This was a project that challenged me in many ways. I guess time was the most difficult. I found it hard to work quickly through the activities, and I needed to reflect on each part more than previously. I was unhappy with my collage skills (my vision) and thus was disappointed with my outcomes. At the same time I really enjoyed some explorations, and found the sunflower and the bead studies very stimulating, and I had to make myself stop.
Did you manage to make space move?
This was an interesting exercise, and I have found myself looking at arrangements, at photos, at paintings, and at printed fabrics in a different way. I look at the impact of position, and see ‘blocks’ of movement as well as ‘blocks’ of colour. I have become very aware of positive and negative spaces and this is reflected in the sketches I now do, and at the objects that fascinate me. I think the shape studies in the beads work evolved to find the importance of space , and that was a good process to go through.
What are your thoughts about the drawings you did in Stage 3?
I have become more discriminating. I want to look beyond the object itself, but on its impact on its setting/environment. I was more successful where I was a bit driven and compulsive (eg with the beads), and where I wanted to find repetition, movement. When I worked on the peony, I found I was going back to earlier stages in Project 3, and so although it was valuable, it also taught the importance of shape and definition of line in your choice of subject matter. The diffused colours and patterns in the flower did not lend themselves to exploring shape for me. I think I will go back to this however, and will look again.
Were you able to use your drawings successfully as a basis for further work? Are there any other things you would like to try?
Yes, I think one thing I have gained here is an awareness that a sketch on its own is not enough. Well, if it is interesting it can be used in so many ways. I can pick out a small section and abstract lines, colours, textures that can then be developed into completely different sketches.My eye, and my imagination have grown. I am not sure of some of my skills however, and I feel that paints and collage are a struggle. Particularly collage. Maybe it is in my personal organisation, but recreating textures and shapes using papers and pieces is a challenge. I did a collage of the peony which was dreadful, and what I really needed to do was to paint and colour, fold and shape, but I was restricted. At the time I was disappointed with the naivety of my sunflower collages, but on reflection there are some aspects of the simplicity which match the shapes, but I do not think the textures are reflected well.
Now that you have a good working method, do you feel confident that you can carry on working in this way independently?
Yes I am sure that I have changed my way of working, I am sure that an initial sketch only starts the process, and the object of study is exactly that, an object that needs shapes and reflections, lines and colour patterns explored. I feel very much that I have had a taster, a starter method for working, and I will not be satisfied to look at only one aspect. I know it will lead to unexpected discoveries. I am aware however that I need to continually practice to hone skills, and most certainly to take collage further into account, again and again until I am closer to an acceptable outcome.