1. Something that grows.
This is a broad topic. My mind was full of things that grow literally as well as organically and manually.
I immediately thought of trees. I have always loved trees, drawing trees, appliqué trees, needle felted trees, sculptured wire and paper mâché trees. Hugging trees!
An appliquéd tree that I created a long time ago and never finished popped up during the thought process for " something that grows".
Obviously not black and White but rather beautiful in it's shape is a needle felt tree that I created while thinking of how to draw something that grows. I did print a picture off in black and White to see if I could adapt it to use in the assignment but I settled on a different piece as my final, considered piece in the end although I may explore this idea further and will include it in the package I send to my tutor.
Again not black and White here but can be edited are the ever growing collection of soft toys my daughter takes to bed. Their shapes are something else I may explore but I think I prefer them in colour. There seems something sad about a collection of black and White teddy bears.
A growing collection of bottles waiting to go to the recycling centre ( these have since been recycled so will not feature again!)
The growing collection of potions and lotions that are left in the shower tray, many with only a last gasp of shower gel/ shampoo in them, but who has time in the morning to stand there waiting for that last drop to work it's way out?
The final idea I had before I decided upon my final piece was to make a textured piece using moss. I really like moss, I used to be a florist and it is widely used in floristry to cover up mechanics as well as being a feature in its own right. It has many interesting textures, colours and shapes and is incredibly versatile. Anyway, much as I love working with moss it was not to be used in the considered piece. I was working my way back round to the tree theme though!
So, what was my final considered piece of something that grows? Well, it was tree shaped but evolved out of a cabbage. I quite enjoyed the humour in " something that grows creating something that grows!"
I used a permanent black ink and a roller to cover the stem and the veins of the cabbage leaves. The remainder of the cabbage that we hadn't eaten was covered in ink as well and printed at the base of the " trees " looking remarkably like earth.
I think the finished article is very effective, I did try and add a print of the same leaf print in White over the black to add a contrast but it did not come out successfully.
2. Something mechanical.
This did not throw up any obvious images or ideas and my sister and I had a brain storming session about all the different things we considered to be mechanical. Did they have to have an engine? We decided it had to have something that would keep the " mechanics" running without the aid of constant human intervention.
I really like the mechanisms of a watch with all the intricate cogs and wheels so I looked on the Internet for pictures of watch mechanisms.
I then decided to try and create a picture using the method Debbie Smyth uses - the pin and thread.
I first drew my cog out on paper and in retrospect I was too firm and apparent with my pencil. Also paper is not the ideal medium in which to keep the pins firm, although it turned out to be more successful than the second medium I decided to use which was a canvas.
This is the cog drawn out and pinned.
I began adding thread. It was hard to know how to create the fuzz and blur of the loose thread effects and as this was my first attempt I decided to stick to primarily trying to get the shape nice and sharp and the pins and thread taught.
This is the final cog with thread. I would have to devote a lot more time to create the loose thread effect and this project does not allow for this length of time. I also wanted to try another cog shape which is shown here on the canvas.
This was very precarious and the canvas was with hindsight a ridiculous thing to use as a background as there is nothing solid to ground the pins into. I have since invested the princely sum of 50p for a piece of chip board that I am going to attempt another thread and pin drawing when time permits.
I really enjoyed the new challenge of the thread and pins. I think they look striking in black and White. I would like to try White thread on black as well.
3. A shoe.
I first drew Matt, my husbands trainer in pastel. I sat on a chair and the trainer was on the floor. The brown scribble at the bottom was courtesy of my daughter who thought she would enhance it.
I thought this shoe was ok and it fits the black and White criteria and it's a different medium from the previous two but something just didn't feel exciting enough. I don't really like trainers, to wear or to look at and this shoe had been picked purely on the basis that I had decided to draw the first shoe I had fallen over in the hallway!
I decided to do a textile, machine embroidery drawing of my daughters shoe. Anna is 18 months old and obsessed with shoes. She says " shoes" as her opening gambit first thing in the morning and spends much of the day taking off her shoes and swapping them for welly boots and vice versa. It seemed only fitting that during yesterday evening, while she was sleeping ( the only time she takes them off!) I copied her shoes onto tracing per and then pinned this paper to a piece of White fabric.
This was then embroidered on the sewing machine. As you follow the lines on the tracing paper the paper sort of dissolves and comes away easily.
I then removed the paper completely and shaded in the two holes in the front of the shoe.
I really like the final piece and I am going to do something with this shoe for Anna to keep. I am also going to incorporate this type of machine embroidery into the wall hanging or blanket that I am going to make her from her old clothes. I think it would be lovely to have images fro this time in her life that she won't really remember embroidered onto the blanket.
I also like the effect of the loose threads. I have see this effect used on machine embroidered pieces before but it was also reminiscent of Debbie Smyths loose embroidery threads hanging down.
4. A part of the body.
I love hands so I decided to go straight with that instinct and use wire to create hands.
These I pinned to a White sheet.
I then made another hand and a foot and have pinned those on top of the original hand. I have another plan to use shades of great to paintbthe shapes created by the overlapping shapes which I will post when I have done that. I also am going to add to the hands and feet with some charcoal sketches which I will post to my tutor.
5. The view from a window.
This final piece was initially my husbands idea which I developed. He had bought home a pressure washer to clean our patio and was outside in the rain drawing shapes in it to relieve the monotony. It then struck him that I could have a once in a lifetime opportunity to use this medium which reminded us both of Rolfe Harrises style and " draw " with the water pressure in the algae ridden patio. I decided that a mountain scene would lend itself best to this medium. It would also be Matts ideal view from a window although he doesn't get to enjoy that as often as he would like as I suffer terribly from altitude sickness!!
I then set about crafting a mountain scene, applying harder pressure to different areas of the mountains so that it would look as if the sun was catching one side of the snow. There were areas washed off on the mouton to give the impression of rocks emerging. All in all I think it looks pretty striking and for a few hours Matt was able to enjoy a mountain view from his own bedroom window!!