Saturday, 2 September 2017

Thirty Drawings Pt 1


The Summer before I went to Belfast College of Art (1978) new students were sent a Summer Vacation project from the 1st year tutors - 'An Analysis of Summer'. It was a straightforward set of tasks, but because of an artist's block over this Summer I finished as much as I could in the second half of August: 

10 drawings - Wherever you are (total 7 completed)
  • How you spend your time 
Watching art YouTube videos. SuperRaeDizzle used antique coloured pencils so I used my Dad's 50 year old set to make a rainbow hued collection of circles and shading. 
Peter Draws creates intricate drawings based on taking a pen for a walk. I used different ink pens, brush pen and white pens. At first the B&W piece seemed aimless but after and hour of drawing I could see something begin to take shape. 
I play Solitaire in all its variations online and was trying to come up with a translation of this into art. So, Solitaire is partly a game of chance. I wrote a series of words on small pieces of paper and pulled out 2xthemes, 3xcolours, 3xtools, 2xpapers and 3xmaterials all to be used in a single piece. Comic, Future, Blues, Earths, Skies, Glue, Tracing paper, Bristol Board, Embossed Card, Ink stamps, Alcohol Inks and Acrylics.


watching SuperRaeDizzle and Peter Draws on YouTube

comic style 'future' 
  • How you use your time 
Sorting through far too much stuff in my house - recycling, giving, keeping and discarding. From a donation bag due for the charity shop I used synthetic lace, peel-offs and a dog tag with coloured ink pads. 
I'm Vice Chair for an Arts & Disability charity and recently we choose from a selection of names to rebrand our gallery - 'Yellow Socks' - from Ian Dury's song 'Reasons to be Cheerful'. I presented drawings to the board to help with choice.

printing unwanted items - renaming the gallery
  • What you come across that triggers the imagination 
Had a serious artistic block through July and part of August which began to shift after visiting and chatting to artists at Bangor's art pods while on a day trip. Drew a brooch I purchased from Twisted Pixie and used colours from a card bought from Debra Wenlock
I found a foxglove growing in a shady part of my garden, took a photograph and drew it with water soluble pencils.

visit to Bangor art pods - foxglove in my garden
  • What you pick up/find that you can use at a later date (0 completed)
Am making brushes and 'pens' with found objects - art made with these included in following blogpost.

4 drawings, each one done on the day, about the day - Summer events/controversies (total 4 completed)
  • 16th July
  • 10th August
  • 25th August
  • 26th August
I felt that comic strip was a style that suited illustrating events on specified dates. Rough, no smooth finish, just a visual record. 



16 drawings - Cities, Landscapes, Seascapes (total 6 completed)
  • View from 100 metres 
  • View from 10 metres
  • View from 1 metre
  • View from 1 centimetre
On a day trip along the coast we stopped at Millisle where I took some photos of a play structure shaped like a ship. Water soluble pencils and graphite pencils.I like the penciled ship and the close-up of a wooden rivet.


day trip along coast - Millisle
  • 4 distant views 
  • 4 unusual views 
Looking through vintage green and pink stained glass window in my hall door. Drawing the altered images of the city street before me and catching a dark car and a red mail van that passed by.


  • 4 imaginary views of the same thing 
And a notebook/sketchbook, some part of which will form the basis of a future project (ongoing)


Because of the block it took me quite a while to get back into the swing of making art. But while I dislike some images in my sketchbook they are part of the working process.




'The accompanying sheet outlines our requirements for the Summer vacation project.
You will be expected to bring in the complete set of work on the first day of the Autumn term.
All work should be of a high standard and ready for display. but you must select any five drawings for particular attention. How you make this selection is entirely your responsibility. At the same time it is important to have available a well-used notebook (see final item on the project sheet).
This work will have an important relation to the first part of the First Year Course: it is not simply something to keep you busy.For this reason we feel we should stress the importance of having it ready for display on the first day.
There is probably more than one way of interpreting each item on the sheet. Difficulty in interpreting the sheet must not be put down to its 'lack of clarity' or some such thing. Just use your initiative:- we are not looking for the 'correct' way and neither are we trying to catch people out.
We hope you enjoy your Summer and look forward to meeting you in September.'
John Aiken - David Ledsham - Mark Thomas

5 designs I chose from the 30 completed - next blogpost...

I had hoped to have this project finished by beginning of September but that didn't happen and I'm still working on it. I am glad I got half of it completed and have ideas for the remaining 13 drawings which I intend to post in a week's time. Artist's block is a real and terrifying thing. During that time I couldn't draw, couldn't think of what to draw, tried to draw from still life but it wasn't happening. I know the root of the block, which stemmed from a personal occurrence, and I'm very relived that I've managed to come through to put pencil and brush and marker to paper again. Without making art I become very unhappy. For anyone who finds themselves in a block understand that it can dissipate. For me the key was talking to other artists about their work. 



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