HEROES, SECONDARIES AND BLENDERS

I am usually pretty good at deconstructing a brief and then being able to reconstruct into my own individual way. However, due to the project taking me into unfamiliar territory, especially with Photoshop and Illustrator, not to mention the fact that I have never come across the hierarchy of pattern collections before, I have struggled with amalgamating my ideas and research into a cohesive whole.

Today, in the ‘Creating a Pattern Collection’ briefing, ran by Sian, I finally began to understand the complexities of creating a coordinating collection. I found it fascinating that there are 3 principle elements of a pattern collection:

HERO: The primary design. The showstopper. The core design. Engaging. Complexity of colour. The Story. Largest in scale.

SECONDARY: The supporting design. Enhances the Hero, but does not detract from it. Strong design. Simplified colour and pattern structure.

BLENDER: The collection glue. Simple style and colour palette. Smaller scale. Incorporates texture and mark-making.

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Elisabeth Olwen, Skillshare, (2017), Available at: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Pattern-Design-II-A-Creative-Look-At-A-Full-Pattern-Collection/1070740680, Accessed: 16 June 2018

380b65a9Elisabeth Olwen, Skillshare, (2017), Available at: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Pattern-Design-II-A-Creative-Look-At-A-Full-Pattern-Collection/1070740680, Accessed: 16 June 2018

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Karen Emelia, Skillshare, 2016, Paisley Gardens. Available at: https://www.skillshare.com/projects/Paisley-Garden/45696 (Accessed: 16 March 2018)

This was a little research I thought prudent to undertake before journeying through my explorative coordinating pattern collection studies. Having recently signed up to Skillshare, and finding such a wonderful treasure trove of tips, hints and professional tutorial from Surface Pattern Designer Elisabeth Olwyn, I would be stupid not to make the most out of this wondrous site.

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Designers Guild & John Derian, S/S 2018, The Rose Swedish Blue. Available at: https://www.designersguild.com/uk/fabric/john-derian/the-rose-swedish-blue-fabric/p25751 (Accessed: 16 March 2018)

I have recently come across the designer John Derian, and can honestly say I am smitten!!!! The discovery came via his collaboration with Designers Guild, which strangely is one of my favourite design companies; a marriage made in heaven.

Looking over this collection, I am reminded of how important observational drawing is when conveying a rich and varied design. I absolutely love the full corollas in bloom (bang on trend with Common Ground/BUSY BLOOM), and adore how they are arranged; bold all-over print, allowing each rose to offset the next. Once far more proficient in Photoshop/Illustrator, I am going to experiment the hell out of my designs!!!!

I think one of the most important aspects I have overseen within this specific area of research has given me invaluable insight into which patterns, colours, textures and shapes look and feel good within the context of Floral/Busy Blooms. My Hero design could be completely observational like this design, but could be supported by a more stylised and linear interpretation of the same subject matter. The collection then can be amalgamated by stripes or mark making patterns. I am so excited to see what I can create/produce/make.

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What makes this design so incredibly effective?

WOODEN FLOOR, FURNITURE, PLANTS, LIGHTING, WALL COLOUR, SOFA TEXTURE & COLOUR, ARTWORK and SOFT FURNISHINGS.

I think I would love to explore all these elements within my ongoing creative journey.

THE POWER OF FLOWERS

Having always had an affinity with Nature, I didn’t quite realise how therapeutic drawing flowers is; a continuous line to create shape, pattern, form and texture soothe my soul. My Dad always has instilled within me the mantra that ‘there is no right or wrong way to draw, but rather an expression of your own self and individuality’.

The last few days have seen me at my most creative and I am struggling to reign in all my ideas, but one of the core ingredients of my success would have to be the ability to deconstruct an idea then reconstruct it in a number of different ways, which is what I have done.

I am not proficient on Photoshop or Illustrator, but have the technical know-how to create repeat patterns and juxtaposition by the good old fashioned way….BY HAND!!!

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This exercise was extremely labour intensive; photocopy each image numerous times, ‘cut out’ with my fingers, arrange by eye, and then spray mount and adhere to the sketchbook page. However, I am really proud of my effort. The flowers I I have drawn are: ROSE, IRIS, & HYDRANGEA.

The process of Repeat Patterns is extremely cathartic for me, it feeds my OCD rather nicely, plus it looks great!!

I concentrated deliberately on form, line and shape first and made the conscious decision not to overburden studies with colour until I knew that the design was strong enough to take forward.

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Again, playing around with the size of the image can create a wonderfully cohesive and fluid pattern, not to mention its a wonderful way to make sure that the image works well within the overall space.

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Experimenting with the stylisation of Roses within a surface pattern context, adding BRUSHO and water, and then strategically placing an acetate replica of the same image over the top, but making sure that the image is slightly off kilter to allow for a 3-D effect. Colours specifically chosen as a nod to WGSN.

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I photocopied (A3) my Felt samples (from my Felt workshop @ Art Van Go) and began by creating a ‘busy, colourful and textural collage background. I didn’t want to use colour within my observational Iris drawing, so photocopied it numerous times and cut out each image (time consuming!!!! 2hours!!!), juxtaposing them to create a repeat pattern. I am incredibly pleased with this design and would love to incorporate this somehow into my final coordinating designs.

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Now, this was a labour of love!! It involved experimenting with BRUSHO and water in an atomiser. The idea was to create a range (around 4 A4 pieces of paper incorporating the mixing of BRUSHO colours) colour palettes, which when dry could be ripped up and torn to create a highly textures and fluid (Busy) background. Some of my quick Rose & Hydrangea sketches were juxtaposed as a repeat pattern, eventually being embellished with Gold (Pilot Fine-liner). The result is fantastic, and I am really honing my own individual visual handwriting.

WATCH THIS SPACE.

 

 

FLORAL STYLISATION

Continuing on, I decided to utilise some of the skills I had acquired during my previous floral explorative studies; now was the time to incorporate colour, line and pattern.

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This study used a stylised approach to flowers you would see in a garden, specifically within my Mum and Dad’s garden. Poppies have been stylised, and the Forget-Me-Not’s and Viola within the rockery section of the garden have been described with Derwent INKENSE pencils and a Derwent Water Brush, with a particular use of the pencil and brush to create texture. Faber Castel PITT Artist Pens were also used to suggest the quality of grass/fronds/leaves. This was an enjoyable experience in mark-making, but more than that it gave me the confidence to use these new instruments, having never used them before.

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Having applied the principle of vibrant and exploratory mark-making with the INKTENSE pencils and FABER CASTELL pens, I decided to draw directly from life. I  picked up a reduced bunch of flowers from Aldi (only a few were still in the land of living, but considering I only paid 5p for them I couldn’t complain) and spent no more than 10minutes on this ‘sketch’. I was really bowled over by how fantastic and descriptive these instruments could be when used in conjunction with each other; a dynamic texture, colour and pattern has been created. A cohesive, fluid mark-making exercise turned out to be really successful.

Creating surface pattern/background with simple INKTENSE pencil shading and Derwent Water Brush. The image on the left is the original design, whilst the image on the right has been enhanced in my Mac ‘Photoshop’ via the Enhance tool. I absolutely love the colour and texture of the design and will experiment with applying some of my designs over the top of it; printing directly onto the surface and cutting out shapes and adhering them to the surface will allow me to explore the possibilities of the proposed final digital design.

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Playing around with stylisation and motifs; layering and mark-making. Additionally, I have incorporated a kineticism within these designs which draws the eye all over the page…allowing the viewer to choose favourite elements and interpret patterns, which would be incredibly useful when researching for a future client/s.

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Observational studies of one leaf at various different angles. The skill of observational drawing will be essential to me as a practitioner as it will differentiate me between the designers who cannot draw. Drawing is paramount to an artist!! It allows ideas to be conceptualised and carried through to a full and thought out design.

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.

WORKSHOP: WIREWORK

Second workshop of the Spring Term: WIREWORK.

Having previously had a little experience with using wire before, I knew that I would enjoy this session immensely.

The tutor gave us varying lengths/thickness of wire and suggested taking inspiration from a design or pattern that we were currently working on; I thought it prudent to create a patterned shape inspired from a paper stencil to that of a wire structure.

 

Specifically shaped blocks (circles, squares, rectangles and parallelograms) were used as a template to mould the wire around, thus giving beautifully sculpted lines, avoiding kinks and unsightly bends.

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Once the desired shape had been obtained, Martin demonstrated how to use the Spot Welder. It was very easy to use and I thoroughly enjoyed the speed of welding/bonding the two ends together.

Martyn informed us to draw the size of specific components of our chosen design on a piece of paper, and use as a template to measure for additional shapes and patterns necessary to finalise the design. An important part of this process was making sure that the wire being used was made to be as flat as possible, which I made possible by eye co-ordination and a wire clamp; looking and pressure.

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To create the tighter curvature within the wire a 1″ (Diameter) metal pipe was used as a template to mould the wire around.

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When all the spot welding was complete, my job now was to remove the wire extrusions using the wire clipper/cutter. A metal file was finally used to remove any sharp protruding areas of the wire. The finished design replicated perfectly what I had undertaken within my paper stencil design.

I will endeavour to finish the design with a mixture of Silver and Copper Plasticoat. Thereupon, I wonder how this pattern/shape would be interpreted when used in conjunction with Cyanotype printing? Would the patterns created via different exposures create a new and expressive surface pattern? An e-mail to Mal bennett will ensue.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE: INTERPRETATION OF PATTERN & COLOUR VIA WEAVING

Considering I had had so much fun experimenting with Weaving (Paper) in my last project, I took the plunge and began to explore further with Yarn.

At one of my favourite Haberdashery stores in Abergavenny, I purchased two amazing bundles of Japanese NORO Wool (100%); I was instantly transfixed!! The incredible colours permeated my senses, and I knew that these colours were a near identical match to those found within MD.

Having previously purchased 10 x Thick Card Looms for Weaving, I set about stringing the first card (yarn) up. I observed directly from MD, starting from the bottom up, and made the purposeful decision to weave individually cut strands of the NORO Wool and CHUNKY MARBLE Acrylic Yarn together.

It was like I was painting with yarn. This little sample truly encapsulates all 5 words the group chose to describe MD:

  1. VIBRANT
  2. COLOURFUL
  3. LINEAR
  4. EXPRESSIVE
  5. TEXTURAL

Interpreting another section of MD. If I am honest, I could spend a week working on all 10 Card Looms!! For me, the most meaningful element of this exercise was discovering how much I love to utilise my hands; the receptive nature of weaving has allowed me to obtain tactile memory, of which I think I will cherish for the rest of my life.

This sample was a ‘continuous’ yarn, albeit many separate yarns cut and tied together. It is a direct interpret ion of the central Blue, Red and White Hill, or ‘Haystack’ as I think it looks like. Having analysed the structure using weave, I now feel confident in undertaking many other exercises when interpretation other artists work or even my own. Subsequently, I am now developing a far greater understanding of who I am as an artist; it’s only taken 37 years!!!

Going forward, I think I would like to scan these samples and manipulate the images using Photoshop. Repeat patterns and juxtaposition could create some new and exciting designs. How about printing the scanned images onto Mulberry paper and utilising bleach to manipulate the colour? Or printing onto Acetate and manipulating with a Wing Needle? A decorative machine stitch may look fantastic. Watch this space.

CYANOTYPE WORKSHOP & LASER CUT INDUCTION

CYANOTYPE: A photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide.

First workshop of the new term and could not have gone better! I did not want to go down the obvious route of placing flowers, plants or material on top of the chemical coated paper, but I wanted to incorporate some of my paper stencil designs that I had not had the fortune to utilise yet. The designs were interpretive studies taken from Mulholland Drive, primarily the idea of plants, grasses and flowers.

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Mal, the Film/Photographic TD, demonstrated the Cyanotype process and allowed us free reign to choose our own design path. He was very attentive and informed us of all the Health & Safety aspects, and tips to get the best results.

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My first cyanotype involved Mal taking me to the Film development room and showing me an individual UV light box, which is used to expose film. There was a simplistic timer, which I set to 2 minutes and then removed the paper and stencil from the light box. I flipped the stencil image over and repeated the process.

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Incorporating more than one design; 2.5 minute exposure, allowing a deeper blue to develop. Stencils showing the patterns found within Hockney’s fields and the grasses too.

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Double exposures. Playing around with juxtaposition and exposure time; 3 minutes for first exposure and 2 minutes for second. Stencils were flipped over to allow symmetry in first design, and a random flipping in second to allow for random pattern.

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Triple exposure; 3 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute, which allowed the tone of blue to range from soft and textured to deep and hard.

When all of the exposures had been completed, I returned to the Print room and irrigated the surface with a water hose to remove the leftover chemical film. Mal mentioned that if I wanted the blue to become more intense and deep, that the prints could be irrigated within a bath of Milton sterilising solution; of which I did.

The results speak for themselves!! I love them. The designs remind me of tiles, which I would love to explore further at a later date.

LASER CUT INDUCTION

Saima, Jack, Jamie and I were due to attend a Laser Cut induction with Craig, but unfortunately only Jack and I attended. However, we both found it extremely useful and both found that we were able to communicate our idea for the lighting solution easily and effectively.

(3D Volumes PATTAB Lamp – Surface Grooves, NEW YORK) I must admit, I found some of the technical and I.T aspects of vectoring mathematical elements a little taxing, but eventually understood the technicalities of how to laser cut using ILLUSTRATOR on a MAC.

Craig mentioned that he would try and find out if there were any coloured acrylic offcuts he could obtain so that Jack, Jamie and I could experiment with our preliminary idea to incorporate a LOW POLY ART facet within the acrylic to be laser cut.

My job now ill be to source the coloured acrylic, but I am hyper aware of cost!! Being a student, and not made of money is one of the biggest challenges when coming up with an original idea. Jobs for this week:

  1. Source Acrylic
  2. Experiment with Pattern
  3. Explore Fabric qualities
  4. Hone use of colour
  5. Communicate daily with group
  6. Study of LIGHT within Textile context