A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Human Marks Retreat, first day!

Today was the first day of the Human Marks Retreat at Potters Barn Betchworth, home of Committed to Cloth, and tutored by Dorothy Caldwell. I arrived at 8-30am, having driven through a very foggy morning, but was warmly welcomed and found my desk space all ready and waiting with all the materials we would be needing for the day neatly placed, and ready to go!

Today was all about mark making on paper with a range of equipment, and a variety of gestural movements. My first piece, above, was made using a soft brush, black ink, and just one movement of the hand. As you can see, I had so much ink on my brush that the ink ran in rivers, giving an interesting result!

The next exercise was quite messy, but so much fun! Using our fingers/hands, we were encouraged to make marks on a long strip of paper, both sides. I've shown some close-ups of the different marks below.

The above sample was made using a fine liner pen, and the idea was to have a practise making as many marks as possible, again using different gestural movements with the pen, and then filling this sheet with one of them. Mine resembled a field of dandelion clocks!

From working small, we were next taken outside, where either a sponge or a brush, tied to a long pole and dipped in ink, was used to make wide sweeping body movements onto a very large sheet of paper. Above is our practise sheet,   where we all contributed some marks, and below are my two examples. So much fun, and something I've not done before.

Our final exercise of the day, was again made onto a small sheet, but this time with a black brush pen. Once we had decided on our mark, we cut out a simple stencil, and then proceeded to make our mark over the entire surface, including where our stencil shape had been removed. All these pieces will be made into a book as the week progresses, and I have to say that I haven't had as much fun as this for a very long time. Such a wonderful day, and we were blessed with a beautiful sunset as the afternoon drew to a close. Roll on tomorrow!