Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At the end of last week I did some more 3D.  I went to Wickes and bought a load of cheap electrical bits and pieces such as metal socket boxes, connectors and insulating tape and then set about trying to reproduce the way the electricity cables connect, overlap and double back on each other.  I used the tape and connectors to replicate the connectors on the poles themselves and used the metal socket boxes as the bases.  I got some great wire from the stores that was lovely to work with and just set off, trying to get the randomness of the cables that you see in the photographs.  I really enjoyed doing this and was sorry to run out of wire.  I'd love to recreate this even bigger or just keep on going until there's a huge mass of cables and tape and connectors.  Maybe this would be a good way to get across the idea of the threat of the urban environment - a person or town trapped in a massive tangle of cables.

I'm going to carry on messing around with wire, tape and connectors and see what else emerges.

More spikey lines

A couple of weeks ago I was out in the fields with my camera taking pictures of the trees as they lose their leaves.  The way the leafless branches stand out across the sky reminds me very much of the way that the power lines also cut across the sky. 

One photograph in particular really reminds me of the woodcut I printed:-

I don't know if I'll actively do anything with this yet or just file it away in the memory and see if anything pops up.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Here's the woodblock and the prints I made.  I really like the fact that you can see some of the cutting lines.  The uneven, spikey edges of some of the lines look as if electricity is leaking out of the cables.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prints Charming

I got my first ever taste of printmaking this week and loved it!  This is a serious contender for one of my 3 electives.  I cut a woodblock at the weekend of the cables from the telegraph poles.  It was a lot of cutting and I only had one (borrowed) tool but I was as happy as anything. The actual printing on Monday was even better - time seemed to stand still and I could have stayed in the print room all day.  Maybe it was the fumes ...

On Tuesday I did monoprinting which, even though my drawing is dodgy, was highly enjoyable.  I traced over a photograph of some telegraph poles in an urban setting and then added in dozens of extra lines and also drew out some electrical engineering symbols and practised my backwards writing.  My lines are very shaky and spidery as I found it very strange not to be able to rest on the paper or to be able to see were the borders of the acetate were but I'd say with practice and confidence this will improve.

Image uploads are currently disabled as I write this but I'll upload some photographs when normal service is resumed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

3D success!

Having recovered from the searing failure of my 3D attempt in card chronicled earlier in this blog, I moved onto ceramic.  Fortunately all went well and here are a couple of photos as proof. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Things have taken a graphic turn.  After spending nearly a week cutting out shapes of telegraph poles like the paper dolls I used to cut out as a child, I decided to draw and rub over them.  This was partly for ease of replication of the images but also because telegraph poles do have generic shapes and components, even though these are arranged differently on nearly every pole I look at.

The curves suggested by some of the photographs I took are brilliant - completely random but beautiful in how they overlap and interconnect.  I cropped some of the sections and blew them up using the photocopier and then drew them without the poles.  They remind me of ribcages, scorpions and protective wire helmets.

The straight lines too can't be ignored - the way the power lines slice through the tops of urban streets or cut across the countryside

I made most of the rubbings using oil pastel which gives a good, grainy, dirty texture.  Pencil was just too subtle for my brash tastes and doesn't really suit the theme of stark, overpowering telegraph poles.

The image above is more or less where I got up to this week. I'm quite pleased with the progress but need to incorporate these experiments with my ideas of the urban environment.  Like I wrote on the last post, I'm warming to the urban environment and might even admit that some of these telegraph poles are quite beautiful in their own right.  I don't think I'll be painting them in pink any time soon however ...

Let's start at the very beginning ...

Having just finished one (A4) sketchbook I thought I'd upload some of the images from it.

I started out with a negative impression of the urban environment but find that my view is changing, partly as a result of my own work and partly through seeing what everyone else is doing. 

Limerick is a new city to me and now I'm able to see it through dozens of pairs of imaginative eyes, being translated into 2D and 3D works.  Whilst I'll never feel completely at home in a city, this project has made me realise that beyond the crowds and the shops and the traffic there is the wonderful and the sordid, the new and the old, the frightening and the inspirational.  I think a city, as a reflection of it's inhabitants, time, history and location can be all these things.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

3D fail!

My card torso piece - more like a 3D jigsaw puzzle

Torso piece after removal from mannequin - like the shape but lacks finesse!

The opened up piece - the shape is interesting for painting on inside
It was after this I decided to stick with cutting out paper shapes for a while.

My obsession with telegraph poles

Driving is becoming very dangerous.  I am looking at telegraph poles instead of at the road.  I'm also showing my age by calling them telegraph poles - what I mean is the wooden poles that carry power and telephone lines across the city and into the countryside.

This week I'm going back to basics.  I lost the run of myself last week and got too carried away with the end product so this week I'm back to studying the poles themselves and doing some drawing in the field and a bit of 3D work. 

I made a full-size male torso at the start of the week from card but was ashamed of it after seeing the 3D presentation on Monday.  I'll put the photos up of it anyway.  There is no economy of line or materials used!