DRAWING IS WHAT?……….FUNDAMENTAL

One of the most enjoyable, yet difficult aspects of this project would have to be my determination to be able to describe/observe the flower; angles, shapes, structure and fluidity are incredibly difficult to transfer from a 3-D object to a 2-D image on paper. With the help of my Dad and his incredible patience, he has given me the basic tools to further my confidence and ability to draw.

My first task was to draw the same rose looking at multiple different viewpoints….I can tell you it wasn’t easy, but nothing worth mastering ever is. I spent no more than 5 minutes on each sketch. What I initially wanted to concentrate on was line, but going forward I will make multiple copies of these studies and experiment with adding colour via a range of different mediums………PENCIL, SHARPIE, WATERCOLOUR, GOUACHE and  COLOURED FINE-LINER. IMAG0858

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing these roses from different viewpoints and will endeavour to keep practicing to be able to proficiently draw what I like.

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My next self-directed task was to look at/research the drawing style of Robert Kushner and to interpret his designs through my own individual visual handwriting. I made sure not to shy away from the more complex and difficult flowers, but instead relished the challenge. Some of my sketches were far better than others and it enhanced the areas in which I need to improve, specifically the motion of mark-making within the leaves and petals of the flower. My Dad has said he will work on these with me on our next observational drawing session, not to mention he has told me to experiment using a good  range of pencils too (A B and 2B). When asking why I needed to use pencil rather than pen I was told that a pencil will allow a range of marks, shading and different pressures which in turn would create a far more dimensional interpretation; pen will allow a linear essence, but won’t create dimensionality.

I am excited to discover what can be achieved by using these 2 pencils!!!

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My first attempt at trying to trying to capture the shape and form of a Daffodil as seen from the side. Although not as successful as I had first hoped, I continued on with using my wrist to describe the fluidity of the petals. My Dad was instrumental in helping me believe in myself, something I am always so appreciative for.

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I did not give up!! I took stock of what I had learned from my previous studies and love how the stem is now described alongside the delicate and fluid petals. I decided to print out 2 photocopies, one mirroring the other; a repeat pattern incorporating a Rose and Daffodil would look rather exquisite……….WATCH THIS SPACE.

WHO KNEW……ROBERT KUSHNER

People say the internet is both a good and bad thing, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, when it is good……. it is very good. One of the great things about being creative is the endless search for inspiration, and today I did not fall short:

ROBERT KUSHNER!!!!!

http://www.robertkushnerstudio.com

It is rare that I am speechless when it comes to another artist/designer, but this guy’s work is TO DIE FOR!!! What words would I choose to sum up his work?

SUMPTUOUS, DESCRIPTIVE, EXPRESSIVE, RICH, OBSERVATIONAL, INSPIRATIONAL, COLOURFUL, OPULENT & INVENTIVE

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Fascinating introspective into this artist’s work. I think I am so drawn to his work as I can see a similar passion for line, form and pattern. Looking at his work has given me the idea to invert some of my own work so the dark will become light and vice versa; could these new white lines be enhanced with metallic pen, pencil or stitch? I am extremely excited to explore this new avenue of visual research.

Decided to buy one of his books……WILD GARDENS!!! Absolutely incredible, think I can learn a great deal from this artist.

WHAT IS VISUAL HANDWRITING?

Hand-writing is your own personal style. It’s the bit that sets you are apart. That’s the mark-making you employ, or the medium you use. It can also be affected by the style/ genre you are working within.

It is vitally important to have your own Visual Handwriting, what are you without it?

What is Identity? The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.

Synonyms of Identity: INDIVIDUALITY, SELFHOOD, EGO, PERSONALITY, CHARACTER, ORIGINALITY, DISTINCTIVENESS,  DISTINCTION, SINGULARITY, UNIQUENESS

What is Identity important? Well, it differentiates between me and the next person. Imagine a world in which we all dress the same, look the same, come up the same ideas and create the same designs; not a world in which I want to belong in. But why is it so important to have my own unique visual handwriting? It defines who I am as an artist and is a direct result of how I interpret the world around me.

I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own today. If I copied the work, specifically floral designs of other artists, would the work look identical or would my visual handwriting create a new story?

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Is my identity the marks I make in my art? Is it how I interpret the subject matter through my own two eyes? I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this Tulip/Floral arrangement; it allowed me to expand my mark-making repertoire, which in turn will allow me to become a more experienced and creative artist.  Cabinet (Oak, veneered with marquetry of various woods, copper, pewter, tortoiseshell, horn and lapis lazuli), 1680 – Andre-Charles Boulle. 

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I was instantly drawn to this design; having spent nearly all of my childhood spring/summer in my garden,orchards or woodlands abroad, the imagery of apple blossom is synonymous with warmth and magical nature adventures with my Dad. Drawing this allowed me to pour some of my happiness into the drawing in the form of adding a little pink and purple, which strangely in the past I would not consider. Apple/Pirus malus en Peer/Pirus communist, 1905, Lithograph – Theo Nieuwenhuis

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I did not want to incorporate the colour from this design, but rather tried to encapsulate the essence of the corolla and large petal size (looking at the WGSN Trend forecast from BUSY BLOOMS). For me, the most important aspect of this exercise was learning which of my own preferred techniques could offer the most dress, unique and new take on a traditional process. For example, I would love to see how COLLAGE could transform this linear drawing into a fully rounded and highly textural design.

What medium would I use for the collage? Could I spend a day creating a varied amount of different exploratory mark-making studies? Could these studies serve as the medium I use to deconstruct and then reconstruct this design?

Spending time utilising the visual handwriting of others has been invaluable; not only have I a new found respect for the creative processes of others, but I have also improved upon my own way of working.

FLORAL RESEARCH

I thought it prudent of me to research some of my personal favourite artworks incorporating Flowers. I have always found it important to immerse myself in the design of the past to be able to create designs for the future. How can I go about my visual and handwritten research? My chosen images will all have specific aspects/facets of interest that I wish to explore; mark-making, observational drawing, painting, stitch, print, continuous line drawing and collage will allow me to create a visually rich and creative body of research, enabling me to hone my final designs.

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HENRI MATISSE, SAFRANO ROSES AT THE WINDOW, 1925, OIL ON CANVAS

FAUVISM, POST-IMPRESSIONISM

Why have I chosen this? Only recently have I come to appreciate Matisse, previously thinking his work was amateur at best. Today, I master at his beautiful and diverse range of mark-making qualities found with his colourful and expressive opus. I will endeavour to create my own range of floral/bloom studies inspired by Matisse.

Aspects to explore: Line and Colour

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EDOUARD MANET, FLOWERS IN A CRYSTAL VASE, 1882, OIL ON CANVAS

IMPRESSIONISM, REALISM

Why have I chosen this? Manet is one of my all time favourite artists, and is considered one of the fathers of Modert Art. His natural progression from Realism into Impressionism lifted his work to another level. When looking at his work you are transported to a time and place in which you can smell, see, touch and taste we he did at the time. Time to sketch in the style of Manet.

Aspects to explore: Brushstrokes and realism.

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VINCENT VAN GOGH, IRISES, 1889, OIL ON CANVAS

REALISM, POST-IMPRESSIONISM, EXPRESSIONISM

Why have I chosen this? Van Gogh, although now extremely commercial and well known, has always been a favourite of mine. I tend to prefer his lesser known work, it exudes a more intimate and personal documentation between the thin line of madness and genius. His expressive fluid lines have always tantalised me to take a journey through every square inch of his work.

Aspects to explore: Texture, line and pattern

KEEFE

 

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, RED CANNA, 1924, OIL ON CANVAS

AMERICAN MODERNISM, ABSTRACT ART, MODERNISM

Why have I chosen this? Although not the biggest fan of O’Keeffe’s work, I admire the beautiful etherial qualities of her more abstract work. A lot of people have speculated  her abstract floral designs have a deeper meaning; flowers being a metaphor for the female reproductive organs, specifically the vulva. Her use of colour is incredible.

Aspects to explore: Colour co-ordination, layering, abstraction

HANS

HANS BOLLONGIER, STILL LIFE WITH FLOWERS, 1639, OIL ON CANVAS

Why have I chosen this? I had not previously heard of this artist, but knew about the Dutch Golden Age, especially the work of The Dutch Masters such as BOSCH, VERMEER, HALS & RIJN. The mastery of observational skills found within this time period is infectious to me; imagine what I could complete with skills such as this!! A BUSY BLOOM, if ever I saw one, and absolutely perfect to explore for this project. Rich, earthy, yet subdued colours draw the views in…touch me, feel me and desire me.

Aspects to explore:  Observational drawing, colour theory

MORRIS

WILLIAM MORRIS, IRISES, YELLOW AND COBALT BLUE, CIRCA 1890, PRINT

Why have I chosen this? Morris is a master of pattern and colour, and my chosen design incorporates some of my favourite subject matter found within artwork…IRISES & BIRDS. I wonder if I can research books/workshops allowing me to learn and study how to master observing these subject areas.

Aspects to explore: Photoshop, Illustrator, workshops

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OLILON REDON, BOUQUET OF FLOWERS, 1900-05, PASTEL ON PAPER

Why have I chosen this?  I adore the subtleties within the floral works of Redon; pastel on paper allows a rich and subdued quality to live in symbiosis It’s as if individual aspects of the painting are allowed to live as one, but ultimately marry together to create a vision of beauty and simplicity.

Aspects to explore: Oil/pastel, observational study, colour co-ordination

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CLAUDE MONET, WATERLILLIES, 1916, OIL ON CANVAS

Why have I chosen this? Possibly one of the most famous paintings studying a floral motif. I specifically chose one of the slightly less known of the series, primarily for it’s juxtaposition and vibrant use of colour. The floral aspect is both highly observational and stylised.

Aspects to explore: Stylisation, observational studies, colour theory

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JAN DAVIDSZ DE HEEM, FESTOON WITH FLOWERS, 1660-70, OIL ON CANVAS

Why have I chosen this? Possibly one of the most magnificent floral studies I have ever seen. The marriage between the intense colour and monotone nature of the black only adds to the vibrancy and life-force of the painting.

Aspects to explore: Juxtaposition of individual studies, contrast exploration

Having discussed the brief in detail, I now find myself wanting to find out more about the Symbolism, History and multi-dimensionality of the flower through the subject of Art & Design. The next stop is to find out more about my chosen Trend…BUSY BLOOMS.