Posts Tagged ‘drawing’
This image is from a dream I had last night, I was amazed by it in the dream and also on waking! Today I went for a walk with my family along the cliff from Doolin towards the cliffs of Moher, it was spectacular! When we stopped by a large sloping slab of stone after laying down on it for about 5 minutes I picked up a sharp piece that had broken off it and drew something like this onto it. It will be washed away in the next shower of rain, I am sure. However I like this fragility in art and am trying to come to terms with it in life!
I am still working on some jellyfish paintings in the studio, shifting from one material to another can be really refreshing; drawing with the sharp nib of a pencil or even a rock after using oil paint on a kind of loose way can keep things fresh, and surprising.
Mycelium Map 2, ink and pigment on map, Marianne Slevin 2010
Detail of the above, baby starlings feeding
Mycelium map 1, ink and pigment on an old map, Marianne Slevin 2010
Yesterday a swallow came and sat on this map drawing when in was folded up, it stayed there for about one hour, it was not the one of the baby starlings but close enough!
To be continued
I have been painting using different layers for a long time so now I am using the paper to create the layers instead. I am very drawn (excuse the pun!) towards this effect. I used the same paper to make small hand made books before, so some words were fading out underneath other words, this created a random kind of poetry or word combo! I love using materials and certain techniques to create a sense of mystery and kind of orchestrating them! Playing with opposites such as control and allowing things to happen and finding some rare little jigs between them, as apposed to “balance” which for me has the connotation of being a little dull and without much room for sidesteps and deviations.
It is funny when you discover the same thing coming from several different sources at round about the same time. Today has been a lot about mushrooms for me. How mushrooms can help save the earth. I just watched a great video on TED T.V by Paul Stamets about solutions to help save the earth. They grew Oyster mushrooms on some land where there was toxic waste and the mycelium, a fine but strong branch like network covered the land producing mushrooms actually revived the land and soon there were insects and birds and it was an oasis of life once again! Fungi uses radiation as food, Mycelium can absorb oil, it can even brake up rock.
The drawing above was from the idea of mushrooms saving the earth but done before I had seen the video more about my imagination then facts. This morning one of the Tweets I was reading jumped out at me so I followed the link about this discovery that mushrooms may save the planet. It totally inspired me. This drawing is like an elaborate doodle, very enjoyable to draw! I think there will be more to come on this amazing fungi at work!
There are many things that we believe about ourselves that keep us in a nice neatly wrapped up package of what we call ourselves; such as I am a vegetarian, I am good with horses, I am good at cleaning, I am never angry! The truth can be a little different sometimes! Often for the sake of easiness we will put ourselves into a box. I am a painter sometimes and a person who does different sorts of creative things, and if I try to make too much sense out of what I do it starts to vanish.
The pressure that comes from trying to be a professional artist aged 30 something can lead to feeling that by now I should know what I am doing. I should be clear and concise and be producing large bodies of work all finished and ready for hanging neatly in a gallery. That the work should have an undeniable style and theme. Now the truth is more messy then that and hopefully less boring too. The truth for me is that certain themes come and go over the years, that there are several different styles and every piece of art I make is different, this could be to do with the fact that I nearly always start a painting with pretending that it is the first painting I ever did, and seeing what emerges. I think that when you see an artist’s work that all looks very similar it probably has come from a more conscious place in the artist, and that is a valid way to make art too. I think that often galleries and the audience are more comfortable with it. This is probably why so many artists feel that they should make matching work, it looks much more together on an application.
I often intend to make a series of drawings or paintings, but after about two pieces I have lost the desire to continue, it just feels fake. Though this may happen naturally over time if it is not forced. A few times with certain types of art work I have made a series of them, such as painted text scrolls, but when I try to make a piece similar to other work it just feels like a clone and not the real thing! How ever this could all change and this time next year I could be working on “Wind blow tree No.105”!
Often it is necessary to think a great deal before you do something and after, but during it is often better to merge with what you are doing: your surroundings, the computer, the horse, the materials that you are making art with. Giving away the control can seem a little scary, but the times when something goes really well for me I am usually not doing very much! As my riding instructor used to say “like nothing” when I and the horse would jump or do some flat work well. This makes me think about when I am doing art, that I probably think too much a lot of the time. Thinking can limit the possibilities and sometimes stifle creativity. If we allow the parts of us that are usually without a voice to express themselves then we may come across something of a delicate and/or profound nature.
“Maybe Human” one of the paintings in “Merging 3” exhibition by Marianne Slevin
In August, I was in a three person show called “Merging 3”. I was the person who wanted to call it Merging. At the time I was not really sure why, but the other night while reading the book called Spiritual Alchemy the author, Dr.Christine Page wrote about how when people merge with what they are doing there are greater results. In an experiment people guessed heads or tails on a computer game, most people got around 60% correct but the difference between the people who got around 80% was that they talked about merging with the computer.
Painting and drawing are exercises in merging for me, merging the different parts of me and the materials that I use and often the environment. I also attempt to merge with something greater then myself and if I am thinking too much then that will hinder any voyages into the unknown.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine that you are really good at drawing! Now sharpen your pencils( HB,2B,3B,4B,5B,6B)! Make sure your rubber is clean and you have some paper taped down so it does not move about while you are trying to draw on it! If you are drawing from life it is much easier to draw if the paper is on a tilted board, easel or wall rather than flat on a table. If you are working on a wall it feels nicer if you put a couple of layers of paper on top of each other, unless you are going for the look you get when you draw over a hard or slightly rough surface.
Hands are one of the hardest things to draw, I think, so why not practice by drawing your other hand. Years ago Kathy Prendergast did an amazing hand drawing that was like a map, it was huge, and blue. I love the way our hands look like maps. Feet can be good to draw too. When I was in collage in Crawford in Cork I did a series of drawings of my face drawing by touch. Some of them I built up layers of card, paper, material and netting they all had a map like quality and felt like landscapes almost. So no excuses we always have something we can draw! We are surrounded by things we can draw. After a while you may find it boring just to draw for the sake of drawing and need to draw whatever you are really interested in, confused by, obsessed by! It could be folds of material or it could be space travel ! It might be very illusive but every so often you get a glimpse of it’s tail and it leads you somewhere interesting and you want to keep following it!
It can also be really interesting to start to draw but not allow ourselves to draw anything recognisable, just to kind of doodle and keep going with it to see how it develops. Make marks and experiment with what you can do, and have fun!( I remember we all did this for weeks maybe months in college, and our own personal work developed out of it; over time our real interests were revealed.) Draw with your eyes closed, draw with the hand you don’t usually draw with, draw really quickly, draw really slowly, see how inventive you can be. Tune into how you feel and see how your line and instinctive marks change as your moods do. I like to draw as if the pencil or whatever I am drawing or painting with is an extension of me. Bold as I am bold, subtle as I am subtle. Sometimes I let the pencil lead the way as if it has a complete mind of it’s own; I guess this is when my subconscious mind taking over!
A word of advice, don’t throw away anything. It is great to look back over drawings, they often look different after a little hibernation! Not everything is meant to be a ‘finished’ piece some pieces are just stepping stones, but just as worth while as the ‘finished’ ones. One day they might look even better! Soon I will be giving some free drawing and art classes at the Secret Gallery. So if you are in the Doolin area you are welcome to join the Art Classes.