Learning has been top of the agenda this week. At work I've been planning, preparing powerpoint and equipment for teaching teachers plant 'cloning' techniques at 'Bioscience Evening' at Wakehurst Place ( didn't get back til 11.30 on Thursday night!) and then I've been rushing home to do some homework on 'Studio Journal' online class. Although I really should be doing some work on my quilt for FoQ, it's been good to focus the odd half hour on starting good habits in establishing a sketchbook which gathers everything together ( the analogy to a 'compost heap ' of ideas has appealed to many recording their thoughts in the associated forum )
The first excercise was to 'make marks like you stitch'. I've struggled a bit with this as I'm not an embroiderer, and although I enjoy hand stitching its just varying lengths of running stitch with the odd cross stitch if I'm being daring. I have been known to attempt the odd french knot too but usually after such a long gap that I forget how it's done. However I've persisted and learnt quite a lot from interpreting a Van Gogh painting in lines for stitch , particularly about the process : building up motifs and then joining them together, a rather different approach from my usual drawing technique. I wouldn't use this image as inspiration for my own work as although I liked the swirls in the sky, the lines of the trees and suggestions of the buildings, there's too much going on in one piece. Thinking about this proved useful in considering my current quilting project based on shorelines, going for the 'less is more approach' to stitching.
The second excercise was on 'frottage' (rubbings) I had great fun going round the house and garden with a chunky wax crayon and varying weights of paper. First of all trying to work out a tonal scale with samples- more difficult than you might think because of the distractions of the different patterns.
On Cas Holmes workshop last year we did some rubbings with crayons on papers and fabrics(including in my case metallic sheers which were magic!)
I revisited making rubbings from Indian wooden printing blocks including this wonderful swirly one , using tracing paper to build up layers. My crayon has gone missing so I had to use a graphite stick - very messy , note to self to buy some fixative.