Drawing Project Exhibition
by Beauchamp Art
Drawing with alternative tool; Peg/String Brush, Ink, Words
First Year Fine Art Exhibition – Drawing
During the drawing project, we were encouraged to question what drawing is, and Fine Art in general. One of the ways I went about this was exploring alternative means of creating marks; i.e., different ways of drawing.
To begin with, I wrote a list of ideas for potential ‘drawing’ techniques, then refined this list and experimented with the more practical ideas, given the time restrains and practicality of some them.
Therefore, I went about attempting to make my own drawing tool. Rather then creating a completely new tool, which may not produce any interesting images, I decided to create a tool that emulated a more ordinary one, and use it in an unusual way. I know that creating interesting images is not the finite aim of drawing or art, it is more about the exploration of ideas, but I believe that being able to being able to render stimulating images is an effective way of exploring ideas.
Moreover, after constructing my simple tool; which was a piece of string clamped in a peg, attached to a pencil wrapped in masking tape or dangled from a second piece of string, then dipped in ink; I began to explore what sort of marks could be made with it. At first, when dangling the tool, I found that I could only create rough, abstract marks, which implied motion quite effectively. But after modifying the tool slight, by strapping the peg to the broken pencil, and adjust how I used it; so it behaved as a rather effective facsimile of a brush. However, the string head of the tool had a certain random element to mark making, which allowed me to explore a certain amount of spontaneity with ‘drawing’.
This randomness worked well as a in adding a great sense of dynamism and some abstract elements to what otherwise would be rather uneventful figure studies – mostly self-portraits, due to the infrequency of adequate sitters.
However, whilst making this tool, and getting to grips with it, I had also being engaging with other ideas, though some experimentation, and stimulated by reading ‘Writing on Drawing’, as well as by discussions with my peers. One such idea that I found intriguing was the use of text and words as drawings: especially by writing descriptions of scenes, creating vignettes of scenes with words and marks, rather than explicitly and literary drawing a scenario.
For example, I decided to write/draw a description of myself working on the drawing, writing in the third person, as if observing the scene and recording it, as one would creating a regular study. As it was a self-study, I chose to use the passive voice in order to reflect the idea of using a mirror for a self-portrait, as it is not the actual figure that is being observed, but false copy rendered in polished aluminium and glass.
I then began to explore the idea of fusing an more literal drawn study, and including the literary element alongside it. In the piece I selected for the exhibition, the words I included were mostly thoughts on the drawing and how I was going about it as it was being developed. Creating a narrative to an otherwise still image. In the drawing, I also redrafted and re-sketched the image multiple times as it developed, creating layers of lines in varying opacity, with the final foremost image the darkest and clearest. The text elements were not always legible, nor were intended to be, much as the ambiguity of thought is often unclear.
Moreover, I also included the makeshift tool displayed in a make-shift way between the two images. As it has also being distorted, and to some extend drawn on, by the whole process. As the string and peg are darkened by ink, and the broken pencil is mucky from use.
In conclusion, I have found the project and my exploration of drawing a useful initiator of ideas that I will hopefully be able to expand upon in later projects.