T1: MMT; Pt3: sketching as reflection

Before I complete the reflection for Assignment 3 I just want to push a few more sketches and work with the 3d pen.

Tonight I was considering the work of Claude Heath and his landscape sketches. I wanted to see how the 3d pen held to a translucent surface so I rooted out some old ohp translucencies. The grip was great. When I rolled the sample into a tube it released the ‘writing’ yet the static charge held enough to the tube so that it didn’t all drop out. This gave me some very pleasing visual effects that I have photographed and sketched.

This creates some great reflections and transformations.

Looking down the tube. I forgot I’d left some pink in the pen so the first few cms came out pink into black. However, I like this signature! It recalls the red heart in the sketch for Pt 2:



T1: MMT: Pt 3 Research cont.d

The exciting result of sharing my learning on the blog and on the forum is that my eyes suddenly get extended to others’ eyes across the globe.

A big thank you to Inger and Jennifer who scouted out 2 inspiring artists that I most certainly have appreciated looking at and would never have known about otherwise.

Firstly, looking at the work of Claude Heath, particularly his drawings and notably his landscape drawings that utilise acrylic on a transparent ground. I also was intrigued by his graphic work ‘Waterfalls’ which is supported by a video here. I like that he studied philosophy before he turned his mind to creating art. He plays with the perception of 2-D and 3-D. I am fascinated by his discussion on this work and how his work is created to hope to understand water better – that he is attracted to something that as he describes, cannot be completely comprehended. Perhaps what I am searching for is a grasp at something else that cannot be comprehended: our inner language. ‘You can always use drawing to extend other question for other people in other realms.’ His blindfold drawings speak to me on a textural level and a familiar level. They are like the big brother of where my sketches are growing. He discusses 3d technology as a freeing restraint. And I am smitten by his use of the term ‘enquiry’. We talk the same language here. I feel less lonely in my thinking.

Which takes me on to my next soul-partner in creativity. I have always felt that ideas can be pulled out of ourselves, pulled through, but they are pulled through us as from another place. The picture I have in my head is pulling strings from us, the thread of an idea, it can pull from your heart or your mind or your belly, put it pulls and catches like a fishing line or net, as it passes through us it picks up the catch – slivers of sliver fish ideas, lumps of tangled seaweed memories, snapping claws of unhealed hurts, yet you keep pulling. it is not pulled out from us but pulled through use. Those threads originate outside of ourselves. Many of us at the same time can grasp these threads or be grasped by these threads) and pull them into being through ourselves, through our internal translation, and yet on the other side of the country someone can be pulling through similar concepts and questions and enquiries that reverberate since they are from the same part of the same source, but materialise with slight differences due to the individual they pass through. This is one of the reasons I am curious as to what you get to if you keep looking further and further into ideas for their source, their original language. Steven G Bonfield and I must have been pulling from the same sea or inspiration. Not only is his work a fusion of text and form, but he has created works that CAN BE TOUCHED. How long have I ranted about this?! My concern for playgrounds, art that can be handled and climbed over and through and INTERACTED with – other than on a visual, cerebral level.

Jennifer sent me some photos from his exhibition ‘The Language Landscape’ that she visited here. In the supporting text she mailed me it states how  he ‘makes interactive paintings and sculptures filled with or covered by writing….whose physical characteristics are indivisible from the poem.’ His Artist’s Statement calls to me like one of my pack:

‘I sometimes feel that I am primarily constructed out of language. The skins and bone and gristle of me is real but not as real (or as me) as the words that I speak and think with. My work is an attempt to get inside this world of language. To explore language materially and as a web of subjective connections. I’m not so interested in sharing my thoughts on language or aesthetics. I’m attempting to share my experience of them.’

With this statement he becomes another piece of the jigsaw of me, some bits fitting flush others sticking out where I stick in and not all edges touching, but definitely the next piece.

Now to hunt him down!!




T1:MMT; Pt 3:Stage 4 Sorting

In this section I need to show that I have made improvements given my tutor’s previous feedback. I need to consider selecting pieces that have really worked for me being tight with my choices. Furthermore, I need to pinpoint influences that are really prominent in my mind.

Firstly, I chose my materials and had available plaster of paris; clay and a paper based air drying clay that had some flexibility. In Project 2 I added resin and wax to these. Whilst there are still many materials e.g. latex/silicone to investigate I feel that I really wanted to invest my time and energy in the results that were emerging, particularly from the use of plaster and resin, and later the heated plastic filaments of the 3d pen.

There have been many failures, or not-gone-the-way-I-anticipated results. These are by no means dead ends and have often provoked a far more interesting result in following pieces. It has been a steep learning curve using all these materials and following (or not) instructions on how to prepare them.  There has also been a considerable change of pace where work cannot be produced instantaneously and preparation and purchase of resources is necessary. Not all has been as expected and I’m glad really. The direction this project has taken as I’ve attempted to slow down and enrich rather than speed forward sampling has taken quite an unexpected turn into the world of asemic writing. This is predominantly due to a timely visit to the Turner Contemporary at the start of this module seeing the works of Henri Michaux and Turner reconsidered and re-presented by Joachim Koester. There have been defining moments and epiphanies – over the nature of drawing, trying to discover how to ‘write’ the inner workings of my mind, as well as the use of a 3d pen to facilitate investigation into these lines of enquiry. I have also realised that for me, ‘personal voice’ in my artwork is about finding the question that lies at the heart of me, being truthful to this enquiry and investigating it, sharing my findings and discoveries however I can, and learning techniques to accompany the communication of this.

My significant influences have been the visual and written works of Louise Bourgeois and Henri Michaux. These have led me to other inspiring artists and I have hopefully shared this in the Bibliography. Without the philosophies and practices of these two artists I feel my work would have been the poorer. Furthermore, I owe much to the ‘inscape’ and ‘instress’ of Gerard Manley Hopkins that continues to inspire me to find the ultimate defining gesture of our very being-ness.

The key question that I’ve been exploring has been: ‘What if I cast the inner surface of me – what would that be like?’

The first piece that begins to investigate this concept as well as developing a process is the t-shirt sample from Project 1.

This was a joy. I had no preconceptions as to how it would turn out and peeling away the t-shirt revealed a clarity and sensitivity to texture I could not have anticipated. Every detail, scrunch and seam had remained in the cast. The piece was fragile and strong and felt that it held a moment of very much human inhabited time. Temporal and corporeal.

This encouraged me with the use of plaster. The next sample I would select (initially discussed here) is the failed plastic rope and plaster cast. The crochet had failed to leave a cast as the fibres of the rope had pulled the cast to shreds yet in using the camera to sketch this sample I noticed how much it resembles an ice-scape. Piercing its surface with sea-smoothed glass and binding this together brought previous modules to bear, helping this project feel less separate. The piercing and cutting with glass and the shattering of the plaster into the hole created a somatic response in me, allowing me to feel I was responding to that question. These shards of glass hurt to gouge in, yet remained bluntly immersed like splinters of pain, though they allowed the light in/out of the wound. This sample also revealed to me the possible exploration of the rough and smooth sides as metaphor for internal/external.

This concept of the surface of the cast being the surface of my mind evolved into the developed sample of another cotton/jersey plaster cast. This piece is the first sample that I explored further (shared in detail here) manipulating the surface with poem from Gerard Manley Hopkins considering the mountains of the mind on the rough t-shirt cast side, but supported on the smooth side with personal writing concerning my previous hiding in silence and invisibility – a smoothing off of myself so nothing would stick.


This opened the door for securing the writing that was being developed. What would the language of my mind look like if I had to write it down? I knew it had to be free of the page which gave the purpose for moulding using resin. Whilst this project directed you to mould the inner surface, this is exactly what I was trying to investigate, but not of a given object, but me. I chose a plastic bottle as the container, I am the vessel, with all the symbolism and metaphorical narrative  that I could read and which has been pointed out to me by others.

I was at first a bit aghast that the heat of the curing resin had caused the writing to melt and re-fuse and float to the surface. But on consideration this has been my most rich sample and I return to it again and again to sketch with my camera and sketching app and with more traditional sketching materials.

The pieces above would be my chosen samples for an exhibited collection of this module.

For my own selection I would like to highlight the following samples as still containing properties, processes and concepts that I would like to investigate singly and in combination at a later time. I anticipate they may be ‘threads’ that are picked up further on in my studies. I am currently continuing to develop my drawing and sketching in the light of interests that are emerging: notably how to present what it looks like inside of me, my inner surface, and whether delving into that can take me to the universal language at the very heart of being human.

Sketching Pt3

Brain-melting thinking day.

I have been up since 3.30am. I apologise for typos and incoherence. I am writing because my brain has gone into overdrive and I’m hoping a spill on the page will let me switch off.

Thinking today has evolved from considering ‘personal voice’ that I have come to a conclusion equates to setting up my own artistic enquiry, following what arises, documenting it, refining it and sharing my discoveries – learning processes and concepts along the way that facilitate this.

Then my brain whizzed off again considering the notion of artistic intention in the light of Michaux’ work and neurophenomenology which brings me to a current question as to the phenomena of drawing itself. If ‘art’ or creating is part of the blueprint of our mind, our mind’s very mechanics, it is through un/sub and consciousness that it is translated before delivery to the world. If this is the case drawing is thereby an embodiment of my temporal perceptual experience brought to the plane (currently experimenting with both 2 and 3-d). It is my current experience of the world acted upon by memory, perception, consciousness let alone gesture, bodily engagement, and movement. Which kind of stymies the concern for skill. It does open me up to experimenting further with exploring drawing as a language by which I can communicate what is going on in my brain when I ‘see’ or ‘feel’ my world. This thinking reintegrates drawing and sketching as part of me, rather than an external activity. In the process of rebuilding me, by trying to recreate my internal language on the page I witness not a fragmented self, but a whole being.

Quick sketch of sample on phone app to tune myself in without fear of wasting paper.

From phone app to paper picking up the main lines where the plaster cast catches my attention.


Back to the music: listening and painting that language. A3 & watercolour. My middle daughter thinks this looks like Hebrew. It obviously says ‘language’ to her.


On the horizontal plane. Another track – other marks. I was considering running a craft knife around the ‘letters’ and raising them to see the effect. I didn’t trust myself with dangerous implements today. Need more sleep first!


Exploring using layers of sketch with an initial biro recount of the movement in my brain, then a watercolour layer of how the music feels in my body.

I felt bereft of colour so pulled out the oil pastels. This is only cheap watercolour paper and the surface was not very conversant with this medium. So I pushed on an added a final layer of watercolour wash. I like the effect where is has pooled in the lowered dents.

Next explore was to refine the line and be sparing – to say less, but hopefully convey more!


This time I introduced coloured inks as I wanted their permanency and stain quality.

But I still missed the 3D. Onwards again:

This time adding silver thread, cream cotton thread and pink 3d pen layer. Still wants to be more 3d. It is calling to be picked off the page and reveal itself like a tornado or spindle of whizzing electrical sparks and sketch. It needs animating. It needs to move. It needs to be off the page.


The sketches in series. They become more energetic as they go along, the top being the first, the bottom the last. The addition of colour and the reduction of marks is something with which I am pleased. Yet it still needs to be off that page.

It’s like looking at energy roadkill at the moment.