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.
The theme book exercise has to be the section I have enjoyed most though out of the entire course so far. I chose the theme of people, as this was something I really enjoyed looking at in my own sketchbook work. The only problem is that I found I’ve become totally obsessed by it, especially painting portraits, which is probably an area which won’t be especially helpful for using in my final piece, which I am no closer to having any definite ideas about, but at least I’m still looking at combinations of colours which I can transfer in to a textile piece. I’ve also spent a lot of time looking at Matisse’s work and using this as inspiration for my own projects, I find he has a wonderfully bold way of using colours and lines that I enjoy using in my own work.
My theme book obsession means that recently I’ve neglected my sketchbook work, although I’m trying to rectify this – recently I have started looking at cells and bacteria as I’ve seen pictures of them taken through a microscope which are quite beautiful, and very colourful. I do however feel that all of the work I have done in my sketchbooks, both exercises and unrelated work, have really developed. I’m feeling much more confident when producing work, and finding a new blank page much less scary. I think this started when I tried using a sketchbook with blue pages instead of white, even though most of the time I end up painting the pages white before I use them! This new found confidence has carried over into my theme book, where I can really see a difference between the first few pages of timid work all in measured out boxes, and then later work which is a riot of colour forced into every space available on the page. I’m also enjoying the freedom of using a bigger A3 sketchbook and now find going back to my smaller A4 one feels uncomfortably restricted. Also, I’ve started sticking all of my work if possible into my sketchbooks so I can really see the progression through from ideas to finished pieces, it really helps to order everything in my mind and from there progress on.
- Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills – In this section I have tried to experiment more freely with different techniques and materials, stitching things together, gluing them, melting them and working with everything from silks and cottons through to organza’s and plastic bags. I also hope that my new, more expressive sketchbook work shows a development in design and composition skills.
- Quality of Outcome – As discussed above I feel the change in how I’ve used my sketchbook helps to present my work in a more logical and flowing manner instead of there being random pieces of work and stitch samples all over the place where its hard to see how they relate to one another.
- Demonstration of Creativity – I’ve tried to experiment much more in this area of the course, and draw inspiration from lots of different sources. I personally feel that the work in my sketchbooks show how my levels of creativity have increased, but I can’t claim to have invented any of it on my own, it is all inspired by other work I have come across.
- Context – I didn’t enjoy doing the research pieces, and I don’t really know if they are up to standard. I haven’t done any work like that for a long time and felt totally lost when looking for a place to start!