Tutor Report Assignment 2

Overall Comments

You have undertaken a good range of experimentation with the visual elements, demonstrating a sound understanding of the basic principles of composition. An emerging strength is your ability to recognize appropriate starting points for the development of your ideas and to work systematically towards realizing your intentions. A key development with this assignment is your increasing willingness to experiment with ideas, techniques and processes which take you beyond your comfort zone.

Your work is well presented and your accompanying learning log shows the extent to which you are able to document your reflections on your progress and to modify your intentions in the light of this. This is supported by the careful documentation of associated workshops and gallery visits where you show an increasing ability to reflect on what you have seen and learned and then to place your own practice within a wider artistic context.

For the next assignment, continue to think about the various ways in which traditional techniques and processes might be interpreted in slightly more unconventional and creative ways.

Assessment potential (after Assignments 2 and 4)

I understand your aim is to go for the BA Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

Feedback on assignment

Project 3 Colour

Aim:

To help you to understand and actively explore basic colour theory

To help you to understand and actively explore basic colour theory

  • To develop an understanding of the relationship between colour and mood
  • To apply your knowledge of colour theory to the development of sketchbook work

Experimentation with colour matching revealed the importance of matching your chosen media with original source material. For example, you found it much easier to get an accurate colour match with watercolour when this was the medium of the original painting. It is also much more challenging to match the colours of printed textiles because of the differences between printing ink and paint. With your first sample, you could try adding a very small amount of black to the colours to grey the tones down a little. You identified several subtle tonal ranges and colour differences in your still life painting. Try taking this further by looking closely at the pitted surface of the citrus fruits. How might you use very small spots of paint to highlight shadows created here? You might, for example, make links with later work completed for the optical colour mixing exercises.

The latter illustrate your commentary very well and the hole punched sample really did effectively create secondary colours from primaries when viewed from a distance. I think you felt a little unsure about this exercise and I agree that French knots can be very time consuming and tedious. Nevertheless, you were very successful in demonstrating how careful blending in the pastel sample can effect a subtle colour movement through one colour to another. After reading your comments regarding the use of water-soluble fabric, I think you would benefit from a little more experimentation here. Try working a similar sample more openly as it is the openness which creates contrasts between the stitched areas that make this such an exciting material to work with.

Project 4 Developing design ideas

Aim:

  • To help you to develop your compositional skills
  • To help you to understand the interrelationship of the elements of design
  • To use a design process in order to develop your visual ideas

Annotation of your composition exercises revealed that you have a good grasp of what makes a dynamic composition. You could extend this practice to your later selection of several areas of your sketchbook work. Which ones were most effective and why? There was some good developmental work with different media going on here too. I thought that the use of wet on wet techniques combined with fine line worked very well and allowed you to take this further into collage and stitch. This was a logical development and reflected your understanding and application of mark making and stitch gained from work in assignment 1.

In selecting from your drawings, you were thorough in your investigation of the possibilities afforded by combining the use of line, shape, colour and texture within your compositions. This was evidenced by your interpretation of the doll images where you also incorporated readymade papers. The final composition here was very pleasing and one that you could maybe return to in the future.

A further strength here was your ability to link your designs through to an intended outcome or purpose, for example, the oven gloves, coffee cups etc. You might like to reflect on the extent to which these considerations need to take account of the scale of the design and the translation of the design from a 2d to a 3D surface.

Interlude experimenting with printing and painting

You wisely limited your experimentation to a small number of simple but yet effective techniques. With the monoprint samples for example, you showed how varying the printing surface can significantly alter the graphic image. The first sample was much stronger in this respect.

Stenciling is a great way to build up a surface by overprinting the shapes, thus creating additional shapes and secondary colours. The bondaweb sample was particularly appealing as you successfully introduced a strong textural element. Is this something you might try with your Cahors photos which you used in project 5? I think it would work very well.

It was interesting to look at the doily prints. Were you aware of a close relationship between these and your personal drawing style? It would be interesting to combine the two at some stage. The masking tape samples gave you some strong prints. Have you considered tearing the edges of the tape to soften this effect? Could you re tape different areas and overprint the surface?

As you discovered with the block prints, these can be a very quick way of experimenting with repeat pattern. You might like to consider changes of scale and further experimentation with rotating and mirror imaging. Your final concertina of composite images was perhaps the strongest element. I sensed that your work was becoming much freer and more expressive here. I think that several elements of this piece could be taken further into stitch. You might like to consider using this for some of the project work in your next assignment.

You mention in our learning log a desire to go further with stenciling and paper cutting techniques. There is a great exhibition on in Manchester at the moment called ‘The First Cut.’ Have a look at the web site for information about the artists.

http://www.manchestergalleries.orgWhat’s OnExhibitions

Project 5 Painting and printing.

 Aim:

  • To help you to develop design ideas through the use of paint and print.

You chose a varied selection of images to work from for this final project. I thought that the discharge dyeing samples were a very good way of interpreting your original drawing and gave you a very free way of creating a print. Subsequent work with lino cutting from designs based on kategame stencils highlighted some of the difficulties associated with this particular printing technique, especially when working with water based inks. Nevertheless, you produced some interesting prints which when used in repeat, showed further potential. I think that this section of your assignment maybe needs a little more thought, especially if you intend to submit your work for formal assessment. You could for example, use some of the images and approaches to design, but not the subsequent work based on your visit to Cahors. There are some very strong images such as the brickwork and the graffiti which may give you much more scope to develop a larger scale final printed piece. The handbook suggests 40x40cm or 30x50cm. Your black ink and emulsion prints are much freer and more expressive. Could this be developed into a one off standalone image? This is something I would like you to give some further thought to.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

Your learning log is strength and gives a good account of the development of your ideas as well as highlighting your awareness of the wider context of your work. You have some very strong photographic imagery which I think you could make greater use of in your work. If you do this, it would be a good idea to perhaps reproduce the photo in your sketchbook/project work to make the links explicit.

You have highlighted significant areas of development including a much greater visual awareness of your surroundings and recognition of the importance of process rather than final outcome. Both of these are great things to recognize at this point and a key to your personal development.

Research point

Understanding the textile world

Your consideration of the significance of the Kalaga cloth was thoughtful and informative. Perhaps if you have a little more time, you could give some further consideration to the historical and social aspects of it production. For example, to what extent does it represent the traditional textiles of the period/region? Why these cloths were originally produced?

Sketchbooks

There is evidence of real progress here and I think from your comments, the Gwen Hadley workshop has played a key part in this. Your use of folded sections and inserts makes for a very useful way of extending your imagery and developing your ideas. I do hope you feel enthusiastic about continuing to work in this way. I loved the deconstruction/reconstruction of elements of pattern. Looking at your two illustrations, you might like to reference Angie Lewin and Lucienne Day for stylized images of natural form. In terms of your free machine embroidery sample, I think this has great possibilities. How about printing onto semi-transparent paper/fabric and overlaying so that the underneath imager is visible? The lace like structures also reminded me of Michael Brennand Wood’s work. 

Your range of drawing is also extending and I would agree with your comments regarding further use of colour and different media. This is maybe an additional focus for the next assignment.

Suggested reading/viewing

See above

Pointers for the next assignment

 The next assignment is very much techniques and process led. In line with your current acknowledgement regarding the importance of process, try to work as freely and experimentally as possible. Broaden your use of fabric and threads and experiment with some nontraditional textile materials.

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