Well here it is, the start of a new adventure . I've hardly slept I've been so excited. So here goes with my first session ..warm up mark making. I did this over the weekend and today and it was great to get right back to basics and explore some possibilities. I feel a little shy about what I have done but I wont get anywhere if I don't share and reflect so here it is:
I started by making some marks with conventional tools. I tried a variety of inks pens, graphite pencils, charcoal , brushes etc. I thought about the list of words soft, sharp, heavy, flowing, delicate, bold, fast, slow, agitated, steady, fluid, dry and multiple. I used a few sheet of A3 paper and filled them with some marks. I don't think it was the best part of the session for me as I was a bit stiff and wooden with my mark making but I enjoyed the challenge of going back to this. The marks I like best are the ones I make with dark pencils and graphite sticks and those made with thin ink pens..on the opposite ends of the scale and I love it when they are mixed together soft with hard, thick with thin fast with slow etc
For me the next bit was the bit that I was really excited about as I love experimenting with found stuff so I set about making a whole range of mark making tools and adapting some graphite sticks and pencils by attaching them to long twigs. I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a gardener so she helped me collect together things that I wanted. I bound the various finds to sticks to make handles. Some things I took apart and rearranged
I only had one bottle of black ink left . I had to pour it into a bowl to dip some of the bigger brushes and so for some of the sheets I hit on the idea of using black transfer dye . This was a good idea as its a little stickier than the ink so I got a wider variety of effects. The session was huge fun and really inspiring. I just let rip and played for several hours
I love the delicate quality I got using some of the grasses
I was quickly realised that the long trailing brush parts and the long wavy handle meant I could get real movement into my work. I then chose a large pod and it was a complete revelation. The pod had a groove in it and a slightly curved part which acted like an ink reservoir. This meant it worked like a kind of wonky ink pen and it has led me to investigate ways of making ink pens so watch this space.
Things with a really bulbous end could be turned and twisted giving some really great effects and some of them began to disintegrate which added to the range of marks
Here are the best of the images from the tools section..as you can see they made a huge variety of marks from delicate to bold.
I then went on to delve into negative mark making . I chose to use some white wax, some drawing fluid and I also drew with white charcoal on a black background. I love the way these look. The white marks really stand out and it was like a magic reveal. I love layers and a little bit of non control on the things I am making so I found this process exciting if a little messy with all the rubber everywhere.
Here is a crayons sheet that I did with a brush and ink over wax. I tried both heavy ink and a watered down ink wash
I found some white ink and using some of the tools I produced this piece. I love the wiggly lines overlapping.
And finally for this section i drew with white chalk on a black background
After a good nights sleep I set up to do the final session of the warm up exercises. I taped together paper to make A2 as suggested and got to work. It was a really exciting session as I felt much more able to let go than the day before and I think it shows in the movement I got into the pieces. I discovered news ways of using then tools turning and twisting them and slapping them on the paper so they made instant prints. I enjoyed the long handles and the disintegration of the flower heads using it to good effect . The first image is my favourite but as I worked I got loads more ideas.
Actually I love the one above . It has so much movement and that was the tools . The long handles really help to make flowing moving lines. Here are the other images I enjoyed making
I loved this process and I learnt a huge amount. I am reminded that as an artists you need to keep going back and looking again, exploring again and you can never really be done with this kind of exercise.
I loved using the tools I made with long handles and slightly uncontrollable bits at the end. They captured the movements that I made beautifully . I want to make more with even longer handles.
The bulbous shaped end to the brushes were also great as circular shapes could be made with ease. This seed head fell apart and It would be wonderful to make some prints where the head gradually disintegrated giving all kind of different marks
The large pod taught me alto about how pens are made. I went off and read an article about how to make calligraphy pens. I am going to explore this a bit more and possibly make a set of my own ink pens.
Another interesting thing was the idea of multiple brushes or brush like structure on one handle. It needs some refinement as I found it difficult with some of those I had made to get the ends to all hit the paper at the same time. I've had some ideas about that and will try in next couple of weeks.
Well I feel I am ready to start on part two although i hope to keep returning to these exercises alongside that work.
Right now a little addition to the session. Do you remember I said I had used transfer inks on some of the sheets. Well doing that means that the images can be printed so when I had finished work I allowed myself a session to play with the bits I had made.
First I cut squares from some of the sheets and then printed them on fabric with a heat press, I then moved the squares about and printed another layer on top and so on. The great thing about this is that you can get 4 or 5 prints from one piece each one a little lighter ..in fact eventually you start to get kind of negative marks. When you are done you still have the original bits of paper albeit a little lighter and they can be used for collage or painted over again .
If i make a print where the head gradually disintegrates then I could also used the bits of stuff that fall off to print..so exciting..a new journey
I also printed one of the whole A3 sheets. It would be a great base for an embroidery so I am in fact planning to repeat the last session using just transfer inks and maybe some colour too. I can use wax resists in the heat press too so lots of experimenting to come