Saturday 24 March 2018

Contemporary Collage Week 9 : Cubomania, Shape Shifting and Picture Making

  This week in Contemporary Collage  we were tracing shapes and accurately cutting out  and inserting replacements in coloured paper ( 'marquetry') and  using grids , cutting and swapping  ('cubomania')  
As usual we  had a whistlestop  tour through various artists  including John Baldessari ( above and below) 

Luc Tuymans

Ewan Gibbs  uses knitting pattern grids as marks 

Dan Hayes  creates  huge photorealistic paintings constructed of  a multitude  of intricately coloured squares ( detail above )   

 I've admired the photomontages of David Hockney  for  a long time

As usual the images  I brought to use were mainly unsuitable  for the exercises  - time to raid the magazine box for inspiration.  My homages to David Hockney included a  designer lamp ( above ) and a curvy chair ( below) 
A collection of cups and saucers provided the inspiration for the collage below - not sure about the white spaces between
Playing with  a photo of a seaside shelter at Birchington, replacing sections with brightly coloured paper provided a contrast to the 'painterly' peeling woodwork .

My favourite though was the picture of legs  from a magazine ( a BMW ad I think)   where I  traced the shoe and a line of the denim jeans  and replaced  these with orange and blue paper 

 Interesting effect when use invert filter in Photoshop  but I digress....

 When  I started experimenting  with the shapes leftover from cutting out the shoes and the tracings , Simon  introduced me to the works  of Francis Alys , particularly the shoe shine  works  which  are constructed from multiple layers of tracings ( giving the effect of animation ) with the masking tape  used to secure left in to provide  additional marks 

So in the last 5 minutes of the class I quickly assembled a collection of tracings and cutouts of the shoe in different colours, attached to the paper just with strips of masking tape. This is just 1 permutation, the beauty of this is that I can  make multiple variations . There's definately a theme developing of  using  the negative  cutouts left when cutting out shapes and using tracings . Most fun so far ( apart from desecrating 'Dinghy Sailing' ) in what has been a very enjoyable course. 
Next week 'Text' - I'm off to look  for some different fonts.  Once again my Journal Quilts from 2011 seem  appropriate  ( the 'Circle' ones include those cutouts!) 

Saturday 17 March 2018

Contemporary Collage week 8 :'Collision and Juxtapose'

In this session we were asked to bring vintage postcards in and to be prolific, doing just one thing to it eg cut, paint , collage  as in the bizzarre combination  before  of  the Lake District. 

I'd  bought  6 postcards of Ramsgate and Margate from 1908 to 1935 on Faversham market and  mainly worked into copies of the fronts and backs

We had a quick look at artists  who'd used postcards including Ruth Claxton 

Some of my output.... ( I made some 'postcards' from  images in magazines as well as using copies and originals).
With these I 'chopped and swapped 'the front and back of a postcard( above) 
and  2 different images of the same vintage (below) 

 I  enjoyed working with the backs , with their spidery writing  mainly about the weather ( some things don't change...)

 Drawing on the  fronts , even if they were just copies was harder,    a bit like desecrating a book.

We packed up early, leaving our postcards on the wall  and then played a curatorial  exercise, each  choosing  2 cards to display together, some really interesting juxtapositions occurring.

 2 pieces of mine were chosen by different people ( on right  hand side  above), they look very different in these contexts than when combined with my own work.
These above  were my choice - attracted by shared colours but very different marks

 I missed taking photos of them all as I had to leave on time  but we could have played for hours there were so many possibilities.

Friday 9 March 2018

Drawing Tuesday at Natural History Museum

It's 's been a while since I've been on a 'Drawing Tuesday' visit but this week  at the Natural History Museum I was on a mission to gather material for ' Painting the Novel'  course  with Ashley Hanson   in a couple of weeks time at Creek Creative. The novel I've chosen is ' Remarkable Creatures'  by Tracy Chevalier, a fictionalised account of the friendship between  Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpott.   

I'm still exploring ideas  about how I might interpret the book  ( it wouldn't be the first time ' fossil cliffs' have inspired me)   but it was an amazing experience to draw the actual specimens  of  ' sea monsters ' that Mary collected 

Contemporary Collage Week 7 : 'Pop Collage' ( and transfer techniques)

I missed last weeks class on 'Assemblage'  as I was in Rydal but  had sort of incorporated elements of that in my box constructions of the  week before. This week we were told to bring in an  A3 photograph  to cut up and recompose as a suitable under painting  and a song lyric or title. I spent Sunday afternoon on my return looking for suitable images and choosing  a song ( ' The Tide is High ( and I'm holding on' ) by Debbie Harry, one of the 80's soundtrack I pedal to on the excercise bike) ! I toyed with ' Startrekking' ....  In the end I needn't have bothered , what was needed was  any collage suitable for taking further using drawing, paint and transfer techniques . I had my ' Scrap' book with me  so Simon  photocopied pages from this up to A3 size 

 I took tracings of the outlines of this 'Greek God'  collection  then did another tracing of the shapes 
The First technique I tried was using carbon paper under the tracing and then applying inks to the resulting drawing 
Mixed results with monoprinting : we inked up acetate sheets and placed paper and  then tracing or photocopy on top and drew through the layers. Too many variable of paper ( wet , damp or dry) , pressure , how much ink on the acetate , these ( above, below and top ) are the least worst. 

I had better success  with the tracings of faces then monoprint.( carbon paper also worked well for this)  

While I was waiting for my  scrap book and photocopies, I put together a quick   A3 collage of circles and curves to use 
 I used this as a basis for colour monoprinting: placing image under acetate sheet, colouring areas with coloured printing ink and transferring acetate to dampened piece of paper. 
I've had much better results using monoprinting before  both  as a drawing medium and using acrylic/ seletescine inks  on fabric . However I like the idea of using a collage as a starting point for painting  and might explore using different colour  carbon papers 

Meanwhile collage materials are taking over my studio! As a newbie to this technique, how do people store and organise all their bits?