Collect together all your work to date from Part Two. Think about the work and pull out some ideas for a new artwork that builds on some o the things you’ve already achieved. make a brief notes in your earning log about your choices and directions.
Work in your sketchbook or on loose sheet with compositions that set a single collaged element into a drawing. Experiment as widely as possible with scale and all the other aspects of the composition. Try to avoid making too many decisions in advance – let the process speak to you.
Experiment with different materials too – both drawing and collage. In particular, consider the relevance of how the collaged element is attached. Is it embedded? Does it read as being part of the same space? Is it a liftable flap?
Reflective on the relative compositional weights of the two elements. How powerful, for example, would a small photographed figure be in a simple line drawing or a leaf skeleton embedded in a drawing made with encaustic?Make notes in your learning log
Review all your experimentation and either make a final piece in response to this exercise or select one or more of your exercises as being the most successful.
In this Part two, the work of Cy Twombly and Lappin Morgan have inspired me a lot. I feel confident and hopeful with my artwork when I read about someone like Cy because of his audacity to have exposed his art without any concerning of what people would say or think . His art is very conceptual and knowing how his process worked and how it brings value and grandiosity to his pieces is eye opening for a “wanna be” artist like me. I also believe that in his art , scale made a big difference. His lines and movements are not limited to a small space and has the energy that I think only in that freedom of space it can be expressed. Before I decided on those two collage/mixed media artwork above, I had a go ” a la Twombly”. I just wish I could go for big drawings but I don’t have any room in my home to work in big scale. Nevertheless, working in A3 size drawings provided me with a feel of abstract expressionism and scale. I wanted to use one of the drawings as a back ground for another collage work but in the end my “a la Twombly” turned out to be a big scale panel of all the drawings together . My first ever collage/mixed media artwork ” Playing out and about” was kind of a warm up and I didn’t expect to have such a nice result. It looks playful, fun and balanced to me, I hope my mentor sees it the same way! The second one “Let’s say youth is timeless” has the concept of Ageing. I chose two people that I admire more and more as they age : Iris Apfel who is 97 years old and Yayoi Kusama, 89 years old. They are still working and creating which shows to me that time is nothing when you do what you are meant to . The symbology of the moon is connect to female. In Wiccan believe, the moon is feminine. There are a few theories that wants to prove how women and moon are related. Tarot cards, in some other religions, menstrual cycles and moods. The happy skull symbolize death as something good, and also in tarot card, the symbol death is more about renovation, to let die the old and welcome the new. The clocks broken symbolise that time is not important but for me it is very frustrating and annoying. I guess that is why I have them all broken. The last two things I included is the flower that looks like a vagina shape and it brings that powerful feminine feeling. Finally the polka dots representing the style of Yayoi Kusama as well as drops of blood from women’s menstrual cycles.
Reflection on exercise 2.4 – Adding Collaged Element
I feel improvements every time I start a new module/part in this course. I am so sure that I am studying exactly what I have always wanted to and it has been so far a very rewarding journey. Trying collage for the very first time was hard. I felt so stiff and insecure .I had no idea how it works and have finished two interesting artwork is a good sign of progress. I wish I had more time to keep trying new materials and mixed more in terms of media. Collage is definitely time consuming and preparing a bank of images is one of the first steps to make it more effective. I focused as much as I could into those two pieces of work and other exercises. I think my conceptual work ” Let’s say youth is timeless” is not as visually as good as the first one ” Playing out and about” but it made more sense to me and made me think more of how to find images to translate the message I wanted to. I have kept the moon watercolour painting for a couple years now. I liked it but never knew what was missing. It was plain and boring. As soon as I decided to use it as a background, the firm idea of depicting the feminine, connected to ageing, power, time and life all popped out of my mind. With these concepts in mind, it became easier to look for images. However, even though my ” Playing out and about” has no concept, it was a great experience of just creating something balanced, harmonious and pleasant to the eyes. It was a different kind of work to look for images. I just picked what I liked and was more concerning of how to put them together in a harmonious and beautiful ways. Both artwork was a way of learning that mixed media can be visual or conceptual or both. There are no rules and artists have the freedom to work as they wish to send the message they want to.
Collect together four large pieces of found paper with an interesting pattern or image. You might use a Sunday supplement illustration, wrapping paper, graph paper or a poster. Paste each of these to one half of an A2 sheet to that you have four half covered sheets. You may need to manipulate the found material to get it to fit, for example by scanning and copying it to enlarge it, or you may decide it suits the materials better to crop the support paper.
Now, using any drawing material you enjoy using or which suits the subject, make a drawing on the other half of the paper which complements, subverts or extends the found material in some way. You may have an image of a tree and simply extend the branches, or you may have a street scene without people and decide to draw tiny person on the other side. You may want to include text. Your response might be very visual – a need to balance something on one half; or it might be conceptual – a call and response in some sense.
Repeat this for the other three sheets. Will you use the same material? Do the works operate as a series or are they very different?
In the first image (1), I chose a page of a beautiful illustrated book for kindergarten children and I just tried a more soft but similar image with watercolour.
The second one (2) was a poster from my kids bedroom. I chose part of it and created something based on the image. I am not sure it is an extension but is as if a continued a story from the first scene in a cartoon like drawing.
In the third image (3) I use a left piece of wallpaper I had kept from long ago. I wasn’t sure how to do the exercise although I understood the steps/criteria. I tried to keep a similar pattern, with small changes and alike texture. I used soft pastels for it. It was an extension of the original image .
The last one (4) I chose a paper bag pattern that I like. It is simple but the square repetition with whatlooks like arrows around it, is somehow cute. I decide to follow the pattern but change the colours and the look of it. As if I kept the concept but gave some fun look to it. I used felt pen and markers.
Reflection on Exercise 2.3- Putting one thing next to another
I think my Juxtapositions were quite harmonious. I wanted to be dissonant but somehow it didn’t happen when I start drawing, I tend to follow what I see rather then disconnect and crash images. I guess I just like harmony.Or it could be a insecure feeling of not being able to match the criteria.I am still concerning about my ability to understand the exercises although I have been using English language for more than 20 years. I read it a few times, visualise, give it a try, read again and check. It sometimes become a bit of a methodic process. It doesn’t happen in every exercises but maybe for this particular one I didn’t feel very relaxed . Among all the four exercises I like the number 2 best: The Dinosaur image. It had a good continuation, it was definitely an extension to the original image. In exercise 1 I had in mind a more abstract feeling of using more the colours than the actual images seen… I really don’t know what happen but there is nothing abstract about it. It turned out to be a soft, watercolour version of the original. I think the number 3 and 4 were just an extension of the images… a bit boring, and I think it is like that because I didn’t enjoy this exercise very much. It always a good thing to do what I don’t enjoy very much, I have to focus and try my best to learn something out of it. I feel that my collage and mixed media works started from 0 and I am slowly feeling a progress. Maybe I am going up to a 4 or 5 now if I could rate it.
Choose interesting subject matter, consider still life or something smaller where you can control the light source
Collect together more collage material. Found paper or a combination
Make a simple tonal collage
Remember to be just as specific about shadows and shapes that are cast outside of your objects.
By the end of the process try to add one piece of white and one piece of black . In other words, try to ensure that you have the full tonal range from black to white in your collage.
Reflection on Exercise 2.2- Using collage to be specific about tone
This was a simple exercise but not very easy as I spent a fair amount of time searching for pieces of paper to create a total tonal range for my image. Although it was a very simple composition, sometimes it is difficult to find a certain amount of the colours needed, for instance, I have struggled keeping the red tonal range I wanted. I had to search in many magazines to gather pieces to complete my image. To start with, I wasn’t sure how should I cut the paper… Would tearing be better than cut? Thin small strips of paper of just bigger cuts? My lemon was the hardest, trying to find the light spot that spreads in the middle of the fruit to darker tones of yellow/greenish at the edges where the light didn’t appear was hard. The avocado was easier, the darker colour dominated the whole shape and there was not much light spots in it. The shades of the fruits on the table worked well as the whole background. Overall it was a simple collage exercise but it took me a lot time to get use to cut, layer, look, put it apart and start glueing it. I am not sure If I made it harder than it is. Towards the end of the composition I started working better in finds scraps of paper and create a bank of colours by different shades.
Using scraps of my own work and offcuts I created a landscape in A3 paper.
It was a very fun journey to go through so many old drawings, finished and unfinished ones. Somehow I had many patterns drew on paper with different medias from long ago that I didn’t know what I could do with them but I am glad to put a lot of them together to create an image that I really like! Since it is my first collage, I don’t feel like drawing first with a pencil what I have in mind because I came to realise that my natural process was to take colours and pieces and position them in various ways until something I was happy with came out. To follow all the steps, I took pictures so I could keep coming back to previous combinations and make small or big changes. When I decided the landscape I wanted was completed then I carefully separate the layers to slowly start glueing the pieces on paper.
Reflection on Exercise 2.1 – Using collage to extend mark making
I truly enjoyed this exercise. It was very overwhelming at first as I like so many shapes and colours and the patterns I had on papers, but how to chose what fit together? How to combine them to create harmony and balance in an image? It took me some time to warm up, to keep changing the pieces and backgrounds and positions. I think collage is about the process more than the result. The great part of it is choosing pieces and colours which take a lot more time than putting a final piece together. It is important give many, many tries before making the decision and start glueing . I still feel that I am not very risky with my choices, I want to keep trying and not worry much about what makes sense or not. I am very concerning about the aesthetics but I want to be more conceptual and careless. It was a first try and I hope for my next collages to be more fun and unusual.