Sunday 27 May 2007

22nd May

DP 142

Black pen gone over with water, then overlaid with more black and some white gel pen.

I seem to have a bit of a thing for connecting forms with lines lately. The Diary Project set over on flickr makes it easy to track any recurring themes on the envelopes because I can see all the envelopes together in a big group.

Posted: 11.45pm on 22.5.07
Returned: 24.5.07

21st May

DP 141

I used a slightly different approach with this drawing, I laid down the patches of red pencil first before drawing in the lines with a fine nibbed red felt tip.

Posted: 8.55pm on 21.5.07
Returned: 24.5.07

20th May

DP 140

More colouring in with the black pen - I find it quite a satisfying thing to do, it reminds me of being a child and how absorbed I would get while drawing. Rediscovering that pure childhood love of drawing, without all the baggage that I've accumulated as an adult, has been one of the delights of this project for me. I still don't know if I'm any good at drawing but I've (almost) stopped caring.

Posted: 11.42pm on 20.5.07
Returned: 22.5.07

19th May

DP 139

"Artists, by definition innocent, don't steal. But they do borrow without giving back."
Ned Rorem

This drawing was inspired by a photo of tree bark that I saw on flickr, although invariably it turned out quite differently than the original.

Posted: 11.35pm on 19.5.07
Returned: 22.5.07

18th May

DP 138

It's a while since I've done such a densely black drawing and I enjoyed getting back to this very stark style.

Posted: 9.20pm on 18.5.07
Returned: 21.5.07

17th May

DP 137

It's often quite difficult for me not to 'make everything the same' when drawing - so much of my work is based around the idea of pattern and variations on a theme, that deliberately leaving some of these ovals blank felt quite alien to me. Still, this project is partly about challenging myself and forcing myself to develop my drawing a bit.

Posted: 11.23pm on 17.5.07
Returned: 21.5.07

Saturday 19 May 2007

16th May

DP 136

It's been very wet this week and several of the envelopes have come back with rain marks on: the ink is clearly not at all waterproof.

Posted: 11.33pm on 16.5.07
Returned: 18.5.07

15th May

DP 135

I'd been making 'spiculum forms' in jewellery earlier in the day and they inspired these similar shapes.

In jewellery, spiculum forms are pointed hollow forms that can be open or closed depending on how much hammering you do. They are often pointed at both ends and fatter in the middle but they can also be straight; closed at the ends and open in the middle; curved like bananas or cone-shaped.

Posted: 11.47pm on 15.5.07
Returned: 17.5.07

14th May

DP 134

This envelope was notable because I handed it directly to the postman as he was emptying the post box - I wonder if he noticed the drawing.

Posted: 5.22pm on 14.5.07
Returned: 15.5.07

13th May

DP 133

A second drawing in dark grey, I really like the softer look of the grey instead of the black.

This reminds me of fossilized dinosaurs remains or the armoured skeleton of an armadillo that I saw in a museum once.

Posted: 11.50pm on 13.5.07
Returned: 15.5.07

12th May

DP 132

I decided to try drawing with dark grey felt tip instead of my usual black.

The drawing is an interpretation of a scientific photograph of erosion on Mars. The photographs that have been coming out of NASA's missions to Mars are just visually beautiful as well as being scientifically important. I'm a big fan of the scientific exploration of space, plus NASA is also doing a lot of important work here on Earth, such as documenting the changes in the ice levels at the polar caps.

Interestingly, NASA also has a long history of working collaboratively with artists.

Posted: 10.51pm on 12.5.07
Returned: 15.5.07

11th May

DP 131

This could be a beaded necklace but it makes me think of someone taking a walk.

Posted: 5.56pm on 11.5.07
Returned: 14.5.07

10th May

DP 130

I don't like to define my drawings too much because I like to leave a space for other people's interpretations. However, to my mind, these are very definitely three trees.

Posted: 9.13pm on 10.5.07
Returned: 14.5.07

Sunday 13 May 2007

9th May

DP 129

I'm not sure what these shapes are about, I just knew that I was very bored of circles and ovals - although on reflection, a whole lot of tiny circles have managed to sneak in!

You can see from the smudging how wet it's been this week.

Posted: 10.23pm on 9.5.07
Returned: 12.5.07

8th May 07

DP 128

I had to redo this entire envelope, I'd got as far as sealing it up and putting the stamp on when I realised that the contents were completely wrong. I'd written something about April showers when I suddenly realised that we were in May! What can I say, I was still pretty ill.

At least I realised before I posted it, otherwise I'd have been really cross.

Posted: 10.53pm on 8.5.07
Returned: 11.5.07

7th May

DP 127

More microbes - I was still ill and uninspired.

It's quite hard not to use water on the water-soluble pencils but I managed here.

Posted: 11.43pm on 7.5.07
Returned: 9.5.07

6th May

DP 126

I had absolutely no inspiration on this day. In desperation I typed 'microbes' into Google images, which is apt really since I was down with yet another virus at the time.

You can't see it too clearly from the scan but this is the first envelope where I've used a white ink gel pen over the usual black. I like the way it breaks up the black line and I want to experiment more with this combination.

Posted: 9.42pm on 6.5.07
Returned: 10.5.07

5th May

DP 125

Obviously this drawing is based on a loosely woven fabric. Although I have absolutely no interest in learning to weave, I am very intrigued by the grid-like structure of weaving. I particularly like this sort of open weaving where the fabric is almost disintegrating. The attraction has something to do with the fabric's inherent fragility but also the way in which the rigid grid is becoming more random and organic.

Posted: 11.51pm on 5.5.07
Returned: 9.5.07

4th May

DP 124

These are described in my Diary Project notebook as 'wrapped wire forms', so I was clearly thinking in 3-D when I drew these.

Posted: 10.17pm on 4.5.07
Returned: 8.5.07

3rd May

DP 123

I'd started a new pin sculpture the day before I drew this. Although my pin sculptures don't look like this at all, it's likely that I was influenced by the clumps of tangled pins in their box.

Posted: 11.36pm on 3.5.07
Returned: 5.5.07

2nd May

DP 122

An unusually dense drawing, I like the scribbly lines on this.

Posted: 11.25pm on 2.5.07
Returned: 5.5.07

Saturday 5 May 2007

1st May

DP 121

Well, here we are, a third of the way through the project already. Doing the envelopes has become a very rewarding and mostly pleasurable habit and I haven't missed a single day yet or run out of ideas. However, updating this blog doesn't seem to be quite as habitual. I'm going to try to get better at it though because scanning and uploading three weeks worth of envelopes at once is just a tad overwhelming!

Posted: 8.53pm on 1.5.07
Returned: 3.5.07

30th April

DP 120

In which I discover that my new pen definitely isn't waterproof!

I couldn't find any 0.1mm Staedtler Pigment Liner's in the art store so I tried out the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner instead. It's a nice pen that gives a good solid black but it's a slightly thicker line so it's not so good if I want very delicate lines.

Posted: 11.31pm on 30.4.07
Returned: 3.5.07

29th April

DP 119

Although these look like they could be part of the 'spiky thing', they were based on delicate floating seed heads, so they feel a lot more ethereal and gentle to me.

Posted: 8.10pm on 29.4.07
Returned: 1.5.07

28th April

DP 118

I've noticed that I always seem to really like the drawings where I've used this slate blue pencil. I have to make a conscious decision not to just automatically pick it when I want to use colour in a drawing.

Posted: 10.35pm on 28.4.07
Returned: 1.5.07

27th April

DP 117

These 'beaded' lines are another recurrent motif at the moment, although more in my sketchbooks than on the envelopes.

Posted: 7.13pm on 27.4.07
Returned: 30.4.07

26th April

DP 116

There's been a lot of spikiness in my drawings recently. I wasn't particularly aware of this when I was drawing them but it's obvious now that I'm looking at them as a group. Sometimes a style or motif will just keep coming up for a while and I have to get it out of my system before moving onto something else.

Posted: 11.10pm on 26.4.07
Returned: 30.4.07

25th April

DP 115

These remind me a bit of those ornate nests that Weaver Birds make, except of course that theirs are better!

Posted: 11.33pm on 25.4.07
Returned: 28.4.07

24th April

DP 114

Ooh, red!

Red has been on my mind a lot lately because I've been working out some sculptural and performance ideas using red thread.

Posted: 7.52pm on 24.4.07
Returned: 26.4.07

23rd April

DP 113

When I was a teenager I used to obsessively draw connecting dots all over my school notebooks. Apparently I haven't changed all that much!

However, there are some differences - these larger ovals are only joined to their most immediate neighbours and I was able to make aesthetic decisions about leaving some of the outer ones unconnected. I always knew when I was drawing my schoolbooks that there was a point when joining every single dot to every single other dot made for a bad drawing but I could never quite break the emotional compulsion to do so.

Perhaps I have learnt something in the last 20 years after all...

Posted: 8.57pm on 23.4.07
Returned: 26.4.07

22nd April

DP 112

In my head, these kind of enclosed shapes with spiky lines are associated with aerial views of cold, snowy Northern landscapes but I don't know why.

Posted: 8.45pm on 22.4.07
Returned: 25.4.07

21st April

DP 111

I described these in the Diary Project notebook as 'hairy microbes' and I'm finding it hard to see them as anything else. To me, these little guys have very distinct and quite animated personalities.

Posted: 8.36pm on 21.4.07
Returned: 24.4.07

20th April

DP 110

I like the way the line across these 'beaded stalks' curves round and then stops so that its continuation behind is implied but not seen.

This day was also notable because it was the first time that I dreamed about The Diary Project. I don't remember what I dreamed but apparently envelopes were involved.

Posted: 5.52pmn on 20.4.07
Returned: 21.4.07

19th April

DP 109

These delicately lined oval forms remind me of flints.

Posted: 8.50pm on 19.4.07
Returned: 23.4.07

Friday 4 May 2007

18th April

DP 108

This drawing was based on a photograph of a Quipu.

Quipus are a way of recording information from the Inca Empire, they may have been a personal mnemonic device or a form of coded writing but no one is quite sure. They are made from knotted coloured threads and string and historians haven't completely deciphered them yet, so naturally I am quite obsessed by them.

Posted: 8.12pm on 18.4.07
Returned: 21.4.07

17th April

DP 107

Another favourite drawing, I'm not sure why this one appeals to me so much but I find it extremely satisfying.

Posted: 6.47pm on 17.4.07
Returned: 20.4.07

16th April

DP 106

I was working on breaking up the smoothness of the lines here.

Posted: 11.15pm on 16.4.07
Returned: 19.4.07

15th April

DP 105

This was based on a particularly beautiful root ball on one of the vegetables in our weekly fruit and veg box.

Posted: 11.47pm on 15.4.07
Returned: 17.4.07

14th April

DP 104

This reminds me of disintegrating leaves or perhaps microscopic images of some part of the body.

Posted: 11.36pm on 14.4.07
Returned: 17.4.07

13th April

DP 103

This drawing was based on my memories of electrical diagrams. It's a long time since secondary school so I won't be held responsible for any inaccuracies or electrical fires if you attempt to make something from this!

Posted: 11.43pm on 13.4.07
Returned: 17.4.07

12th April

DP 102

This was intended to be a nature study of the ivy outside my study window, this intention lasted all of 30 seconds before the drawing went its own sweet way.

Posted: 11.43pm on 11.4.07
Returned: 17.4.07

11th April

DP 101

I love this 'frayed line'. It reminds me of that strange hairy curtain fringing that was so popular in the 70's, although I wasn't thinking of that when I drew it.

Posted: 7.35pm on 11.4.07
Returned: 14.4.07

10th April

DP 100

The 100th envelope!

Posted: 11.45pm on 10.4.07
Returned: 13.4.07

9th April

DP 99

It's funny how images come up again and again. I was just reviewing my bedside notebook and I found an almost identical drawing that I'd sketched as a possible idea for one of the canvas 'thread drawings' that I'm currently making. However, the image I drew in my sketchbook was drawn several weeks after I drew this envelope and was directly inspired by a book of Islamic calligraphy. I'd completely forgotten that I'd already drawn something so similar on an envelope. Clearly I'm just primed to notice and respond to certain types of imagery.

Posted: 11.57pm on 9.4.07
Returned: 11.4.07

8th April

DP 98

I always think of this kind of shape as a 'stitched form'.

Posted: 4.17pm on 8.4.07
Returned: 11.4.07

7th April

DP 97

While I like the shapes in this drawing, I wish I'd used different colours.

Posted: 11.24pm on 7.4.07
Returned: 11.4.07

6th April

DP 96

"It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else."
Henri Matisse

And it has bothered me for a great deal of my life that I can only draw like myself!

Posted: 10.48pm on 6.4.07
Returned: 10.4.07

5th April

DP 95

I found these little catkins whilst walking home and felt both attracted and slightly repulsed by them so I brought them home to draw.

Posted: 11.27pm on 5.4.07
Returned: 10.4.07