11 Drawings

In the end I chose 11 drawings for the assessment, though there are probably two that shouldn’t have been included. I think I have hung on to them for the wrong reasons. A bit like a pair of stupidly tight hip-bruising jeans. I was pleased with them at one point but I see them differently now. Alas the package has been sent, too late to pull them out.

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life class

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I went to this class with the aim of avoiding my usual heavy outlines. Of course the minute I got going I forgot…and was left trying to pull it back in the last couple of minutes. The entire front body was in shadow but I ran out of time to complete. Foot should probably be bigger. Areas where body and background are almost the same tone – like bottom thigh – are tricky, but even here my line is probably too much.

When I start to look at areas of shadow it seems to throw up mistakes so next time I will try (again) to work in areas of tone alongside line. If that’s at all possible?

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Jessica Warboys, Tate St Ives

 

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Sea Painting, Dunwich, 2015, Jessica Warboys via tate.org.uk

Warboys made these paintings in separate locations and they relate not only to those locations but (in the way they hang) to the spaces they have been exhibited in. The canvases are soaked by the sea, mineral pigments are applied by a combination of the sea’s own movement and the dragging and folding of the canvas by the artist.

*The above painting is titled Sea Painting, Dunwich (Suffolk) both on the Tate official postcard and website for this exhibition, however the paintings on display at Tate St Ives were painted at Zennor, near St Ives. Photographs were not allowed at Tate St Ives and I can’t find any online.

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Jessica Warboys, production still via BritishArtShow8.com

The idea of this group of paintings and the process by which they were made excites me more than the works themselves. I do get a sense of the rocks of the far west of Cornwall: the rocks, lichen and gorse, but not the sea itself, though the sea of course has made the rocks, lichen and gorse what they are, and put them in their place. But perhaps I shouldn’t be looking for the crashing waves on these canvases. Maybe I should see them as a recording of what the sea has done to the land, printed on to blank canvas.  Some seem to work much better than others. Some of the St Ives panels felt quite tame to me, quite empty, while some I’ve seen online are more full.

Interestingly, Jessica Warboys herself says that she is “… not concerned with how the tableau looks or appears as I make a sea painting, but with the result or record of the process.” (Warboys, (2017)). In the British Art Show 8’s own video she explains that in the making she is “trying not to compose”  and though she describes the result as an “immediate and undirected print of the place” admits that as she does more of these works she gets more of a feel of how the pigment will settle on the canvas. 

I love the scale of these pieces, and the material they’ve been painted on. I would like to have been able to touch and smell them for the sea but they were for looking only. Despite the space they manage to take up in the curved entrance of Tate St Ives I couldn’t help but find them a little pale and empty. The boldness of the Tate building itself and the proximity of the sea is a tough act to stand next to. Probably better to work with it than to try and compete, as I felt these canvases were trying to do by nature of their very size.

References

Warboys, (2017). [online] Available at: http://www.britishartshow8.com/artists/jessica-warboys-1505 [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). Jessica Warboys Sea Paintings (2015-16) at BAS8. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arQJ0F1l6lI [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

Tate. (2017). Jessica Warboys – Exhibition at Tate St Ives | Tate. [online] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-st-ives/exhibition/jessica-warboys [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

sketchbook

Thinking about what my tutor has said about outlines. I do tend to go in too heavy.  Really trying to think about how outlines are outlines because of the shadow behind them, and sometimes the tone is so similar there is almost no outline to speak of.

The problem came up lately in relation to my figure drawings though I know I’m susceptible to an outline. So I’m practising on pears – just a step away from the human body! Life class tomorrow, hoping to be able to apply the same approach.

Sketchbook

Most drawings in my sketchbooks relate to coursework. In this section are unrelated sketches alongside the results of a local art class and those sketches from a drop-in life drawing group that weren’t completed in Part Four. Also two short workshops taken just before the start of Drawing One.


August 2017

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Gulls across the rooftops in Cornwall. Fascinated by the geometry of the rooftops punctuated by these extraordinary birds – all heavy white muscular chest giving way to dark grey and black wing tips. Tips which look insignificant when they are perched on a rooftop but then you see the entire wing unfold and take to the skies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting the way the white crayon works with the charcoal of the wing tips – the charcoal can’t sit well on it but this creates not a blur but almost the feeling of a flash – against light or in movement. Thinking about possible crops.

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Bill Brandt, ‘Early Morning on the River, London Bridge’, about 1935, 2. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd via V&A vam.ac.uk

Thinking about gulls reminds me of a favourite photograph by Bill Brandt – the result of two negatives in one print and the addition of the sunrise later. There’s a real sense of the muscular force of the gull, its effortless glide against the blur of industry.

 

reflection on feedback: part five

 

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My tutor’s feedback on part five begins with “…I believe you have finally made a breakthrough with your drawing”. And while it fills me with relief to read this, I think I  knew it myself. I almost didn’t need to be told. And surely that in itself is a sign that something has changed.

The feedback is positive, with pointers only towards artists to research and art theory to read.

There are reminders not to overthink future assignments and not to concentrate on one final outcome as this approach doesn’t work (for me).  And observation that my focus on drawing itself rather than the final piece has “enabled your drawing to become looser and evolve in a more ambitious way than we have previously seen in your other assignments”

Time is tight, and my plan was to ‘revisit’ Assignment Four, but it already feels like it was done by someone else. I’ve taken a look at it but it feels closed to me now so I’ve started afresh. I’ve started drawing and we’ll see what turns up! It’s about the journey after all, and not the destination.