Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Anticipating summer school

I'm anxiously awaiting the start of my summer school, a Drawing class.  This will mean I have something to occupy me every Friday for the next 6 weeks, and will complete one module of the four I need to complete in Semester 1.   I'm ready to get stuck into another class.  In the meantime, I will occupy the next 3 days on my visual diary.

This morning was bright, sunny and windy.  Jim and I set off at 6.45 and cycled to Riverton Pool.  I managed 900m on front/back crawl medley and Jim did 1100m on full medley.  It really makes me feel virtuous - 2 x 30 minutes cycling and 30 minutes swimming.

Then we were home by 9.30, so I decided to take myself to Kings Park to get back to drawing some plants.  I've been thinking about my next print project, and I want it to be about my Study Abroad experience.  I want the base layer to be a locked-in repeat pattern, but with hand positioned overprinting, to accentuate the handworked quality of the print.  The imagery I have in mind will combine Perth/Curtin themes, along with University of Herts ones.  So the first stage of design development will be to create hand drawn sketches/copies of documentation of:

Perth/Curtin themes:
Plants - banksia, kangaroo paw, boab, ...
Curtin logo
Curtin results
Kangaroo/emu coat of arms
Black swans
Southern Cross
Flight details
Tickets - air, theatre
Road signs
Surf signs

Themes from Herts:
Herts logo
Letters from home

The plan for this is to show where I come from, and where I've been, some things I've achieved, and things that fix this experience in time.  I'm not quite clear about how I fix the design in its time.  I might need to find a modern building, new train stock, or something else that will identify with 2012 in Perth.  Some of the imagery that I want to include comes from the postcards that I sent to Lisa.  I hope I can reproduce them as well as I did on the postcards.  I have the scrappy sketches in my visual diary of the roadtrip, but these are not as good as the postcards.  Still, I have a couple of days, if the weather is too hot to go out, I can work from photos that Jim and I took when travelling last month.

It was brilliantly sunny and breezy in Kings Park, and I spent a very happy 2 hours, sitting in shady spots, drawing the boab trees, and different forms of Banksia (there are many).  I think I'm starting to get the hang of sketching en-plein air.  I've now started working in an A4 visual diary.  This is bigger than A5 and gives me more space to work - I like working large and found A5 very restrictive.  I have learned to work in black fine line marker only.  A visual diary and a couple of pens are very portable. I find the discipline of fine line marker makes me spend more time observing structure, shape and form, which are critical in print.  Colour can be added later, from notes on the side of the page.  Reality of colours is less important in the print process, than the accuracy of observation - colour development and variable colourways are a separate set of design tools.  

Photo tomorrow - very slow uploading tonight so I've given up!
After 2 hours, I felt I had taken enough sun (even with factor 50 on) and took the 37, and 31 buses back to Salter Point, where Jim was waiting with a fresh pot of tea!

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