Category Archives: musings

future memories and 360 degree videos

my videoblogging friend Rupert Howe recorded some 360 degree video I haven’t seen/used 360 cam before. it was weird to watch too-to be able to change the view and the video kept going. hard to tell what was me choosing or orig view. but it’s actually both. original view is just the starting reference point I guess? am wondering how this changes ‘image as a point in time’ idea. when you *can* see whole scene. different way of process memories?

yes, will think more on this: how does the 360 degree camera footage change future memories – when you *can* see the whole scene

encryption dress

with all the talk of data retention and vintage (clothes) stores & work stuff this week, I had a great dream about an encryption dress this morning. I couldn’t find anything in the store that I liked, then finally chose a dress & said this’ll do. turns out it had an encryption chip in it. we couldn’t find the pricelist card for it — flat, vertical cards covered in plastic frames — sort of like house listings in the window of the real estate offices. had to scan through heaps of them – layers and layers. & seems to be waterproof also as the dress becomes swimwear/togs too (changes). lots of dream spent on adventure looking for it. turns out it cost $100K due to software licence. but they waived it & I got to keep the dress & encrypted all communications from then on. I was trying to work out how it worked without a keyboard to enter passphrase. but it was new tech. touch was all that was needed. I was also worried about the chip being so close to my heart (physical location) but it was proven to be safe to wear. good dream. chip was like a square button, sewn into the fabric. gather & press to activate. the encryption dress and chip were waterproof too because at some points in the dream it turned into togs/swimmers and I was in the water, I think when I was looking for the pricecards.

maybe it means I should get back to working on the flora gps test – flora’s working, & gps  arrived recently

draw what you see and not what you know

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.

artgraf bee

I’ve been trying out my new artgraf water soluable graphite tonight with another drawing of a bee for my theme. I think it’s sometimes called watercolour graphite. I put water in the lid and found my paintbrush and tried it out. I haven’t got the bee shapes right yet but I love the variations in lightness and darkness of the graphite. there’s even a slight shimmer and sparkle to it in this dim light. will see if it’s still there in the morning daylight.

I shouldn’t have tried the background wash though.. 🙁 don’t like it atm

another in (hotel room) biro practicing hatching (with wonky bee shape still)

craft versus art musings


– make a mind map & taxonomy of craft vs art (fine art?) & map textiles into this
— applied function, purpose
— containers, coverings, adornment, tools (hand), machines

– plato’s forms

– machines – sadie plant article

– craft objects found all around the world from archaeological digs. in the future will they find all of our landfill, rubbish and think it was our art/ craft? how much will dissolve/break down?

– early. biomimicry by humans let us survive and evolve. look at bee flower petal nest

craft as biomimicry
art as self…

sketching and seeing

i think I’ve been improving with some of my sketching.. or rather seeing. I think i’m starting to see things differently – the shapes and lines rather than only the overall shape and outline. still a lot of practice to do, and there’s still plenty of fails, but when i concentrate more on looking and seeing and not the drawing, I end up being happier with the drawings. something to remember going forwards..

update 22/11/2014: see this later post on draw what you see and not what you know

red velvet stitched circuit — blinking led

red velvet stitched circuit — blinking led

testing the conductive thread. it’s conductive, hurrah

I left the hoop on to stabilise it a bit whilst I had it connected to the computer. it’s the tutorial on adafruit site, though I modified their circuit pattern into the circles & didn’t have the clips to test it. checked it with my multimetre instead after stitching. one thing to remember is once the usb cable’s connected it tends to flip the fabric. I need to play more & see if it really is now ‘programmed’ (I think so) ie will it run without the computer if I power it by battery/something else. but yeah, no soldering, only stitching. have to think of something else besides leds now – they seem to be the “hello world” of wearable tech


it’s an adafruit flora processor + neo pixel v2 led & conductive thread. I bought some other things like a light/colour detector & flexible solar panel & more leds. will think of something to try them out

Andy Warhol’s blotted line print drawings

When I was in my early 20s I used to read many books about Andy Warhol. One is “Warhol” by David Bourdon. I picked it up again today and started reading / flipping through it again. I love Warhol’s early commercial work — he developed a technique called “blottled line” printing. so, wanting to know more about it, I searched the net and found the following links:

Blotted Line — Learn Warhol’s Commercial Illustration Technique from The Andy Warhol Museum website. they had a video too — I won’t embed it as it’s a private video, but it’s useful to see how the technique is done. I also found a class instruction sheet for blotted line drawing.

basically, you trace an image in pencil on tracing paper, then ink the underside of the tracing in multiple small sections, and then press down onto the paper to print it. Warhol left in the small ink blots as part of the charm of his drawings. when I’d first seen them I thought he’d just drawn them in ink. but, by using this printing technique, he was able to create multiple versions — and make slight changes, which he could show to the advertising agencies so there was more chances of them liking one of his drawings. keep in mind he was using this technique in the late 1940s and 1950s prior to computers. according to the book, he would work on each drawing all day and into the night, creating different versions. once the printing inks were dry, he’d colour the drawings with watercolours — the video shows ink-dropper bottles of liquid watercolour — I want to try these! I’ve only got tubes and a pan of tablet style watercolours at home to use. sometimes, he’d add gold foil to the drawings for extra effect.

there’s another tutorial on Warhol’d rubber stamping technique too, so I’ll look at this also too.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a photo of one of Warhol’s gold leaf ink drawings of a shoe, from 1956.


here’s my first attempt at blotted line printing
I didn’t have proper tracing paper so I had to improvise and use Bank Layout paper, but I found it wasn’t transparent enough so I modified the procedure and printed the reverse image. I found that the ink dried very quickly and soaked into the paper, especially at the ends of the lines so there’s *large* blots on the page and really thick lines. I used a bamboo pen and black indian ink (Winsor & Newton). as the print looked a bit rough, I thought I’d brighten it up with some brusho powder paints and water. the colours bled/ran quite a lot but I love their effects. the page always looks best when the brusho paints are still wet and glossy so the photo below is in this state. I’ll take another once it dries — the colours will be more faded unfortunately.

original sunflower image: (on a greeting card that I purchased)

the printing process and ink print:

after the printing ink dried I added some brusho colours — it looks best when still wet and glossy. I’m not sure how to keep it in this state. maybe a fixative would help lock in the glossiness? I only used green, yellow, orange and crimson (red), but the powders have a mixture of colours in them so there’s some lovely blues appearing too

trying this technique really makes you appreciate Warhol’s skill at it. I’ll try again with tracing paper and an ink pen with nib to see if I can get the lines finer, but if you look at his lines and dots they are very fine! the blots / dots are almost like drawn dots. his images in this style would be good to stitch too — I love the one shown above with the faces — it’s both fresh and quirky. with his printing, it’s often about which lines he included and which were left out too — the decisions he made were quite amazing, and gave character to the drawings. I think he worked in this way for around 10 years and was well known as New York’s leading shoe illustrator. I can see how this printing technique led to his expertise in screen printing later in his life too.

second attempt:

this time I used tracing paper, and a pen + fine nib. though even using the fine nib pen still caused large blobs on the page. I tried turning the nib over and found this was better. it made some of the small dots as seen in Warhol’s prints. obviously there’s still a long way until this is as fine and clean as his work, but I can see now how some of the thin lines and dots were made.


& I used the brusho powders in a different way to how I usually do too. this time I put some powder into a paint tray and then sprayed it with water. liquid paint — it reminds me of the St Martins. (have found a place that sells them though they mentioned ink instead of watercolour dyes, so I’m just clarifying before purchasing)


I tried some more later after purchasing higher quality (architect’s film) tracing paper and was much happier with the results.

see assignment 2 project 4 stage 2

hearts, suns and bees

some more theme ideas… hearts, suns or bees

I’ve started doing an online stitching class called whispering hearts with Jude Hill. it’s a really great class — I’ve read through all the posts from when the class was run live in 2011, and will listen to the audio “whisperings” and watch the videos in the next few weeks when I have a better internet connection. the theme is hearts. it’s great to see Jude go through the process of doodling ideas in a sketchbook, make some small stitched fabric samplers and then stitch the final selections into a larger piece. this is what I’ll have to do for my theme work for class (I think).

I like the hearts theme too — I’m not really into pink and girly colours and hearts but after seeing some that Jude made and some of the ideas around them I think it’s good to try something out of my comfort zone of technology-based topics.

other possible themes might be the sun, or bees — something fairly simple, recognizable, easy enough for me to draw (with my basic drawing skills), something that allows me to stitch in circles (a favourite thing to do atm), and somethings that have wider meaning. bees could be good for the problems happening in the world atm where many of the bees are dying off and it’s causing problems with food supply and the cycle of life. also, the colour themes could work out well and I can probably draw them in circles and stripes — quite striking patterns. and it would mean that it’s different to the hearts and “suns and moons” themes of Jude’s classes (so I can be inspired by her working methods but not copy the pieces). yes, bees.. this could work out.

I think if I choose something too complicated at the moment then I’ll be creating too much work for myself and likely get frozen by too many possibilities, so I think it’s best I stick to something quite simple at this stage.