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Feb 9, 2011

Module 1. Assignment 4; Big Draw

This report starts with a description of my “journey” but the thoughts and conclusions according to point number 7 I  will make in a separate chapter in the end.

I started this task and realized it was going to take quite some time and that I had to be really imaginative in what materials to pick for the variety included and demanded in the tasks. Considering I did not have that many different means of media – well I arrived at the end with some enthusiastic developments. I was also in the middle of the research of cubism and that did also incite some inspiration. I might not have stuck very rigidly in all tasks to exactly what I saw within the black frame – however by now the different constructions are so well known to me, that I kind of developed the concept here and there only by going along.

I did make a display of my various constructions, together, separately and in some two-some constellations. However for the first tasks I did pick my “Cross Section of Snow”. I could not help myself as I think there are such beautiful structures!

1.  Different drawings and representations of details from "Cross Section of Snowdrift from Assignment 1:6

Continuing task 2 with further drawings:

 I first tried to look upon my “brain” from Assignment 1 but my drawing does not quite represent that angle. I preferred to draw from the live model and not from the photo and I did have some practical problems drawing it from that particular viewpoint. I now used dress pattern tissue paper and glued that onto a backing. I deliberately made some folds and crinkles. I did use some newsprint and a black ink pen, red nail varnish and some white tippex masking fluid in combination with  colour pens and I think some bits of coal.

Continued task 2 – now a combination of “King of the Sea and of “Annas” yellow hair “en plissé”. Here I first made a smaller “pilot” drawing – mainly to see how the composition could work out. I choose this particular combination due to the forms, or rather combination of forms as well as very blunt colours, black, bright saturated yellow and some frilly white – quite different from the previous drawings. This drawing also contains some newsprint – something I like to use – also there is some text on Anna’s hair.

I used gouache colours and I managed to make the yellow really intense and saturated. The “frills” are teared kitchen roll paper that I decorated a bit with black – mainly for making the frill visible.

3. First Collage

This was to be inspired by one of the previous drawings, and I choose the last one, the yellow and black. Inspiration was both the colours and form, but also the concept and subject that I knew originally was meant to be hair and inside – a brain. Some print of letters on the hair inspired me to make the background of the collage, from squares of different materials, toilet paper, pattern paper as well as newsprint that I passed over a square of letter stencils and rubbed them with a combination of coal and sepia. I mixed these and glued them in a fairly square and rectangular way onto black paper. Reason for black paper was to be able to make a circle of black, where the very brain was to be placed and be visible. I then used a transparent plastic lid which was filled by parcel ribbon in yellow and gold which I slit into thin bands and assembled and fixed into the lid.
Below I manipulated and folded some thai silk in yellow which got a couple of stitches and then I texted onto the fabric with black ink pen.

4. A large drawing

The fourth task was to make a large drawing, developed and based on one of the previous drawings. I left the yellow and black theme and went for the black sadness spiral and red hearts from before. However – I had just researched Robert Delauney and some of the other cubists and became inspired and played around with making the heart’s soft forms into very pointed ones and further developed the spirals into chains and pieces of broken spirals, chains and hearts. I decided on a vivid colour scale and went from cold colours in the dominating “sad” side with some broken heart pieces to the bright and happy side with warm and light colours where one also would find broken chain and spiral pieces.
I used purely oil pastels for this one.

5. A further collage from the first line drawing - turned upside down

I decided to work from the first line drawing this time. When studying this drawing I quite liked it – and when turning it upside down –I found very new structures. For me there were obvious legs and a bum which immediately became a slightly more vulgar motive – and the result became a mixture of what I saw and of my imagination.

I looked through one of my (by now) three  very big bags filled with different scrap and rubbish and found both a previous wrapping of flowers as well as a dramatic black paper – the origin is unknown. That was very crinkled and had to be a bit ironed.  A few bits of pieces of other wrapping and the setting was to be put in practice.

I decided to cut by scalpel the structure of a couple of the legs, in order to make the structure a bit more interesting, however another leg I glued onto it and upon. A bit of toilet paper to symbolize some bedding, and a rolled flower wrapping to symbolize cushions on a chair or part of a sofa.

Further on – I thought a boudoir cannot be without a chandelier – and a crisp bag and a couple of plastic structures were combined to create such a lamp hanging from the ceiling. The walls got some wall paper coordinated with the pillows.

 Finally I could not refrain from cutting out the bright and shiny red dress from a Kellog’s Special K box to make a cheeky dress with which to dress the bum. A little vulgar decoration on her ankle together with a high red heeled shoe – and I think the concept was well illustrated. The finish was not perfcect – rather a bit raw, as much of the material was a bit dated and crinkled, both the decorative wrappings and the backing, but the result – fun!

6. Stitched impression

I continued with the line drawing (above – the upside-down-version) as my inspiration – and this time the small circle in the top right corner got my interest. This structure was immediately a loving couple leaning to each other in a very harmonic pose. I combined this with the open “anemone” structure and it definitely became an eye (opener) for me.

 I have not made a stitched “drawing” for forty years. The last time I made one was actually a wall picture with some white felt applied onto some canvas-like structure. I remember I made stones, a tree and some other structures and at the time thought it was rather nice. Thirty-five years later – when clearing out our Swedish Stockholm house before moving to the UK  I found it and decided – well – it was not really something I anted to keep – so – it ended up in the skip! I have had no regrets. I also remember my mother became very fond of it and asked for one for herself. I made one, and gave it to her and found it – never prepared nor framed when we cleared out her house (she is now in a home 91 years old). It also ended up in the skip! I have made some applications though on clothes and nicer ones – but I have not kept them either… (Might have shrunk in the wardrobe?..)

An eye
I decided to make an eye – with the “couple” in the pupil. I used some old grayish acetate (probably) lining fabric found deep down in my treasure grove, plus the white-cream moiré fabric I already used for my fish and – I suddenly found a bright turquoise thin tissue paper – probably one arrived with flowers or a nice gift – and the start was ready. I had carpet linen yarn with a bit coarse character and in two shades of turquoise. I also found two different ribbons – also saved from some flower delivery - in sparkly –blue and one in gold with some stars.  

I first backed both the grey background fabric and the turquoise tissue paper as well as the white moiré with “vlieseline”. I started to make the contours of the couple with black linen yarn and continued to liven up the iris with bits and pieces of the two ribbons. I continued to stitch with the coarse linen yarns, the darker one more close to the inner circle and the lighter one towards the outside. I stitched and threaded it. I followed up with circular stitches by different colours of sewing thread to “calm” down the sparkles as well as to add some warmth – using brown in two shades and some violet thread.

Finally I used  some Al-foil to define the bodies of the couple in the pupil. I will also handstitch the contours of the eyelids – however that will be a more lengthy procedure – for the evening hours. I have spent rather a day anyway on this project –I just got carried away and decided to try to make the finish reasonably well  or enough for possibly including this in my future portfolio! 

Results and conclusions

Starting with the first three drawings, I like the line drawing - as I think I succeded rather well in making a clear and distinct representation of what I saw. My lines had self confidence and I hardly used the eraser. On the other hand, thinking about it – a line drawing could have been very much more interesting than the way I did it, by perhaps using coal in thick and twisted lines, or a colour line drawing, which at the time did not occur to me. Automatically I translated the concept of line drawing to a basic kind of “start of project” instead of a potential artistic impression of lines depicting a pattern of a flattened picture.

When approaching the final tasks – I brought out that line drawing again – and suddenly found it very interesting. Already at the start I had liked the very intricate pattern it formed – and was surprised what a transition the picture had passed from its unusual depth in the soft and hard structures and colours. When looking at the line drawing compared to the original picture, noone could ever have told what motive was behind it but rather looked for new features in the lines (as I did later).

The first impression and framed picture – the drawing with coal and sepia produced some lovely soft impressions of that picture – looking at the drawing thoroughly one can see the structures above the three tubes as very floating and swaying suggesting something very soft, and I also feel I succeeded to some extent to give some of the structures some depth.

The second drawing is much more dramatic due to the black background – and I feel I like that one a bit better. In this I dared to make more of my own interpretation but it looks a a bit more sloppy. I think I have managed to make the contours of various structures somewhat interesting – however the previous drawing gives rise to somewhat more curiosity to look for interesting structures. I also feel that I have been a bit stuck in my previous apprehension of this part of my cross section as an undersea world, which perhaps could have been done with a completely different interpretation such as bold black and bold colours – to play. I might redo one drawing with that in mind – only to see what it comes to!

The following drawing – of my eternal brain theme, I feel I have managed to establish two opposing concepts – the very bold spiral and the very striking hearts. I also think it is a good feature that the hearts are upside down (as in the picture) – which is a bit unexpected if not knowing the picture the drawing is based on. Having said that, I feel it is also a bit boring. I have had some tendency to draw what I see instead of drawing a wild interpretation of what I see. This is perhaps why (without knowing it at the time) I selected this construction for my later development – the big colourful drawing.

In the large colourful drawing I tried deliberately to develop the concept and to change the forms and also the proportions and colours of the original picture and made my own, fairly imaginative representation of a real happy draw. I did imagine the black spiral continuing into a chain intertwined with the happy hearts in the light and happy right side of the piece. Studies of Delauney and the other cubists for a few days, really gave me a kick and wish to experiment. I changed the round and kind forms to pointed and sharp forms – now intermixed with the regular and rounded, circle and elliptic forms of the sadness, and also made little bits of pieces of broken hearts in the dark side, just as bits and pieces of the sadness pieces in the bright and light side. I used colours to influence the mood of the two parts of the picture. I love this drawing.

In between these two creations I made an interpretation of a combined Annas’ hair with a piece of the “King of the Sea” fish. I did deliberately select these two constructions due to their obvious and bold colours and forms. I had – after the initial three drawings felt I wanted to be more daring and try myself better.

I feel I managed quite well with this drawing. I even tried to make the folds of the yellow hair somewhat with a perspective with some little success. I played a bit with collage already here and I like the combinations of bold folds, with the frilly corner and the black and grey bold structure in the lower left part. The black and grey became a bird when looking at it, and I do feel I have used the whole paper in a good way. It is dominated by the yellow but I think the black and grey structure creates a balance of the drawing. I did feel – not bad - when I finished that and also looking at it now.

The first collage – I loved to make it. I continued with yellow and brain matter but I did develop it much further I think by the surrounding depictions of a buzz of information – letters and letters – and on the hair there are also musical notes – as most young people now are letting stream into their ears continuously during day and night. I feel I succeeded quite well – I made a change and I made a considerable development of both concept and materials. I played and I structured. I did deliberately think of the form – and used mainly square and rectangular forms – a small deviation on the last fold of the yellow fabric – to make it a bit more interesting. The round brain form breaks the monotony of the rectangular domination – perhaps – it could have been made bigger and bolder and more dominating looking at it now afterwards. I do think it became quite an interesting piece – as it would give rise to some curiosity as to what it means or could mean, and I think people would feel that the yellow probably is depicting a piece of clothing and the “brainy intertwined” ribbons and bands probably would be interpreted as hair?? That means it is a bit more interesting than in case it would all have been obvious!

The last collage I think became really funny with a sense of humour and some cheekiness. When I turned that line drawing upside down – the picture was already clear in my mind. Looking for some new materials compared to what I had used before, I chose a different colour scale which also I feel made the finished piece more interesting and bold. I think the overall balance in that picture became rather good, and the red decorations break the monotone colour scale as does a bit the decorations on the “wall paper” which frames the picture to some extent.

The stitched impression became rather more extensive than anticipated – however I did it deliberately – as I had not stitched a “drawing” for so many years and really enjoyed it! Now – I think I succeeded fairly well – it became a lovely and beautiful picture. If it is very interesting – I am not quite sure. I feel the addition of the shiny foil added quite some more interest to the picture – and well – not too bad.


Finally summarizing – I think the result of the first drawings were rather boring – I believe I had not yet entered into a mind of my own. I might have been making the drawings more to a formal expectation – perhaps. I gradually developed a bit more fierce confidence along the process of drawing and I also enjoyed the more I “dared” to do according to my own mind. I am more attracted to the combination of collage and drawing – using all different kinds of material to combine into surprising effects. It is also something that can create interesting surface structure and some depth in a picture without having the skill in drawing such effects. I did love to make the stitched piece of work but feel that is somewhat separate from the others – partly because I devoted quite a few hours to make it.

I have a feeling that the lack of skills in drawing and to depict desired structures by pure drawing tips my balance towards collage and drawing in combination. That might also be why I also loved to make that big colourful drawing, making use of strong colours also somehow creates bold and obvious effects which can attract untrained eyes which do not see obvious shortcomings as somebody trained would do. The same holds true to some extent for my stitched drawing – the fact that I could use quite some lovely effects due to the material I happened to have – the result was rather interesting with a few beautyspots on that piece of work! 

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