Retrospective Response and Reflection on Assignment Three
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Task 1 [project 8]
This is an ambitious lino print with 2 images requiring good technical skills as they mirror each other on the paper. Your choice of paper is excellent as is the space you have given each image to breathe. This demonstrates a good understanding of composition. Your choice of text although autobiographical is powerful and poignant and therefore resonates with a wider audience.
I attach a link to contemporary artists that make work incorporating image and text – this may be something worth expanding on
There is a great book, if you can get a copy cheaply, that contextualizes the relationship of image and word, showcasing many artists that explore and expand on these possibilities. Art and Text, Aimee Selby, Dave Beech, Charles Harrison, Will Hill
I read you are disappointed with inconsistency of printing, practice makes perfect and out of quantity comes quality. With reduction print I would advise printing at least 10 prints and hope by the end 1 is perfect.
This has been an exciting project and could lead to even more advancement with text if it’s something you wish to follow-up.
I personally was pleased with the text aspect of this print, although I wasn’t entirely sure if it was “cheating”. I really must get out of this purist mind-set – for that is what it is. I remember being told very distinctly that I should not use white in a watercolour painting, I should not use black paint at all, I must not colour outside the lines etc etc. Why not? I must question more! Anyway, hopefully the book mentioned by my tutor is winging its way to me and I am excited to see how text can be an image too and how other artists have incorporated it.
I have also created a Pinterest board called Text in Art for pieces that have text in or as art. I have included the artists noted in the Guardian article. Most of these are using text as art rather than just within it. I am not wholly sure if I like this as much as using it to enhance an image, mainly because mostly they come across as comedic to me. Not that I mind that, it maybe seems more shallow? I will have to source some more examples, maybe I react to the more ironic?
I have kept the possibility of including text in mind, and as these are retrospective responses, I can say that I considered it for Assignment 4, but at the time could not see it working.
TASK 2 project 9
“You have used quite an array of unconventional cutting tools evident on your blog for this task. Looking at those implements I’m astonished the outcome is so delicate!
I’m a little perplexed by the quality of surface of the print, but I think the marks haven’t indented into the lino/surface enough to cut a mark away. You have certainly been diligent in your experimentation .You have also achieved good inking. I can see from your blog you are having trouble sourcing materials on Lanzarote – you are doing very well with what you have managed to find. I’m interested to know what inks you are using? These are giving you slightly unconventional results for block inks.
You may wish to work further into this block even adding a word to each rectangle!”
I always enjoy the experimentation of mark making with random and found implements. It is never predictable. The inks I’ve used were brought from the UK and are oil based Sakura Japanese inks. I only have four colours, Red (19), Yellow (3), Prussian Blue (43) and Black (49). Unfortunately, Prussian Blue is the only blue I could get at the time, it is a strong colour but hasn’t caused too much of a problem so far. My other option is to use oil paint to mix, and I usually add linseed oil to the inks so this helps them blend nicely, particularly Titanium White. I also have some water-based inks by Speedball (which I may be able to have delivered here) in some interesting colours ie Brown 3606, Orange 3607, and Copper 3616. These have been useful, particularly when I was monoprinting and for some of the lino prints. I also have a small, fast disappearing tube of Black 3400 in the same range. If a larger range of colours is needed, I brought a tub of Daley Rowney System 3 Block Printing Medium with me from the UK to mix with (freely available) acrylic paint. This has been a life saver, although it is a challenge using acrylic at times in this heat, even with the medium! Unfortunately, I am also halfway through the tub but I am hopeful I will be able to order this online – fingers crossed. So far I’ve only come across one other printmaker here but that was before I completely moved over, so I didn’t think to ask where she got her materials from. Everyone else I work with are either painters, sculptors, photographers or potters – I will maintain the search for the holy grail of printing materials!
TASK 3 project 10
“You have resumed imagery developing personal themes and interests for this task. I like your reference to freedom of speech as a theme in your blog. I’m wondering if further experiments with text and words would have resulted in more powerful work for you. There is nothing wrong with obsession.
I quite like the dreamlike quality achieved in this print. Your choice of paper is excellent and is helping the ink .I’m interested in your choice of colour’s, scale of work and movement achieved. I’m unsure if the ‘world’ shapes are needed they are somewhat obvious.”
I did respond to this in an addition to my assignment reflection, of which I have added an excerpt here:
From my tutor’s feedback, I now feel that I was too close to the print result to really assess it clearly. The feedback was positive on the paper used and how it helped the inks work better. Regarding the image itself, it was interesting to see that the elements I perceived as “wrong” or not working were the elements that worked better for my tutor, with the planet shapes considered possibly being too obvious. I actually see that myself now and as I review the prints, I am more positive about them. Instead of re-working for this assignment, I think I will leave this as a moment in time and return to the subject in another project. My tutor is keen for me to explore more text and words in my work and I think this would be an interesting route to explore further.
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
“You are using your sketchbook very well and clearly demonstrate emerging themes and concepts that feed your visual work. You may wish to expand on these further by including bibliographies and references around your thinking. I really like your use of thumbnail sketches that explore imagery before committing to print, this is working extremely well for you. I would expand on this even more – you may wish to use tracing paper to copy bits of the images and overlay these with others to form new patterns and shapes. I would push your choice of imagery even further in the sketchbook. By this I mean expanding on imagery for your concepts and working out as many different ways of representing ideas visually as you can think of. Continue to combine reflective text with imagery as you are doing.”
This is interesting – I read this at the time, however, I didn’t really think I had absorbed it. However, as mentioned, this is a retrospective response, it appears to have subliminally filtered through. I say this, because in assignment 4:
- I began to note books and sites I had referenced in my sketchbook
- Used tracings to place over drawings to expand the ideas
- Used drawings to explore different paths for an idea before deciding on the final images
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
” For development I would recommend a greater amount of text around your chosen themes [personal voice] this text in many ways should be as detailed as your process text. You could develop your bibliography and research sources here.
It may help you to look at how reviews of exhibitions are written to look at the language used. I attach a few-
I am beginning to include the personal voice aspect of my ideas and their development in my Learning Log. However, I completely agree that I shy away from referencing research sources and influences. I will try and include these points in future reflection as well as sketchbook work.
Have a look at how artists are using text with imagery, there are so many good artists I name but a few –
Scarlette Homeshaw works extensively in reduction techniques cutting small areas of lino away before printing again her work is heavily layered. You may find her imagery interesting.
I have captured, where I can, some of the images for my Pinterest board – Text in Art for future reference. Whilst looking at some of the suggested sites in this feedback I have had sparks of inspiration and noted them down in my notebook for future themes. This is what I have been missing, noting sudden light bulb ideas for future reference! I was particularly smacked between the eyes by an image by Ian Breakwell called Maxim 2003. The coloured pencil drawing was simply a circle with the words along the curve internally “It is better to be hemmed in” and at the bottom curve, externally, “than to be hemmed out”!! Now what aspect of current affairs could that possibly illustrate, I wonder????
I was completely captivated by the stunning work of Scarlette Homeshaw – absolutely beautiful – I will return to it.
Pointers for the next assignment
- Continue your development of themes and personal voice in your artwork to give meaning to your making. Keep asking yourself what am I making work about and why.
- Make your themes [personal voice] more overt in your log.
- Use your ability to sketch to work out imagery and compositions further.
- Reflect further on your choice of colour and include this in your reflections.
- The next assignments focuses on collagraph – be aware that sometimes less is more when placing shapes and collage materials on a surface, its easy to get carried away sticking. The results can lead to an inky mess without planning and control. Begin with ideas and keep exploring your themes that will lead to more sophisticated work.
- Take multiple prints from your plates exploring different colour options.
I will continue following this advice – particularly now focusing on colour – again as retrospective, I know this comes up again!