I’m reading “Drawing Projects – an exploration of the language of drawing” by Mick Maslen and Jack Southern as recommended by Sandra Flower, one of the OCA Textiles tutors. it looks like a very thorough book with some theory as well as many practical examples and exercises and analysis of artists’ work. at the start of the book is as section “What we know and what we see”. whilst this might seem to be a basic, easy concept, it’s one that I have forgotten so am including a couple of quotes here.
prior to this, the authors talk about how children draw what they see – “the drawing incorporates the child’s knowledge and experience [of the pond] as a whole body experience perceived through all of their senses, and not just through their eyes, or from a single point of view. In some ways, this is children’s drawings at its best, and perhaps it exemplifies something of what Picasso was searching for when he is reputed to have said that he had spent 80 years learning to draw like a child.” (page 10).
later, as the child becomes older, they learn more words and concepts and then (perhaps) start thinking their drawings are not perfectly matching reality, so they stop drawing. “Unfortunately most adults’ drawing skills do not develop beyond those of the young adolescents who gave up drawing. The world is full of educated people who, it is assumed, see the world as sophisticated adults, but draw like adolescents.” (page 11). I can relate to this! I stopped drawing after grade 10 art class, which was a very long time ago.
“When we are making drawings, we must learn to use ‘what we know’ selectively, and only when it helps us to communicate a clearer understanding of what it is we are attempting to describe in the drawing. Students are continuously told by their teachers to ‘look more carefully’, and to ‘draw what you see and not what you know’. The most common mistake we make is to draw our limited and ill-conceived knowledge as a pre-conceived fact, and in this case we are making it up from what is probably our poor and limited visual memory. As a general rule, it is always better to look very carefully, and draw what you see. Not looking intently enough usually results in using generalised and ‘unseen’ information that has been conceptualised and become fixed.” (page 22)
this is something I was coming to the realisation of when I made notes for my previous post on sketching and seeing.
tonight I watched videos on Zandra Rhodes’ tutorial page on her website. the first video about Sketchbooks was great. I liked how she speaks on photographs vs drawing in sketchbooks: “to me, i never get to know something unless I’ve drawn it & suffered it”
there’s also some great videos on screenprinting and making the prints for some of her fabrics. it’s interesting that she uses layout paper for her sketchbooks too – I might have to try that for the pens
Tutorial 1 Zandra Rhodes: Using sketchbooks from UCA Learning Technologists on Vimeo.also I started reading through “Indigo – The Colour that Changed the World” by Catherine Legrand, after finding it at Potts Point bookstore yesterday. I’ve almost bought this book a few times online, but hadn’t quite pressed submit on the order. it’s a visual feast – interesting to learn more about indigo following the shibori class I did a few weeks ago.
I’ve been reading and browsing through the book, “Drawn to stitch – Line, drawing and mark-making in textile art” by Gwen Hedley. she has some great examples and suggestions for mark-making, which I hope to try. the first part of the book talks about how to describe lines and mark-making. adding the info here so I remember to use it when describing some of my explorations – so far I’ve only uploaded the pictures, not written much about them.
from pages 9-11. “Drawn to stitch – Line, drawing and mark-making in textile art” by Gwen Hedley Line
think about characteristics and qualities of lines
are the lines:
– straight, curved, varied?
– geometric or contoured?
– man-made or organic?
– continuous or broken?
– jagged or even?
– dotted, dashed or both?
– thick, thin or varied?
– raised or recessed?
are the colours:
– pure or blended?
– muted or grey and dusty?
– bright or subdued?
– solid or broken?
– are the edges soft or hard?
– are there layers of colour? if so, what is the colour order?
is the surface texture:
– smooth or rough?
– shiny or dull and matte?
– flat or knobbly?
– complete or eroded?
– rigid, gritty, or sleek?
– opaque, transparent or translucent?
I’ve started reading a book by Victoria Finlay called “Colour: A Natural History of the Palette” where she travels and describes how some colours in art have been lost, beginning with a memory of her father telling her how the blue used in the stained glass windows in Chartres is no longer available. (some other sites now say it hasn’t been lost). I found an audio interview with Finlay on the ABC website.
I’ve only done a short class on colour theory for knitting and yarn/fibres a few years ago (end of 2010) with Shannon Oakey / knitgrrl, but as I am a slow knitter, I didn’t get it finished within the timeframe of the class – I shall have to dig up the notes and take another look. it’s been interesting and fun to explore colours. as part of the surface embroidery class exercises, I even tried painting my own colour wheel of primary and secondary colours to experiment with mixing colours and to make it easier to remember which colours are used. I am used to television (analog and digital) signals and colours which are different – we use RGB (red-green-blue) as the “primary” colours for pixels and screen colours, rather than red-yellow-blue as is used in art / paint mixing, so I keep having to remind myself of this “new” (different) colour scheme.
for one of the knitgrrl exercises we had to look at our yarn stash, select images of those colours from the Multicolr site and then arrange the yarn skeins into colour tone. then select a colour I like (I chose red for this exercise) + a colour I didn’t like (I chose green for this exercise) from my yarn stash and put them together, then knit a small colour swatch of the two. at that time I had mostly red and pink yarns as I was making some toys for friends’ children. my stash has since expanded in colour range. as Shannon said, “isn’t it amazing to see how even a color you don’t like can suddenly become interesting when it’s combined with one you DO like?”
>> multicolr : 1 colour – dark red
>> multicolr : 2 colours – dark red & lime green
>> 1. Arrange balls of your favorite color from left to right value-wise (light to dark) and snap a photo.
>> 2. Arrange balls of your favorite color from left to right tone-wise (based on saturation of color) and snap a photo.
>> 3. Find something (could be yarn, could be something else if you don’t have any yarn in this color) that’s the color you DON’T like very much and pick one ball of your favorite color yarn. Take a picture of them together.
> knit the yarns intothis pattern (I didn’t knit the swatch pattern correctly though – one day I will try this again)
Finlay, Victoria. 2002. Colour: A Natural History of the Palette. Random House.
explorations in textiles, mark making, drawing, sketchbooks, art school & uni art work