Here are some pictures of my theme book I progress, the paper for the book have been sewn together and I am now working in it, the binding is still to come:
Some of the work in the theme book are just free doodles to warm up in the hope that some will be useful of give a feel of the idea of trees, whilst other are based on photographs I took:
The front of the book to set the scene:
I looked at a large looming yew tree, which in life is very dark, but I had a go at a very wet on wet picture which rendered it quite light, but it is effective. I liked the wet on wet; I found that you have to work very quickly and be sure you put the same level of paint on across the page, otherwise it gets too overloaded and it knocks out the proportion of the pigment. I am a beginner in watercolour, but enjoy it once I get going. One of my art group colleagues thought the light in this was good.
Here's an attempt at stitching a tree into prepared mulberry paper:
Since the yew tree picture worked so well, I thought I would do one on mulberry paper and the stitch onto that - so here's the prepared paper:
I went out one evening and took some photo of leaves moving in the wind. Then I have selected details so that mostly they become mostly abstractions.
First a picture showing three different trees growing in a roadside hedge area: oak, ash and birch
The next images are of details of leaves, areas where light shone through, where the camera was moving and the leaves were fluttering, and more detailing. Some of these pictures work quite well as single, or individual, pictures. Too many in a series and they start seeming a bit too similar. I guess a useful exercise would be to print and cut up some, try to draw or paint others.
This one is quite interesting - the edges are harder - you can tell the organic nature of the tree, but the lines have become edgy and sharp in the detailing and in the sharpness of the light. There is something a bit collagey about it.
And I really quite liked these. You get a sense of the moving leaves, the wind moving things about, and yet, they might be something else - the light in the greens and the organic lines make them a bit otherworldly.
I don't know why, but recently I 'rediscovered' Pipilotti Rist. the video art film maker. She had an exhibition in London I saw some years ago, and there are interesting film excerpts and interviews with her on Youtube that are worth looking at. She works in film to capture all elements of sensual experience - vision, sound and there is something quite aesthetic about her films, whilst also being a bit grating at time - creating a tension to keep you alert to say, the poison in Paradise. Whether her art is feminist is open to discussion, she uses the female form in her work, but then that has a long art historical tradition; I think it is likely that she is more concerned about notion of pleasure and feeling. There is a lot of water, fruit and other coloured things moving across very large scale screens, sometime projected onto ceilings for spectators to enjoy lying on the floor. The colours are enhanced and extremely strong, and as the images often go out of focus as she zooms in and out there is blurring, focus and blurring in continuous movement.
In getting a bit into photography when thinking about the life of trees, and I think this last picture here evokes something along the lines I mean, I may have remembered Rist's work for its intensity of colour and life, and the constant movement and sounds she brings to her films. Photography by contrast is still and fixed, it captures a moment rather than being a movement over time. You can create aesthetic effects with photography that also evoke feelings, but they are not accompanied by sound, so as the spectator you may only have your internal monologue to rely on when looking at it.