Don’t want to forget about Haiku. Reminded today when I was flicking through the course outline and saw mention of wabi-sabi. Went to investigate the recommended book and saw books on Haiku too.
I remember the gist of a haiku from forty years ago when I was at school. A couple of years ago I looked it up using the wonders of the internet and found that it was a haiku by Taigi – a japanese guy who lived in the 1700s.
My memory was this:
A butterfly flew by
Look, look there I said
But there was noone there.
The actual haiku was about a firefly and is translated differently to what I have written, but still the mood and meaning has stayed with me. It’s the only poem I remember from school and at the time, and still, I find it poignantly sad.
I’m thinking that I would like to be able to write haiku to accompany my work. Or maybe write haiku to inspire my work. Perhaps a fragment as title. One line of a haiku is even called a fragment – an evocative word in itself. They just seem so expressive, and at the same time accessible.
This is a detail from one of her Between the lines series from 2016.
She incorporated dye and hand stitch and general mark making on fabric, often with antique fabrics. The result is works that look old, stained and imperfect, but they tell a story. I love this degraded imperfect look, reminiscent of the wabi sabi concept out of Japan. To me there is so much more meaning and story to be found in the imperfect.
Visited Wafu works store in Kingston for the first time and was amazed at what I found there. Old kimono silk on reels and silk threads and old textile artifacts like perished saki straining bags and hand embroidered wash cloths. Apparently the owner’s husband is Japanese and he lives half his time in Japan. He buys lots at auction and brings them all the way back to Tasmania for lucky Hobartians to buy. I’m wondering about using that as my archive and buying a handful of textile artifacts there before I go to Central Australia, rather than using Central Australian op shop clothes. Hmm. I’m greedy. I’d like to do both. Will have to look ahead and see what is needed for the next couple of assignments before I go.
Drawings that appear simple but are apparently built up with multiple layers and evolved and discovered as much as consciously drawn. The multiple layers and mixed media, with its variety of type of mark, add a sense of depth and scale to the drawings.
Next drawing I try might include a bit of mixed media and layers.
Nice article about her process is also on the website:
Had another go at the cocktail glass centred layout. This time using aquarelle water soluble pencil and an eraser. This is just another small thumbnail although I’m not unhappy with it. I added water in selected parts only to try and increase the contrast. Lack of contrast is always a failing of pencil drawings in my opinion. Still not contrasty enough to my eye. Eraser worked well to fade the areas that had light reflection. Pencil still not smooth enough to say water but I have tried to use the observed tone and distortion to suggest the glass.
The idea was to try and smear charcoal to blur like the view through the cocktail glass. Unfortunately it didn’t really smear well and then I added some loose charcoal powder which stuck in the damp glue and gave some interesting detail when I tried to smear it, but not the blurry smear I was after.
So this technique might be useful in drawing for creating a rough texture but it didn’t work for this image. Possibly using a rewettable medium and then smearing water over it might work.
Incidentally don’t iron paper with damp glue even using a protective cloth. You can see the resultant delamination of the paper above.
And then I go to the Hilary Ellis link, and I see that like John Franzen, Hilary Ellis also builds on each line imperfectly to create a work. Although the detail view shows this to be stitch, it could equally well be drawing.
This is my interpretation of the towel close up. A fine grid centered with a loop. In order to create tone I have not included the loops in all boxes. I got to this by thinking about the multiple small lines in the work of Alex Chambers, but along the way I remembered John Franzen and I know this influenced the grid. He creates wonderful drawings made up of multiple vertical lines, each one feeding of the imperfections of the line before. It’s like a meditative process by which he imbues his drawings with his feelings and emotions, as well as bigger concepts related to the cosmos and infinity.
I’m just doing thumbnails to start with, to see what works and then I’ll move on to bigger works. My small drawing looks clunky, but I wonder how it would look on a much bigger scale. Other things to consider are that although the paper is light it is not white. I think that the bright towel would be better reflected with a clean white background.
It is not titled on his site but I can see that the size is roughly 1m by 70 cm or something like that, of which this is a detail of about a quarter of the work. It’s a bit difficult to see in the photo but it is comprised of straight lines creating geometric shapes. The lines are alternatively closer or further apart creating areas of increased density of line and therefore tone, creating a textural surface.