ASSIGNMENT 3 – My Response

  • …but for your next assignment I would like you to explore more.

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.

  • I think you have been pleasantly surprised by what you have managed to achieve in 1 hour, well done.

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.

  • It would have been better perhaps to work on a series of developed ideas taken from your initial studies to play around more with tone and depth as well as widen your drawing tools to push the edges once more of what drawing means to you.

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.

  • …. had you have used a sturdier paper

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.

  • Working in parallel will help you see where you are going wrong. Don’t fill in any detail until you have those measurements right.

Again referring to the buildings – a symptom of my irritation with the subject matter.

  • Again for me the tonal definition is lacking which makes the piece lacking in the overall lustre that I can see in the preliminary.

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.

  • More in depth critique and understanding of the work of others could benefit you in terms of extending and widening the research aspect of your studies.

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.

  • Try to see a range of exhibitions away from drawing and painting. This will help you consider your materials for drawing in closer detail. Think carefully about what drawing is and can be for your next assignment. Don’t always use traditional drawing materials to draw with…try lots of other things particularly things that surround you.

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.

  • …. in order for you to become more fluid in your approach to drawing.

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.

  • Continue to take more risks with your 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 – —-

Assignment 2 – My Response

  • So slow down, think carefully about what you want to achieve from this drawing and then know when to stop.

This remains an on-going issue for me.   Although I often intend to take a particular path with a drawing and even write down what I am intending to do once I start I get carried away – and veer off-course.   This also ties in with not stepping back enough and looking from a distance – particularly in the life-classes I feel impelled to get on with things because time is limited.

I know I need to concentrate on doing less, being more selective about what I am undertaking.   However this still remains a challenge when faced with certain exercises and assignments.

  • Often we are so desperate to draw that we don’t realise what we want to say and how to achieve it in closer detail.

I am not sure that I often think about what I want to “say” about a particular pose – it is easier with still-life as this is something I can set up with a purpose in mind.   When I review what other’s are undertaking in a life-class – not by way of criticism of my own work but because I am fascinated by the different styles and interpretations.   Sometimes I think I should just sit behind someone and see the way that they work – what stages, what choices, what materials etc.   This might be an interesting learning exercise.

But when the fire of drawing takes hold it is difficult not to be drawing myself and just watching!

  • I think it may be because you like the graphic qualities and formal elements that you see in design and although this wrestles at times with your love of texture I think that with more experience you will get to know how to bring these things together in a satisfactory way.

This is absolutely true I like both aspects as well and the tight and free styles in mark-making.   This is a lot to take on board at this stage.  Which goes back to more experimentation without necessarily an end drawing in mind.

  • Tonally it is still very ‘middle of the ground’ and could have benefited from a little more exploration in the first instance with your chosen mediums (try to get into this habit if you can before jumping straight in)

Again this is connected to the 2 points above.   I have a strong sense of colour but do find tonal qualities difficult.   This is something I need to keep working on – being aware of and self-critical when looking at a composition.

Perhaps if I view this compositionally – i.e. make clear choices of the dark, medium and lighter tones when I am planning a piece, it will be more successful.   Part of me thinks though this is just more and more and more practice.

  • The narrative to the work is coming through and I think that you could explore the black background in the future as I think it could lead to some very exciting discoveries.

I very much enjoyed falling across my own narrative in the pieces . It surprised me how absorbed I became in the still life drawings as initially I could not engage with this as subject matter. Yes the dark, dark, and noir aspects continue to fascinate and may bring this into the Part 5 pieces.


Assignment 1 – My Response

NOTE:- I am writing these responses as I await the tutor report on Assignment 4 and thinking about what I am going to work on for Part 5 of the course.

I don’t know how to approach this really but have highlighted areas that I think I need to address and will comment on those.   Firstly I will respond to the overall tone of the report.

It was really difficult at times to engage with some of the exercises from the first section of the Drawing 1 course.   This was because I began to feel I was having to go back to the beginning again and did not know if I have the stamina to continue to engage with the work.   However having realised that the reason I was taking this whole thing was because I had never really done this stuff from the beginning and worked through the various stages – which has over time caused there to be many gaps in my understanding and techniques.

I did get over this and the frustrations of things not working or not being able to concentrate on looking with enough intensity.    Overall I was really pleased with my tutor’s response to my work and particularly the assignment piece which became very personal very quickly.

Most of all I was gratified with the time she had taken in looking at all the work and the learning log and responding in such a full and supportive way.   I have a legacy of not being supported artistically and also a very damaging experience of art school as a mature student which knocked my confidence to the extent that I did no work for 10 years.

Points I have picked out:-

  • Continue to Take More Risks – Not be Fearful of Failure  

This has plagued me all the way through – what are the risks I should take, is it technique, materials, process?   I have found myself moving from one kind of risk taking to another but often having planned to work in a “new ” way not going through with it and resorting to tried and tested ways.   It is difficult to get it “wrong” for me and to believe that there is learning in there.   To do work that is not admired but for its own sake is certainly a challenge.  To this extent I don’t think I have done enough experimentation with mark making, multi-media combinations, sampling, etc.

  • Point of the course is to challenge new techniques, processes and new ways of working

This is of course a reference to the above point and thinking about how far is far?   I feel a bit like a mouse who sticks its nose out of the hole now and again and goes for it across the wide space ahead but spends quite a lot of time looking around working up the courage to take the next dash.

  • More Written Work in Support of Research into Other Artists Work in Support of my Own Studies.

I don’t find writing easy being dyslexic and find my ability to express my ideas and responses can be limited.   Though I love to read I don’t think I have grasped how to use note taking effectively and then how to fit it together when I am writing my learning log. Also I can get carried away with reading (and not note taking) and then jump back into the practical work not taking the ideas with me.

At this stage I am still finding this a challenge and to work out why my tutor has suggested certain artists to look at.

  • Look More closely at Other Artist’s Compositions to Record and Analyse

Certainly STILL not doing enough of this – like everything I do I need to slow down and be more thoughtful rather than immediate with my response.  Too much of I know what I like kind of attitude still prevalent in my thinking.