FMP journal 22

FMP reflective journal

Wednesday 19/04/17

Whilst I was away in Scotland I kept a bit of a diary to record my thoughts, feelings and emotions on certain days. I also took a lot of photos when I was there and so this inspired me to create a sort of visual diary in my sketchbook. I did this because with looking at the theme of communication at the moment in my project I thought a diary would be a good way to look into this theme more. A diary is a way of writing down anything from what you have done in the day, how it made you feel, what this has changed about you and just any general thoughts, it’s a great way to record on paper what is going through your mind. I didn’t want the diary to just be recording what I did in the day while I was away instead I wanted it to be more about how I felt and emotions because I thought this would give the writing more of a poetic feel which is what I have been focusing on in my project so far. Today I constructed the ‘visual diary’ in my sketchbook by putting in certain photos that I took in my book and linking them to the piece of writing I created whilst I was there. I think this is a great way to physically store memories through a visual diary because even if you forget what has happened or how you were feeling at the time it will always be recorded physically in writing and imagery. I really like the link between written words and imagery in this way because I think it makes the work much more interesting as well as being easier to connect.

Moving forward I would like to work from these photos more in some way and possibly incorporate the writing from the diary in the art somehow. 

I think by including these photos and pieces of writing in my project really helps to give a personal element to my project as I have included my own feelings and emotions connected to a place through my own writing. This kind of work is very different to what I have been studying so far in my project however I think it is good to take into account and experiment with different areas including photography which I haven’t done much of so far, therefore I am happy with how this contributes to the progression of my project.


FMP journal 21

FMP reflective journal

Tuesday 18/04/17

Today I have started another element of research in my project which is looking at writing/language as a form of communication. I was inspired to do this because I found an interesting article about it online. It speaks about how significant language is and how important it is in society to create a sense of community as well as for  social aspects. It talks about how writing/language is both influenced by society and influences society itself. 

“Language is an actor that both shapes and is shaped by the social community in which it plays a significant role.”

I found the article really interesting and thought it would be a good way of adding a bit more depth to my research by adding this extra element. 

I then went on to create a mind map of ideas of how writing is used for communication. 

This included poetry, hand written letters, diaries, songs, stories etc.

Later today we got into groups of 4 with people we don’t usually speak to and talked them through our projects so far, showing them what we have done. I found this really useful because speaking about my ideas out loud to people really helps to make them clearer in my head, as well as this because I hadn’t really spoken to them about my project yet this helped to make me speak about my project in detail explaining all the links. They filled out feedback forms for me each which was useful because they all adviced me on things I could do to improve my project. I was told to look a finnegans wake to add more to my project, as well as Robert Rauchenbergs Erase de Kooning. They also advised me to looking into translating the poem I have been using into different languages/alphabets to give even more of an abstract element, and they told me to experiment with photography processes. So this was very useful. 

After this I went away with the advise I was given and did a bit more research. I thought that including Finnegans wake in my project would be a really good idea as it would just add even more depth and context to my work.

It is a piece of text written in normal English but doesn’t make any literal sense. This means it is left for each reader to make a different interpretation of their meaning. I thought this would fit in nicely with my project so I slotted it in with my earlier research with asemic writing. 

I also did some research on Robert Rauchenbergs Erase de Kooning and inserted this into my project where it was relevant again to show more context.

I then went on to google translate and put in the poem I have been using throughout my project translating it into different languages where they use different alphabets. I wanted to do this so that the words used different symbols for letters to really make sure that I wouldn’t be able to read them so that it is abstract work. I translated into Russian, Korean and Thai and I think I will would from these in similar ways to what I have done so far with the poem but see what affect different alphabets have.

I have found today really useful and think I have made a lot of progress within my project. I now feel like I am getting to where I want to be with my concept, and in order for my project to go further I now think I need to show more experimentation with methods and materials.

FMP journal 20

FMP reflective journal

Monday 17/04/17

Today I carried on with some more artist research. Firstly I did a couple of pages on Cy Twombly as he is an abstract artist. He creates many big painting which use mark making in a scribble-like technique much like what I have been practising with so far. Writing and language serve as major conceptual foundations for his abstract art. In addition to the written word in the form of poems and histories he also focused on the process of writing. He did this by sketching unidentifiable doodles as well as words directly onto the canvas. He also did a lot of line based compositions often inspired by handwriting. 

When in Scotland there was a book called ‘Art and Text’ in one of the galleries I visited and I came across his work in there which inspired me to research gym more.

His work has inspired me to create much bigger and more expressive pieces for this project and I really like how he uses a lot of continuous lines in his work which is also something I enjoy doing.

The next artist I went on to study today was Jackson Pollock, again because he is a very abstract artist which is how I am trying to push my project. My favourite pieces he did was his ‘drip paintings’ because it gives his work such a free sense much like some of the work I did previously on asemic writing. To create them he either put the canvas on the floor or against a wall and he would allow the paint to drip from the paint can and instead of using paint brushes he used knives to carve marks. This form of painting had direct relation to the artists emotions, expressions and mood as this influenced how he would allow the paint to drop. I really like this element as I think work which is somehow left to chance gives so much more meaning and is much more interesting to look at. 

I really like his work and how abstract it is because this leaves the work mainly up to interpretation for the audience which is something I hope to achieve. I would like to experiment with this dripping style in my own work possible trying it with writing as I think this could be an interesting method. I also really like his use of bold colour. 

By studying these two artists I have realised that I really want my project to be abstract in some way. I want it to still vaguely look like writing and still have a sense of being written words, however I want them to have a strong element of mark making and abstract expression as this is what I find most visually stimulating for myself. 

FMP journal 19

FMP reflective journal

Sunday 16/04/17

Continuing with my experimentation with layering I have done some more artist research. This time I have looked at Idris Khan. 

He uses a lot of layered imagery through photography and drawing. He manipulates his photographs digitally giving them quite an eery and ghostly sense. Alongside his photography he also does a lot of work on layering up pieces of writing. He works a lot in black and white which is something I will experiment with as I often use a lot of colour. His works are a continuous process of creation and erasure, adding new layers whilst still retaining the traces of what has gone before. He is well known for his large scale works which techniques of layering are used to arrive at what might be considered the essence of an image and to create something entirely new through repetition. 

I like the fact the his works are created through erasing what he has done before and then working on top of this. I think this technique adds a really interesting element of a sense of history of what used to be present and only the faint remains can be viewed. I think this would be interesting for me to experiment with with my handwriting pieces. 

I firstly experimented by writing out the poem using black charcoal onto paper. I wrote out the poem three times in total and after each time I rubbed out the writing with my hands leaving only a faint remnants of writing. 

I then experimented again with chalk on black paper in the same technique. 

I finally experimented with coloured pastels.

Through this experimentation I found writing in this media quite difficult. It was quite hard to get a real sense of writing and words using chalk, pastel and charcoal and although I want my work to be abstract and not necessarily legible, I found this technique made the writing just messy marks. I prefer the effect of writing when it’s in a continuous line style and the words flow into each other and this was quite hard to achieve using this media. I like how the rubbing out of the words gives a slight ghostly sense to the pieces and these pieces are much more subtle than some of my other pieces. However I think I prefer the effect of bold pieces, where the writing flows much more creating a much more visually pleasing pattern/effect in my opinion. This technique was a good way for me to experiment and it was useful in helping me to realise what sort of style I think I prefer however I don’t think I will be using this media again in this project as I am not as happy with this outcome as I have been with other pieces of my work. I may try the rubbing out technique again using medias such as pencil and oil pastel as I still find this technique really interesting. 

FMP journal 18

FMP reflective journal

Saturday 15/04/17

Another artist research I have done is on Simon Hantai who is a French artist. 

He created a canvas over the period of a year and he wrote and rewrote texts that were dear to him, day after day on the huge canvas. He superimposed and layered the texts until they were illegible, using inks of different colours which created the pink colour that appears mostly. I wanted to study his work because I liked how he uses a lot of layering of writing which makes the writing become illegible lines and scribbles similar to what I have been experimenting with so far. I was also attracted to his use of colour as this is something that is really important to me in my own work so I want this to be prominent in my own work. 

I experimented in the same style as this artist. For this piece I wrote out the poem I have been using throughout my project being very expressive with the writing and layering up the writing over and over. I also used a range of different colours of marker pens to create this piece which I think was a successful technique as it gives the work much more of an artistic feel. I am happy with how this piece turned out overall and I think I will experiment further with this styles possibly trying with more colours, scales and materials. 

I then experimented with layering in a different way through the use of tracing paper to give an extra layer of writing. I firstly did a piece of writing in a similar style as before straight onto the page using black pen, and coloured markers. I then did another piece of writing on a piece of tracing paper using black marker and different coloured markers. I think this layered affect was a good experiment and gave a good effect. I like how some of the text is visible underneath through the tracing paper which gives the piece more depth. I also think this technique helps to make the writing much more illegible which is the effect I am looking for.

More experimentation

I would also like to experiment with this on big a piece by doing pieces of writing each day in a similar style to how the artist worked as I think this would be interesting to experiment with.

FMP journal 17

FMP reflective journal

Friday 14/04/17

Leading on from my work looking at asemic writing and studying abstract art in this way I was more interested in how the viewers play a part in making the meaning. In the definition of asemic writing is says that the reader is left to make their own interpretation of the text and decided what it means to them, therefore they become part of the creation of the meaning of the work. I wanted to investigate this further and how the viewer has such an important role in the meaning of work. When researching into this more I found a piece of writing by Roland Barthes- The Death of the Author. 

Roland Barthes is a French literary critic and theorist and in his essay he argues against the method of reading andcriticises aspects of the authors identity- their political views, religion, psychology to define an ‘explanation’ of the text is flawed. He says “to give a text an author” and assign a single interpretation to it “is to impose a limit on that text.” He argues that readers must separate a literary work from its creator in order to liberate the text from strict interpretation. The essential meaning of a work according to Roland Barthes depends on the impressions of the reader, rather than the passions and tastes of the writer. “A texts unity lies not in its origins” or it’s creator, “but in its destination” in other words it’s audience. He says that the author exists to produce but not to explain the work and therefore once the work is finished this becomes the death of the author and the birth of the reader. 

I really found reading this text insightful and I think it is an interesting concept. This has inspired me because within the creation of my work I want the audience to be able to individually interpret my work. I think this makes the art much more interesting if there is the opportunity for there to be many different meanings. By including this reading in my work I think it has added much more depth to my project because it shows there is much more conceptual thinking behind my ideas. 

FMP journal 16

FMP reflective journal

Wednesday 12/04/17

Today I visited a gallery whilst I’m on a trip to Scotland called Dundee Contemporary Arts. There was an exhibition Mark Wallinger Mark by Turner prize winner Mark Wallinger.

The part of the exhibition I was most interested with was the id Paintings. They are the record of actions that appear to be intuitive and instinctive echoing the primal and impulsive characteristics of the id. The id is an idea put forward by pyschoanalist Freud who said that the id is driven by the pleasure principle and is the source of all psychic energy. The large paintings have come from Wallingers self portrait series and they reference his own body. His height and arm span is the basis of the canvas size. He used symmetrical bodily gestures on the two halves of the canvas to mirror one another. This gives the paintings a sense of the Rorschach test which is another link to psychology. The Rorschach test is a technique used by psychologists where someone is given a collection of ink blots and asked to say what they see/how they interpret it. This is then used and analysed to reveal characteristics of the persons mind. He used great sweeping motions with paint on his hands to create these paintings in an active and free way. There are areas on the paintings where the finger prints are visible recording how it is a reflection of the artist himself. The viewer is allowed to recognise figures and shapes within the paintings and therefore reveals their own desires much like in a Rorschach test. 

I really liked this exhibition and I think it can link to my project quite well. I like how the main objective of the paintings is to allow the viewer to make their own interpretation of what they see and therefore making their own meaning. This is something I am trying to achieve with my own work. I also really like how the paintings are created by free, sweeping motions from the artist therefore creating a painting where the artist isn’t conscious of the final outcome, instead the art reflects in some way a subconscious thought from the artist. 

This has inspired me to be much more free with my work and possibly experiment with working on a larger scale.

FMP journal 15

FMP reflective journal

Wednesday 5/04/17

Today I have again moved onto another artist research this time looking at Italian calligrapher Francesca Biasetton. She “is an illustrator who loves the alphabet, but also a calligrapher who loves to draw.” I chose to look at her because she is another artist that uses a lot of asemic writing in her work. She works mainly in black and white but in a very big and expressive manner.

I began by creating black areas on the page using ink and a big brush in a sweeping motion and then worked on top of this in white pen in a continuous line ‘scribbling’ motion to try and recreate some of her work. I also continued the lines with black pen to replicate how the artist works. 

I like the abstract nature of these pieces. 

I then wanted to experiment with a technique I had used before but continuing the theme of black and white from this artist. 

I wrote out the same poem as throughout the project on black paper using white pen and layered the writing on top of each other making the words become marks and lines rather than legible words. I liked the effect of this and I think combined with the contrast of the black and white I think this made the piece quite striking.

I then experimented again with a technique I had used before, transferring it to the black and white technique.

I wrote out the poem twice over in a block of text leaving no spaces between words and lines which is what I had done with a previous artist and really liked the effect of it. I then went over this with expressive mark making with white pen. And I like the minimal effect of this with the black and white and the structured block of text contrasted with the expressive marks. 

I then went on to be a lot more expressive with the marks which is a lot more like how Francesca Biasetton works.

I created large marks and lines with a big brush and black ink and then wrote a small quote of the poem within this in ink.

I liked the experimentation with black and white however I think I prefer art work with a hint of colour as I think this creates a much more effective outcome. However I would like to experiment further with expressive techniques on a much larger scale out of my sketchbook like this artist does, as this will allow me to be much more free with the marks I make. 

FMP journal 14

FMP reflective journal

Tuesday 4/04/17

Today I moved onto another artist research page in my sketchbook. This time I was researching J.B.Murray who was a self taught artist. He originally was an illiterate sharecropper who had a religious vision which lead him to create many abstract piece of art and asemic script. He claimed that God told him to create the letters and it was the language of the Holy Spirit. He worked with continuous line and mark making, where he let the weight of the instrument define the mark. He rotated the paper, did it with his eyes shut and swapped hands. His work contains a lot of ambiguity as it isn’t certain which way round the work should be viewed and there isn’t any specific meaningful content to the work. Therefore his work can be different to anyone and is accessible to all regardless of their language. I really like this element to his work as the art could mean something completely different to one person as it does to someone else. This is something that I would love to achieve in my own artwork.

I then began creating some of my own pieces working in the same way. I researched that ‘automatic writing’ is an alleged psychic ability to produce written words without any conscious thought. This is what I thought I would try to get a sense of the technique J.B. Murray uses. 

For this first piece I used black marker pen over areas of tissue paper stuck down. I didn’t consciously think about what shapes/letters I wanted to create instead I just let my hand flow freely and let the pen take control of what was created. 

I then used red pencil, pink fine liner and black marker for this one because I wanted to try and add some colour to this work. I started by creating small shapes/marks with the red pencil and the pink fine liner. Again I wasn’t consciously thinking about what I was creating but letting the object take control. I think it is interesting that this turned out much more controlled and smaller because the pen/pencil I used for this part was a lot smaller than the previous black marker I used, this could be the reason for the smaller effect. At moments I closed my eyes and turned the page round writing on top of what I had already done, as well as trying bigger marks with the red pencil. I then worked on top of this with the same black marker as before and again the motions and marks became much bigger and expressive. This time the marks were very straight and linear, in a continuous line style.

For this last piece I used the same technique again of subconsciously writing/mark making through changing direction of the paper and closing my eyes. I used a combination of pink marker, black marker and black fine liner. This time the marks were all over the page rather than horizontal lines like usual writing would be, I think this makes this piece a lot less writing and can be viewed much more easily as art/pattern. As well as this I found that this time I used a lot more continuous lines rather than broken up shapes which also helped to give more of a arty feel to this piece rather than singular shapes which resemble letters. 

Overall I really like how these turned out as I think they are really abstract. I’d like the continue with this technique or similar techniques throughout my project as I think the combination of expressive work with pieces of writing can be really effective. I think it would be useful to try this technique with different mediums as well including paint and maybe collage. 

FMP journal 13


Monday 3/04/17

Today I started my work on an artist linked to my more abstract asemic writing area of research. 

Nancy Crawford is an artist who uses a lot of abstract calligraphy in her work.she focuses a lot on mark making and her work is both legible and illegible. She experiments with layering up of texts/writing and writes with no spaces in between each word or each line creating blocks of text usually in square shapes. 

I wanted to experiment with this kind of technique myself, so I wrote out the same poem I have been using throughout my project I the style of the artist. 

Firstly I drew a square on the page and wrote out the poem twice to fill the square but using no spaces within the writing. To do this I used black ink. I like the effect of not using any spaces because this is a way to take away the sense of reading the words making the work much more artistic and abstract. 

I then experimented with repeating the same quote from the poem over and over in the same style with no spaces. This time I used a black ink pen and I also added a hint of colour with a stroke of red ink. This time I found myself being much more expressive with the writing and letting my hand become a lot more free which I think was successful because it resulted in this piece being a lot more abstract as the words are a lot less legible. I also like how the addition of colour can make the work much more artistic.

I then repeated the exact quote again using the same pen however this time I dipped the pen into black ink on several occasions to add more depth and definition to areas of the writing. I like the effect of this as sometimes the ink smudged but this added a bit more abstract effect to some areas. I then wrote on top of this using red ink to add some colour. 

I finally wrote out the whole poem with bright pink ink using a thick paint brush. By using this brush it was a lot harder to write with and this resulted in the definition of the letters being lost, I liked this for the abstract effect however it made the work quite blocky without much artistic effect. I then wrote a small part of the poem on top in black ink with a smaller brush being much more expressive with long strokes the give more abstract effect.

Overall I was happy with how these pieces turned out and I think I experimented with a few different techniques. I like the effect of writing a piece of text in a block without and spaces as I think this makes the writing become much more like a piece of art rather than a legible text. I also like the effect of the addition of small areas of colour as I think this really helps to give the work a more bold and striking effect.