Sunday, 16 October 2016

Catch-up - Part 2

So here I am back to update you on the week long summer school that I attended with Janet Edmonds.... better late than never, I hope. The first 2 days of the week were a continuation of the explorations in line that we had started in the Taking Textiles Further workshops, this time taking inspiration from the Ann Christopher exhibition which was held at the Royal Academy. We started by exploring the marks we could make with pastels
I really liked the textures I created although frustratingly I couldn't quite recreate the same textures when I tried to use them in my designs. I really enjoyed using the softer pastels and I'm sure I'll soon be investing in more of those very soon.
Using my experiments as a guide, I tried to simplify the landscapes and the use of good quality photocopies allowed me to play with lines and colours in the landscapes without having to keep recreating the backgrounds.
 I used the shapes, if not the colours of the landscape to add additional lines, well we were looking at line afterall.... 
And then I got bolder....and added lines taken from the landscape but on a much bigger scale than they were in real life.
Of all the ideas with line this is the one that I would like to pursue the most - a simple landscape with the lines of the landscape exaggerated and added. What would happen if the colours of these lines were changed? What if the lines were of significantly different thickness? I can't wait until my studio is finished to try it out.

In the other 3 days of the summer school we looked at the artist Chuck Close, who's work was famously made of lots of individual squares. To start the process, I squared off my landscape image, simplified it and recreated the image one square at a time....well until it came to the sky that is, when I must admit to 'cheating' and just colouring it blue, albeit built up with lots of individual colours.
Then taking a plain square print block I printed it again square by square. The nature of printing with a simple block automatically simplified the image further, although when the printing was complete I did work into with pen and collage to put some of the detail back.
Working with a good quality photocopy is very freeing and I should do this more often. I cut up my photocopy, rearranged it and mounted it on black paper. I'm not usually drawn to cutting up and re-piecing my textiles but I did quite like the effect of this. 
I also went back to working with the simple salt crystal shapes, cutting them out of paper and using both the positive and the negative shapes.
 And layering the shapes onto one of my designs.

So..again lots of ideas to pursue and really that's usually why I go on these courses, to take time out to think to develop ideas and designs and to explore ideas that I wouldn't have done if I was working on my own and I certainly came away with lots of ideas that I can't wait to get my teeth into.

Work on the studio progresses but much slower than I would like. Until recently the work has all been outside and has had little impact on our day-to-day living except for all the vans that park on our drive and looking at the front garden that looks more like a builder's merchant's yard than a garden. Now the work on the kitchen is in full swing and it is definitely impacting us. It feels like we're camping but with a more comfortable bed to sleep in. At least we have water in the kitchen which is more than we did a couple of days ago. So with the wall knocked down, the units removed and most of the plastering done, this is what it looks like today.

This weekend I felt determined to do a bit of printing and so sat in the garage amongst builders tools, cement, old units etc and printed and the more I printed the more I got into it and the more I wanted to do. It's not really practical to use the procion dyes at the moment so I printed with screen inks. Now I think about it, I'm not sure why I worked in the garage, surely I could have worked in the warmer kitchen, it wasn't as if I could ruin anything was it? 

I'll show you some of the Chuck Close ideas I have been progressing next time.