Thursday, 15 March 2018

Meaning Making - an exploration with ink and poetry

Last year I signed up for an online course called Meaning Making : Inspired by Poetry with Lendon Noe.  It took time for me to to start as I wanted to set aside several days of uninterrupted time, and snow days last week were the perfect opportunity.  I won't go into detail about the content as it is a paid course and Lendon talks about the course in the video included on the link above; but I will say how much I enjoyed Lendon's relaxed and professional presentation and the course content. Some of her ideas were new to me, and  that's always a good thing because I like to be stretched and to try something different. And this was.

I decided to be open to the experience and go along with the ideas suggested by Lendon, although I struggled to get excited about the theme of apples.  'Just see it as process!' I told myself. And with the table covered in inks and mark makers I made myself comfortable with the lap top set up.

Each of the 6 videos include a different stage or technique, so I took regular breaks to try these out. I didn't take photos throughout as I wanted to get into flow. And the idea of apples? These provided a good focus and starting point, and an idea I will use in future. But for now, let's look at some of my pages. They are not meant to be works of art - for me they are play, and practice pages.  I will be making them into a resource book  and on the back of each page I have written the technique and general approach - because I know I won't remember in time to come!  

Let's get started: 

A selection of my tools. I enjoyed using the pipette and stick. I have yet to master the home made cola pens and need more practice and experimentation.

I treated myself to Sumi ink and brushes but never got round to using these. As the project is work in progress these can come out next time.  I also used a restricted range of ink colours on these experiments so I will be more bold then too.

One of our tasks was to draw and take photos of apples, and below is one that I printed to use as a collage. Other photos were image transferred and I discovered Lendon's technique was quick and easy,  although in fairness she warns this has variable results. Anyone who does image transfers will know this is the case, although I have generally been lucky. 

One of my pages with ink background, this was created by 'mopping up' surplus ink and water from the master page. Some of the pages  became quite wet after spritzing with water and moving the colour around and I love getting two pages from one. Interestingly my favourite fluid was my homemade walnut ink, the colour was rich and stable and also colourfast. I will certainly make more walnut ink this year.

Lendon encouraged the use of poetry and apples in our work. These were more mopping up pages that worked well as a background for text. I liked this poem and the little boat is part of an apple.

I have since decided that some red ink will add to this page, so I will come back to this.

After a while I began to feel more loose and playful.  I also started to use my own ideas, and here I cut an apple stencil out of a sheet of acetate.  It also worked well as a template.

When you look at a cross section of an apple the seeds look like a small star shape, so I also cut a small stamp out of foam to print onto the pages. 

I experimented on different papers, and sketching apples too. I loved Lendon's suggestion for how to do this and I would love to be more confident and loose, so I will practice more in future.  I'm glad that I was open to the theme of apples as they are  quite easy to draw and offer lots of variables such as shapes, sizes and colours, and ways you can cut them. I may even continue with this theme a while longer, while I experiment more and get familiar with different mark makers and inks. Meantime I have a big pile of papers and backgrounds to work on more, and while other people were out on their sledges or negotiating treacherous roads, I enjoyed the snow days, warm indoors!

Thank you for popping by. And if you have encountered some difficult weather days, I hope you could make the most of them too. 
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