Project 1 | Stage 4 | work from sketchbook + review progress

Have you ever thought of drawing this way before? Not really – it’s more intentional than doodling but it is expressive in a way that is new to me.

Were you able to be inventive about the range of marks you made? I was, but it took a long time. I had a form of “drawer’s block” for a long time.

Did you explore a wide range of media? I did, but again it took me a long time to loosen up. Once I started, I began to see the mark-making (or mark-receiving) potential in almost everything! Lots of bits of interesting materials being saved from my (and other people’s, truth be told) scrap heap.

Are you pleased with what you’ve done? Will it help you to approach drawing more confidently? More than anything I’m happy to have broken through and started to draw and make marks in a relaxed way, not being hung up on perfect outcomes. I like some of the drawings I made, and to be honest I think the ones where I had less control (very wet paint or paper, holding the implement quite far from the surface) are better drawings. I also really liked expanding the options for drawing surfaces, it makes a big difference. I think it has helped me to approach drawing with more confidence but I have a long way to go.

Which exercise did you most enjoy? Why? I think I liked drawing textures from images. I selected images that related to Sydney Harbour, because I love it and spend as much time as I can on, in or near it – water, clouds, sandstone, casuarinas… it always took me a few goes before I got into texture mode and trying to be more expressive, and once there I enjoyed the state of mind. I don’t think O’m anywhere near “there” yet, but I can see there’s a “there”, if that makes sense.

Which media did you most enjoy working with? Why? Probably the 9B thick water-soluble graphite crayon. It’s thickness meant I had to let go of precision and it felt comfortable to use and flowy. I like the strong marks it makes.

What other forms of mark-making could you try? I think I’m going to keep on experimenting as much as I can. I’ve started perforating paper with a pen and also doing more collages. There were a lot of things that I couldn’t represent well – particularly soft things like feathers and fur and clouds. I’ll do more of that as well.

How will these exercises enrich your textile work in the future? It’s already opened the door to more creative thinking. Controlled excitement is what I feel.

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