Did you manage to ‘make space move’?I think that when configurations of shapes or lines are dynamic, either by placement through angles, density, asymmetry, or in the case of line – overlapping or suggesting vanishing points either inside or outside the frame then space ‘moves’ somehow – so yes. I quite enjoyed placing the lines. Something interesting happened there. I might have tried a few more placements of the squares, although I do understand what is happening, rule of thirds for example or reading images from left to right, top to bottom and creating a sense of movement through and implied line from edges of objects; I would like to explore this a bit further as I sense that some of this is culturally bound.
I am quite interested in Japanese aesthetics and what happens in some compositions in Japanese design. I am also conscious that this is key to some extent when thinking about repeats in printing, how within a grid/repeat the designs behaves in one way, but when placed next to the same image various effects can appear or what happens around the edge/frame.
What are your thoughts about the drawings you did in Stage 3?I think stage 3 and 4 merged together in this design work. Stage 3 for me was mainly about looking through the view finder at various drawings, working out whether something would be framed as square or rectangular, whether I thought something might work symmetrically or repeated. This was what led me to use the reflection tool in my image software. This was not asked for in the course material, but I thought it might be interesting and continued a bit with this, although I would say that this technique might need to be used sparingly as, depending on the chosen drawing, seemed o created repetitions in design.
Were you able to use your drawings successfully as a basis for further work?I tend to work big and so when it came to translating the selections I blew up some of the details, and the drawings then became something completely different, when in watercolour they almost looked calligraphic.
When drawing on the small scale things became a bit fiddly, and simple designs are probably better for smaller dimensions.
I am missing a purpose with the design. I know that these exercises are for developing approaches and technique, and this is important, but I find I need an idea behind this. Many craft people talk about ‘playing’ and that is right up to a point - that is what I am doing right now, testing materials and approaches, and that is the process at the beginning. I don’t mean that I want a finished product, a ‘result’ but I would like to work ideas out through design work with a bit more intension, but maybe it is up to me to find that purpose, and soon I will find it, I hope.
Are there any other things you would like to try?
Yes, I think I would like to work with an idea or purpose, I am thinking about trees, natural themes and have been taking a few photographs, and looking at some print designs with trees as sources, anticipating the print exercises to come.I am interested in abstraction and these design exercises have brought that to bear on my work in Project 3 and 4. It might also be good to continue the abstraction theme, thinking about scale more. I tried out collage in shades of colour. I would like to build up more experience in that area, in the past I used quite contrasting colour ways in collages to look at landscape, but I think the key to successful collage is careful selection of shape and gentle modulations of colour, rather than too harsh tonal breaks.
Now that you have a good working method, do you feel confident that you can carry on working in this way independently?
I need to practice more, and I definitely need to draw more. But as I said, I would like the intention to be at the core of the work so it becomes focused and strong. Otherwise, yes, I will probably return to this section at times as the course progresses and I have a few design books that consider placement, colour and other design elements, so I can consult those in parallel to support this work.