Thursday, 27 July 2017

Module 6 Chapter 5

Repeat Patterns.

I started this chapter by doing a few drawings of the most obvious pattern in my photographs and that was the wooden bridge.



I then looked at one of my drawings of wild garlic to see if I could get a pattern from there.


I took a section off using part of the flower and part of the adjoining leaf.

Shortly after doing these I went for a walk in the valley and took some more photographs of it in summer finery.  This then gave me a new set of ideas to work with.


This is the boardwalk that runs all down one side of the river.  It is made of wood with non-slip strips attached to it.  I drew the design on a sheet of A4 paper, cut it out and then cut it into various sized strips.  I glued these into my sketchbook in a random order then isolated one section as a pattern.


This section was photocopied several times to give me enough pieces to do the repeat pattern.  I did two versions, one of which I coloured with watercolour pencils.


This design is from the trees in the valley with their reflections in the water creating a triangular pattern.  I then decided to make it look more organic and did the one below.  I photocopied the first piece and cut it up and reorganised the pieces to make the lower pattern which could then be repeated.

After this I looked through my new photographs and found this one which had a 'spray' leaf shape.


This made some nice simple repeat designs.


I then took the shape and cut lots of paper leaves out and placed them on the paper as if they were a clump in the woods.  I painted the backgrounds brown to represent the soil.

I then decided to cut the same shape in autumn colours to look like the dead leaves but when they are placed in this way, they look a lot more like a fire.

I then used the leaf and the boardwalk designs within a grid and although I tried to place the shapes randomly, I still managed to get some repeats quite close to each other.


I photocopied my paper piece and marked up some areas that I thought might make interesting designs.

I drew a simplified version of the box on the left and coloured it in.

 I then traced off a copy of it into my sketchbook and then I traced it onto clear plastic..

This is two versions of the two copies.

This is three copies.


This is five copies

This is seven copies.

An interesting chapter this.  I enjoyed looking for the patterns and drawing and printing them.  The boardwalk designs shows that a very simple beginning can develop into a very complex design.




Thursday, 13 July 2017

Module 6 Chapter 4

Taking a closer look

This chapter was about looking closely at a drawing and selecting areas to study further.  I started off by making small drawings of some of the photographs I had taken.  I hope you can see these pencil marks.

The first one is the river with the trees alongside.

This second one is the wild garlic.  It's difficult to get the flowers right but I think this will work better with a stamp.  I shall try that in a later chapter.

The third one is marsh marigolds which grow along the river bank.

From here I did two more drawings from a section of the ones above.



I then photocopied these and coloured them using acrylics, watercolours and gouache. 


My river is a bit too dark but I liked the effect I go on these backgrounds/

Feeling a bit adventurous I then did a painting of the river and trees which I did without any drawing, painting straight onto the paper.


I have been painting papers with my final book in mind and have some lovely pieces that would make a background for this part of the river.  
Although I have chosen a topic that doesn't easily offer design shapes because the foliage is dense and there is very little but foliage, I am glad I chose this as my topic for my book.  I think it will come together in the end.  I have been out photographing the area with it's summer plumage on and it is very much richer than it was in spring.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Module 6 Chapter 3

Pen and Ink Drawing.

I have taken a few photographs in Forge Valley and am about due to go and take some more showing the change in the scenery for summer.  These drawings are based on what I took earlier in the spring.  I find drawing a bit daunting but actually using a felt drawing pen seems slightly easier than using a pencil.  My efforts are still not very good though.



These are my trials using different pens.  I hope you can see it, the original photograph was very dark and I have brightened it but it looks a bit too pale here compared to in my file.  I have used dip pen and ink, biro and various sized drawing pens.

Choosing from my photographs was quite difficult.  I have accidentally done chapter 4 before chapter 3 and so I have used certain of my photographs there so I didn't want to use the same ones in chapter 3.  That might have worked out differently if I had done them in the correct order.  I have chosen one that I have repeated and two new ones for these drawing.


I love this part of the river.  I am walking along the boardwalk and this is in shadow just before you come out into the sunshine.  I don't think my finished book is going to depend on my drawing techniques, I am planning ideas for a different paper and paint approach.


This is a beautiful tree.  It has a rope attached to one branch and has been a swing for many generations.  In fact, a pit has been worked in for children to swing across.  I can manage this type of drawing better as it is more of a feeling than careful lines.


I loved this plant although I have no idea what it is.  When I saw the photograph I put it aside as being too difficult to replicate.  However, I decided that I could maybe give it a go with the pens and I am reasonably pleased with the result.  It does look a bit like the flower.  It might still be a bit difficult to take through to my final piece but I won't dismiss it altogether.

Not such a good chapter for me.  Photographs like the tree trunk I would go straight into working it out in stitch and fabric, maybe doing several samples using different threads and fabric, the others I would probably leave alone.  Sometimes I come back to things a couple of years later because I can incorporate it with something else but I rarely sit and try to draw from a photograph.  The next few chapters are more in my line.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Chapter 2

Free Standing Books

I like books of any description and enjoyed looking on the internet at what other people do.  I chose the following three books for their distinctive ideas.  Please excuse the colour and my yellow is empty but there is plenty in the blue and red so I am loath to change it yet.


Top left is a triple layer book with cut out pages to look like a building with rooms inside.  The bottom left is a circular book with pockets for pictures and objects.  The book on the right is a double layer with pages torn to interpret the writing on the front and back pages.  This is quite a simple book but very effective.

I started my own samples by doing some Origami Books.  These are pieces of paper folded and cut in certain ways and then refolded in a concertina to make little books.  I used some soft paper that had been in a shoe box and I did some rubbing from some old leaf templates that I had.  The first rubbing was using Inktense sticks which has produced an interesting paper but is very messy and rubs off every time you touch it.  The other two I used oil pastels which were much cleaner but not as interesting.


This is the Inktense model.


These two are the oil pastels.  The bottom one got unfolded and I am not sure, looking at this photo, that I have refolded it right.

I then had a go at the flag book.  I followed the instructions in the course notes as I had never done this one before.  I used some plain card which I covered with papers and pictures. The flags are made from scraps of painted and printed papers from my stash.


I then made a book similar to one I had seen in Shereen LaPlantz book Cover to Cover,  This is constructed from card magazine covers and a printed page from a magazine.  I folded the card into similar sized strips as the one above then cut a rectangle from the middle of each page.  I then cut a strip of paper the same width as the card book and the same height as the opening and folded it in the same way.  I then threaded this strip through the holes and glued the ends to the back of the book.

This is the reverse side of the book and shows the paper folded through the holes and glued at the back.  I was quite pleased that this one worked out  as well as it did.

This little book used up the leftovers from the other two.  I cut the orange strip down its folds to make three folded pieces which I then glued into the yellow folded card down the folds.  They would probably be better stitched if I wanted to use this technique.  I have staggered the positions of the cards to make it more interesting.




For this one I have used some old yellow and pink card  that I had.  I have folde the A4 card into two and machined down the fold leaving a small channel.  I have then cut into the channel at regular intervals then threaded a barbecue stick through them alternating between two cards.  I have done this before with fabric and find that more forgiving if you haven't cut your channels quite evenly. If you carry on adding pages you can make a full circle which makes an interesting book.  The sticks can be trimmed or painted and decorated.

You can go on forever making books.  I love doing it but then end up with piles of them that I am not sure what to do with.  One thing I do need to be aware of - I am not very good at accuracy.  That is why I don't do patchwork.  I need to keep my book fairly simple but with impact.  I will only get into a mess if I try to do complex cutting!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Module 6 Chapter 1

Choosing a theme.

I looked at some of the suggested artists and how they interpret landscapes.  I find Stanley Spencer's work full of detail.  You can look for hours and still find things you missed earlier.



I had two postcards of Hockney's work.  The tall trees is an inkjet printed computer drawing and photo collage which I think is brilliant.  The small postcard of trees is a watercolour and the stitched piece above it is one I did from the postcard for an exhibition.  I chose the other three pieces from the internet as they are the opposite of the Spencer paintings.  To me they are calm depictions of a country lane of which there are many near me.

Choosing my theme was quite difficult and I am still not sure if I have made the right choice.  I went over lots of places I have visited and loved such as Venice, Peru and New York but discarded them because even though I have the photographs, I wouldn't be able to revisit them to check on a detail.  Also, the photographs don't always create the atmosphere that you remember.  So I reduced my choices to two - Scarborough and Forge Valley.   Scarborough is set around two bays that are very different to each other.  The north bay is quiet with Victorian hotels and beach huts and a long sandy beach with rock pools.  The south bay is all amusement arcades, fun fairs, ice cream and fish and chips.  Forge Valley is a deep ravine forged by melt water at the end of the ice age.  It has a road running through it alongside a river and is full of trees and vegetation. I set out my arguments in my sketchbook.
The Scarborough side has such a lot in it.  I would have to choose one of the bays I think and then whittle it down to just a few topics.  Forge Valley could be blended together, it wouldn't matter if things were in the wrong place or even in the wrong season.  Another advantage is that it is only a few minutes walk from my door so I could easily go and check if I had got something right or if the season had changed anything.  So Forge Valley it is.

I have several books as well as some by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn to help me with this project.

Having decided what I am going to do, I took my camera down into the valley on bank holiday monday when the weather was glorious.



Masses of wild garlic around.




It really is a beautiful place and it is such a shame that you can't photograph birdsong.  A bit further on from where I walked there are bird tables out and you can park there and watch the birds come to feed.  I used to take my daughter there when she was little.  I have found lots of lichens in the woods here and have done some pieces of work for our next exhibition based on them.  In the autumn the ground is just a mass of red and bronze leaves and in the winter it gets very cold down there and snow can last for quite a while.  I sneaked a crayon into my pocket and a couple of pieces of paper and did some of tree rubbings. 

I think these might come in useful. I also have a collection of leaves that I collected last autumn, I need to go and find them.

I don't usually do a lot with flora and fauna but having just worked on lichens, I have got a bit more of an interest in it so I think this topic will be good for me.  The Scarborough one would have been a challenge as I think perspective would have come into it a bit more and that is something I am not very good at. Maybe I will do that when I have got more confidence.