For this exercise the course material requires me to look at my map from the previous exercise for any words that I may have collected or are conjured up and then make a list of these words before narrowing them down to two or three to work with.
My collected words include: footway, closed, group, star, express, walk, exit and pay. From this point the course instructs me to produce drawings with the chosen words being the dominant element whilst paying attention to the ‘space between’.
I found this exercise quite difficult overall as I tried to convey the sense of the words I chose.
My initial trial of the word ‘express’ I used white crayon on an A3 sheet of rough blue paper and then used a large brush to make large swiftly executed lines in watercolour paint. I also turned the paper to portrait style and splashed some paint so that it would drip down creating more expressive marks. The course material suggests thinking about the paper including weight, texture and colour and also the media I chose in order to imply the words or reference the meaning and although I was not happy at the time with this image I am now – I feel there is a real sense of movement and expression of the word.
I tried a second version using a marker pen in black and again using watercolour paint and a large brush to create expressive marks – as in the first one I wanted the marks close together but leaving some space in order to create or give the impression of a fast moving word or line … literally ‘express’.
In this version I chose to use some curved lines as I was thinking of fast flowing water over rocks or in whirlpools.
For my final version of this word I though of ‘express’ trains and consequentially repeated the word on the paper but at different intervals – the colours used this time were red and blue to try and give the impression of the trains passing by. The area in which my journey took place is not far from a railway line and you can hear the trains pass through.
On reflection now I could have also used the word ‘express’ to ‘express’ different emotions or colours rather than just speed so could have used as one example splodges of paint in an impressionist or expressionistic style.
I also chose the word ‘grey’ and this is the image my fiance referred to as ’50 shades’ which is appropriate considering the film of the same name is at cinemas now. I chose the word because the predominant colour of my journey was ‘grey’ and also emotionally it felt like a very grey day … it was almost oppressive in its feeling due to the mist and coldness of the February morning.
I used a combination of ink, soft pastel and watercolour paint in one overall ‘hard’ style font with the word repeated over the pastel paper (I had to use 2 A4 pieces taped together which are also 2 slightly different shades). I wanted to create an overlapping image purely using the word to try and re-create the oppressive feeling of the day with the combination of different greys reflecting the different tones of the buildings, roads, concrete paths or bollards and walls.
For my third word I chose ‘colour’ because despite the overriding grey tones of the day there were spots and splashes of colour. I decided to simply use a curvaceous style font based on circles and added splashes of colours that seem to be spilling out onto the white paper – my chosen media is Inktense pencils on a mixed media paper.
I love the fact the colours start to overlap and interact with each other which is reflective of the colours on my journey but I didn’t feel that using the word alone was enough so decided to add some splashes of watercolour paint … if I had had some straws I would have blown the wet paint so that it created some ‘tendrils’ in some places to reflect the ones I created on the individual letters. As you reflect on any journey even on a very grey day there is colour everywhere you look and I wanted this word to have the colour exploding out and over the paper. On further reflection I regret not having more grey paper to produce the background for this image and perhaps should have painted a very light or medium coloured grey wash first before working on the word.
Finally I could not help be inspired by the work of Noelle Cuppins whose work I discovered in the research point for this part of the course. I loved how she used thread or line to emphasize specfic words in a text so I decided to do a slightly tongue-in-cheek piece based on the title of this exercise – ‘single words’.
I have circled some words on the art review that are reflective of my journey and added others in different ‘fonts’ and colours as well as some new words I thought of that resonated with my experiences that day including ‘money’ which I used to purchase the item from the shop and ‘peace’ as I stood overlooking the brook. Trying to think of different fonts that are expressive of some words is incredibly difficult at times – which font would express ‘star’ or ‘peace’ or ‘closed’?
However this piece expresses perhaps the chaos of the different words as they overlap and crowd each other – I am partially deaf and sometimes I feel that I can hear too many words being spoken too fast for me to distinguish them individually particularly if there is background noise and so this piece is reflective of that feeling. When I am out for a walk and you have the constant hum of traffic and other noise created by a city it is hard for me to distinguish individual sounds – bird song can sometimes be lost and voices become ‘blurred’ and it can be disorientating so a single word becomes multiple words with no individual sound or emotion or feeling and they become chaotic. If I wear my hearing aids I feel the world is too loud for me and I can gain the same feeling – the words or sounds become too sharp so although I can distinguish them individually sometimes it feels as though the words or sounds are coming too fast and too quick for me to process. As I reflect on this ‘tongue-in-cheek’ piece I realise it describes my hearing or my world as I hear it when I am out for a walk or on a journey – I have to listen intently to hear the individual words or sounds in order to create order out of chaos.
The exercise as a whole has certainly made me think carefully although I do not feel I have been very successful or experimental enough at this point and further practice is certainly needed.