Those of you who follow my blog will know that I don’t publish my tutor reports in my learning log. I believe these are between the tutor and pupil. However, there are times when specific feedback points require a response because they encourage further thought, new techniques to consider and/or a different direction to take.
Project 4: Dread (blog post here)
In the original post I stated that I was fairly happy with the outcome of the third print.
By the time I arrived at the end of the assignment, a month later, and made a choice of which prints to submit, I chose the second one. I had begun to think that number three was a little too structured. The red was too intense and evenly applied.
Today, looking back through the three prints I produced I now find myself leaning towards the first one. This is a subject looking at war zones, killing and the consequences. The red indicates bloodshed and is more graphically depicted in this piece. It also allows better viewing of the printed collaged war pictures, perhaps making the print easier to interpret.
My tutor has suggested working back into the prints and highlighting sections with either water-colour or acrylic paints. Specific areas of the photographs could be picked out, for example. I think this is an excellent idea and would bring some of the imagery to the fore. It would provide increased depth and complexity as well as giving more definite focal interest, as the eye would be drawn to these areas. What I have produced are prints with an even distribution of imagery and content without picking out exactly where I want my audience to concentrate.
However, the one drawback to working more into these is that I used multiple very small images collaged together and, once the black print and red ‘blood’ was overlaid, much of the detail is too small to work with to produce anything meaningful.
So, what’s the lesson here? I deliberately made the images small so they wouldn’t be too confrontational (one is a row of men standing against a wall in front of a firing squad). Was that a mistake? Have I lost the impact by reducing the shock value? Yes, I think I have. Why did I find it necessary to sanitize it? My clean-cut, strict, formal upbringing comes to mind.
This was the piece I chose to submit as it demonstrated my progress in colour mixing, layering of imagery and accuracy of registration. I think it’s a good static image but with no particular design appeal. It was a technical exercise to ensure I fully understood the process.
Hence the reason I continued this still-life section by producing a completely different piece, essentially abandoning everything the first study encompassed.
My initial sketchbook drawing shows more, and smaller, bowls – which I like. The backdrawn lines on the print follow the roller edge marks thereby producing the areas where I could backdraw the bowls. With a smaller roller (or bigger paper) I could produce more lines and give myself scope to add a variety of vessels in different shapes.
My tutor has commented favourably on both these prints but with an emphasis on the second as it demonstrates more freedom and fluidity. I can understand and appreciate what she has said. It’s clear I had some sub-conscious reservations about the first print as I was spurred on to experiment in an entirely different manner.
In my mind this experimental print has potential as a start point to develop something else later in the course. Combination techniques would be interesting.
Obviously my tutor has commented and given advice and pointers for all 4 projects. I’ve responded to her views on the ones above because I can feel myself evolving as I continue my printing, changing my views, exploring different aspects and so on. My response to these two projects has already altered and, were I to do them again, the images would be much improved and developed.
I don’t look back on them with a sense of ‘I should have done better’ because at that point it was the best I could do. Today I realise I’ve already learned how they could be improved.