My new textile group that is starting in September (as yet nameless) has been set a summer sketchbook project. The theme is "On Your Doorstep". Using a quotation from Marcel Proust as our starting point:
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes"
they have been asked to look with fresh eyes at their immediate environment and fill a book with what they see.
There are obviously lots of different ways of working into sketchbooks but for our purposes I'm not really interested in fancy techniques... the kind that produce a work of art in their own right. I want the students to really look and record what they see... and I think the best way of doing this is to actually draw. I am well aware that this can be really off putting for many but I truely believe that everyone can draw... we're just not always thrilled by the marks we make! And so to offer a bit of encouragement and to give some ideas for starting points I am making my own book and I'll be posting what I do here for the ladies to follow.
So first of all a favourite technique of mine and that is using something other than a pen or pencil to draw with... a stick of dry spaghetti (well, it was linguine actually) and a pot of ink.
The lack of control over the stick of spaghetti gives a very free and spontaneous mark. The idea is not to judge whether the drawing is "good" or not but to record what you can see.
Thick lines, thin lines, blobs of ink... none of it matters. Just get those marks down on the paper. Fill the pages... no timid marks down in the corner of the page... be big and bold! If you are worried about "spoiling" the first page... start in the middle of the book. If you really think what you have drawn is awful stick a piece of brown paper or newspaper over it and start again.
The important thing is to make a start, don't be afraid of making mistakes (because there is no right or wrong way), don't be precious about what you do... and enjoy the process!
Now try drawing with a stick... or a feather... and see what other marks you can make. What happens if you use red wine instead of ink... told you this was fun!
Anyone else care to join us?