Saturday, 28 February 2009


hi everyone sorry for my late entry.
For some reason I have not been drawing much lately, but this is one sketch from my drawing assignment in the Textile department. It is a fast (quikk) drawn sketch of paper cups, carbon on white paper, size 210x297cm.
I like the way the lines are alive, the contrast between black and white, the feeling that it seems not to bee finished and for its imperfectness and also because of the subject. I drew paper cups to draw something familiar that makes me feel good and reminds my of my friends. I love paper cups, their rounded shape and how they fit nicely in your hand, and that they keep your warm drink so you can go anywhere you want.
Last winter I made a sculpture out of paper cups in my preparation course in Iceland, using the used cups from my class mates. I guess the drawing is something more to me than just lines that shape paper cups, its memories that follow the shape of the paper cup.
thank you

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

When the Circus Leaves Town

I feel appeal from metaphysical shapes, swirling light and heaviness of black in Sebastian Hammwohner’s ‘When the Circus Leaves Town’. The black sheet grants heaviness to brightly colored lines so it looks a very meditational moment to me. Like a psychedelic sound of universe. For Sebastian Hammwohner, blackness represents the space of artistic creation and of cosmetic infinity. He said he explores the spiritual relationship between the interior psychic self and the sublime natural world. He shows us his aim through brightly colored spirals and spheres rendered in pastel and chalk.
For Sebastian Hammwohner, his drawing materials, pastels and chalk, represents a form of dust or dirt as an accumulation of inert matter that might possibly manifest into a creation. ‘When the Circus Leaves Town’ shows me altering moment from actual moment to abstract moment.

Monday, 23 February 2009


It is not my very recent drawing but it means a lot to me.Working on this drawing made me realise unifying between my intention and accidental effect. Before this drawing, I was thinking about the judge like a witch hunt. About authoritarianism and shallowness of people easily being swept around and talking out loud.
I accidentally found the way that I can reflect this idea on my drawing in the life drawing class.It came from the frivolous poses, loud laughter and indecent talk of the model that came in for the life drawing class. Actually I felt unpleasant from her but I liked the drawing imagery of her. At that time I tried blind drawing, she gave me a chance to find an interesting shape of figure.
I decided to make the figure on right side as a victim of witch hunter and thought about to put another figure who is playing the role of a judge. I wanted to express shallowness of the public that has two different sides as being active with playing the role of a judge and also being afraid to be the opposing being. So I hoped that these two figures look similar in appearance.
I kept the imagery of right side one on my head and started drawing a judge. The victim’s figure was made accidentally but the judge was made by my intention and instinctual effect of blind drawing. And then, I finished this drawing with a variety of mark-making as following my theme.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Drawing the limits

File:The New Yorker, 1976-03-29, Cover (View of the World from 9th Avenue, priced and dated).PNG
Saul Steinberg was a Romanian born American cartoonist and illustrator whose entry to the US was sponsored by the New Yorker magazine. This picture is entitled 'View of the World from 9th Avenue'. The economy of this drawing in describing the limits of mental geography is what makes it so exciting. It speaks not only of a New York mentality but more generally of the difficulty of understanding things with which one is unfamiliar across spatial and temporal location. Steinberg alludes to the history of cartography and the importance of white space on the page, to convey both information and a lack of it. This image describes how I feel in the world.

Kathe Kollwitz, 'Woman with her dead child' (1903) etching

First of all, I apologise how late these last two posts are!
Kollwitz dedicated her life to bringing attention to the poverty stricken society in Germany during the early 20th century.  This is one of a series of etchings she produced whilst her own son was away, having been called up for war.  
I've always considered this image to be one of her most powerful, and ultimately a psychological masterpiece. It shows a mother tightly holding her dead child. It seems as though she is almost trying to physically engulf the child to breathe in his last bit of life.  She has drawn her leg up and walked her fingers and toes right around the body, just to get that little bit closer.  Her contorted face looks hairy and beastial, as though she has quite literally lost everything and is now solely relying on her animal instincts. A light appears to be shining down onto the face of the child, similar to that in a religious painting, perhaps symbolising the rising of the soul. 
The focus is totally on the figures as they take up the entire picture plane. The use of tone creates a very solid and beautifully sculptural piece, packed with emotion and incredibly moving.
This is a small section from an on-going drawing that I have started this term. (A1) Although the inspiration comes from Scottish land and seascapes and various found natural and unnatural forms, my aim was originally to create an image that does not necessarily resemble anything in particular. I took very close-up photographs of bark, rocks, decaying wood and rusted metal from old machinery; anything I happened to find that had once lived or served a purpose. Essentially, I think we all have an awareness of our mortality and this is visually evident when looking at rusting, crumbling or decomposing objects.  

Compositionally, there is a sense of space in the drawing which is pushing me towards representing this image in a landscape.  I did not start off with this intention, despite having looked at land and seascapes. I think it was more to create a single or maybe a multiple of unknown forms but I had not really considered whether it would be in a setting. As an image though, it seems to be working at the moment but I would like to see what happens if I try to loosen it up. Although the physical mark making is quick, I have found that I could spend an unlimited amount of time going over and over an image or area before even considering moving on to another section. Sometimes when drawing, the monotony of making similar marks and tones can lead to a "trance" state, the mind wanders and the work grows more organically.  This could be due to the scale of the piece and the rather unusual method of focusing on totally concentrated areas.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

second encounter

I'm publishing my post rather late, but I've been thinking for a long time which picture should I choose. Finally I decided to write about "Vision after the sermon" by Paul Gauguin for few different reasons: the author was the one of the first painters who became my favourites (at least at the very early stage of interest in history of art), this picture was one of the very first downloaded from the internet (in times, when access to it was very rare thing and there were rather few such pictures available). It also gave me a big joy, when I saw it live for the first time when I didn't even expected it - in Edinburgh.
Vision after the sermon was painted in 1888 during the artistic journey to Breton, which Gauguin undertake in his early career as a painter, before later travels to Tahiti and colorful pictures of beautiful Thaitan women and landscapes of which Gauguin is the best known as I presume.
I came across information that this picture is very important because it's the first "symbolic" picture, predicting new styles in painting - symbolism and fauvism. I forgot most of the fact about Gauguin's life and I'm affraid that these information may be also not up to date today, because views on certain things are constantly changing in history of art. Therfore I will focus on the picture itself. Picture represent situation at the Sunday service in the church. The preacher tells the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel as described in the Old Testament. Situation presented on the picture happens in the mainds of listening peasant women - author literary paints vision "appearing" in their heads. For us, used to specific visual language expresing abstract activities (i.e. in graphic novels - we can see what caracter is "thinking about") vision is quite understandable but comparing to previous pictures by Gauguin it must be something outstaning in his work. Breton Women noding their heads in traditional caps are silent in devotion, strong diagonal of the tree divides picture into two realms - earthly and divine, where Jacob fights his opponent. Red background highlight belonging of this scene to the diferent world. (however such space isn't new invention. Medieval pictures or bisantine icons often used such techniques - saints and Christ were portrayed on golden backgroud - and acts hapenning on the pictures took place in different timeless realm not subordinated to earthly rules).
Somethimes I think if it isn't a little bit "old fashioned to like" artists like Gauguin or van Gogh. These are big names very important to certain period in art history writing and I feel like involving myself more in contemplation of contemporary artists. In the other hand their works are simply beautiful (or it's the matter of culture we live, which sets them as higher standard of art to appreciate), and I like Vision after the sermon because is visualy pleseant for my eyes even though I don't remeber all of its context.

This is a drawing by Glasgow artist Peter Howson .The drawing is titled "Jesus is taken down from the cross" and was shown as part of an exhibition in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral,Glasgow in 2004 as part of an exhibition themed"Presence"where installations and interventions were exhibited by six Glasgow artists.

The drawing is 22x21 cm ,pencil on board (2003) and is now part of a private collection .Howson is renowned for revisiting great themes of western art .This drawing I found to be very inspiring and moving .His style within this drawing has a softer element to it. Where normally the brutality and anger is immediate in his work ,this drawing has a different language,it is contemporary but has a timeless quality to it .

It seems to  me that he has borrowed ideas from the artists from the Northern Renaissance.When looking further at the drawing we see there is a duality within it ,there is the traditional image of Christ and the figures surrounding him,which we are accustomed to.However,the faces ,the clothes (hats in particular) and the materials used to withdraw the nails from his feet are all undoubtedly from the present day .Having looked closely at Howsons work i have also noticed that the overall majority of his figures face to the left or forward ,very rarely do you see a head or body facing to the right

This is an image of Joesph Stella’s Battle of Lights, Coney Island from 1914. As the biggest amusement area in America, Coney Island attracted over several million visitors a year. Luna Park (the largest amusement park) housed a vast tower covered by thousands of electric lights which was an astonishing sight at the time, as electrical bulbs were still a novelty. The site became a glowing spectacle, enhanced by the surrounding elaborate rococo ornamentation caked over the buildings. The place was an expanse of fantasy architecture which I think this image conveys. It is a confusion of colour and shape, depicting the rush of the scene. The artist’s use of line conveys movement and speed as the shapes swirl and collide. It gives an impression of lots of different things going on at once that overlap and intrude on each other; an explosion of activity. The colours used reflect the artificiality of the place, underlining its unnatural qualities. I think Stella has been hugely successful in his depiction of this fantasy world; he makes it seem almost surreal, as if you can be pulled in and engrossed by the painting. Although you can pick out elements (such as the tower) in the image, he has mainly used abstraction, which I think conveys the excitement, speed and colour of the place more successfully than simply painting its literal components.
This is a drawing about drawing by William Edmonds of the nous vous collective, a creative collective of illustrators based in Leeds.

The image depicts a group of people all collaborating on one really long multiple table spanning piece. This kind of reflects the whole ethos of the nous vous collective- they collaborate in a lot of their work, sharing ideas and skills, keeping things dynamic and moving which is essential in the very fast paced competitive world of illustration.

The detail within the image is not on the drawing the people are creating but the people themselves, the focus not being on the activity but the people. The people are very stylised, fitting in a good amount of detail but still remaining quite simple in form. His style of drawing people reminds me of Henry Darger, very narrative without being over the top.
The perspective in this drawing is quite confusing all the tables are at a slightly wrong angle, which kind of makes the image seem like its in a naive dream world, floating about in white space.

I really like the drawings produced by this collective, I think they are beautiful images but more importantly an exciting way of thinking.

Recumbent Fmale Nude with Legs Apart, Egon Schiele

The drawings of Egon Schiele hold an erotic yet elegant quality. The use of negative space isolates the figures and perhaps suggest the female has been abandoned. The composition feels sexual; the perspective emphasised with the females legs spread open and the distorted and elongated limbs add a quirkyness and elegance.

I really like Schiele's use of line. To me, it is cutting yet organic suggesting an influence of Art Nouveau. A sense of form is created through continuous line making the drawing confident and definate.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Mother, Bradford 19th Feb 1978

This drawing by David Hockney is of his Mother on the day of his Father's funeral. He manages to capture the feeling of loss between them through her intense sad stare. He conveys the closeness and understanding between them through so few lines. "It was my way of sitting with her" he said.

Like many of his drawings, most of the detail is held in the face. The facial expression of his subject is of paramount importance to his works. To create the variation in the density of lines Hockney used sepia ink and a reed pen.

Claude Heath

The drawing I have chosen for this blog is taken from "The Drawing Book". Which i found to be an amazing visual source for drawing, which made my choice very hard. but a drawing i found myself interested in was 'Epsteins's Hands' by Claude Heath, drawn in 1999. Which is a simple ink on paper drawing, but this is what i like about it. heath has used quick, expressive lines to show the movements and because of this stye of drawing it gives a sense that the hands Heath is trying to capture are also moving fast, in a soft flowing motion. This idea is also put across with the choice of drawing the hands one after the other. i also like the fact that the subject of the drawing may not be at first look known and so draws the on looker into the drawing taking a closer look and these interesting lines and shapes.

Monday, 9 February 2009

This is an etching by Lucian Freud. I came across a book of his etchings and drawings a while ago which I love to look at. This etching is of his mother, who incidentally he only used as a model after his father died. She had lost all interest in everything, including her son; before this time he felt uncomfortable drawing her as he felt her intuitivity invasive.

What I love about his etchings and drawings is they have the same force as his finished paintings. They have that unrelentless quality to them, by which you can feel and see something of the models’ innermost thoughts.

In this etching, Freud’s wiry mark making is minimal, yet it has the same feeling of completeness as the painting of his mother. If you compare the mark making around the eyes to his painting, you will see that he can map out the planes of the face as expertly in his etchings as he does with oils, and feel exactly the same persona shining from the etching as you do from the painting.

What this brings home for me, and excites me, is that you can be just as successful with the very basics. You can portray with line with as much emotion and intensity which you can with the most expensive cadmiums.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

This is a drawing by Glasgow artist, David Shrigley. This is an excerpt from an animation which he made called "Who I am and what I want". The thing that I really love about Shrigleys work is his honesty and humour. It is usually the text in his images (typically his own hand writing) which adds the humour to his simple and rather childish ink pen drawings.

Shrigley's manic sense of humour is also conveyed in his sometimes rather disturbing images. His figures rarely have eyeballs, and often resemble scrawny looking birdlike creatures. He treats images of gore and horror with a light-hearted and comical attitude (maybe he appeals to my sick sense of humour?)

His use of line is often rather shaky or scribbly and can seem out of place in the gallery context. Also, much of his text is crossed out, or written over, as though it is nothing more than a private doodle, not meant to be on show to the public. I am interested in the debate about whether or not Shrigley's doodles are actually art. I suppose I'm kind of attracted to the idea of his work as being, for use of a better term, "fuck you!" art. And it's always nice to look at a drawing that makes you laugh out loud.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Quentin Blake- Matilda.

This is an illustration by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's well known children's story 'Matilda'. As a child, I was a big Roald Dahl fan and so have been brought up with Blake's illustrations and have really learned to appreciate them.

Quentin Blake has a unique style, usually using pen or ink which is very effective and subsequently also my favourite way to draw. I really like the unpredictable yet natural marks that he makes, managing to create successful images by using only a few lines.

A sense of freedom is created in his work which can be easily seen in this image, in areas such as Matilda's hair. The nose has been exagerated and proportions expiremented with in an almost childlike way but I feel that this only creates more of a sense of character as well as being fun and playful, thus relating to the appropriate audience, in this case, children.

Movement is also visable in both the piece as an image and the way in which it would have been drawn- it looks to me like it would have been done quickly, possibly this one chosen from many similar sketches that had been drawn before he managed to achieve the perfect illustration to match the words. I find Illustration interesting in the way that the artist has to try to bring to life scenes and characters by using only the relevent text and their own imaginations. In this sense, the text could be considered almost as a brief.

The simple lines and equally effortless colours compliment the shapes and childlike qualities of the piece with the only shading on the ground. Even this is in only one tone.

Although Quentin Blake's work is probably best known for his illustrations in the Roald Dahl books, he is unique and recognised world wide as an artist in his own right.

The Triumph of Death.

This is an image of Pieter Breugel's The Triumph of Death 1562. The painting is a panoramic landscape of death where burning cities in the distance blacken the skies and people are cruelly being slaughtered, drowned, burned and hung by armies of skeletons ploughing their way through the living - whose feeble attempts to flee or defend themselves are to no avail. The skeletons are representative of death itself, symbolic of man's inability to escape mortality and his ever impending doom. The painting depicts that people from all walks of life are subject to the same fate - Death does not discriminate against race, age or status and Breugel makes this apparent by including a cardinal and a king amidst the massacre. In the foreground a baby is having it's face nibbled at by a skeletal dog, and, to the left, the death knell of the world is sounded by skeletons hauling a cart full of skulls. In the distance (on the right) we can see what were known as "Breaking Wheels" - a form of torture typical of the period. These were large wooden wagon wheels mounted upon vertical poles where the condemned would be lashed and beaten to death with an iron cudgel.
Breugel's scenes are fascinating not only for their content and the apparent message that they convey, for the narrative within them and the endless amount of information that can be found, but also, most importantly, for the practical skills and expertise of Breugel himself.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Helen Dryden American Vogue Cover 1922

This drawing is a fashion illustration for the cover of American Vogue in January 1922 by artist Helen Dryden. I have chosen this particular image because I think it demonstrates well the power of fashion illustration. There are many layers to fashion illustration which tell us not only about the current fashion they are depicting, but also about the social and cultural issues of that particular time. In this example, Helen Dryden who illustrated numerous Vogue covers during the 1910s and 1920s used an exciting palette of colours and took design inspiration from children’s books, Japanese prints and Art Nouveaux to name a few. These influences are evident in this cover which has a child-like innocence to it. Through the use of a brightly coloured background filled with bright, simplistic shapes, your eye actually picks out the fine, detailed, black and white line drawing of a women strolling with her dog. Clearly depicting the glamour, elegance and modern shift in fashion during the twenties, it also conveys an element of fantasy which a photograph is unable to do. The outfit is typical of fashion at the time – especially the v-neck, almost sport-like top and the intricate pattern on the scarf tied around her waist. The twenties saw the introduction of casual and sporting clothes for women allowing them more freedom and practical ability. The female in this drawing looks content and carefree as she walks the stylised dog alone. Cosmetics became very popular at this time and this too is evident in the cover since the only colour applied to the figure is the make-up on her face and her nail varnish. Her brightly coloured jewellery is also highlighted with colour. This drawing uses ink and watercolour to delicately balance intricacy and vibrancy. The reader of Vogue at the time would have found this cover appealing and I would say that even with all the advancements in technology today, I as a Vogue reader would still find an image like this appealing. I feel that a stronger, more powerful mood and atmosphere is conveyed in a drawing as opposed to fashion photography which can often look flat. Fashion Illustration declined rapidly in the 1930’s with the introduction of the photograph, and today it is rare to find a hand drawn/printed illustration gracing the pages of any glossy magazines. I think this is a great loss since the majority of fashion illustrations are beautiful pieces of art work which not only depict fashion but also tell a story about the social culture and the intended wearer.

Matisse Line Drawings

They are classics but also some of my absolute favourite drawings ever- I love Matisse’s line drawings.  I’ve never been a massive fan of his sculpture or coloured work but I find his simple line drawings absolutely beautiful. Usually of nude women and the occasional self portrait, I love the way Matisse keeps lines clean and simple yet adds flourishes and details in the patterns and backgrounds. This particular example is drawn with pen and indian ink and dated 1935. Like many of his drawings, Matisse has drawn a mirror, often his way of adding his own controlling presence as he usually shows a reflection of himself. The lines are so clear but also seem incredibly free, I think it is spontaneous and beautiful. Drawings like this are what made me want to study art.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Camille Pissarro

Image download at:

Camille Pissarro(1830-1903), the one of the most famous artist of impressionnism. In this oil painting, the whole scenery was organized by the bare branches of winter trees, classical country houses , fields and a farmer who is intent doing his work. The relationship between the house and the old farmer are close and balanced. Varied of gray were used in this painting. The mark on this painting is quiver which shaked slightly when Pissarro drawing on is. As we can see from this paiting, the feature object is not distinct. However the impression of the visal of the compositons are authentic.
The goal of this painting, Pissarro wants to show the divine country life and scenery. This old village is not far from Pissarro's house when his family moved back to Pairs. I chose this paiting because the most interesting point that i thought is albeit there is an obvious constract of the colour between houses and trees, the whole painting is still seems peaceful and harmonious.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Belated thoughts on a drawing

Drawn over a period of two days, twenty or so hours, and based on a week's worth of studies, Alan Greenspan still loves me is the end of something and the beginning of something. This is where its success lies. Its success also lies in the meditative quality of its execution and the pleasure I derived from this. It is drawing as learning and unlearning; thinking and not thinking; stepping towards and away from; looking and seeing. It is, as yet, and perhaps will remain, unfinished.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Manifest Post

This drawing, entitled "This is the worst" (translated from Spanish) was made by the Spanish Artist Goya in the early 19th Century using red chalk.
The subject matter depicts a wolf sitting whilst writing on a scroll, he writes (translated) "miserable humanity, the fault is yours". Here Goya's message is plain: that man himself is responsible for the evil that befalls him.
Goya was commenting on the state of affairs as he saw it after witnessing the War of Independence during which time he remained in Madrid and therefore knew and was affected by the violence and atrocities being committed there.
Goya's satirical composition makes for a clear and damning statement about humanity, a similar pessimism permeated through many of Goya's other drawings and etchings, with themes of despair, torture and atrocity.
Whist some of his other work merely depicted scenes of violence and horror, works like this one (with some fantastical element introduced) work even more powerfully I would suggest, as they give Goya's artistic ability free reign in order to convey his message, which he achieves with great clarity.