Key Aspects and Tasks
I have read through the course notes for the first assignment and have picked out what I think the key aspects and tasks of the assignment will be:-
- researching other practitioner’s work for ideas and inspiration, and reflecting on the research;
- choosing a theme, then mind-mapping and free association to come up with ideas;
- selecting and gathering an interesting and varied collection of objects that represents my interpretation of the theme;
- exploring arrangements, layouts, backgrounds etc to create a mood that matches the theme;
- observing and representing the textures, details, patterns, shapes and forms of the objects. Using a variety of media on a range of paper types and sizes. Mark-making and drawing, focusing on the qualities the objects exude;
- analysing my performance on the assignment with respect to the learning outcomes;
- writing a self-assessment about how I performed on this assignment, with reference to the assessment criteria.
These are the key tasks that I have identified and put into the order in which I will carry them out.
Time Table Plan
This is the time table for the tasks that I have come up with. It looks a bit tight to me, but I will contact Cari if I think I need a bit more time to complete it.
Reading through the First Assignment, I came across the excellent suggestion about keeping a textiles sample library, so here is my first sample. A much-beloved fabric for me: one of my husband’s old shirts. I have a large fabric stash, and it will be interesting to find out more about fabric production and finishes, printing etc It will make a useful ‘reference library’ for future projects.
I found a short mention of how brushed finishes are achieved on http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/design/textiles/productiontechniquesrev5.shtml
Brushing involves passing fabrics through rollers with wire brushes that lift the fibres to form a nap.
A You Tube video, called “Sueding, Brushing Textile Machine” shows the process in action on a Caru Magica machine. The roll of fabric passes between rollers with fine wire brushes (or these may possibly be diamond coated since that is mentioned in the name of the machine?). It passes out of the machine and is folded in a concertina fashion into a large stack. The process seems to generate a lot of dust and fine fibre particles. The body of the machine is encased in a metal and transparent-windowed casing, with the dust being extracted into a large plastic sack.
I will look for books on textile production next time I visit the library.
There were some useful pointers in the video about navigating the sections available for locating your course submissions; bookmarking and organising useful material; contacting your tutor and so on. However, the video did seem to need updating, as I noticed that there were some differences between the website shown and the website as it exists now.
I had already had quite a good browse around the website, watching some of the textiles-related videos, and ones on research; introducing myself on the forum; and exploring some of the resources for my research, etc.
I have now followed the textiles forum and added my blog to the thread of textiles students’ learning logs, which someone is collating. I have also followed some of my fellow students’ blogs as I feel it will be useful to see how other people are interpreting the tasks, and to talk about different approaches and ideas.
This course will give me the knowledge and experience to research and produce textile work that will reflect my personal voice through choices made in media, techniques, language, interests and focus.
These skills will be developed through researching the work of textile artists and designers; and primary research in the form of looking, drawing, and note taking; and written reflection.
I will be able to use colour in a meaningful way in my work. The course will help me to explore colour through the use of various media, and teach me how to store reference material on colour, for future use.
I will develop a range of technical skills and be able to use a variety of media in my work. I will experiment with old and new yarn types; and will learn about ‘textile sampling’.
I will be able to reflect on my learning experiences and experiments during the course, which will help in decision-making about the best way to approach and proceed with future textile projects.
I must record my thoughts and progress in my Learning Log, with these Learning Outcomes in mind, so that my tutor, Cari, can assess my understanding and development in these areas.
I decided to make a few sketches of the gorgeous display of buttercups that I pass regularly at this time of year (before they are cut down by the council!). I must admit to rarely sketching ‘in public’ as I am embarrassed in case someone comes to take a look. But I got a small folding table to sit on, some pencils and felt pens, my sketchbook and camera and set off.
I tried to make some close up studies looking at the shape of the petals; the way the stems divide, what the buds and seed heads look like (top left and right); also the distribution of the flowers (middle left); a ‘realistic’ study at bottom left and a more abstract version at bottom right. In the centre are an actual petal; and some little, simplified shapes that are my impression of the buttercup heads.
I took some photos as colour/distribution of colour references. The red signs in the back of one shot are a point of interest and contrast for the eye. The combination of grey and yellow appealed most to me. Here is a sample:-I played about with one of the images in Paint Shop Pro, trying out some different effects, and grayscale, which I though would be useful for highlighting light, medium and dark areas. The pattern one was interesting – like wall paper or fabric – maybe a way to come up with all-over designs? I like the simplification of the mosaic images – reminds me of Bridget Riley, whose work I have been studying over the last few days. Simplifying the real world, but providing clues for the eye to make sense of it. (Not quite the optical effects of some of her paintings, though!). The 16 colour version might be useful for narrowing down the colours in a composition, although it seems to have decided that the road was more pink than grey.
Some initial key words to search for: looks rather blank at the moment!
This is the page of notes I made as a checklist for starting research.
The areas I am interested in researching in particular are:-
The Op-Art Movement
Her process for producing art works
Her body of work – range and development – including some key artworks
Definition of ‘Pointillism’:- “technique of neo-impressionist painting using tiny dots of various pure colours, which become blended in the viewer’s eye. It was developed by Seurat with the aim of producing a greater degree of luminosity and brilliance of colour”. Source:- Google search for meaning of pointillism
I decided to see which, if any, colour theory might apply to Riley’s paintings and consulted David Hornung’s book “Colour: A workshop For Artists and Designers”.
Thoughts on the day’s research: disappointed that the library didn’t have more books available on the subject (just one). The most helpful source was the BBC documentary, which had some excerpts of Bridget Riley herself speaking about her influences and inspirations. Hoping to find out more from the exhibition on Saturday, when I will be doing my primary research. The more general art books were of no or little use. The hardest thing is trying to focus in on the questions you want to find the answers to, so good to start the research with those in mind. There is so much information even in one book that it is easy to go off at a tangent. I am particularly interested in Riley’s inspirations, process, the reason for making her artworks; and to learn something about Op Art.
I understand that by completing this task satisfactorily I will be able to show competence in the techniques covered in the Introductory Course. I will summarise the findings of my research, and write a short evaluation reflecting on my work and the experience of producing that work.
My learning log will be used to collate and evaluate my research. The completed work and development of that work will be presented on the learning log. Finally, I will reflect on the process of studying the whole induction course.
I will choose a topic or person from the 20th century that I am interested in to investigate. The research must be taken from two or more books, two or more journals/magazines, one reputable website and a set of notes made from primary research in a gallery or museum.
Well, I had a false start yesterday, after deciding to research Louise Bourgeois, I made a mind map of key areas, researched keywords using the ‘graball’ meta search website, and spent a couple of hours researching books/articles that I might be able to use, quotations by the artist, images of her work using the OCA’s online resources section, and the best website to use as my ‘reputable website source’, only to find that I would not be able to carry out the primary research aspect of the task, as none of her artworks are currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in Edinburgh (I am going to Edinburgh for a study visit on Saturday, so had hoped to combine the research with the visit).
The research will be kept for future use and reference, and I will look out for the next time her work is exhibited nearby, to complete the primary research aspect.
After thinking it over, I have decided to start again, but check that I can do the primary research before deciding which artist to research. I will try and find any books I need at Carlisle Library, which is my nearest city library, when it reopens after the Bank Holiday.