Thursday 11th March

Today was a mixed day I feel in terms of productiveness and usefulness for the remainder of the project. Whilst I completely understand why the tutors were asking us to use the day to try out techniques and start actually making as I think some people aren’t at that stage yet, for me what I need to focus on before my progress tutorial next week is putting all the samples I have already done into my sketchbook and then to carry on working more sculpturally on the body. Nevertheless, I decided to try lino printing as it’s a technique I haven’t done before. I was initially stuck as to what to do as a print as all of the print-based samples I have done before have been more focused around texture and a paintily way of doing things, instead of the more graphic effect that lino printing produces. I decided to try one with the shapes from a draped piece of fabric to make a 3D structure 2D, and then a small panel with lines in the style of tacking stitches. The stamps actually took quite a long time to cut out, and when I tested them they didn’t work very well, the shapes for the drape I had done looked more like a zebra pattern than anything else and the tacking stitch design looked a bit like road markings. I did another drape pattern, decreasing the size, and this worked much better, and looks more recognisably like a drape, and rounded off the corners of the lines of the tacking stitches stamp, although it still does bear a resemblance to road markings!

After testing a couple of the different colours that were available, I decided that the white worked the best, as it prevented the more graphic design from completely taking over the page and was still very effective on coloured surfaces, similar to that of the flour and water mixture used to make the body paint textiles. I printed these onto some of the prints I did on Tuesday, which worked well. I then collaged them into mini print samples with papers in other colours from my colour palette, and embroidered over the top. I feel that by bringing in the other colours it really brought it to life, and makes it much more eye-catching and attractive, which is good to know as I think at the moment that the colour scheme works reasonably well. I also like the contrast of the paintly surfaces with the block colours, as this provides a good contrast and prevents the colour from being too much. At the moment I am envisaging making a final piece in a single block colour, and then suing my other colours to add paintly flourishes and accents to the design to highlight and embolden it without it becoming too much like a fancy-dress costume.

Today I also learnt the technique of felting fabric, which one of my classmates showed me, and I found that it was really effective on sheer fabric, and appears a lot like the effect created by the flour and water body paint mixture, which I could combine together and develop further.

This afternoon one of my tutors also had a chat with the group and spoke about the need to be motivated and the lack of energy in the room, which I agree with as I think at the moment both myself and some of my peers feel a bit jaded. Whether this is because we are almost at the end of such a hectic year, the applications process, or more self-directed work over a longer project I don’t know, but I think I just need to focus on the enjoyment side of it to encourage me to work hard in a positive way. I feel slightly concerned that maybe I haven’t done enough yet, or that what I have done isn’t very strong, but I think the more important thing is to focus on doing what I feel passionate about, rather than working through fear as I think that the former will produce the best results- everything is much easier when you feel calm!

Overall, I think that today was useful in that I have produced some interesting collages for my sketchbook, and to reference back to in further development, though I don’t think that I am going to include lino printing in further samples. I think the important thing for me now is to get everything in my sketchbook and to get back into working big and on the body, as I think at the moment I am hiding behind doing small samples to avoid having to think about the bigger picture. 

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