Saturday, 12 February 2011

Arthouse Co-op's Sketchbook Project 2011: Part 1 - Grids

I finally got to finish my sketchbook about two weeks after the deadline (the organisers said submit it anyway so I have done!)  The theme I chose was Grids and Lines, partly because I had begun to explore these in an art class a while back and the whole theme was far more interesting than meets the eye.  In this section I'll have stuff about basic grids (though the nearest to a regular grid is the cover (above)

The above piece was done by painting some textured paper with Brusho and cutting out pieces to make an irregular arrangement of windows, behind which is a piece of silk with painted bondaweb (Wonderunder) ironed onto it.  The windows idea is explored further in a section of pages, each coloured with a different colour/colours of drawing ink, from which windows of different sizes and colours have been cut out; as you turn each page different patterns and colours emerge - here are two of the double pages:

I am interested in the way in which natural forces can make the patterns in animals and plants diverge from the strictly regular.  The two pieces below are an experiment in ways this can happen: the pencil lines were made by holding a pencil at the top, loosely, then moving it over the paper and allowing the minor irregularities you find in most papers to modify the direction of the line (with a little help from my cat, Django, who wanted to join in by giving my hand the occasional nudge).

The second piece was done using a similar method but with a brush and black ink (and no cat): this had the added element of the strength of colour in the ink varying with the speed and pressure of the stroke, and the amount left on the brush.  Afterwards I added the contrast of the red acrylic, applied straight from the tube so that the colour would be as flat as possible.

I mentioned natural grids, and one of the things I explored in my art class, through a series of observational drawings, was the way in which you have grids occurring in animal and plant patterns and growth:

One of the most striking is the chequerboard pattern on one of my favourite plants, called snakeshead fritillaries here in the UK (I believe the are called checkered lilies in the US): this is a linocut based on a drawing I made: the first version is printed over a monoprinted background using a printing press:

The second is the same block but burnished by hand on the back of the paper, giving a more textured print, which was then hand-coloured (non-naturalistically) using drawing inks.

More soon ...