Tuesday, 6 September 2016

West Dean 5th course - Intuitive drawing

So, it has been a while since I did a course at West Dean and in late August I attended the 5th course in my series of 10. Half way through, and having looked back at soem of my work for the OCA I have to say I think the work is improving, and going to West Dean somehow gives you permission to think in a focussed way about what is happening with the work.

The tutor was Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright. A thoughtful and inspiring teacher who brought us many techniques to try out to give us a tool box of ways of creating surfaces, textures and mark on paper with charcoal, graphite, acrylic paint and ink. There were flattish marks and heavy textures, there were analyses of line and working over te paper in blocks of colour or mass of substance in charcoal or ink.

We each got a table and an easel and he pointed out that we could think about how we want to work - at three levels: on the table, on an easel or on the floor. I tried all three and they each gave something different to how the work developed: in the table  or floor your pour ink, on the easel you can sit back and really look at the work as it progresses.

Here is my table and bit of the floor with work in progress in sketchbooks and on paper (drying where ink or oil bar was applied):

Surprisingly I tried to keep tidy, as the space on the table was quite limited. We were mostly working on A1 or A2/A3 depending on whether finished work was being made, or test pieces to try out techniques were being made.

The 'intuitive' bit in the title suggested we were going to work with Dada automatic drawing, which we did do on the first day, but after that we simply worked very freely with the new techniques being taught. He did mention the idea of the exquisite corpse drawing and I read in the course description that we would be sharing work, but in the end we didn't do much of that, and just got on with our indendent work.

I used up paints in mt sketchbook, used collage and added to some books I had brought that needed to be thought about in a drawing sort of way. The tutor gave some very valuable feedback for the FDAD side of things, so overall it was a helpful and valuable course.

Here are some works I made over the weekend:

A lot of the work was done in black and white, but I did use some of my XL graphite as it leant itslef well to the large scale of the work and sits well with the charcoal and ink,

These long coloured things are the concertina books I had brought from home to add to - I have also started stitching on them, so this brief piece of work was just to add a bit of texture in paper or paint.

A drawing based on the moon's light that looks better in reality - the black sugar paper is already greyish, but looks even more so here.

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