PART 3 – project 4 – An Emotional Response

PROJECT 4 – AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

AIM: Allow your own emotional responses to direct your physical mark making

Method: Take 10 pieces of card and give them to friends. Ask them to write down a characteristic of someone in a novel or newspaper article in the first person. Ask them to choose something which might engender an emotional or physical response.

Ask someone to sit for you as a model. Every 10 minutes ask them to read from one of the cards. As they read the statement out, try to change the way you use the materials to respond to the statement.

 

I followed the direction for this exercise and the 10 statements provided by friends are as follows:

  1. I am nostalgic for the past times…
  2. I am searching for understanding…
  3. I felt growing within me a passion for colour…
  4. I am always sad…
  5. I love getting older. You get wiser and touch wood, can still run up and down stairs…
  6. I am outraged by injustice…
  7. I have a dream…
  8. I am confused by so much opinion…
  9. I killed 50 people with an assault rifle…
  10. No matter how bad stuff is, I am on the brink of having the time of my life…

 This was a very intensive few hours of working. Before beginning I laid out all of the materials ready to respond to the statements. The selection of appropriate media is one of my focus points and so I wanted to allow response to the medium to be an important part of this work. Acrylic paint, watercolour, acrylic inks, soft pastels, charcoal, pencils and erasers were all available.

The model was simply sitting in a chair in front of me reading. It wasn’t clear from the instruction as to whether the pose of the sitter should change so I kept the same ose throughout. This added an extra challenge as the pose of the sitter remained very peaceful , irrespective of the emotional requirement. Each image was timed to be done in 10 minutes and so there was no time for working further on them. They are an immediate response to the statements read out…

I am nostalgic for past times...

I am nostalgic for past times…

I selected pencil and eraser for this response. Nostalgia to me signifies quiet reflection and an indefinite insubstantial thought as it focuses on the past. As I drew, I made the line reflect a faraway drift in my response. My thought went to distant places and it was this drifting insubstantial sense that I was feeling through the pencil. Taking the image further, I think I would like to add a wash of white paint to take the figure further back from the present.

I am searching for understanding...

I am searching for understanding…

This was a difficult one. I selected pastel tones of soft pastels to suggest an inward looking thought and yet here, I wanted to create a feeling of substance. It was interesting that these two differing attitudes of thought came one after the other, both dealing with thought and yet very different emotionally. Here, the mark making reflected a deep ‘digging’ as I applied the pastel – the lines are not vague and indefinite but strong and purposeful on the page. The colours were chosen to suggest a lightness in searching and discovering…a lifting off of limitation.

I felt growing within me a passion for colour...

I felt growing within me a passion for colour…

I really enjoyed this one. I felt a surge of excitement when it was read out and I went straight to the acrylics for the most vibrant colours. The application of the paint went on the paper first so that I could respond to the essence of the statement. Strong heavy layers of paint were applied to show the joy of the statement. Without waiting for anything to dry, I then drew the figure with the dropper from the acrylic ink bottles. The overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement made the marks strong and energetic.

I am always sad...

I am always sad…

A total contrast of mood here! The pencil marks became heavy – I could feel the heaviness in my hand. The face became lost and the substance of the figure rather indefinite. The figure also seemed to be floating with nothing to anchor it. The grey wash was applied after the pencil marks and the dark cloud seemed to be the only substantial thing.

I love growing older. You get wiser and touch wood, can still run up and down stairs...

I love growing older. You get wiser and touch wood, can still run up and down stairs…

I couldn’t get into this emotionally and consequently it doesn’t work for me. I began with charcoal marks to depict the heaviness and immovability of age, then adding the contrast with the colour areas. The contrast needs to be greater. I felt there wasn’t time in the 10 minutes to dig into this one.

I am outraged by injustice...

I am outraged by injustice…

I was totally engaged with this one and am very pleased with the result. I picked up the thick charcoal stick and began with very strong marks, feeling the outrage in my body. I worked with very definite defined marks, angular and angry. I was interested to find at the end of 10 minutes that the figure itself had changed as I was working. It had become upright, thin, angry, and I hadn’t tried to make this happen.

I have a dream...

I have a dream…

I used several pastel sticks together for this and experimented with a soft dreamlike mark. I let the pencils float across the surface of the paper. I would like to have continued this floating mark so that the figure became lost in it but the time restraint got in the way.

I am confused by so much opinion...

I am confused by so much opinion…

This became a squiggly line drawing as I tried to express confusion, having no start or finish. Once again I felt to lose out with time! Within the feeling of confusion there were other emotions like frustration, turmoil, sometimes anger, all triggered off daily in the media in the lead up to the vote in the referendum. With more time I would have brought in the power of these darker emotions.

I killed 50 people with an assault rifle...

I killed 50 people with an assault rifle…

This was given as a result of the Orlando killings. It was a very difficult drawing …difficult because of the conflicting emotions I felt needed to be expressed. The figure itself immediately took on an almost insignificant placement regarding size and yet a dominance through colour and marks. I drew the figure first with sharp angry lines in charcoal, face hidden. If you look closely at the figure you will see that the paper surface around the figure is damaged with the strength of the marks. I then covered the rest of the paper in charcoal and finally began to apply acrylic ink straight from the bottle in large dabs feeling the pain and sorrow of those who had lost friends and family. My marks became more involved with this aspect rather than the horrific depiction of the figure. In fact the figure began to recede. I chose a strong orange particularly for the marks in the background because of the consequent love and solidarity which resulted from this horrendous act. This is an image packed with so many emotions and I’ve tried to capture this through the marks.

No matter how bad stuff is, I am on the brink of having the time of my life...

No matter how bad stuff is, I am on the brink of having the time of my life…

A good one to end with! Once again the marks seem to need a strong element of contrast. I began with thick strokes of grey watercolour for the figure to contrast with the joyous energy of the acrylic ink. I covered the paper with energetic marks in strong colour and then dragged the paint so that the colours became merged.

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Part 3. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s