The TAG group and other members of the team are invited to contribute to preparing their own sketch books. This idea is based upon an international sketchbook project that gets people to buy a sketch book and fill it, then return it for an online diary/travelling exhibition. ~Jacqui L
An update and plan for the next few weeks, shared with the TAG group today, is copied below. ~Jacqui L
These 'Part 2' photos [coming up in the next few posts] relate to the session Lynda ran at the beginning of June. Lynda led the group through some thinking about the labels that we use to describe ourselves, and those used by others to label us. The group were keen to explore this theme for themselves - using labels, collage and paint. ~Jacqui L, Lynda
This month we are thinking about how in portraiture there are often clues to the subjects personality and identity in terms of the setting and what/who else is present.
Historically it has been fashionable at certain times for these to be items with symbolic meanings on many levels. The viewer is then invited to puzzle through clues to something beyond what can be seen with the naked eye - eg an open door, a skull on a table, a mirror, a half-seen manuscript, food, wine.
So we spent some time beginning to ponder ... 'What would we add in to images of ourselves that would help the viewer to understand more about us as people, our interests and concerns and our personalities?'
We used 4 different still life set-ups to practice our observational skills in pastels, pencil and paint.
Studies of flowers, bottles, food hand tools and of a statue of Venus are emerging. Everyone worked very hard - still life demands a high level of attentiveness and energy. The work will continue over the coming weeks as individuals gather items of particular relevance to themselves to explore and to draw.
The group are also looking forward to portrait artist Judith Handford from Winchester returning to inspire us all in early July. ~ Jacqui L
I think we all enjoyed our little venture into “sculpture” with the excellent two sessions run by Geoff. Starting with a comprehensive bit of chat about the basic types of sculpture we may generally encounter. Subsequently we were let loose with a myriad of materials to use, kindly brought in by Geoff. Paper sticks, beads, veneer strips, copper wire, wooden bases, willow wands, PVA glue, clay, string and a host of additional materials including pliers and other tools. So….thinking caps on….what do we “sculpt” ? Well… one could see various brains ticking over to come up with innovative ideas and looking at some of the photos they did just that. Geoff wandered round offering advice and encouragement and soon lots of weird and wonderful shapes were evolving. I think most of us completed a sculpture and were working out how we could safely transport them home without them falling apart in the boot or back seat !
I’d like to offer sincere thanks Geoff and Jacqui as I am sure the rest of TAG would too. It was good fun and who knows – we may possibly have a budding Rodin in our midst ! ~Roger Backhouse (TAG)
Geoff led his second session today at TAG and the group continued to explore our theme using sculpture. A huge variety of work was produced and Roger took some excellent photos which will appear on here shortly. They worked in veneer, clay and willow with fabric, buttons, copper wire and beads, all making statements based upon the micrographs, hair strands, images of self and identity, texture and form in 3d. Geoff may also send in some words for the blog at some stage this week.
The group were very excited to hear/see some of their work on the RMS project blog! Roger is also going to write some words from the group for the blog. I have also encouraged them to go on line and to comment on the work as it develops.
Now for a nice sit down and a cup of tea! ~Jacqui L
Lynda has recently sent me a helpful link to this site about sketch books http://sketchbookchallenge.blogspot.co.uk/ ~Jacqui L
Carding fleece here today. Using a Jacob's Fleece in rich chocolate brown which was donated by a Hopeweavers team member following a chat with a friendly shepherd at St Catherine's Hill, Winchester. Once carded, this fleece will be hand spun to form one of the yarns for my weaving. Thanks to Jann for this contribution. ~Jacqui L
Just had an amazing delivery of willow withies in three beautiful colours from Julia Hayes who has an Apple Orchard at Durley. These three types of willow - Goat, Golden and Scarlet - will be used as part of the sculpture project being led by Geoff Poulton at Thornhill Art Group during May 2013. Very exciting to see such wonderful bright colours and forms - almost like extremely large strands of dyed hair. Many thanks to Julia who has donated these valuable resources to the RMS Project. ~Jacqui L
As a starting point, I have begun to look at my own life using initially the pages of a concertina sketch book. Alongside notes and photographs some of which I have cut up and used as weft strips in weavings, I have taken a large 1 m x 1 m canvas which explored ideas of transitions from different stages in my life. I then cut this up to form a narrative over one entire side of the concertina book parts of which can be seen in Figures 1, 2 and 3. I found this a helpful process to begin to inform the overall work I will be developing. A series of reference points with words to mark specific times and values.
Following surgery for cancer, I am deeply interested to see what happens when we allow ourselves to be cut and reformed in ways often way beyond our control. I wanted to explore this idea through the cutting and reforming of a large canvas.
Alongside, I have been developing forms through weaving and sketching and through carding sheep’s ‘ hair’ – or fleece (Figure 4). Once spun, this fleece or hair forms strong and flexible yarn which can be used as the Warp in a new weaving (Figure 5).
Using fleece from different sheep gives a wide variety of naturally occurring tones from white through cream to dark brown from Jacob’s sheep fleece (Figure 6). An example of woven fleece in a variety of colours from a previous project is shown in Figure 7. ~Jacqui L