Today I have been making cartoonish drawings of Primary Emotions.
A Neutral Face
Sad and Happy Angry and Disgusted Surprised and Fearful
These I intend to use next week for some online teaching, as I give a demo on mask-making to prop. making students. I would like to get them active and not just give a one sided lecture. I use these ideas when teaching mask performance skills so why not for makers. I hope it will make it more personal for them as they examine their own faces and feel what muscles they use to make these extreme expressions.
I have been in working in collaboration with Richard T.Frost to make three wooden replicas of ‘The Canterbury Jade Axe’ (British Museum). These have been made to be handling objects, to be shown together with a large charcoal drawing, which may be included in an exhibition planned for 2021.
Elm from Tim , White Walnut from Rosie & Black Walnut from Tim
Many hours in the making. Several days for Richard to carve then two weeks for me to sand and polish, using boiled linseed oil, seven coats of oil based varnish, polished with rotten stone, raw linseed oil and red earth to finish.
These artefacts are yet again a manifestation of my meditations on the human impulse to make stuff, the creative urge. Many years ago I was horrified to see in an exhibition, some ‘Sculptures for the Blind’ by Brancusi, displayed inside a prospect box! These three pieces are designed to be handled, to be not just something to look at but also to be something beautiful to touch. Hand and Eye in collaboration.
Yes, they have metaphoric resonances but my continuing rumination’s are taking me somewhere else. As I develop the drawing , started but expected to develop over the next few months, I hope to find that ‘where’.
Next stage of the ‘Hart of the Woods’ Red Deer Headdress. Clay design complete, now mould making.
Many thanks to Richard Frost for documentary photographs and filming in the morning and then to Amira, Diane and Manuela from Nottingham Trent University for filming and interviewing in the afternoon. An excellent way to spend a Saturday.
I have just found this tiny pot which I made in about 1976 as a student. Probably the best thing I created at that time as it holds much of what still concerns me in current drawing projects. The Square, The Circle and a playful response to the world I live in.
What I like most of all is its ‘pot-ness’ whilst at the same time its ‘bird-ness’. I remember that I had seen an image of some ancient clay toys, which inspired the painting scheme. Hand-built porcelain at just 6 c.m tall, with brushwork in iron oxide. This bird with four legs still makes me chuckle.
My current work still has the same archeological connections as I continue to ponder on the ancient impulse to ‘make’. I am still obsessing with geometry in conjunction with natural forms. My choice of materials is still governed by a perception of ancestral connections. Clay, minerals, charcoal. The sense of touch is still as important in 2D work.
Making a mask / head-dress for ‘Hart of the Wood’ . This is to be a stags head with intimations of Green Man.
Film making in collaboration with ‘Artdocs’.
All will be revealed in due course.
This week I have mainly been building a ship.
1620 ‘Caravel’ Merchant Vessel
In the last month I have bought two pieces of art.
The first being a ceramic mask from Graham Underhill. The Willoughby Memorial Trust Gallery, Corbyb Glen Lincolnshire
The Second work of textile art from Kashif Nadim Chaudry. Primary: Nottingham Studios.
Looks like it takes me three months to reach an end point to these large drawings, can’t say finished but to arrive at a stage of partial satisfaction. This is now Vitruvian Man at 3 months. Smaller drawing continue to develop the theme.
Over several month I have been working on a new ‘Arlecchino mask, breaking away from traditional representations in a search for a more mature, tricksterish and altogether joyous character. Initial drawings to find some sort of ‘Essence’.
Progression was made in the clay design with several changes of direction, which retained elements of tradition but with a greater emphasis on asymmetry and uplift.
Experimenting with a lighter paint scene in order better see the sculpture.
From initial research drawings, through clay sculpture, to mould making ready for casting in paper. Once out of the mould ,I experiment with paint finishes. One is prepared with a solid colour as a base coat and the other I use the paint as a stain directly onto the brown paper .
Her mantra is ‘I have a secret’.
Next I have to try the mask out on a performer.