May 2 - 13
These two weeks were all about personalities. I have met some wonderful people during my time out and about and spent this week listening to stories and following people. People visit Lulworth for different reasons, and it's wonderful being about to discover what those reasons are.
I also spent some time in the visitors centre getting to grips with the geology and history of the place.
After a few days of intense study I sat on the beach, listening to the water rush over the pebbles and drawing a group of geology students, keenly carrying out their experiments. I made a couple of feathered friends and hopefully captured their mischievous nature in a few quick sketches.
April 18 - 29
Before I began spending at time at Lulworth I put together a few ideas about how I was going to go about getting the images I needed and wanted. This was incredibly helpful as it gave me a chance to figure out a way forward and then something to work to when actually out and about. It was also great as it set some boundaries that ultimately ensured I was focused and productive.
Some of these ideas worked and some didn't but it was fun planning them out and trying them out on location!
Within the two weeks I wanted to move away from drawing in my usual way and purely by accident, whilst working alongside a friend in the studio, discovered the joy of watercolour pencils . I 'borrowed' said pencils and went out for a walk along to Dungy Head and beyond. The results were surprising as my images suddenly had a new freshness to them, an extra something which I have gone on and used, working from these rough sketches to inform my printmaking and final, polished images.
In contrast to this I worked with monotone watercolour pencils in order to create a similar texture but retain the simplicity of my sketches.
When not out on location I spend most of my time in the studio. I don't actually have a designated studio space at the moment so I divide my time between the print room and the illustration block at uni.
My work has developed over the last year in exciting and surprising ways but drawing and printmaking seem to be at the heart of what I do. I am heavily into processes and find the act of making extremely soothing, challenging and productive. I have also been able to develop my digital skills and find that by drawing and making regularly, I have a wealth of images at my disposal for editing, reproduction or reuse.
Printmaking is traditionally used to reproduce the same image over and over again. I use print in a slightly different way, preferring to experiment with mono prints and screen printing to experiment with images that can only be made once or to create textures through stencils made of newsprint. I then either draw back into these prints to create mixed media images, use the textures to design digital work or reuse them as stencils or cut outs.
I love the ritual and immediacy printmaking allows and feel as though as I am drawing with the medium to create unique pieces of work every time.
I have also used mono prints in other projects. In order to create a body of work for the book War Horse, I mono printed whilst listening to the audio book. The final illustrations are made from a combination of reused, photographed and original prints.
After surveying my images from last week I decided it would be a good idea to display them on a temporary gallery space in the Estate Office. By copying sketchbook images and notes, changing the scale of some and displaying them altogether helps me to firstly see what I have; share my findings and images with others; and begin to see patterns, groups of images and interesting details that I might have missed.
This week was particularly challenging as I had shut my hand (my drawing hand) in a car boot over the weekend. I thought that my work would be compromised but in fact it turned out to be an interesting experiment!
The original plan for the first day had been to fill a sketchbook with drawings and paintings and walk as much of the land as I could. I was inspired by a profile piece on Jason Hicklin from ‘Printmaking Today’ where he had been talking about sketching on location. Drawing is ‘fundamental’ to his etching process and he claims ‘if you haven’t walked you can’t understand how the land is shaped or formed….feeling the land is understanding it’. Having an injured hand made me think that filling an entire sketchbook in one day might be a little ambitious (and painful) but I was keen to at least give it a try. I still had my legs after all and if walking the landscape could help me to understand it a little better, then I’d start with that.
I walked straight over to the Door without taking any pictures or making any drawings. (I actually found this incredibly difficult to do which was surprising). I wanted to begin from a different perspective – to start my drawing journey on that day from ‘the other end’.
I then made my way back to the Cove, stopping to paint and draw from varying points on the beach; taking time to sit and look, making images on the beach, on the steps up to Man of War, on the beach looking up to the cliff face, looking out over to Portland and then at points on the long winding trail back to the Cove.
In the afternoon I spend some time at the Cove, noting down in text what I could see and recording some of the objects and patterns that interested me. I would like to spend a day drawing and painting these in detail and maybe recording some of the shapes of these objects and the natural patterns of the environment.
At 3pm I met Ranger Jim, a wonderfully enthusiastic and lovely man who took me on a beautiful walk up to Dungy Head. Having my own personal guide added a new depth to my experience out on the landscape and it took all I could to try and capture all the amazing things he was describing, explaining and pointing out to me.
The depth of knowledge that the Lulworth Rangers have with regards to the landscape, the biology, flora, fauna, history and wildlife is incredible. As we walked and talked I was able to capture a simple essence of the wildlife (mostly birds!) that and the names of some of the vegetation and rock formations that make up the coastal path. But I think I am going to have to take my notes back into the studio and research these characters in more depth as I don’t think my sketches did the Tor Grass, the Firecrest or the Stinky Iris justice! If the weather stays fair I will take this walk again to Dungy Head and see if I can catch a glimpse of the Oystercatcher or just sit and admire Church Rock.....
but.......it's been horrendous and so for the rest of the week I decided to hide in the studio and work on some drawings taken from my sketchbook. It's bit of a cop out I know but hey, I’m sure there will be another rainy day for me to spend out on the rocks!
Observational drawing is at the heart of my work. And so it is inevitable that live drawing and reportage appear in my portfolio and influence my mark making and studio work.
I love to go out and about, attend events, fashion shows and theatre performances as well as taking a sketchbook to the beach, cafes and other random locations to observe and record what I see. I always carry a moleskin sketchbook or watercolour book, a black drawing fountain pen, 7b pencils and watercolours in some form - ink blocks, pencils or paints.
On Thursday 4 August I was lucky enough to be visiting artist during rehearsals with dance company Panta Rei at Pavilion Dance South West.
The Norway based company are currently working on a new production entitles 'Promise of departure' in collaboration with British dance maker Rachel Erdos. It was great to sit in, observe and draw the dancers as they rehearsed, discussed and reworked the first half of the piece. Here are a few of the more interesting images of the day.
On Thursday 11 August I'll be visiting Neon Dance to do exactly the same thing. Can't wait!!