There was a bit of a break from my studio practice last week as I finished two art works as gifts for friends prior to an annual pilgrimage to Scarborough. Both of these works are potentially transitional pieces in the development of my main studio practice.
RubyLouise Mixed Media on Watercolour Paper in Up-cycled Frame 2013 Private Collection
As I have worked on building my Mini Art range I have increasingly used collage and also, more significantly, rediscovered my love of drawing. I have always relied on drawing as a method of developing ideas, but over recent years this has been in the guise of ‘cartoon’ outlines of designs to be transferred to canvas.
Within the Mini Art range I have rediscovered the challenge of exploring basic mark-making as a method of modelling and representing form. I have developed my own style of drawing over the years, and enjoy the risk of using ink straight onto the art work. The spontaneous and permanent nature of the medium on the ground means that confidence is a must (along with not getting disheartened when things do not go *quite* to plan!).
DragEmmeline Mixed Media on Canvas 2013 Private Collection
The act of drawing was seminal in finally resolving DragEmmeline (a canvas that has lived unfinished in the corner of the studio (propped - face-first so hidden - against the wall) for over a year. Utilising the drawing technique used to complete RubyLouise, I decided to try drawing directly onto the partially painted ground. This helped to regain some of the energy that had been lost during a couple of frustrating painting sessions that had obscured the initial spirit of the canvas.
Going a stage further I then re-painted back into the canvas using a combination of flat areas of colour, and brush marks that mimicked the drawn marks beneath.
This method of combining drawing and painting is still very much in its infancy, but definitely has the potential to be developed much further. It is something that was discussed with lecturers towards the end of my undergraduate studies, and is now something that finally seems right to explore.
Until very recently my canvases have been very busy. The multiple layering of painted imagery meant that any further elements were in danger of becoming ‘lost’. However, as the compositional construction of my canvases becomes increasingly about simplified shapes and flat areas of painted colour, the addition of the drawn-line as a further visual communicator actually has an opportunity of being seen.