JULY TALK AND TASK
We were very encouraged by the multitude of creative responses from June Jamboree that we now bring you for the month of July TALK and TASK. This month we will look at how artists work, by giving an insight into their processes and the highlighting the importance of why process is integral in the making of a work.
Every Friday Evening: we will post on our website an interview or short video of an artist speaking personally about their work. This may give some insights into both to the character of the work they are making and the interesting ideas that stimulate their work.
Every Monday: after having the weekend to look at the talk and think about it, we will post a task
The Weekly Word Facebook group and #bhaweeklyword Instagram pages are still the places to share your work with the on-line community.
All of us at Bridge House Art believe that life and art is interconnected and that learning is a gateway to exploration on many levels. Be it a Summer School or the full-time Portfolio Course, we encourage students to think and develop their work from a point of interest that is so stimulating to them that they just can’t wait to get on with it!
So over the month of July we want to work with you to find what it is you love to do. We hope to help you find the processes that inform the essence of your personal creativity, that is ready and waiting to burst open - just like a garden in mid-summer.
Here is an excellent quote from a small, but very powerful, book by Kit White an artist and teacher. The book is 101 things to learn in art school-
Art is the product of Process - “whether conceptual, experimental, emotional or formal, the process you develop yields the image you produce. The materials you choose, the methods of production, the sources of the images should all reflect the interests that command your attention.
The process does not stop with each work completed. It is on-going. The cumulative result of that process is a body of work. “
So there you have it!.
This is what we have planned for July. The first Talk will be published on the website on Friday 3rd and the first Task published on Monday 6th. As the month progresses, the previous week's talks and tasks will be shown at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Remember: If you would like to share your work, the BHA Weekly Word Facebook group and #bhaweeklyword on Instagram, is still the place.
Week 1: Friday 3rd July Talk with Rosanna Dyke
Monday 6th July Task from Rosanna Dyke
My process often begins with intuitive mark making and playful drawings of my subject matter. Loosening up is something we all find difficult – often we need a tool to help us create work that is less controlled and more about energy and mark.
A technique I often refer to is “stick drawing” (and no, this isn’t about drawing stick men!)
A stick from your garden or daily walk
A pot of ink
Paper – any size, the bigger the better!
If you don’t have ink, you can tape charcoal, graphite or oil pastel to the end of your stick.
You may use any subject matter for this.
Set up your subject matter. Place your paper somewhere that is easiest for you to work. If your stick is particularly long you may find it easier to work on the floor. The longer the stick, the looser your drawing will be.
Begin drawing with your stick, making sure to pay attention to the details of your subject matter. Don’t worry about creating a ‘likeness’, just enjoy the process and the unexpected marks you create.
You may experiment with different lengths of stick, sizes of paper and mediums. Try watering down your ink to create lighter tones or working on top using charcoal, oil pastel or graphite taped to your stick.
You now have a bank of loose and intuitive drawings. You can leave them as they are or use them as backgrounds to work on top of.
Week 2: Friday 10th July Talk with Peter White
Week 2: Monday 13th July Task from Eleanor White
Find your favoured materials
Pack them up
Take them on a walk (your garden if you have one may be as far as you need to go if you are self-isolating or shielding)
Draw what you see that is the most stimulating thing.
Bring it back and develop it into a painting/ sculpture/ print/ in fact whatever it is you feel you want to say about it!
See if you can become aware of what it is that stimulates you to do the work. Be aware of the process that you use to acquire the knowledge you need to see and to become engaged. Sometimes just being and looking and not drawing can help you make work in a certain way after you have absorbed what you have seen. Sometimes it is quick and many thumbnail sketches to get you going and motivate you. Sometimes it is the anticipation of drawing that is more enjoyable that making the work itself! See if you can identify your processes and how particular they are to you.
Developing your work may mean just changing the materials you are using. A drawing done outside may become a painting, a line drawing may become a wire line ( if you can get your hands on some wire) or a thread line by stitching into paper, a painting done outside may become a print.
So here is where we may see diversification in all of your work in terms of what method you choose, what size you choose to work and what medium you choose to render your ideas.
Above all have FUN!
Week 3: Friday 17th July Talk with Mairearad Green
If you would like to learn more about Mairearad's work please have a look at her website and social media links:
Week 3: Monday 20th July Task with Mairearad Green
Breathe in slowly and release with speed!
My process always begins with choosing a theme to focus on. I spend a lot of time thinking about the subject, more time looking and being than actually putting the paint brush to the page. Whether you can tell that the subject has been part of your work or not does not matter but it gives the work depth and meaning if it’s there.
X4 colours in any medium
Step 1 – Choose a subject. Some suggestions could be your dog, a hill, a poem, a word or a song you like.
Step 2 – Starting with the more relaxed and meditative stages. Think about it for a while – as long as you need. Daydreaming encouraged!
Step 3 – Find a place outside that’s relatable to your chosen subject. (It can be as figuratively related or as literally related as you like.) Spend time soaking up the surrounding environment with your chosen subject in mind.
Step 4 – Mix up a minimum of 4 paint colours or if you don’t have paint then use whatever colour options you do have to hand.
Step 5 – This is the speedy and fearless part! Once you have really absorbed your subject, make marks on the page as quickly as possible without much hesitation or concern for it to resemble anything.
Step 6 – If you have any extra time then spend time developing your initial intuitive idea. The important part of this exercise is that at stage 5 you don’t allow your thought processes to interfere with your speedy first response.
Learn to trust your instincts and have no fear!
Week 4: Friday 24th July: Talk with Debbie Loane and Kittie Jones
Debbie was due to be teaching this week's summer school, so we thought that it would be some compensation for those due to be with her, to gain an insight into some of her processes for making work.
Week 4: Monday 27th July: Task from Kittie Jones
"The process of drawing fascinates me; the correspondence between media and subject is central to my struggle to equate an experience with a drawn mark. I often draw with media that is friable or fragile, such as chalk on blackboard to try to connect the elusiveness of the subject in the material fabric of the work. For me the act of drawing has almost magical qualities, allowing me to connect the physical world with memory." Emma Stibbon
Debbie Loane discussed working with the materials that are local to place, making a ‘place palette’ inspired by the artist Frances Hatch. This means spending time gathering objects particular to that location, paying attention to their colour and form.
For this week’s task we are going to ask you to gather some objects particular to place and from those objects make some ‘tools’ to draw and paint with. A paintbrush makes a different mark to a pencil, a withy stick makes a very different line to a pen nib.
Choose your location – this may be your garden, your kitchen, a local patch of ground that is familiar to you, a favourite hill or beach.
Spend some time gathering objects in that place with a view to making ‘marks’ with them. Sticks, stones, feathers, kebab skewers, spring onions, leaves, string bags, flowers, pigments, seaweed, flotsam, jetsam.
Firstly, try arranging your found objects on a blank piece of paper and take some photographs – notice if there are colours and forms in your objects that resonate with the landscape or space around you.
Now spend some time making your tools with some of these objects – this may be attaching them to sticks and dipping them in ink, it may be using them directly to scratch marks into the surface, mixing them into paint to make a texture or using them to imprint a mark into surface.
Take some masking tape, string, scissors, black ink and white paint – make your ‘tools’ and start to experiment with the marks they can make. Before making a ‘picture’ why not make an ‘index’ of the kind of marks each tool makes and then have a go depicting the landscape with them.
A note from the BHA team: Over the last few weeks, many of you have been getting in touch to ask if there was a way to contribute or make a donation towards the work we are doing. We thank those of you that have already generously donated independently; some have likened it to buying us a virtual cup of coffee, some included a cake, others have alluded treating us to dinner! Overall, your comments and feedback have affirmed how important it is for us to safeguard the future of Bridge House Art.
After much consideration we have added a donation button to our page. It is entirely by voluntary contribution and only if you feel inclined to support us. We hope you do as we want to be here for you in the future and above all want to see you in person at Bridge House Art in a safer future.
At Bridge House Art, we aim to continue to bring you content, regardless of any donation, during this uncertain time. We have listened to your comments and feedback from our initial projects - On this Day was a huge success, but some found the daily task a bit overwhelming and were anxious if they missed a day. Weekly Word has enjoyed another creative following, but the daily connection with the group was missed by quite a few. June Jamboree was the last task which introduced our Friday Live Coffee Catch-up and now we have July Talk and Task where we will bring you a new talk and a process based task every week.
Thank you for supporting
Bridge House Art