Something and Nothing

The most recent design exercise set for the textile group I belong to was on the theme of ‘Nothing’. It was an interesting concept to try to express. I had recently re-watched the documentary ‘Herb and Dorothy’ about the American collectors of minimalist and conceptual art Herb and Dorothy Vogel. A favourite scene in the documentary is where a visitor attempts to get to grips with a piece that consists of a short length of rope, nailed to the wall (apologies I can’t recall the name of the artist).

So I thought I would also work with a small piece of unravelled rope that I had, clearly in the scheme of things this could be considered ‘nothing’. I sewed it onto a small scrap of fabric left over from a sewing project.

Something, small rope work, February 2014.

‘something’, small rope work on found fabric, 29 cm w x 4 cms h, February 2014.

After finishing this I realised that by using the bright red thread I’d created ‘something’ rather than nothing.

I think I fared better with my second attempt, a row of even smaller sections of rope sewn down with a more neutral coloured thread.

'nothing', rope sewn on found fabric, February 2014,

‘nothing’, rope sewn on found fabric, 30 cm w x 4cms h, February 2014,

This piece also brings to mind inland clouds – these picture-book clouds float by them selves in a summer sky offering no prospect of rain.

To shamelessly borrow from one of the other artists participating in this exercise “nothing is defined by something.”

The weekly cafe drawings

In which the artist realises she spends way too much time drinking coffee as an excuse to draw.

Tuesday saw us at the Curtin Shops where we had a fine view of Matthew Harding‘s bird sculptures. This is my second attempt, at drawing this sculpture. The first magically disappeared when I pressed the ‘don’t save’ icon on my phablett by mistake!

Bird Sculpture, Matthew Harding 2001, Curtin Shops, ACT, 25 February 2014.

Bird Sculpture, Matthew Harding 2001, Curtin Shops, ACT, 25 February 2014.

In despair I returned to using the type of media that don’t just disappear vis, my pen and paper. I made this second drawing with an interesting array of traffic lights.

Reading  with traffic lights, Curtin Shops ACT, 25 February 2014.

Reading with traffic lights, Curtin Shops ACT, 25 February 2014.

The next day we were in the centre of Canberra, known around here as Civic, where I was joining friends for lunch. Post lunch we found yet another cafe, Garema Cafe, not surprisingly adjoining Garema Place. This is one of four cafes crowded into a tight alley between buildings.

Down the alley towards the Taxation office building, 26 February 2014.

Down the alley towards the Taxation office building, 26 February 2014.

Thursday we were buying fruit at the Belconnen Markets when, yes, you’ve got it, we stopped for a cup of coffee. I didn’t quite finish this drawing, there’s only so much time that I can spend on a cup of coffee.

Inside the central plaza at Belconnen Markets, 27 February 2014

Inside the central plaza at Belconnen Markets, 27 February 2014

Concrete pergola – three ways

I didn’t intend to do this drawing 3 times, but while I was sitting at one of the local libraries I saw this intriguing piece of architecture – an outsized concrete pergola. The structure itself is two stories high, each of the horizontal blades looks to be at least a metre high.

Firstly I tried drawing it with my fountain pen. I found it hard to control my tonal values and got rather lost somewhere between the vegetation and the structure.

Concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

Concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

The second attempt, from a slightly different perspective. This drawing shows a much better grasp of the structure, as I started by drawing the negative spaces. I also decided to skip most of the vegetation.

Second version of the concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24  February 2014.

Second version of the concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

My last version was done on my phablet using PS Touch. I decided that one of the most attractive aspects of this scene were the colours of the concrete against the clear summer sky. So I ditched the vegetation and just stuck to the architecture. I quite like this one.

Third view of the pergola outside the Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

Third view of the pergola outside the Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

 

Guerilla Bay

We spent Sunday down the coast (a two hour drive from our place), snorkelling at Guerilla Bay on the New South Wales South coast. This sheltered bay is divided into two scalloped coves by the most amazingly distorted rock formations. It is thought that the original layers of sedimentary rock, laid down on the ocean floor, were subsequently subsumed into a subduction zone turning them into the warped shapes they are today.

All drawings were made with watercolour pencils on 200gsm paper.

Portion of the central rocks dividing Guerilla Bay, 23 February 2014.

Portion of the central rocks dividing Guerilla Bay, 23 February 2014.

The view of the curving rocks at the northern end of the cove was equally dramatic.

23Feb2014b

Northern cliff face, Guerilla Bay, 23 February 2014.

To round out the drawings today I drew our snorkelling gear washed out and drying after a great day.

Snorkelling gear drying in the sun, 24 February 2014.

Snorkelling gear drying in the sun, 24 February 2014.

E-draw

I’m flitting around trying out a whole lot of different drawing techniques at present. I have several drawing programs on my phablet (Galaxy Note2), the S-Note program which is what I usually draw with and I also have the PS Touch (Photoshop) app. I use regular Photoshop quite a bit so the PS Touch is reasonably familiar, or will be once I can find where all the tools are located! Anyway I was prompted by this post to give my  PS Touch app another go. Another artist I find has a particularly interesting e-drawing style is 3eCheval from Quebec. I love the stripped back quality of her work which reminds me of screen prints.

My first effort with the PS Touch turned out just like one of my S-Note drawings, mainly because I wasn’t thinking enough about utilising the layering process.

Painting with door. 18 February 2014

Painting with door. 18 February 2014

I think my second drawing, if not an artistic masterpiece, at least used the layers to better effect. I was able to erase back to different layers and I found swapping between layers much easier than on my big computer.

PS Touch drawing 18 February 2014.

PS Touch drawing 18 February 2014.

I suppose at this early stage of e-drawing my biggest suggestion would be that if you are using a stylus to draw,  select the finer ‘pen’ settings to draw with. I at least find them a lot easier to control than larger size ‘pens’ and ‘brushes’.