Tuesday 30 September 2008

Red Hot Press

It's Freshers Week at the University of Southampton. I was flitting about on the campus; finding books and enjoying a Chaplaincy cooked breakfast.

During my travails to understand the Hartley Library classification system I discovered a temporary exhibition by the Red Hot Press, an open workshop in Southampton, producing printed art in every method, many of which I don't understand.

I'm love this kind of thing, especially wood- and lino-cuts, so I'm thrilled to have found this show before it ends and I hope some of the students find it before Sunday. It's on Level 4.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Masking Tape

Masking tape. Life is a whirl of masking tape. It can be used in nearly every art-based situation.

The swatches mentioned previously were to be put on the wall in any arrangement; juxtaposed with colour cards and then used as inspiration for painting - all as an exercise in colour theory.

Enjoyable elements of physics, biology and geography have crept into the fine art tuition. These were all the easy bits from school: photons; colour; rods and cones; geographical differences in sunlight and so on.

According to the tutors this is the start of our careers as "visual practitioners". The current project will build my portfolio up and won't be assessed. At the stage pictured here I had used pastel pencils and then acrylic paints to copy the blocks as they appeared on the wall. Since then I've done a lot of mental arithmetic to measure the next phase.
I have been captivated by the process of colour-mixing - it stays in my mind like Tetris. I used masking tape to get sharp edges on blocks of colour. When I took it off the page this happened...
... and then the Art Claw was formed.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Preparations For The Week

A list of what I'm taking to college:

1) My notepad for this week's lecture, Warhol: Deeply Superficial.

2) My homework from last week. I made this my first foray into hatching (see Albrecht Dürer's examples - 1, 2; see mine below), aided by a lot of masking tape.

3) For this week's project on colour:
a) swatches of plain red, blue and green fabric;
b) the color wheel: simple... and ceaslessly diverting.

4) Home-made liver-and-onion quiche.

Friday 19 September 2008

Duchamp; Postcard; Architecture

That lecture on "Duchamp And The Readymade", featuring prominent use of "Fountain" and Roxy Music performances. Here is the opening slide.

I finished my work on the introductory group project, based around a postcard. The top left corner is mine.

Thursday & Friday
This week's project has been based on architectural drawing. We're required to make A1 monochrome drawings (in any medium) of any part of a structure visible from the college premises, whether internal or exteral. This was the first assessed project and I felt a little out of my depth but the tutors have been encouraging.

Looking for a subject was quite a challenge: I needed a good structure, not an interesting image; and I needed only to draw it rather than to adapt it. My first plan failed: using ink and a nib to draw a building frame. I ended up sitting on tarmac and attempting some pencil hatching to draw the eaves above me, using a table that I had lugged into the lift from the top floor because all the drawing boards had been taken.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Explanation #1

The Aim
A log of my new direction - my adventure into a second career. With it I can watch my progress... chart the bewilderment... keep my bearings... make sense of this explosion.

The Title
"Traveller C". I'll own that it sounds a little Orwellian but that's the wrong tack. "Travellerc" might sound like a french camping emporium: no, no, that's not the way.

It is, of course, a typewriter. My favoured model: portable, manual, sleek... and discontinued.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Second Week

Last week was a lot of fun. The course hasn't made me busy yet: at the moment I feel like all I have to do is draw pictures and go to the library. It's a good library.

Since Friday I've been making quiches and cheesecakes; playing frisbee and enjoying the delicious Autumnal feeling.

Today I'm going to the college to finish last week's project and to have the first proper lecture (more on that later), so it's back to St. Denys Station - a place that has already entered my dreams... when they're not about robot gremlins firing liquid blue circles.

Thursday 11 September 2008

Art College

Today was my first day at Art College. The lecturer insisted on the importance of that term, as distinct from "university".

This week is to be spent on a large-scale project in small groups. My group are still sketching ideas.

The first art history session was bewildering. The group of about fifty Access students was combined with a whole lot more Foundation students. After a video about online facilities we were given an introduction to some of the topics coming up in the term. The bizarre and endearing lecturer showed us images and film clips (sometimes gruesome) set to David Bowie (a lot of David Bowie), the Velvet Underground and the Pet Shop Boys.

Wednesdays end at lunchtime, so I found the library and then headed home.

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Ready At Last

I have enrolled at the University of Portsmouth for an access course in Art, Design and Photography. It starts tomorrow. I left my job for this and I confess my nervousness.

All of the paperwork is complete; I have bought the sundries and my home is transformed into a studio. I had to clear as much space as possible - get all of the little jobs out of the way and train myself to fulfil tasks as soon as they crop up. I'm a little unsure about my capacity in the latter area.

I look forward to finding out what the other students are interested in - whether patterns, textures, structures, narratives.

My friends gave me a lot of useful things. I'm off to pack for the first day.