4.2 Self-Publishing: Aldeburgh Diary


Develop a small self-published book based on an idea from your sketchbooks. Produce a small photocopied fanzine or a one-off artist’s book.

Look at your sketchbooks for ideas of work that could be developed into a self-contained narrative or collected together to form a publication. For example, it could be a character you have developed, a particular style of working or a series of drawings on a similar theme.

Giving a title to your work  publications should have a title and a subtitle (sometimes called a strap line). One of these elements needs
to be descriptive, while the other is more about the unique identity of the piece. Usually the title is more evocative than the descriptive strap line. How would you title your work and how does this title feed back into the development of your idea?

Once you’ve finished your publication, reflect on it in your learning log. What sort of audience do you think would be interested in your work?
Creatively explore the statement ‘you are here’. Produce either a short self-published fanzine, graphic novel or artist’s book; an on-line interactive experience; a piece of street art; or an illustrative object.

This is a very open brief, so it allows you plenty of room for exploration and creativity. ‘You are here’ can suggest a site-specific approach, an historical perspective, or you could be philosophical or humorous or both! Remember it’s an illustration project so, whatever you decide to do, make sure it focuses on developing your illustrative work in some way.

I started this assignment on a week’s holiday in June 2017 at the time of the Aldeburgh music festival. Initially I had intended the diary as my Assignment 4 submission. For this project the idea originally submitted to my tutor for this project was a 10-spread publication: Carnival – the big escape: using material from Project 2.1b Aldeburgh carnival.   I had intended to develop this further with some new sketches from Aldeburgh carnival June 2017. However our motorhome broke down and I was unable to go back in 2017. The work as far as I got is showin in Project 2.1b Drawing on location . Meanwhile, my ideas for Assignment 4 changed to become a more imaginative piece – see Assignment 4 Moot and other textured tales.

Process of development

The main linking narrative was a diary of my thoughts over the 7 days, starting from questions I had started to think about for Assignment 4: You Are Here.

  • Who is meant by ‘you’? Myself?  An absent imaginary friend you wish was here? A voyeur always watching? Unseen presence of different artists who affect one’s perception of the place?
  • Where or what is ‘here’? Which ‘here’ are ‘you’ at? Different focus and viewpoint.
  • When? places change over time – even over a few seconds – short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – the past is always present
  • Subjective perception, exploration and deepening understanding over time
  • Imagination and how I want things to be. The ‘here’ I want you to see (if I like you) Selective erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins)

Pre narrative ideas from earlier work:

  • Wide shingle beach.
  • Scallop and furore as symbol of the underlying conflicts.
  • Fishermen and sea
  • Seagulls flocking
  • Tourists.
  • Holiday homes.
  • Castle and vulnerability to the sea.

Before leaving for holiday I did a review of different types of art that other artists had produced in Aldeburgh from a webs search and my notes on different artists who had displayed their work at Snape Gallery and in the commercial art galleries in the town. I had started experimenting with  iPad styles to see what I could recreate and/or create from my own images. I had originally intended to do a digital diary from sketches on my iPad. But found the iPad difficult to use for live sketching because of RSI (See iPad Workflow Critical Review.) In addition the weather was not so good for sketching – either too hot or raining, so  quite a lot of my time was spent thinking, listening to the radio and reading in the van and talking to my partner about ideas. It was a holiday after all!

The diary became not so much a record of what I did and saw, but my responses to my surroundings in the light of things that I was hearing on the radio and reading. So my approach used a mixture of working from earlier sketches, photographs taken on this holiday, then sketchbook work developed from these later, composited on the iPad.

Arrive late on Saturday 10th June, camp and eat.

Sunday 11th June

Sun and cloud. 18/19c Windy. 18/19.
Smell of mown grass.
Cuckoos in the morning.

Walk into town in the morning. See Maggi Hambling‘s Edge Exhibition (wonder is there gold on there? or just colour jusxtaposition) and Walls of Water.

Do video and photos of sea.

Band on beach. Acoustic guitar. But not many people. Town feels quite empty.

Back in the van in the afternoon do iPad experiments for Hambling, oil painting exploring different textures.

Look at:

  • Olivia Lomenech Gill ‘Where My Wellies Take Me’ a book my daughter had bought me for Xmas. An advert for her exhibition ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was in the supermarket. I wanted to study her style – multilayered paint and mixed media on top with white gouache, erasing, often on brown paper. Pencil sketching and very good drawing. Use of muted colours.
  • Tessa Newcomb ‘Paris’. Oilpaintings with cut out and exaggeration of shapes. Use complementary colours in overpainting. I was also interested in how she combined text and image.

Wind dies down at sunset. Fans in the sky. Then cloud again.

Walk along the beach to Thorpeness. Areas of beach fenced off to protect the plants.

Radio discussions on election fall out. Feelings of uncertainty.

Monday 12th June

Cloudy, and wind. Light at 3.30 am.
Look outside. Rabbit hops along. Bottom of new hedges protected.
Went back to sleep. Woke up really late and long breakfast to lunch.

Radio: profile Arlene Foster DUP. Troubles and death. Uncertainty on election grows.

After lunch go for a walk and take more photos and video of sea, gets over my shoes. Shingle between the toes.

Read Kovats drawing water. Quote from Salman Rushdie on Haroun and the Sea of Stories. This provided an important inspiration for Assignment 4: You Are Here  Moot and Other Tales

The Kovats book itself discusses:

  • Drawing as lines of discovery.
  • Mapping
  • 3D under the oceans

This suggested ideas: slowing down time. Time looking back. Not frenetic.

Van is a shell sheltering from the storm.

Go back out again before it gets dark.

Tuesday 13th June

Cloudy and windy 20C

Reith lectures. The day is for the living Hillary Mantell. About history and fiction. Lots of imperfect perspective fragments and filling in the gaps.


Read Ronald Blythe and look through history photos. Storms and Slaughden.
Sorted sketchbook.

Afternoon go to museum. Old Anglo Saxon, and Roman dig.

Back through churchyard with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. and along leafy tunnel lane.

Experimented with Procreate to program on gouache, pastel and ink bleed brushes.
Went back through carnival sketches.

Feeling despondent – not enough time and too much to learn. About technique and about drawing.

Wed 14th June

Sunny 18C
Soul Music Radio 4
Sandy Denny Who Knows Where the Time Goes. Wrote from nowhere when she was 17. Confident on stage, very unconfident off stage. Depression, drinking etc with duffucult marriage. Seems like she committed suicide through falling down stairs.

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it’s time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it’s time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time

For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Read more: Sandy Denny – Who Knows Where The Time Goes? Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Interview with young songwriter ren harvieu who had been out with friends. In dark they were jumping over hedges. One did not see her and jumped on top and broke her back. As she was pain relieved suddenly started singing the song. Nina simone rendering also.

Sketching on bench. Got a bit cold.

Hot midday. Mediterranean streets. By lookout tower.

Band midday.

Went back to van for lunch. Practised Procreate acrylic and old brush styles.

Late afternoon went to the marsh. Footpath right across the marsh is closed to rebuild the dykes.

Day of Kensington fire. Hear it on radio in the evening.

Thursday 15th June

Still discussing Kensington fire. See pictures in the paper.
Hot morning so stayed in. Feeling tired. Then cloudy and windy. Starts to be sunny again about 3pm.

William Kentridge. That which is not drawn.

  • Provisionality. Virtues of bastardy. Receiving the world. Reversing the world.
    To reveal that which is hidden. Excess of making.
    Making 3 things at once, the cat and the coffee pot. Chaos.
    Unwinding, unfurling, contradiction.
    Changing, shifting. Erasing.
    To make a huge fiction.
  • Sighs and traces. Always longing for meaning. Mystery associated with the trace.
  • Drawer and viewer. Filling in the gaps.
  • Wanting to hold, needing to let go.
  • Slow drawing. Meditative.
  • Man is a walking clock. Gathering seconds, gleaning frames.
  • P6 “the migration of images, which is connected with what I am calling the virtues of bastardy and the question of provisionality. That is linked to questions of imperfect translation and construction. I am thinking here of a bridge or a plank over the gap of what you don’t hear or don’t understand, or of what’s not in the narrative and requires the activity of the viewer. I think it’s all part of one topic, but we have to try and find out in what ways they are related. Another concerns that which is hidden….excavating dreams and constructing their sense. And erasure as construction.”
    P71″I suppose I’m interested in the traces of what prompts a reconstruction, not just the trace nor the unreconstructed state. What prods an imaginative leap? I am making a drawing for which you see a foundation or a ground. And the interest for me is not not only the foundation or the ground but also what it suggests. From all the different possible things that could come out of it, I am interested in the end, in arriving at one, even if it’s an incorrect one. So it’s not a matter if saying, ‘Here’s a phrase, which is unclear, because there are words missing, that I haven’t heard.’ That suggests many things; it’s the leap into that suggestion, which is, in away, a leap out of indeterminacy. So indeterminacy is there at the base, but for me the interest lies in the movement into a drawing, into a sequence of movement. Indeterminacy suggests paralysis if you stay there.”
  • Photographs have only one focal point. But when we look we rapidly flip between the two.


Friday 16th June

Sun and cloud

Went out. Bought cards.
Boats watercolour
Tractor acrylic
Pointillist textures



Saturday 17th June

Dawn and dusk

Aldeburgh Open Studios

Brian Coetzee – very atmospheric watercolour on silk


and seagulls

Crag Path and dancing dog



Sunday 18th June

Home via Snape

Further ideas

Idea 2: Phlomis :   portait of a flower – developing different ways of drawing and illustrating flowers using my work on botanical illustration and digital abstraction from Project 2.3 A Rose by another Name . There is a potential market for such a short book to the many tourists and people visiting the gardens – the abstraction and digital images being rather different from the traditional and very professional watercolour art that is normally portrayed. I went to another course on botanical drawing in November in the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, but this was outside the flowering season. I now plan to buy a Phlomis and other architectural plants for the garden next year and work on these ideas on a bigger scale for Level 3 of the degree.  Both as a way of significantly improving my drawing skills in different media, and for different outputs as cards and eventually a book.

Idea 3: Thin Cities : sticky tales developing the techniques of glue drawingdeveloped as part of Assignment 1: Invisible Cities: Octavia. I would do a series of glue drawings and designs digitally processed as narrative based on the different Thin Cities in the same book. Thinking about this further, I decided this would probably be best as an on-line animation rather than a book because of potential for changing the lighting etc. Or to write my own text for a similar type of narrative and drawing style.