Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Out of my comfort zone!!

When I read through the Drawing and Painting People book that Mark sent me last week I knew that it wasn't going to be easy!! The entire premise of the book is to challenge you to create works of art that are more about feelings rather than trying to re-create what something actually looks like. I had a go at the first exercise about being out of my comfort zone!!! (I wasn't just out of it I had left it about a zillion miles behind!!!)

The idea of the first exercise is to create a conversation using six sets of six marks...the marks have to interact with each other (going through, across, behind etc) but have to be completely different from each other (so if your first mark is soft and going in one direction then your next one has to be hard and travelling in a different direction) and the idea is that an argument erupts as the conversation progresses. (The book is brilliant at explaining the point of this exercise and what you should and shouldn't do...I, however, am not.... so your going to just have to go with me on this!!)

Now, I'm a pretty laid back person....I can't even remember the last argument I had never mind be able to draw one!! (oh wait, I was with Chris about two years ago and had more to do with jet lag than anything else so even that's a bit hazy!!). You are going to laugh when I tell you what I ended up doing....I dug out my old 'teenage angst' music and listened to 'Something I can never have' by Nine Inch Nails over and over starts slow but gets angry at the end....all I can say is my poor neighbours!!! Anyway, I thought you might be interested in seeing my attempts because they are just sooooo different from anything I have ever done before.
So, does this look like an argument to you?

Oh, and I did a painting of Bangkok too!!


Mark said...

The marks are good - variety is key. Ultimately it is marks that are the 'language' of drawing. You can make negative marks too - by rubbing out, tearing, spitting (I like spit) and smearing.

To people who don't paint this sort of exercise might seem unfathomable, but it is all about improving your creative vocabulary, not about producing a picture as such.

Once, we did a postal version of this exercise, in which people posted their drawing with subsequent people adding marks in rotation (like the game consequences). It was odd - somehow the delay caused by posting didn't quite work.

Have fun

Susan McDougall said...

Love the painting of Bangkok, evokes such memories (and also of India!!)
Looks like you are doing great - keep up the good wor.
Susan x

JJ Beattie said...

Oh yes, Susan is right; that looks just like Bangkok.

Those exercises are very similar to the sort of mark making we did at art college!

Carol and Chris said...

Mark - It was an odd experience and something that I have never tried before!! I decided that I would attempt to keep the marks in a similar sort of vein so that it looked like a progression of the same conversation. (OMG does that make any sense what-so-ever?)

Spitting eh!! Should I be concerned about that or is it just something you do at your paintings? :-)

Hmmm, the postal thing does sound weird...I guess you would kind of loose momentum having to wait for it to arrive.

I am having, my jeans and the desk are now covered in a mixture of paint and charcoal!!

Susan - Yay, you commented...and not just on e-mail...I am impressed!!!

I'm glad you like the painting of Bangkok...I was aiming for a background that looked hot, had what could pass for buildings but was quite plain so that it wouldn't compete with the telephone wires :-)

JJ - I will never forget seeing my first Bangkok telegraph pole and thinking 'You have got to be kidding!!' so when I decided to try and do a painting of had to have the wires in it!!!

I remember you showing me your sketch book...I have to say that I found it surprisingly difficult!!

C x

Ann said...

(OMG does that make any sense what-so-ever?)

And you are worried about me!!.

Ann said...

Like the painting of Bangkok Carol, looks way too hot over there for me.

Don't know very much about art, apart from what I like at the Kelvingrove, Burrell and Louvre, love standing staring at the Burrell sculptures, also love the Gallery of Modern art, so I don't have any idea if this is an argument or not, though elements come to mind.

SueG said...

Oh yes! Now you're painting like a writer! Love it!

Blu said...

Lots of feelings and emotions..the last picture is a dream! I love that.

DJ Kirkby said...

I didn't even understand the instructions! Not that there is any need for me to. Those def looked like an argumetn to me and that one of Bangcock is dimply divine, I love it.

Carol and Chris said...

Ann - LOL...If it makes you feel any better I'm now worried about me too!!

Ann - Bangkok is has three, very hot and, last but not least, very hot and very wet!! I spent most of my two and a half years there with a face like a burst tomato and I'm not even going to go into what the humidity did to my hair!!!

hehehe, I don't know much about art either but I'm having fun learning :-)

Sue - LOL. It's a very different approach...I now kinda feel that I'm struggling for my art :-D

Blu - It was a strange process....I've never had to try and draw emotions before!! I've had to dig out a whole load of old music to help me to maintain the feelings that I'm supposed to be drawing...still, I've been listening to stuff that I've not heard for ages and that's been lovely!!

I'm really glad you like the painting of Bangkok :-)

DJ - Yeah, the book was really good at explaining it all and I was a bit hopeless!! I'm thrilled that you think it looks like an argument and that you like the one of Bangkok :-)

C x

ladyfi said...

Wow - your drawings really do look angry! Love it!

Never realized that Bangkok for your was epitomized by telegraph poles.

Anonymous said...

LOVE your Bangkok painting!!! It would match my sitting room perfectly... (hints subtle as a brick). I was so ridiculously pleased that my comment was the first on your page yesterday, and then it disappeared :-( Hope this gets posted, and stays there.

Lots of love
Mum x

Ann said...

Mum, so your living room if full of telegraph poles, with wires sticking out, sounds lovely, I can see why you would want the picture.

So jealous of your living room, that I am off to get myself a deep fried mars bar.

Ann said...

Carol, the first hot was enough for me.

I know the red face scenario so well, if it goes above 20, out comes the balloon tomato face, hair stuck to ma heid, along with the duck billed platypus feet.

Carol said...

Ladyfi - I'm so glad...I don't really do angry!!

LOL, the wires were just all over the place!! I lost count of the times I nearly garotted myself just trying to walk along the road!! I must have a photo somewhere....

Mum - Congratulations...your comment stayed where it was supposed to :-) (Don't know why the other one vanished!!)

Hmmmmm, I'll have a think about it!! I could get some prints done perhaps...

Ann - Shhhh, you weren't supposed to tell my Mum's going to be all embarrassed!!

Ann - That comment made me laugh out loud!! You paint such a lovely picture of yourself... *grins*

C x

Lane said...

The charcoal drawings still have an Eastern feel. Eastern anger?:-)

LOVE the painting!

cheshire wife said...

Painting or rather drawing is a language that I can't interpret but those drawings will look good framed and hung on a wall.

Lily Sheehan said...

I'm more of a black and white photography lover if I am honest but I just love these paintings. My favourite is pic 2

Lily Sheehan said...

**soz I mean drawings and paintings, I couldn't do charcoal drawings at school cuz i would get most of it on my uniform and because of the way i hold pencils I would break them constantly :S

HelenMHunt said...

Talking about art in those terms makes it sound like writing - if that makes any sense.

Carol said...

Lane - Your right...I hadn't noticed that!! When I went back and looked over them the middle picture made me think of visiting the ruined temples at Ayutthaya (I don't know how to put links into the comments but if you google Ayutthaya you'll see what I mean)

Cheshire Wife - Hmmmmm, I hadn't thought of framing them but that's not a bad idea :-)

Lily - I like black and white photography too...the images are always quite haunting!! Chris has taken some lovely ones using his old film camera!! Awww, I'm really glad you like them....I think the 2nd one is the one I like best too :-)

Lily - that made me laugh because you should have seen the state of me at the end of doing those drawings!! I was absolutely covered and my charcoal stick had broken into about four pieces :-)

Helen - Actually, that makes perfect sense....I know exactly what you mean :-) (not sure I could explain it but I do know exactly what you mean!!)

C x

Debs said...

They certainly looked angry to me.

I love your Bangkok painting. Very soothing and warm looking.

Carol said...

Debs - Thank you hon!! I wasn't very sure whether I had managed to make them look like an argument or not!!

:-) I enjoyed painting it and I could be tempted to do a bigger one for our wall!!

C x

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh those are arguments all right! Don't you just love working like this - even if it's out of your comfort zone - face it, that's the only way we grow! I did a "heart to art" course a few years ago - also totally different from anything I'd done before - now I can't see myself ever wanting to go back and paint in a realist way! Looking forward to seeing more!

Tam said...

Sooper talented you - I love them!

Carol said...

Absolute Vanilla - *Grins* you are absolutely right!! I am loving the fact that it's pushing me to try different's no fun if it's too easy!! Your 'heart to art' course sounds you have any of your work online?

There is more but I wasn't sure whether to post them or not (I was slightly worried that the blog would turn too arty farty but I might take some pics now and put them up)

Tam - That is a lovely thing to say....I'm not sure I believe you....but it's a lovely thing to say :-)

C x

♥ Braja said...

Carol, your artwork is great, and I really love the Bangkok one. I have spent a bit of time there, used to go back and forth from here in India to get my visa renewals. Loved Sukhumvit (I know, I know...:), and feel comfortable there...loved that painting....

Carol said...

Braja - Welcome and thank you very much for your lovely comment :-)

I used to live just off Sukhumvit Road near's a fab city!!

I'm actually quite pleased with the Bangkok painting and am thinking about doing a bigger version to put up in our house :-)

C x

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Yes, there is some of my stuff online - in one of my Facebook photo albums - are you on Facebook?

Carol said...

Oooohhh, Can you add me as a friend so that I can go and have a look?

I'm on as Carol Burns :-)

C x

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Sorry, bit behind myself here - I will come and hunt you down right away! :-) xx

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