When I started this journey my main aim was to improve my skills whilst doing something I really love. I’ve always really enjoyed painting and sewing, but sometimes felt like I didn’t know what to do next, I was hoping this course would give me a definite direction to work in, and it has, although I haven’t always enjoyed the areas needing to be studied.
The area I’ve found the most helpful is creating sketchbooks, before if I wanted to create something I just dived straight in and didn’t always get the results I wanted. Using sketchbooks has shown me how useful it is to quickly try out ideas and different ways of expressing them, as well as the importance of practice. I feel regular practice of drawing and painting skills in my sketchbooks have really improved my techniques, so I feel happier with my final pieces of work.
Working on my final piece has really shown me that I’ve changed the way I develop an idea, before I would’ve just made my final piece then had to go back and make up all the preparation work to fit in. Instead I started by gathering some reference images, then sketching out some initial ideas. After feedback from my tutor I then tried to incorporate his ideas into my work, before trying out a number of different techniques and ideas in smaller samples. I then chose my favourite areas from these samples to work into my bigger final piece.
For this assignment I started by looking back through my sketchbooks, I really liked the pieces I’d done using strong bold colours and fairly simple lines. I also noticed that although my theme book covers a general theme of ‘people’, a lot of the sketches are just portraits of faces. I especially enjoyed creating sketches or paintitngs of faces with lots of expression on them, like the monotone screaming faces.
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These sketchbook pieces are continuing my work on cells, they are created with watercolours, acrylic paint, paint sticks and collage. Read the rest of this entry
These are a collection of quick sketches in acrylic paint, water-colour, pencil, charcoal and ink-tense pencils. Some were done at a life drawing session, whilst others were done using photo’s. I tried using paint to sketch with after watching a TV programme about Tracey Emin which showed her sketching nudes for pieces similar to ‘I said No’ and ‘Waiting for it’. Tracey’s pieces are a lot looser and rougher than mine, something I need to work at. Read the rest of this entry
I didn’t enjoy this area of the course at all, and so ended up dragging it out over a long period of time which probably made it seem even worse. My hands can be stiff and shaky so i found spending any decent amount of time on these samples painful, and would often have to leave them for a few days before continuing. I much prefer to get a piece mostly or entirely finished in one go where possible, otherwise I feel it loses its flow, and my mind is always crammed full of so many ideas that I’m ready to move on to the next one. Read the rest of this entry
Experimenting with different techniques and materials.
I started this project by warping up my small loom with a dark blue acrylic DK yarn and practising making stripes with the same yarn in different colours, this produced a nice even piece, but the warp can clearly be seen, I’m not sure if this is just because it is darker than the weft yarns or if I didn’t beat it down hard enough. My next sample was made with a shiny DK cotton yarn and Ghiordes Knot’s, I tried to give it an ombre effect of one colour fading into the next, but I’m not sure how effective this was, the texture of it reminds me of a bath mat. Read the rest of this entry
Analysing colour, texture and proportion.
For this section I found a variety of pictures and tried to match some of the colours found in them, before creating a representative yarn winding of the proprtions of the colours used. Read the rest of this entry
The Work of The Textile Artist
I feel that textile artists and designers/craft-people approach a piece with a different outcome in mind. For example, when making a quilt to go on a bed, historically the quilt would’ve been a functional piece to keep people warm. The craftsperson would’ve used whatever materials were available to them, finding pieces of fabric and holding them together in layers for extra warmth. To prolong the life of these early pre-industrial fabrics which were very labour intensive to produce, they would’ve been patched and repaired, hence creating a more decorative patchwork quilt. The main function of the piece though would’ve still been to keep people warm. Even after people started designing simple geometric decorative patterns for the quilts, and using them to make their surrounding more beautiful or show off their wealth, the people making them never considered themselves to be artists and the items they made were still functional. Read the rest of this entry
These are some of the recent pages from my sketchbook.
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I really enjoyed this assignment as it contained a good mixture of stitched samples and painting. I find making stitch samples relaxing and enjoyable but it can be very time consuming, whereas painting and sketching is much faster but requires more concentration, and produces more pieces I deem to be failures. This time whilst working through the exercises I tried to place more emphasis on colours, as I feel this is something I struggle with, so I took it as an opportunity to look at work by Josef Albers and to collect many examples of colour schemes that work well together, which I can then use in my own projects in the future. My favorite colour scheme so far has to be intense blues and greens you would find in a peacocks tail, and I used these a number of times in the fabric manipulation section. Read the rest of this entry