REFLECTION on final assignment

REFLECTION on final assignment

My experience in this final assignment underlined the conclusion which I came to following my research into the work of Cornelia Parker. Although I approached that research with a degree of skepticism, I found that what impressed me was the integrity and truth which came through. Her use of materials or objects as tools in the process of producing her images came as a result of who she was and her individual expression and this was powerful. They were also a conscious rejection of the traditional two-dimensional illusion created by paint

I personally don’t feel to coming from the same place in regard to materials as tools but the process was an interesting one. I was excited by my subject and loved the shapes, lines and texture of the sticky buds which I was drawing. Using the subject as tools in the execution of the piece proved a frustrating experience. I felt to be trying to make the buds, twigs etc do something they could not do in regard to holding the paint and this made me change my way of working. I had to work very fast holding the palette close to the painting in order to get the paint onto the surface. In hind sight, it may have been easier if I had use acrylics rather than watercolour. As I persevered and worked through my frustration, I found my self turning also to the ground pastel and this again was not easy to apply.

It was a very physical experience and I think this came as a result of using the materials from the subject. The twigs, buds and bark produced their own marks which were very different to brushes and pencils. The physical process of drawing became less about the execution and more about allowing the emotional response to the subject come through. As the sharp end of the twig began to bite into the paper surface I could feel the rough texture of the branch, rather than trying to draw it. There was a sense of unity with the subject which doesn’t happen in the same way when I’m drawing with conventional tools. This sense of unity with the subject is exciting and no doubt comes as a result of using elements of the subject to draw with. There was also no place for ‘preciousness’ in this kind of drawing and I enjoyed the challenge of this. What did surprise me was that I felt to be able to achieve some feeling of contrast and subtlety in the piece and considering the limitation of the tools, this was interesting.

Would I pursue this method of drawing? I wanted nothing more than to have access to my pencil during this process, to be able to immerse myself in the shapes and texture of the image. It would be interesting to now do just that and to see how different the two images would be. I suspect the difference may be in the power of the two images. I’ve learnt a great deal during this assignment piece about the power of the concept behind a piece of work and how this can drive the final result.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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