Saturday, 4 February 2012

Profound thoughts from Drawing class no 5

I've worked out something profound about my drawing style.  I know my designs tend to be busy, and I accept that this is a reflection of my busy life to date. 

However I've been struggling with drawing interesting lines and being able to apply them in my work in a compelling way that holds the attention.  And what I've worked out is that although I can draw all sorts of irregular, unconventional lines, when I apply them to my work, the way that I draw them is "consistently irregular".  When our eyes see something consistent, the brain intervenes very quickly, saying "recognise that ... categorise it ... move on".  So consistent things get quickly scanned and passed by.

So if I can create lines that are irregular, it must be the consistency that is limiting the interest in what I create.  And if I think about my working life, consistency in the application of policy and procedure was a large part of the environment in which I worked.  I was constantly trying to ensure policy and procedure was being consistently applied in a very diverse environment.  This drive for consistency is now becoming apparent in my work.  At present I am creating diverse lines in a consistent manner.  I am no longer at work (I am a student not an employee!) ... I do not need to be consistent any more ... my work will be better if I can deliver inconsistency applied as required.

So when I look at the drawing of Victoria, kneeling, it is not compelling because there is too little variation in how I drew the interesting lines to create her.  Each line needed to have variation within it.  And there wasn't.

I think I will try the mark making exercises again, thinking about emotions and feelings that I want associated with my work, and see what transpires.  Peace, joy, affection, vigour, energy.  These are the words I want people to feel in my work.  If this enables me to create different marks, I will be pleased.  I think this fits with Michael's feedback "persist more in drawing process and refine" and "be more aware of different visual language and how they relate".

Michael also said that I could have varied my lines when I was drawing the fan.  (See homework photos from 2 days ago).  One of the fans was stitched with long sewing stitches.  He suggested I could have drawn some lines, and stitched others - and instantly I understood how this would have improved the impact.  The fan was very round and very regular ... and completely uninspiring.  A couple of wobbly lines would have broken it up nicely. 

I remember my friend Lisa saying that some of my print work at Herts had been enhanced by simple stitching I had added.  I had been getting angst-ridden because of the minute variation in the handsewn stitch length, but she felt this subtle variation had added to it.  Now I understand why.  No machine could have achieved this inconsistent variation.  It was obviously hand done.  And in the machine age, this is exactly the appeal.

Photos from class 5 to follow.

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