At the end of the research point I am asked to reflect on my research and analyse what I have learnt from it and a series of questions are suggested in order to structure my response:
- Are there any similarites between the ways in which these artists approach drawing? for me personally I find the main similarity is that each is a personal response to either a personal issue, a landscape or an object and their concentration is on that personal response whether it is realistic or totally abstract or in a way which a spectator may deem controversial.
- Is their use of materials and/or process instrumental in communicating their ideas? yes without question – Michael Craig-Martin uses tape to build up the equivalent of a stencil in his work whist Claude Heath prefers to use acrylic ink as he develops his work in which he does not look at the object. For some artists however the use of materials is out of necessity in terms of early sketches or rough drawings from which to develop the work later – Andre Derain for instance used his sketchbook to draw the scenes in London before painting the scene in his studio later in Paris. I have no doubt from my knowledge of my brothers photography that Jan Dibbets will also have done preliminary sketches of ideas before using his camera as his creative tool and process – each artist uses their chosen material and process to communicate with the spectator.
- What impact has their work had on you? a surprising one – I am fascinated by the very different processes of the artists but what has had the most impact is the use of the sketchbooks as a starting point – I am obviously aware by now of how useful sketchbooks are in the day to day life of an artist but now have a much deeper appreciation of how they become a vital and intricate part of the process. I am intrigued by Jenny Saville’s use of pentimenti and the effects of the layering produced as well as the use of photographs by Jan Dibbets to create differing perspectives and a new way of looking at photography. By studying the different artists and the images I am being shown new ways of thinking and working that can only enrich my studies and my creativity by opening my mind to differing ideas.
- Do you find any of the work stimulating, challenging or relevant to your own way of thinking and creating? If so, how? The artists who are inspired by the use of word or letters have also had a deep impact – I love calligraphy anyway and the use of text or letter forms as a form of art in itself is intriguing and one I want to explore further.
- Has your research into these practitioners altered your perception of drawing in any way? If so, how? Without question yes – I am wanting to explore drawing without looking at the object and this I am fully aware is coming up in the next exercise happily. When I think of drawing I still think of trying to re-create an object or landscape with at least some resemblance of reality and I am still trying to adjust my thinking to drawing what I see and what impression I get from whatever is in front of me and that is where this research is really helping. By studying these artists I am really starting to understand that my personal response to my theme, landscape or object is what I want to develop and communicate in whatever manner develops and by the use of materials and processes I can create very different resolved projects – importantly I have also altered my perception in terms of repeating an exercise or drawing time and again as a method of developing the ideas … this has come up in tutor reports previously but now I really understand at a deeper level and this is something I wish to put into practice.
I think overall what this exercise has done is helped me to consider and research artists I would not have previously looked at because of personal taste and their ideas, materials and processes may be worth a look in order to create ideas. It has been interesting to see a wide variety of drawing techniques and processes from the use of tape to pencil through to differing painting media and how each artist has used their chosen media as part of their personal voice.
If I am truthful I expected this research point to be a tedious one but instead it has been one of fascination as I have discovered the likes of Marc Chagall or how what seems like a series of squiggles by Claude Heath is in fact an exploration of line, colour and form through ‘blind’ drawing and there is no doubt further research into one of the other artist I have noted in a notebook will reveal further influences on my own work.
I am fully aware that my word count is over the limit suggested but I felt it was necessary in order to reflect fully on this exercise.