Thursday, 27 November 2014

Deciding to sign up for OCA Drawing 1

I have done two textiles modules and the third HE4 module was for me a choice between painting and drawing. In fact, if I could have done introduction to sculpture I think I might have gone for that. But since it is not on the pathway for a Textile Art degree, I thought carefully about which course to choose next.

When I started with OCA two years ago, I didn't really expect there to be so much drawing. I suppose I thought the exploration aspect would be done more with fabrics and yarns than on paper. Over this time I have gradually learned the value (and relative speed) of working out the visual aspects of a piece on paper first. It gets the ideas out there, and lets me see in reality, rather than just in my mind's eye, what is possible, and what doesn't really work so well. It also allows me to be freer in what I try out, as drawing is not as restricted by the properties of textile materials and techniques. This is not to say that I haven't sometimes made something without putting pen to paper at all, just that there is more freedom and possibility when I do.

After thinking this, and deciding that learning more about drawing could only help my textiles, I read an article in Craft magazine which discusses the contribution of drawing to the work of makers. In it Kyra Cane (2014), a ceramicist and curator of an exhibition at Contemporary Applied Arts gallery in London, comments, 'The concentration required to make drawings builds a resource based on the experience of looking'.

This has been very true for me. Not only am I building a store of images to work from, and a thread of my inner interest to follow, but the act of drawing them has brought with it a change in the way I have seen the things I drew, which is intensely meaningful to me. How meaningful? Drawing brings me to a state where I am able to exclude other things, and see qualities of the thing I am drawing so they appear to be more real than the way I saw them before. It brings to my attention the illusions and assumptions I habitually carry around with me. At least on a good day.

I am hoping that doing this course will help me to have more good drawing days. And now that I have come to this point, I can see that this course is likely to make a more profound difference to the way I see things, and make things, than perhaps a sculpture module could at this point.

Cane,K Sept/Oct 2014 Drawing Conclusions Crafts pub. Crafts Council
'Out of sight: Drawing in the Lives of Makers' was at Contemporary Applied Arts 89 Southwark Street in Sept-Oct 2014

On 27 Nov 2014, at 10:59, Christina Rogers <> wrote:

Hi I have just signed up for Drawing 1 and have been given your name as my
tutor. I have completed two level 1 textiles modules with a view to working my way to 
a textile art degree. 
I want to learn more about drawing because those two courses have shown me how important seeing is. 
I read an article in Craft Magazine about how drawing is naturally central to most makers process, and this seems 
to be true for me too. 
I have a lot to learn about how to do it better! I have done one day of life drawing 
and tried teaching myself with 'Drawing on the right side of the brain' and no other courses 
since school (I am 50 and work as a doctor). I don't know quite what else to say here other than I am hoping to learn how better to capture the things I find interesting in what I see. 
My previous limited experience also leads me to hope that my 'eye' will be more tuned in as well by the end of it. 
My one reservation at this point is that I am going to miss the feel and the 3 dimensions of working with textiles. We'll see!
My learning blog is at At the moment I am waiting for a change in internet provide, so the initial blog entries about this course will have to wait until that's working. Not too long I hope. 
I see from a quick look at some websites that some of your work is very textured and three dimensional too! Looking forward to working with you,
Christina 510830

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