Manipulate Black and White reference image in photoshop
Inspiration: Stanley Donwood, Scarfolk, Richard Marrs, Tom Burns.
Painting, charcoal/pastel, printmaking, Photoshop compositing, Stop Motion, video, Premiere. sketchbooks. Photobook. Online gallery.
‘Edges Shifting’ is a personal and documentary project that develops a body of photography-based work about the Suffolk coast in the context of its social and environmental context that might have a range of potential audiences and markets.
The Suffolk Coast is a minimalist and haunting remote shingle landscape along the North Sea shaped by its role in World War 2 and currently a somewhat elite tourist hideaway. It has been the subject of work by other artists, photographers, poets and writers who have seen it in different ways. There are also a number of historical and environmental books by local people.
Developed over a six month period January 2020 to December 2021 through Brexit and the COVID crisis, I bring together work by local people available on-line as the basis for my own subjective work that I then share forvfeedback in my social networks.
A documentary photobook from photographs taken on my first visit to Shingle Street coloured by heightened emotions on a gloomy day before Brexit.
A collage sketchbook of photos, conversations witg local people, available information on-line or in local publications, annotated with my own questions and thoughts.
Photographs of the landscapes in and around Shingle Street digitally processed in different photographic styles for a tourist and/or fine art market in response to audience feedback.
A second documentary photobook and on-line slideshow presentation reflecting insider and outsider views of Shingle Street.
Part 4 asks me to undertake a self-directed project that aims to make the world a better place, focusing as much on process – particularly audience involvement – as outcomes.
I wanted to further develop my approach to landscape documentary photography, focusing on communities and environments along the Suffolk coast between Southwold and Felixstowe. Focusing particularly on the environmental challenges of this part of the coast and the social challenges and contradictions surrounding Brexit, compounding pre-existing issues of rural poverty, inequality and neglect.
I initially thought of doing some comparative work including Orford, Aldeburgh and Dunwich, looking at the multiple interactions between these locations and their distinctive ‘Southfolk’ identity. They are linked by history from prehistoric times and trade with Europe, particularly the Netherlands. The swallowing up of Dunwich by the sea and Orford silting led to the rise of Aldeburgh. The locations are all linked by the Suffolk Coast path and tourist development, the decline of fishing and the work of artists presenting at art and music festivals in Southwold, Aldeburgh and Snape. I intended to include work on fishing and tourism as a comparison to work I had done on Cornwall in Assignment 3. I started by reading books on the Suffolk coast including Sebald’s Rings of Saturn and sections on Suffolk in Daniel Defoe’s A tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain (1724–1727) work by Robert MacFarlane and Stanley Donway on Orford and some You Tube surfing on different locations. I chose to start at Shingle Street because that was the only area of the coast I had not been before, and the most remote.
The first visit to Shingle Street was a moody cloud/sun day – 30th January 2020, the day before Brexit. In true flaneur fashion I wandered around taking photographs of things I noticed and thought indicated something significant or interesting about the place. Mostly grey and melancholy signs and seas/shinglescapes, reinforcing my feeling of alienation from ‘English’ surroundings where the majority of the population voted for Brexit, and also for Tory MP Theresa Coffey. As former Environment Minister and now Work and Pensions minister, she opposes gay rights, most environmental and social protection legislation, and welfare and housing benefits.
This series of photographs is the basis for 4.1 ‘Outsider on the Edge’ a largely textless photobook and slideshow personal project – audience and benefit to the world to be determined at the end with the benefit of hindsight and perspective of deeper investigation and local knowledge.
Despite the feeling of alienation, I found Shingle Street intriguing. After a week of intensive on-line investigation following Google and Facebook chains, and links from ‘The Shell Line’, I decided there wer more than enough interesting angles on this one location for the whole project – including other photographers, artists and writers as well as active Facebook page and website for the local magazine ‘Village Voices’. And that I would learn much more from following up on the different angles and potential audiences and purposes than covering too many locations in a more superficial way.
I revisited Shingle Street a week later on February 5th, a sunnier day determined to have a break from Brexit issues. And to follow up on some names, addresses and locally available books about the area. This time we spent more time in the local pub in Hollesley, and Oxley Marshes as well as Shingle Street itself in order to get a better rounded picture of the area. People were extremely open and friendly, including many who were very knowledgeable about the area as well as photographers and birdwatchers from other places. The campsite proved very reasonably priced with a very helpful owner, to enable multiple visits and staying overnight. Thus confirming my decision to focus only on this one location and visit at regular intervals to develop local ‘audience engagement’ with people who could fill in gaps and provide feedback and potential market links with visiting tourists.
Making the World a Better Place
The project continues my interest in different subjective and objective ‘outsider’ approaches to documentary, focusing on environmental challenges, social challenges of marginalisation and rural poverty. and the changing and conflicting identities and interests that have underpinned debates around Brexit and future visions for our countryside and environment. But – further my response to First Things Next – I am aiming for different types of outputs that fulfil different purposes: direct messaging, for different audiences linked to a broad ethical commitment. Provoking questioning from the viewer rather than imposing one single message.
I look at how my creative process, particularly documentary work, can be significantly improved through working with other people to help me to develop alternative narrative threads and visual approaches, building on some of my professional qualitative research skills.
My body of work will include different ways of engaging with audiences to improve my work in terms of:
- refining the ‘messages’ by getting a range of local views and information on social and environmental issues through conversations and interviews and engagement with relevant local social networking sites.
- feedback on the effectiveness of the ‘communication aesthetics’ from local, national and also international overseas audiences to improve my technical and visual communication skills through ZemniImages Facebook page crosspasted to other social networks.
- finding different marketing, promotion and advocacy outlets for the different dimensions of the body of work. Including campaigning organisations like National Trust, RSPB and Rural England.
Focusing on colour, I continue to explore the range of effects of digital processing in Lightroom, Photoshop and DxO FX filters on interpretations of images. I include consideration of individual images, collage and photomontage and approaches to text.
- how do different media affect how people interprete messages
- how do different media affect how we see and interprete things
- How does mood affect what we see and how we use media
- How do our expectations about audience perceptions affect what we communicate and how
The critical review is intended to demonstrate your awareness and understanding of how your own and other illustrators’ work and ideas relates to the wider cultural picture. It should demonstrate a critical and contextual understanding of how your work fits into a broader framework of practices and explore the ideas that underpin some of these. Your critical review is an opportunity to:
- explore in greater depth a topic or theme that has informed your journey throughout this course, for example the work or ideas of a particular illustrator, an area of illustration practice, a body of work that demonstrates certain ways of working
- demonstrate that you’ve developed academically as well as creatively.
Use your primary source material as your starting point (i.e. your own work and accompanying reflections on your practice and studies, etc.) and develop this into a 2,000 word critical review using your collection of secondary source material (your analytical notes, bibliographic references, annotated images, notes on illustration practices and history) gained through reading and researching into the subject.
iPad Explorations: a new way to do art?
The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010. The drawing experience significantly improved particularly with the introduction of the iPad Pro, first released in November 2015 and Second Generation 2017, together with the Apple Pencil and improved camera. A further significant advance was made in autumn 2017 with introduction of iOS11 when iPad software made a corresponding leap in terms of both image quality and range of styles that can be produced. The iPad is now widely used by artists and illustrators to produce high end art like that of David Hockney and/or as part of an image design and development workflow. iPad portability and flexibility make it a very good tool for drafting and exploring alternative designs and ideas and travelling – potentially replacing both sketchbooks and pc digital work.
The iPad has been part of my own workflow since 2014 and has been a key feature of much of my work for this course. A key consideration in my workflow is a need to manage RSI and consequent constraints on how long I can spend at my pc with professional digital software like Photoshop, Illustrator and Corel Painter. This review aimed to provide a focus for upgrading my iPad skills, looking in detail at recent developments and widening my range of software and styles, placing what I had earlier achieved in Procreate in a wider context.
I aimed to draw some conclusions relevant for my own practice about:
- What media can the iPad best produce, particularly since iOS11 upgrade? What are the range of different traditional media and effects that can be convincingly replicated? In which Aps?
- What effects can be produced that are specific to the iPad, as an iPad illustrative style in its own right? In which Aps?
- What are the inherent artistic limitations compared to other digital software on pc like Photoshop, Illustrator or Corel Painter?
- What are the implications for my own practice? Both artistically and in terms of what I myself can do within the constraints of RSI? Which media and effects that I am aiming for are still best produced entirely in traditional media on different surfaces, or in pc digital software? Is there a role for iPad as a complement to these other media?
The review complements more technical discussion on specific software and projects in iPad Aps compared, and hyperlinks and links in references below.
What media can the iPad produce?
It is clear that the iPad can produce a wide range of styles when used by experienced artists. There are many software Apps of varying sophistication and enabling different styles and media. Recent versions of the iPad Pro have progressively increased processing speed to enable a bigger range of brushes and variation in stroke, reduced parallax (the distance between the drawing implement and the screen to increase drawing accuracy) and increased resolution to enable large gallery-size paintings. The introduction of the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro brought in a high degree of pressure sensitivity and tilt functions that are now incorporated into software like procreate. The camera has also significantly improved to enable easy inclusion of photography in digital images directly on the device.
Most early Aps focused on varying brush size and transparency to produce Acrylic, airbrush, gouache and oil-type styles. David Hockney produced many small early sketches using the Brushes Ap on his iPhone – delighting in the speed with which he could record the colours and shapes of his surroundings just using his finger. He also used further software to produce very large gallery pieces as part of the ‘Bigger Picture’ exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2012. These resemble very large colourful gouache and oil paintings. Large pieces can also be tiled like his oil paintings to produce much bigger works. There are now a number of artists using the iPad to produce very large resolution paintings (eg Andy Maitland who paints using a tripod in the landscape) and hyperrealistic portraits (eg Kyle Lambert). Aps like ArtRage and Inspire pro use different types of canvas texture and 3D brushes to produce similar to work in Corel Painter.
Procreate is one of the more versatile Aps commonly used for professional work by digital painters like James Julier and illustrators like Stefan de Groot, Danny Glasgow and Austin Batchelor. The most beautiful and distinctive work I have found so far is by Ilya Tyljakov is a Russian concept artist who uses Procreate to create beautiful atmospheric work. He creates and sells his own ‘Pro Brushes’ on the ProCreate Community to produce very distinctive marks with a degree of randomness that make them very distinctive as a style.
iPads are often used for simple sketching and digital inking. Some Aps produce distinctive ink work. Some Aps have inbuilt ink brushes that make a distinctive mark – Paper 53 produces a Quentin Blake-type style, Tayasui Sketches, SketchClub , Zen Brush have a range of Zen and quirky ink brushes that are beautful and fun to use. In Aps like Procreate it is possible to fully control design of ones own brushes, importing ones own shapes and grain images to create brushes that can then be infinitely adjusted for things like spacing, taper, jitter, opacity as one works. Procreate 4 brushes are in many ways more flexible for artistic effects than Photoshop – having blend modes to brushes as well as layers. But it takes quite some time to customise these for quick sketching and there is still some time lag that creates RSI issues.
Watercolour remains a challenge because watercolour bleeds require high processing power. A range of styles are possible in different Aps – see Digital Watercolour. ‘JunoVHS’ produces some beautiful delicate Watercolour art in Procreate using custom-shaped brushes and transparency overlays. Aps like Auryn Ink and Adobe Sketch do a very convincing simulation with potential to create beautiful atmospheric work. SketchClub can produce an anime gradient watercolour-style using a vector shape brush. This work views well on screen, but needs quite a lot more detailed work to print high resolution images on digital watercolour paper as the ink tends to blend.
Some artists and illustrators produce textured collage work. See for example: Michelle Brown: http://oldcellsstudio.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/iPad
But a lot of iPad painting found on sites like DeviantArt, Filckr, Tumblr and other social and illustration marketing networks has a very similar style – smooth blend, soft focus landscape and fantasy style. From my own preliminary explorations it is clear that there is much more potential to be explored to take my own illustration and artistic expression further.
My own practice – key learnings
I myself have used the iPad as part of my workflow in many of the projects in this course. I have still only scratched the surface of possibilities. And have to go slowly because even the iPad causes RSI unless I am relaxed with good posture.
Sketching and painting on location
I tried sketching from life in Procreate and Paper 53, but found the process too clumsy and lacking the dynamism of sketching on paper. It took a long time to set up brushes for an interesting style, and they were not so consistent when used quickly. The lag and inconsistency of mark aggravated my RSI when trying to sketch quickly from life. This situation is not noticeably better in any of the other Apps, though slightly improved with iOS11.
However, it is possible to create atmospheric townscape and landscape paintings from life using either just painting Aps like Procreate or ArtRage and/or taking photographs as reference from which to take colours and/or to use as background layer. I explored this in some of the Aldeburgh images in Assignment 4.
Some Aps like Sketchclub have distinctive brushes, and can also produce flat vector art. Most Aps can just drag and drop colours to fill in line art.
The iPad has a number of advantages for painting and sketching:
- the ability to combine many different media on one image without needing to carry a lot of equipment.
- can sketch in airports and people think you are just reading on your iPad.
- possibility to work on very fine detail through zooming in and out of the image. fine control over transparency and ability to get very fine gradations of colour.
- delicate edge effects can be produced with transparency lock.
- ability to quickly explore many alternative styles, colours and compositions through manipulating layers.
Colouring, collaging, layering, blending and masking photos and images from natural media. Some textural effects of watercolour and gouache cannot be reproduced solely on the iPad itself. But using natural media and the iPad can produce very distinctive art that is impossible just using natural media. Procreate 4 has good selection, transformation and masking tools that, when combined with layer curves and colour adjustments, erasers and transparency lock, can produce very atmospheric effects. I explored these much further in the images based on found textures in Assignment 4 From the Edge:
Using photographs enables very different perspectives, vantage points and weather conditions to be captured – providing the photographs themselves are well thought through with potential final images in mind. It is also possible to exploit the effects of light on printed images to create atmospheric effects.
Images can be endlessly worked on in natural media, photographed, printed and worked on again.
It is also possible to very quickly produce multiple variations to explore different colours and compositions.
An interesting feature I discovered was to use different layers of line art in different styles, and underpainting so very different effects can be produced depending on which layer is printed.
Some Apps produce effects that are impossible, or much more difficult, to produce in other media like kaleidoscopic and mirrored images (Pixelmator and SketchClub), pixellations (SketchClub and SketchBook Pro) and impasto techniques on textured canvases (ArtRage).
Although it is not possible to have very fine control over layout as in InDesign, and text tools are rudimentary, Medibang Paint can produce graphic novels and comics and Procreate makes it possible (with practice) to produce blended handdrawn effects more easily than eg Photoshop.
Some limitations of the iPad compared with digital art on pc
Although the iPad can do very many things:
- Brushes still lack the fine tonal controls and blending possibilities on Photoshop.
- There is still not enough processing power to create the watercolour effects that can be achieved in Core Painter.
- Selection and masking tools are still quite rudimentary.
- Vector programmes are particularly weak in terms of their range of styles and flexibility compared to Adobe Illustrator.
- Text and layout tools are still rudimentary.
Conclusions for my illustration workflow
I still have a lot to learn and explore in using different iPad Aps for sketching and painting. Although it is possible to have greater control over line using natural media, for more exploratory and abstract work iPad brushes can introduce an element of randomness that can be very effective. It is also possible to learn a lot about drawing, colour and composition through using an iPad – and thus improve natural media drawing and painting. The ability to use and manipulate photographs as reference or as part of an image increases the range of drawing and painting possibilities.
However it is the combination of natural media and the iPad that I find most interesting in the very distinctive styles and effects that can be produced. And the ability to do this while travelling and from life. Together with the ability to then further fine tune tones, colours and masks on the pc through export to Photoshop and/or Illustrator or Corel Painter. This type of workflow, with its varied working positions and locations is one that is possible even with RSI. If I continue to learn how to use the iPad more efficiently, setting up brushes in advance and using different Aps as appropriate.
Wikipedia iPad gives a history of evolution of the specifications of the device. Specifically for the iPad Pro see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad#iPad_Pro_series
Ipad Artroom: http://www.ipadartroom.com
Cathy Hunt: iPad Art: Lessons, Apps and Ideas for the iPad in Visual Art : ebook on using iPad for classroom art education for Apple download
My own software experiments and reviews
I focus on professional Aps that are capable of producing high resolution images.
- Procreate the Ap I have used the most because of its wide-ranging and customisable professional drawing and painting features.
- SketchClub a high resolution sketching Ap that can produce a range of very distinctive styles.
- SketchBook Pro an illustration Ap combining vector and pixel art, including text
- ArtRage that uses a combination of brushes and canvas texture to produce painterly effects.
- Pixelmator that combines photography editing with drawing, painting and text.
I look briefly at:
- pioneer Aps like Brushes and ArtStudio – used by fine artists like David Hockney and Andy Maitland but have not kept pace with technology
- specialised/minimalist Aps like Adobe Draw and Adobe Sketch, Auryn Ink (dedicated to watercolour), Inspire Pr (eg for oil painting), Medibang Paint (layout for comics), Zen Brush (beautiful sumie calligraphy and art)
- low resolution sketch Aps Paper 53 and Tayasui Sketches
MacWorld Watch, February 2014 Amazing iPad artists in action by
Creative Bloq September 2017: 19 best iPad art apps for painting and sketching by : http://www.creativebloq.com/digital-art/art-on-the-ipad-1232669
Digital Art August 2017: The 13 best apps for drawing and painting on your iPad by Digital Arts Staff : https://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/illustration/13-best-apps-for-drawing-painting-on-ipad/
Digital Trends October 2017: The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro: Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro by Digital Trends Staff: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-ipad-pro-drawing-apps/
Copyright issues: The London Skyline – an IP view Leighton Cassidy, 18 May 2016
distinctive quirky illustrations: oil paint, watercolour, lithographs. Pencil on oil. Or pencil and watercolour.
I paint Paris how I want it to look. A Paris drawn from films, books, poems. Fewer cars, less noise and stress, better clothes, nicer notice boards – or that’s what I like to imagine. I use selective vision.
flat and skewed perspective. A lot of neutral pastel colours.
somewhat randomly inserted. Different sizes. Captions give title, medium and size – as if they are to be sold???
somewhat random text. In chapters, but without clear narrative. Little vignettes with illustration.
how I see paris
Interview with Tessa Newcomb
It is now quite some time since I received or sent postcards – most things these days are done by Facebook posts. I looked for postcards in East Anglia seaside towns like Aldeburgh but most were art postcards, no photographs. Even in Cambridge it is difficult to get ‘straight’ postcards. Most are tinted or artist drawings. I feel the traditional postcard is probably going out of fashion with technological change. On the Internet search for ‘postcards’ shows many sites where you can send off your own photos and get them produced as cards – this seems to be the growing trend. The other trend of for vintage postcards and art postcards.
Reportage illustration as a distinct discipline is a form of visual reporting that covers everything from exotic locations to war zones, enclosed courtroom proceedings to public events. It shares many of the concerns of written journalism and documentary photography, but reportage illustration offers something additional to both of these practices. It provides a different way to understand a place or event; it is visual but it’s often more than just a snapshot.The nature and style of reportage illustration has evolved alongside journalism and the technical development of printing.
Truth in drawing is about trying to capture the essence of the situation, whether it’s an emotional truth, a descriptive truth, or trying to capture a particular dynamic or tension. Getting to the truth of a story might, for example, mean emphasising certain aspects that you want a viewer to focus on.
(Course Guide p45 my emphasis added – illustration is inevitably a subjective interpretation. The key issue is to be aware of that subjectivity and its implications.
History of reportage illustration
Reportage illustration has a very long history – going back to stone friezes depicting rules and wars of ancient civilizations, tapestries like Bayeux Tapestries and medieval illuminated manuscripts. 17th century woodcuts were used to illustrate cheap publications called broadsides and later chapbooks or rags (named after the recycled fabric they were made from). These focused on murders, robberies and executions and provided grizzly depictions of victims and consequences.
By the nineteenth century news reporting had widened its scope and, with it, the breadth of material illustrated. As the market for newspapers increased the quality of the illustrations improved with the use of more expensive wood engravings and etchings. It took a while for photography to become integrated into newspaper publishing as a form of journalism, mainly because of the technical issues of printing photographs.
In Fine Art painters at the end of the nineteenth century painted social topics, for example:
- Degas Absinthe Drinkers
- Sickert Camden Town Murders
- Cezanne Card Players
- Francisco Goya’s Disasters of War.
- L.S.Lowry’s urban portraits
Contemporary reportage illustration
Reportage illustration is still practised as a way of providing a viewpoint on hard to document events, from courtrooms where cameras are banned, to personal experiences such as travel that are difficult to sum up in one image. And to convey mood of a piece. Particular sources of contemporary inspiration for my work include:
L S Lowry urban landscapes for their perspective and stylisation
and stylistic possibilities of:
Graham Dean watercolour
Franziska Neubert simple linocuts and woodcuts
Jake and Dinos Chapman: reinterpretation and reworking of Goya and other contentious issues.
Sally Pring for the flat colours
Olivia Lomenech Gill for her very diverse style with gouache, pencil, printmaking, collage
- How to draw something that might only be in place for a few moments? It takes practice to analyse a scene and commit the essential elements of fleeting impressions to visual memory, then make those impressions into an image.
- Initially at least the aim is not to make a finished picture, but to capture information. Focus on the key elements – a person’s face and hands, how they’re standing, the dynamic of a group of people huddled together. You might also have to draw a lot quicker. You’ll need to do a number of drawings. Movements are often cyclical even for people. Decide when to do the background and when to do the people.
- Interactions with the subjects – how to stop people being embarrassed or self-conscious See some of the hints in Urban Sketching
- Many reportage illustrators include written notes with their illustrations, reflecting on their perceptions, describing dialogue, thoughts or events. This adds to the personal perspective and gives the drawings a sense of personal identity.
- Final image: Mood, Media, Cropping, Colour etc
My rough notes using One Note and photo diary.
Day 1 Sunday Hambling. Wave, turbulence. Sunset. Fenced off beach.
Day 2 Monday. Kovats. Many tales. Ink. Gloomy darkness with yellow sea poppies. Twisted nets, ensnaring.
Day 3 Tuesday Stories in textures hilary mantell. Filling in the gaps. Museum. Ancient times. The Magpie. Viking. Armada.
Day 4 Wed where does all the time go. Med houses. Marsh. Nostalgia.
Day 5 Thur william kentridge erasure/ black and white charcoal
Dat 6 Fri coetzee open studios beach dog dance. New ideas, opening up.
Day 7 Sat new dawn. Watercolour.
Sunday 11th June
Sun and cloud. 18/19c Windy. 18/19.
Smell of mown grass.
Cuckoos in the morning.
Walk into town. See Hambling Edge (is there gold on there?) and Walls of Water. Do iPad for Hambling, oil painting. Different textures. Do video and photos of sea.
Band on beach. Acoustic guitar. But not many people. Town feels quite empty.
Look at Lemenech Gill gouache. Multilayered and paint on top with white gouache, erasing. Pencil sketching. But good drawing. Use of muted colours.
Elizabeth Newcombe oils Paris. Cut out and exaggeration of shapes. Use complementary colours in overpainting. ‘Paris as I want it to be, Paris of memory, not as it is….’
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.
Backdrop discussions on election fall out. Uncertainty.
“I am the shifting shingle, you approach with stealth, then the dark rooms of your curves, I am tossed, lost, displaced, with greedy lovers’ tongues and lips, you suck in and in again. we rise together, we rise together, then float safe on liquid breasts until the dance begins again and you thrust deep and my resistance is low, dissolve, dissolve. no defence against your relentless advance. I am but a ghost of the shore, disappeared in you.” (Maggi Hambling 2009 You Are the Sea text)
Subsequent research on Sizewell
In the 30s, the first tests in the development of radar were done there. The site was focused on bomb ballistics during the second world war and, afterwards, the first nuclear weapons. Now it’s a deserted haven for wild birds but littered with clues to its past.
Walking around the site I found the mysterious buildings of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE): bunker architecture covered in huge mounds of shingle. Peering through locked gates, I saw light pouring in through roofs open to the sky, the rusting metal framework creating dramatic shadows across walls tinted green with algae. I tried to piece together what they may have contained – deep pits to house the bombs for environmental testing, rusting remains of control boxes on the walls, huge ventilation shafts, quiet now save for the alarm call of gulls.
One of the most extraordinary things about the Ness is that at points you can see nothing except shingle and the occasional military building; the horizon remains the same through 360 degrees. It is quite otherworldly.
Wikipedia: Crag Pit, Aldeburgh is a 0.2 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Aldeburgh in Suffolk.It is a Geological Conservation Review site,and within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Crag Pit, Aldeburgh
This is the most northern site which exposes the Pliocene Coralline Crag Formationaround five million years ago. It has rich and diverse fossils, including many bryozoans, and other fauna include serpulids and several boring forms.
This site, which has been filled in, is on private land with no public access.
Monday 12th June
Cloudy, and wind. Light at 3.30 am.
Rabbit hops along. Bottom of new hedges protected.
Woke up really late and long breakfast to lunch.
Take more video of sea, gets over my shoes. Shingle between the toes.
Read Kovats drawing water.
Drawing as a mechanism for exploration. Drawing as lines of discovery.
3D under the oceans
Preface quote from Salman Rushdie on Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of each other like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale.
Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many others that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more like a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead but alive.
Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, 1990.p55.
Me ideas: slowing down time. Time looking back. Not frenetic.
Van is shell sheltering from the storm.
Profile Arlene Foster DUP. Troubles and death. Uncertainty on election.
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.
Afternoon go to museum. Old Anglo saxon, and Roman dig.
Back through churchyard with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. and along leafy tunnel lane.
Worked 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
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?
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.
Practised acrylic styles. Old brush.
Went to the marsh. Footpath right across is closed.
Day of Kensington fire.
Thursday 15th June
Still discussing Kensington fire.
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.
Old Man of Orford
Orford Castle is associated with the legend of the Wild Man of Orford. According to the chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, a naked wild man, covered in hair, was caught in the nets of local fishermen around 1167. The man was brought back to the castle where he was held for six months, being questioned or tortured; he said nothing, and behaved in a feral fashion throughout. The wild man finally escaped from the castle. Later accounts described the captive as a merman, and the incident appears to have encouraged the growth in “wild men” carvings on local baptismal fonts – around twenty such fonts from the later medieval period exist in coastal areas of Suffolk and Norfolk, near Orford.
Saturday 17th June
Dawn and dusk
Brian Coetzee and seagulls
Crag Path and dancing dog
Sunday 18th June
Home via Snape
To be developed using my notes and books from ‘Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen. House of Illustration exhibition February 2018.
Gerald Anthony Scarfe (b.1936) English caricaturist, illustrator for The New Yorker and editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times. A former friend of the caricaturist Ralph Steadman, Scarfe was an early contributor to the scurrilous magazine Private Eye during the 1960s and 1970s, and also created illustrations for The Daily Sketch, The Evening Standard and Punch magazine. Later he produced caricatures for the credits of the famous satirical TV shows Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, as well as a series of drawings expressing the heroic and heinous characteristics of famous Britons, including: Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, The Beatles and Diana, Princess of Wales.
What Shall We do Next