Saturday 1 April 2017

Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook Week 4- the spark of an idea emerges!

In between classes of Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook,  with only 2 classes for project work I realised I had to focus on a single, relatively simple subject  to get the most out of it. When I discussed it with the tutor , she was pleased I'd moved away from work based on hand/fingerprints/ x-ray which is going back over familiar territory but looking at something new.
I returned to the sketches I'd done at the Wellcome of the electrical discharge  patterns  of Martin Van Marum( who sounds rather a ruthless character)  in a book from 1787. I loved the format itself with a 4 page fold-out of an etching with wonderful marks and finally managed to track down an image of it online.  

I also managed to find some illustrations of the incredible equipment (electrostatic generator) used to create the discharge.

Once I'd  played around in Photoshop using 'invert' filter I  got very excited with the idea of 'positive/negative'  - how different the same image looks and  the possibilities for exploring the same image in different media and  on different scales.

I did some stitching samples with white on top and black in the bobbin both on black and white fabrics and on black painted papers.
And then looking through book on handmade books I found the structure I want to work with - and accordion with 2 sewn in pamphlets, giving opportunity for long spreads  in combination with changing interactions with neighbouring pages.  Making a small model  help in clarifying  what I wanted to do.

Just as well I had decided on structure and content as we had even more techniques thrown at us ( monotype, colourwash with inks, ballpoint drawing  and scraffito techniques with scoring and rubbed in graphite).  So after I'd painted the strips of watercolour paper I'd brought from home, I had time to experiment  with these. Others were feeling rather more overwhelmed - all these new techniques but no time to explore them properly.  

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