Embarking on this course has been the key to the door I have been procrastinating going through for a long time. It has forced me to get on and do stuff! Initially upon reading the course handbook and trying to get my head around the Harvard method of referencing (which I am still a bit muddled on) etc actually meant a slow start in getting on with the practical side of things. My first reflection was that I was going to need more art materials having done absolutely nothing arty for a number of years and having nothing more than a tin of drawing pencils to my name. So a bit more time escaped as I looked online and tried to work out what might be useful without spending a small fortune. As I waited for my materials to arrive I made a start on the Introductory Project. Collecting and photographing items wasn’t too much of a difficulty and then I thought I should start with my dusty drawing pencils.
During this time I was already considering, researching and worrying about getting to see a textile archive. Initially thinking I might have to travel to the Scottish borders to view the Heriot-Watt University’s collection. However with more research I realised the Burrell collection held a lot of textiles but is unfortunately closed and not due to open till 2020. I also contacted Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum who informed me most textile archives for the museums are held in the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre but unfortunately I would not be able to access it till December or even January as they are also doing some refurbishment work. When I eventually got into an archive in Inverness museum I found it fascinating what was stored there, it would have never occurred to me to donate clothing to a museum. I was unable to make any decisions prior to the visit but viewed several on the day and chose three to focus on. It was interesting to note that although the three items are quite different they all have intricate detail of which on reflection is probably why I chose them.
Mark making is something new to me. I have not really done much drawing other than to try to do realistic sketches. I think as I progressed through the projects I started to grasp a little more of the concept. When my additional art materials arrived I enjoyed using a rotary pencil which made very precise marks and I tried using pen and ink to convey textures. I don’t think I was particularly successful at some of these and trying to draw the mending stitches on the carriage shawl was very frustrating to me as they were messy.
The final exercise using flowers and leaves as an inspiration was much more enjoyable and having researched David Hockney and his works using an ipad and iPhone I was keen to have a go at creating something using my iPhone. I was quite pleased with my rose but less pleased with the horsechestnut leaf. I had an idea that the colour was bleeding out of the leaf but didn’t convey it very well with the Brushes Redux app. I used watercolours which was also new to me too.
In conclusion I’ve learnt that I find observing and portraying quite absorbing. I like detail and colour and probably portray these better as a result of my interest, my weaker aspects are showing texture using mark-making. Based on these initial projects I think I would like to develop my creative skills to produce colourful and detailed work.