluidity.
Exercise 2 Essential elements Your 10 minute sketches are really gaining confidence here and I really like the longer drawing with its controlled palette and poised elegance that your sitter is exuding. There are measurements that are a little confused so take the time to consider carefully measuring as often as you need it. This again is a discipline, but well worth it when understanding form and its connecting parts. The simplicity of this drawing is very appealing, you have captured the elements with this exercise, so well done.
Exercise 3 Stance By the time you get to your fourth drawing you have managed to really command this exercise producing a drawing that is interesting to look at and in proportion overall. This pose is subtle and this comes through in the drawing. For me the final drawing goes slightly back to old ways and while I like the layering of colour to add tone the overall stance feels a little more wooden overall. Don’t forget to step back and decide when you think there is enough information to step back and say its complete. This is often hard to do, but a good lesson to learn as you work through your studies.
Project 4 Structure Exercise 1 the structure of the human body It is good to see you have started an anatomy sketchbook. These disciplined exercises should that you are making a significant investment in time to explore the structure and form in order to develop an understanding. These drawn studies and observations will hopefully lead onto working with the figure more creatively at a later date, let’s see.
Research point: Historical and contemporary artists that deal with the figure You have looked at a wide range of artists for this part of your studies. This research it is hoped, has given you the opportunity to take stock and observe others that have used the figure in all sorts of ways over time.
Project Structure Exercise 2 Three-figure drawings You have produced a range of positions for your figure in this exercise, the lounging, the standing and the seated. You have been experimental with your mediums and processes throughout however in your critical reporting after the event you have noted a couple of difficulties. Drawing the figure takes time and perseverance. If this is something you wish to pursue, try to keep your hand in by practicing between life drawing classes so that you are looking more often and practicing at the same time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if things go wrong, THIS WILL HAPPEN. Just keep trying and you will improve which will in turn give you more confidence in your achievements. Find a material that you enjoy. If this is charcoal, then maybe go for it as a treat after you have tried other mediums out. Draw the clothed figure, don’t worry about the nude and work quickly and often in a bid to complete a series of warm up exercise before you head in to your class. Devise strategies for success.
Project 5 the moving figure Exercise Single moving figure Exercise 2 Groups of figures Lovely, quick, enigmatic sketches, keep going. Add colour if you wish.
Project 6 The Head Exercise 1 Facial features Again you have produced a range of studies looking closely at your subject, the face. Remember to write more around this from a personal perspective if you can. What worked, what didn’t and why, what you enjoyed and so on.
Research point A great range of research here. You can draw with paint in my opinion! Drawing with wet materials is just as valid…
Exercise 2 Your own head You have produced a range of multi media outcomes for this exercise looking at your own head as a study and it is clear to see some of the influences from your artist’s research here in support of your own learning. You are starting to ask yourself some important questions around identity here. There appears to be interest in this so start to develop some research around this in support of your ideas for assignment 5. I am intrigued with the doll idea and see that the idea is perhaps well under way for assignment 5. Helmut Newton, Allen Jones, Man Ray and Laurie Simmons may be of interest to you.
Research point Artists self portraits Solid research, keep looking at new people that may be coming along.
Exercise 3 portrait from memory or the imagination Interesting exercise from the starting point through to the finished drawing (with extras). I always find this exercise a strange addition at the end point but you have handled it well and to my mind done a number of drawings in your sketchbook that could go under this heading.
I am delighted to see you stumble across Cathie Pilkington’s show. I have a piece of her’s here and always get very excited when I see it. There is a dark brooding there and the diversity and repurposing of blankets holds a sense of awe to me. You stare and are scared, all at the same time.
Assignment Four Two large figure studies and a portrait/self portrait You have reflected well across the whole of Assignment 4 but please continue to research and analyse further the visual impact of your own ongoing artists research against your own work with more frequency.
Your preliminary studies for the seated figure have produced creative outcomes across a number of initial drawings. There are some difficulties with aspects of the figure such as the shoulders and some foreshortening of the legs in the final piece and it does feel a little hurried. Try if you can to work more on tone (through line) and volume to allow for a more in depth enquiry overall. The final piece feels illustrative as it is very surface orientated and is not the best work you have produced overall. It would have been good to see a number of further developments of an idea, looking back at what you have achieved in this assignment such as the broken line, stance, tone and so on. Don’t be afraid of your materials, get them to work for you. You have produced a number of experimental drawings across the pages of your sketchbook. Try to act exactly the same when it comes to the final work. Be experimental, enquiring and ambitious at the same time wherever you can.
While you are not expected to have success at every turn, I do think that you have made some steps forward in terms of finding interesting ideas behind your own enquiry and I look forward to seeing these in the next Assignment.
Your figure study using tone suggests a much more expressive approach to drawing. The information you have given feels deliberately vague and goes back to the use of wet materials again, something that feels very true to you. The print out of the wet on wet in your sketchbook feels very exciting to look at as it is an interesting image. At first you cannot see if it is a landscape or what it is, therefore intrigue sets in and the work appears to draw the viewer in. The final piece holds this. There are some interesting shapes coming out of this study. Just try to get things like the hands and arms in proportion to the rest of the figure (always larger than you think). Tonally there could have been more conviction in the dark areas to really seat the figure in his environment.
Your portrait work as preliminary studies has been recorded well. The compositional aspect is reminiscent of the tonal drawing in that it has large expanses of colour around the subject. It does feel a little naïve in places and I am not sure if this is your intention? If it is, then make sure your write down your intentions in your learning log to underpin the journey as you work through it. The building up of colour is something that you clearly enjoy. They remind me a little of Munch’s paintings (see below).
Edvard Munch, Sittende ung Kvinn, 1916
Sketchbooks Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity You have submitted a number of sketchbooks for this assignment and so it is clear that they are being used regularly, for academic purpose and for creativity. Remember to build up on previous enquiries and exercises on a personal level and don’t be afraid to annotate more critically around this as you move through each page. There is a personal enquiry happening so continue to explore this in terms of demonstrating your personal voice. Your technical and visual skills are improving as is the creative risk taking with your materials.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context This has been well written and explorative in terms of artist’s research and personal development. Work much harder when writing around your own working ideas from a more visually analytical viewpoint wherever possible. You are citing well and referring to images throughout. Develop a deepened critical viewpoint to support your own working and don’t be afraid to consider context in regard to housing your own work.
Suggested reading/viewing Context You have asked in your feedback to be pointed towards different kinds of drawing. You may be interested in the following: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/microsites/sota/tracey/philoshy.html
The slippage between traditional drawing and painting is often debated and discussed and should be where you house your work if this is of interest to you. You may be interested to read Giles Deleuze’s Article ‘The Fold’ or study Lucio Fontana’s marks as drawings to start a dialogue about what drawing is or can be. Whilst this is a step up from your Level 4 course, I think that it could help you pull apart your own work and add value to it. You may like the work of Jo Spence.
You are demonstrating that you are hunting down exhibitions and artists to underpin your studies. Try to find academic journals to develop a more rigorous research pool. Look at the Tate online or at Jstor to find written pieces to shore up your own ideas and don’t be afraid to reference books wherever you can. There are links to wider reading on the OCA website so please visit as many as you can find in support of developing a more academic approach to theory from reliable sources.
Pointers for the next assignment
I wish I could – I am trying to be more adventurous but finding an inherent stuckness over this some of the time. Compiling a list of alternate materials to try out – the non-artistic type.
This part of the course has been the most challenging and the most surprising so far. I loved doing the trees and my introduction to landscape was a revelation. Had a much greater response to it than I had expected even though most of it was completed through the winter months when I could not hang around and “enjoy the view”. It did however teach me skills for bringing back into the studio which is very useful.
These comments refer to some of the townscape work and the architectural studies which I found the most difficult. The views of Shoreham-by-Sea over the river from different angles I did find interest and if the exercises had not been as specific there would have been views that I would much have preferred – over the river, mudflats, taking in the tide at different times etc.
Buildings I find difficult and my sense of perspective still goes out of the window – literally. I could I admit have taken more time over them but in the end they are not my area of interest.
I have discovered good 300 gsm watercolour paper which bears a lot of work – although I have yet to push this too its limits. Something which I need to undertake in the name of experiment.
It is very satisfying allowing water based materials to blend with the surface – and move them about – take them back when necessary. Just beginning to experiment with different supports.
Again referring to the buildings – a symptom of my irritation with the subject matter.
This comment has cropped up over the last few assignments. I am still not making enough decisions about dark, medium and light as well as fore, middle and distance. Again this is about becoming more critical and then being bold enough to express what I see.
As yet I am unsure how to address the research aspects of the work. My note taking is not effective at this stage and I am going to revisit some of the early papers and HE Study assignments in order to apply order to this part of the work.
I have seen quite a number of non-traditional fine art work now. Some of it I respond to really strongly and am aware that from my previous textile work it would be easy to lapse into 3D – textile pieces drawing me away from the focus of this course.
Again the reference to other materials is highlighted. My list is growing of the non-traditional items some of which I have tried in the Part 4 assignment.
As to the question of what drawing is – I remain confused. I have looked at the book Eight Propositions a number of times but this does not as yet make it any clearer.
Looking at other artists – in some cases I can see how this is relevant to development of a drawing style but in others I could not identify what my tutor was trying to have me see. I drew on the styles of Degas, Auerbach, Dix and Schiele in the next Part 4 drawing.
Still not doing this enough and have not yet grasped a willingness to create the un-successful or non-traditional in my work.
When I look back I realise that I have often played too safe – —-