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  1. #1
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    Spirit's Sketchbook

    Hello fellow CA'ers! It's been a while... I'm 20 and currently studying a Fine Art Degree at university!

    I've finally decided it's time to create a new sketchbook, as a place for just my work to be shown. I do have an old sketchbook on here somewhere, but neglecting it for a few years and growing as an artist over that time, I feel that I've outgrown it and a new, fresh place for my work is needed. I also have a blog where I post some of my work, and gather inspiration/ideas and just art related things!

    To get to the work I'm currently working on, I'm going to create a few posts showing what work I've created the past couple of years that I feel have been important in my development, or are ideas I want to revisit at some point in the future. Then quickly on to what I've been up to recently!

    This goes without saying, but if you feel there's anything worth mentioning or critiquing, please, please do. While compliments are always lovely, I want to improve!


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    Last edited by Spirit; March 5th, 2013 at 07:13 PM.


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  3. #2
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    Here's my first post. This work was from 2011/12 when I was doing my Foundation Degree at university, working on a project called "Atmospheric Places". I chose to study a nature reserve I used to visit often when I was younger, I particularly remembered the trees there, which is the reason I foruced on trees for my final work for the project. I was also spurred on by a 'fearlessness' I'd recently accuired, and my tutor, to work as big as I dared (or as big as the walls/floor would allow). I chose to post this first as I feel this was a significant point of change in my development, as now I love working on a larger scale and I'm a little less fearful to try new things in my work than I was before this.

    During this project, I was heavily influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, and artists such as Hiroshige and Hokusai. Their use of ink and mark making really fascinated me, so this is my first attempt at trying to assimilate this influence into my own work, and not simply copy the artists - which is a danger I try not to fall into. I used ink and water for these two drawings, on 200gsm Fabriano Accademia Cartridge paper cut from a 10 metre roll I bought at the university art shop... oh how I love those rolls of paper and that shop.

    One thing I've learnt while on my Foundation Degree, and now on my BA (Hons) degree... document my work as it progresses! So I've included a few photographs of their progress as well, but apologies for the poor image quality, these were taken on my phone while in the studio! I'll be investing in a good quality camera in a couple of months.

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  4. #3
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    Here are several sketches that I picked out from various projects from 2011/12. Some of them were from the same project as the large tree drawings in my last post, but some of these were made later on.

    I'm posthing these as I always find myself looking back at them, and that tells me that there are more possibilities I haven't yet explored relating to these sketches. They also give you an idea of how my artwork has developed and what ideas I'm working on. One day I want to go back and explore them!

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  5. #4
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    These two pieces I created during a project called "Art and Eclecticism". The idea for this project was for us to combine different inspirations and images into one or more pieces of work. These are taken from ym developmental work, wherein I photocopied an artwork several times that I found inspiring at the time by Leon Bakst. The piece I chose is called Narcisse. I found the patterns and colours that he used inspiring at the time, and I found myself drawin to this particular image of his work.

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    With these photcopies, I cut out parts of the image and combined them together, glueing them down onto the paper to create new images. I laernt from this that I can take existing images, and merge them together to create something completely new.

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  6. #5
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    I think this is the last post of my past work.

    These two wall pieces were inspired by my first attempts shown in my first art post of my sketchbook. I created these during my exam project at the end of my Foundation Degree in 2012. We chose the theme, wrote our own brief and had to follow it. It was to prepare us to work independently, without being given a brief from tutors which is something we won't get once we leave university and in our degree (I'm currently working without any given brief, just developing my work).

    Anyway, I decided to base my project on Dante Alighieri's work The Divine Comedy: Hell. I read the work thoroughly and then set to work, as I was trying to gain inspiration from many sources, so I chose to look at literature which I hadn't done before. While reading I found some imagery that I found inspiring. In the Seventh Cirle of Hell Dante and Virgil came uopn a pathless wood, and in it's second level souls who commited "Violence upon Themselves" were punished by taking the form of dead trees. "In Hell, those who on Earth deprived themselves of their bodies are deprived of human form. At the Last Judgment the suicides will rise, like all the other souls, to claim their bodies, but they will never wear them. Their bodies will remain suspended on the trees that enclose the spirits of their owners." Taken from cliffnotes.com I decided to use this scene from the poem as an influence for my work. In these drawings I tried to get across the idea of dead, gnarled trees, and the souls of the people trapped inside.

    These two works were put into the end of year exhibition, so I also took a picture of how they were displayed in the exhibition.

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  7. #6
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    Now up to my more recent work! I created these sketches duirng my first project of my Degree, back in September. I was studying natural forms in this project in both a representational way, but also wanting to make the forms more abstract. These first few were just general sketches trying to get the images and ideas I had out onto paper. Sealife and coral came out as an influence here, as I always imagine coral when thinking of organic forms.

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  8. #7
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    Here are some more sketches from my natural forms project. These were done from life, studying the formation of minerals in a polished rock I've owned since I was little. I was also experimenting with different colours with the paint, as I like how blue and metallic colours contrast. I quite like how in some areas the paint seems to absorb the ink and the metallic shows through, but in others the ink blots out the paint. I go back and revisit these sketches a lot, but I'm unsure why that is at the moment! I was also having fun with coloured inks, I love the colour of that blue ink so much! I quite like using the brown paper as well, I've bought more sketchbooks with the same paper to use in future work.

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  9. #8
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    Great! I realy like the paterns keep it up!

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  11. #9
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    "In Hell, those who on Earth deprived themselves of their bodies
    are deprived of human form.
    At the Last Judgment the suicides will rise, like all the other souls,
    to claim their bodies, but they will never wear them.
    Their bodies will remain suspended
    on the trees that enclose the spirits of their owners."


    This is inspirational. Thank you.

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtPlissken View Post

    "In Hell, those who on Earth deprived themselves of their bodies
    are deprived of human form.
    At the Last Judgment the suicides will rise, like all the other souls,
    to claim their bodies, but they will never wear them.
    Their bodies will remain suspended
    on the trees that enclose the spirits of their owners."


    This is inspirational. Thank you.
    I'm glad you found inspirational like I did I'd really recommend reading the poem if you already haven't. It can be very heavy reading at times, but some of the images it describes are so haunting (in a good way, I think). There are so many different scenes from it that I want to explore, I think they'd suit your style of work very well actually!


    More of my work, trying to post everything up until this point so I can start posting the new project I began today. It shouldn't take many more posts, I promise. Although maybe people like seeing some of my more recent, but past work?
    From looking at my sketches, and having just taken part in a painting workshop, I decided to be brave and attempt using oil paints for the first time. I found turpentine to be too strong for me and it made me feel ill, so I think I'll get a substitute in future. Of course, there are some progress shots included so you can see how it progressed. I want to try it again, once I start something I'm scared of, the excitement begins to take over the fear. I was almost treating the oil paint like watercolours in this painting, using a lot of medium to a small amount of paint.

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  14. #11
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    I wouldn't know what to call these, illustrations? Paintings? Drawings? I think they have a bit of all three in them. I was again looking at natural forms when creating these, before I began looking at natural forms in a more 'abstract' way. Trying to use several different meda in each, to add 'variety' and so I didn't stick with the same thing every time.

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  15. #12
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    I forgot to post this earlier, but this is the 'final piece' I created for my first project a few weeks after starting my degree. People thought I was being very daring doing something like this, but I didn't think I was. I have the advantage of doing a foundation degree last year at the same university - we're taught to take risks. Maybe I was being daring in that I've never done something like it before, but either way, I mostly enjoyed doing it! Along with it, a couple of process shots! I'm beginning to get it into my head now, photograph the process. I'm beginning to see why my tutors keep asking me to do it.

    Anyway, about this work. I wanted to start looking into 3D work, as it's something I've always admired but neglected. I hated clay in college, mainly because they'd make us meticulously roll out the clay, cut perfect shapes out and instruct us what to create. I felt that it was worth another try, this time using it hpw I wanted to, freely and without rules - apart from the rules of how to handle the material, of course. I also wanted to combine this with 2D work. I chose painting because I was looking at artists like Mark Rothko and John Hoyland at the time. They are as far away as I could get from my detailed drawings which I put in my last post. I'm not sure what it was about their work, but I felt like I could use the paint freely for the first time, I didn't have to use it in a representational way for it to be any less of a painting. I chose to paint with a window scraper, so I could cover large areas in big, broad sweeps and I couldn't go into any detail; something I love but can hold me back sometimes. The detail would some with the sculpture. I was also looking at Lucio Fontana, infamous for slashing canvases. Simply put, I wanted to give it a go. It was so shocking and so liberating to do all at the same time. Somebody on my course, who does nice paintings on a normal canvas, was horriffied, saying I was "destroying the painting!". I think that just made me want to do it even more, so I cut larger holes into the canvas.

    Looking at coral and other natural forms, I just molded the clay with my hands, using no sculpting tools whatsoever. I wanted it to be completely free. The only tool I used was a fork to poke holes into the 'rock' and a knife to cut lumps of clay away from the block. I loved this process of working with the clay, and you'll see it's something I've kept with my work and will continue to use now. I found a new medium.

    Why I used the wooden pallet - I found it outside the studio, and decided to drag it inside. I then had the idea of stretching canvas onto it. After a long conversation about painting with my tutor, I realised I wanted this piece to not be about the traditional sense of painting - a canvas hung on the wall, the back of it not allowed to be seen. I wanted it to be viewed from all angles, and I wanted the structure of the pallet to be seen too. From my long wall of text, can you tell this is a piece I like?

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  16. #13
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    Great! I love how inspired you are

    It reminds me a little of a coral reef. Maybe, if i am not going too far now, i see the destroying of humans to the nature of these reefs in your piece. Maybe this was something you intended to transport?

    Kr

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  18. #14
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    Your work definitely differs from the usual stuff here at CA.org. Reading about the process behind that last piece was quite interesting I must say. I'm gonna pop in from time to time if you keep this thing up and running. Man, I feel inspired.
    "All artists are prepared to suffer for their work, but why are so few prepared to learn to draw?"




    MY SKETCHBOOK, COMMENT & CRITIC THE SHIT OUT OF ME

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  20. #15
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    w0rmy- Thank you! Haha I'm slightly relieved you say that I seem inspired, I hope that I keep this going for a while as I remember all too well the feeling of having "no" inspiration. It just makes things that little bit harder. That's kind of what I've been getting at, yes! I didn;t realise it at first, but my tutors told me I could be trying to show the battle between man vs nature, if that makes sense. Lie, for example, the coral reefs we're destroying, or just nature in general, but nature is much stronger than we are and 'reclaims'.

    ozark - Thank you I did wonder whether to start another sketchbook, purely because my work is different to a lot of what I see on here and wondered whether it's the right place to show it. At uni they're teaching us to talk about the process behind how we work, so we improve our self reflection. It's helped me so much to understand how I work and why I do certain things! I'd definitely recommend reflecting/writing about your work once you've completed it, it helps you to evaulate where to go next too.

    Both your positive feedback has left me feeling inspired! Now to get these last couple of important pieces posted then I'll show you what I'm working on now.

    These drawings may seem like a completely different change from what I've shown, but a quick explanation. My university invites artists to come in and hold workshops, and I attended one held by artist Robert Luzar. He introduced me to the artist Robert Morris, in particular a series of drawings he created called 'Blind Time Drawings'. He set himself tasks to follow, and using pigment on his hands he'd time himself and follow the tasks blindfolded.

    Before now, I would've dismissed that kind of work straight away, but I decided to do my own research on his work and as well as doing a couple of the blind drawings in the workshop; it opened my eyes to a completely different way of working. After the workshop I decided to try it out myself in my studio, so I wrote myself a task and a time that I had to work in. Although I wouldn't know when the time was up - part of Morris' work is that you guess when you think the time is up, and see the time error. It's also about the perception of time and how it changes when you take away sight. I decided to try the same task twice. Sorry for the poor photo quality, I had to use my phone camera!

    "Staying within the square marked out by the masking tape, draw circles using the finger tips. This drawing is to be three minutes long."


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    Attempt one: I stopped at 3 minutes 14 seconds. Time error = +14 seconds

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    Attempt two: I stopped at 2 minutes 51 seconds. Time Error = -9 seconds


    It's a really interesting way to work, and as well as seeing the perception of time it's extremely fun to do! I quite like the results as well, as there's no way you can worry about how a drawing looks when you can't see it, so you're drawing freely without inhibitions or worries of the end result.

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