REFLECTION: Assignment 5 and the course as a whole


I am pleased with this assignment in that I feel to have worked to a point of resolution and that is satisfying. The first project in Part 5 stimulated a new way of thinking about movement and time and this became the starting point for the final assignment images.

Here is what a friend wrote after reading my blog and looking at the images for the final assignment work:

“I just loved working my way through your ideas on how to draw ‘thought’.  The stationary aspect really got to me and your concept of silent listening.  As I worked through your ideas I really felt strongly about the ‘stationary figure’. It seemed so important to me that ‘thought’ had an identity no matter how vague or nebulous. It was important to me in experiencing this journey of yours that I had some sense of, as you put it, ‘submergence’. Therefore I loved the sightless facial images as I thought about my walks and the thinking I do and at times I am completely unaware of surroundings. They just do not penetrate thought. Therefore in answer to your question ‘was the figure essential to the image of expanding thought’ I have to say yes.”

 The reader picked up on the idea that ‘thought needed an identity’ and she explained to me that, when looking at all of the images, she would spend time trying to find the figure. This has given me more to think about. She also explained that when she got to the part of the blog where I’d digressed to draw the opening bud, she felt an impatience to get back to the abstract images because she was so interested in trying to understand the drawings. During the course of this work I had seen that the figure indicated a narrative but for me, her insight has taken the idea even further – the link between identity and thought. I want to explore these ideas further in my work.

It has been quite a journey working through the ideas for this assignment and I have learnt a lot about perseverance and determination. The times when there were blocks were dealt with by going off on a completely different tangent and finding that even though the new tangent didn’t lead to anything, it served to free thought to find new ideas.

It was also hugely enriching to have the parallel project topic on Abstraction so closely linked to the work in the course projects. One kept feeding the other and finally I find that the course requirements and the parallel project have come together. I think that what I’ve learnt from this part 5 will lead me into the next step for the parallel project.

Drawing 2 has been a demanding and stimulating course and I feel it has projected me into just the right mental space for beginning Level 3. It has certainly fulfilled its stated purpose of requiring us to ‘explore drawing in its widest sense’. Each part of the course has required deep exploration, far beyond what appears in the course notes. In particular I have found the suggestions for research extraordinarily stimulating and it has opened so many new ways of thinking about drawing. I’ve been introduced to a number of completely new artists and several of these have changed my way of thinking about drawing.

This course has been the most creative course I’ve experienced since studying with the OCA. It has a light touch but has gently guided me to think for myself and to follow my own path. It provides space for the student to think and explore and this isn’t true of all the courses. Perhaps it’s because I’ve reached a certain time in my own development which happily coincides with the thinking behind the construction of the course but I feel it has nurtured my own voice and provided the conditions for this to develop.

As I look back over the work, I can see how far I’ve come in terms of experimentation and confidence. There has been a lot of struggling and I have not often been successful in the work I’ve produced, according to tutor reports, and this has only served to emphasise to me the need to align clear defined thinking with technical skill and to persevere until you get resolution. In this last assignment the long process of struggling for resolution of the idea alongside the continual refining of composition and media decisions have shown what I’ve learnt throughout the course. I do believe the final results are successful as images but also are convincing examples of what I’ve learnt and how far I’ve come as an artist.


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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