Friday, 31 August 2012

Assignment 1 - and my intentions for the next few weeks

Choosing what to send off to my tutor for Assignment 1 has made me think about what I've learned and achieved on this course so far in a slightly different way. Perhaps I should have done the choosing before I wrote my reflective piece.

To start with, I thought I was going to send my whole sketchbook, because of being unsure whether I was doing it 'right' (again!). But actually I think I am doing OK with it, while being very aware that these are early days for me in this artistic mode and I don't want to send in pages which I am not satisfied with to some extent, or the ones I did on days when I had only 3 minutes and dashed off something without really focussing. (Even if those days teach me something or open up a new area for exploration). I am enjoying playing with images and ideas, and trying out new things all the time. There's always something to add to the infinite list of things I want to try out.

So in the end I sent off the pages which were directly related to the course work exercises, and whatever was on the adjacent pages to that.

Visual Workbook
I am aware of making choices every day about what I am going to do in my visual workbook - choices which will take me down the path towards my own personal style. I think sometimes I am choosing to rework an image which is already there ready rather than work on a new one. And I am also aware of how many interesting images and ideas and new techniques are just sitting there waiting to be chosen. I don't want to narrow myself down too soon in the course, so I intend to deliberately choose the new thing rather than the familiar one for a while.

Reading List
Thinking about what might be missing from my assignment, I am aware that I haven't read as much of the book list as I thought I would in the last 6 weeks. I have 'The Textile Book' and 'Textiles Today' which I have dipped into but not read through. I also have the 'Colour Workshop for Artists and Designers' and intend to read the long introduction in the next week to inform my doing the colour exercises.

I still haven't signed up for an art school library - I intend to do that this week if I can. Particularly because what I saw of 'The Art of Colour' made me want very much to spend a day looking through it.

Studying great artists
And if I'm going to get through anywhere near the number of artists to investigate I will have to get moving on that too. (I realise this isn't a prescribed list but my early investigations of Uccello and the mark-making session showed me quite how much could learn by doing it.) The obvious ones to go for during the colour section of the course, from my position of ignorance at least, are the impressionists, Mondrian and Rothko. (Are they even on the list?)

I had been hoping for a textiles study visit soon, and was excited to see the Thomas Heatherington design exhibition at the V&A is the next one. I had felt rather frustrated when I went to the fashion exhibit there recently because it looked intriguing and possibly enlightening but I didn't have time to get to it that day. I have signed up and I'm looking forward to it.

Studying contemporary textile artists
I had a look at some of the other textile students' learning logs today, and found a reference to a textile artist called Linda Hutchins who uses light delicate fabrics to make representations of heavy things  - like a hammer. A quick look at her website shows me that her aesthetic is intriguing and I think I should look into her work more too.

Linda Hutchins (from
Detail of Fall 2008 organza, thread

Presenting my work professionally
And finally, I enjoyed working out how to present my assignment in a 'professional' way. I loved the way my embroidered pieces looked all ironed and labelled. But as this was an afterthought I could do better at it next time.

Timing/ deadlines
I'm thinking that the colour section could take me another 6 weeks, taking me to mid-October. This has to be flexible though. My experience of the first section was that I got a lot out of each part, and wanted to do more of most of them. I should leave myself the option of doing that.

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