Reflection – Tutor Feedback on Part 3

Reflection – Tutor Feedback on Part3

Noted below are the comments (in black & italics) made by my tutor for the report following section 3.  I have noted my comments in red text.

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Overall Comments

This was a good submission all round Eddie. I’ve enjoyed seeing you push the boundaries of your arts practice and to read about and witness your explorations of the mechanisms of mark-making. You continue to be open-minded and enthusiastic about the work you are producing, never put off by a challenge – in fact it seems to spur you on! Keep up with this zest for new knowledge, both practical and theoretical Eddie and I look forward to seeing your next submission.

Good Feedback, I’m pleased that the work being put in is being recognised in my output

Project 1: Drawing blind

I’ve always been fascinated by the process of blind drawing. I think mostly due to it allowing you to let go of precision, to be more visceral in your response to the subject and that it is just good fun to do! It doesn’t really matter that the first few attempts aren’t ‘accurate’; it’s about the experience of working with the senses in another way to portray what you know; to not be reliant on what we, as visual artists, perhaps take for granted. I’m not sure of the chronology of the drawings on each page of your sketchbook but I felt there was a sense of you beginning to ‘understand’ your subject over the course of each sitting. I also recognised in some of the drawings that they could be looked upon as starting points for generating ideas: the phone handset turns into a cityscape, the ink well a preliminary sketch for a large abstracted work. From your written reflection I wasn’t sure how much you got from the experience but from your drawings I felt a lot was gained in terms of expression and experimentation.  

This was a frustrating exercise as try as I might I was not able to join up the drawing by feeling.  The length of one side being much longer than the other.  This does indicate the problem that blind people have to either read braille or just do everyday things.

Project 2: Experiments with mark-making

As with the last project this one looks at ways to break habits and boundaries and to push your drawing skills to the limit through playing with the way you work. I liked the choice of furniture (and the metaphor that the grouping of chairs was like “friends jostling for space in a pub”) as it tackled a reasonably large subject that you were able to make large marks to describe. Even though you were working at such a length you showed good control, even going so far as to describe the bricks in the background. I thought though you really came into your own with the addition of colour, focusing in on detail, as seen in drawing 4a – Couch, chair and cupboard on tiled floor and mat. I liked this cropping of the scene and felt that the vibration of the colour became even more intense, buzzing with luminosity because of the tight composition. The texture created by the ‘scratchiness’ of the media was also effective.  

This was a fun series of exercises. Using a very long stick tipped with charcoal seems like an impossible trick but I enjoyed it, was pleased with the marks and drawing produced and astonished by the degree of control I was able to exert!

Project 3: Drawing ‘machines’

I thought your ingenuity with regards the different machinations explored for this project was impressive Eddie. I particularly liked the version with the oil pastel, sponge and eccentric attachment to the electric drill. The resulting drawing was vibrant and rhythmic and reminded me of the character of some work by the Spanish artist H. Mompó (1927-1992). The variety of bold (the large diluted paint experiments on brown paper produced by the pendulum apparatus in your garage) and the fragile (the loose oil pastel and graphite shavings) showed that you were spurred on and enthused to cover all possibilities explored by the project. In fact I thought that many of the pieces you have submitted had both interesting and effective mechanical concepts and results and I found it difficult to think of how you could have made better the potential of the outcomes. I got a clear sense that you really enjoyed this process; that the level of invention and experimentation could have gone on infinitely!

This exercise drew on my inner engineer and I lay awake a few nights fantasizing on the machines that I could make but practicalities determined more modest mechanisms in the end.  I will return to one of these to remake the video that went wrong , i.e. did not record.1

Project 4: An emotional response

This was quite an intense project to go through and I wondered whether organising it so methodically made it slightly easier for you. It is clear that you work well with systems – do you think that way of thinking softened the emotional responses to in some cases what were quite extreme statements, such as “I am going to torture him”, especially when you mentioned in your reflection about imagining a family member in that situation? Or was it purely about giving yourself space and quiet to get into the zone that helped?

It was good to see the correlation of emotive marks, smudges, tones etc. to the statements written down and that you had incorporated all of those emotions into the four drawings of the chair. The drawings themselves were quite intense and I felt although going backwards and forwards to work out which marks related to which emotions would be quite laborious they all appeared to carry the weight through the marks you had made of all the emotions you had described.

I know that in the outline it suggests you could use a chair as your subject to communicate your emotional response but I would have been interested to know whether you had chosen it out of ease or whether there was a specific reason. Don’t get me wrong, I felt it made your responses even more interesting to have chosen an object that most would think as being devoid of emotion but it would have been good to know your thoughts.

In order to get in the zone to experience the emotion and do the drawings I shut myself away and tried to imagine each scenario, but it is a statement and one can only hazard a guess at the emotions such a scenario would evoke if it were real!

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

You’ve done a good range of work for this assignment Eddie, clearly enjoying the research and process. I was so pleased to read that you had taken inspiration from all that had gone previously in this part of the unit and utilised it here. Heightening the senses by blindfolding yourself to do the drawings makes perfect sense to me. I thought the range of colours and marks and how they interacted worked well for the Four Seasons quadriptych. I particularly liked the Art bar pieces as the energy of the marks differed enough to describe the seasons they depicted.

I think the quality of the work in this section was a reflection how much I enjoyed much of the process etc.

The final assignment piece and all the preparatory experiments were energetic and striking. I agree, working with black ink on white is fitting for jazz but also the abstract expressionist/Jackson Pollock manner in which you have applied the medium suits the genre of music. The inclusion of details of the finished piece on your blog worked well – perhaps these could be seen to hone in on a specific part of the musical piece? I really liked the question whether the splattered black paint/ink, resembling musical notation, could be played. This brought to mind an experimental musician and artist based in Edinburgh named Hanna Tuulikki. You can see some of her work here:

Research has been done into Tuulikki’s drawing and performance pieces. See blog – Additional Artist research.

It’s a shame the video recording wasn’t successful – perhaps you could think about doing that in the future.

It is my intention to attempt another go at making this short video.  Initial failure of video a result of a corrupted memory stick!

Sketchbooks/Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays/Research

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

It’s great to see such a broad selection of drawn work for this submission Eddie. It is clear that drawing is very much a part of you and that you are willing and open-minded enough to experiment and to push the boundaries of your arts practice. I hope the experimental nature of this part of the unit has offered you other avenues to consider following in your work. I was encouraged to see your research into the work of Jai Redman but also that you took it that step further by experimenting with his ‘subject as medium’ way of working. Your learning log continues to be written in a thoroughly readable, informative and reflective way. I could sense your excitement sometimes as your spelling went awry! Likewise your research into artists and art movements was broad and thorough. Another artist you may be interested in is the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002). Although primarily a sculptor Chillida also worked with drawing as part of his practice.

Section 3 was a very enjoyable section to work on.  Indeed, I can say it was possibility one of the most enjoyable sections of any of the courses or sections undertaken so far at OCA.  Research completed – See blog – 4-3-7 Additional Artist Research

Critical review and parallel project:

thanks for your email regarding the critical review and parallel project. The idea of Van Gogh’s mark-making and its relevance to artists working today is an interesting one. I prefer this question to the alternative ‘what can it teach me/us’, although you could have it as part of the first question; possibly as a sub question? I would like to see where you go with it. You’ve a decent selection of work for the parallel project with I presume much more to come. Again, I would be interested to see the direction you take it to make it a ‘project’.

First draft of Critical review completed.  It will be further revised and an updated draft submitted in due course.  The parallel project will cumulate in a concertina panoramic of a riverside scene in my home town. The project will thus consist of an approx 6 part concertina drawing along with the other pieces of ‘travel drawing’ numbering approx 60 and growing.

Suggested reading/viewing


As the next part is about Environmental interventions it would be good to look at artists such as Andy Goldsworthy (1956- ) and Richard Long (1945- ). Perhaps even check out the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) (if you ever get a chance to go to Dunsyre in the Pentland Hills visit Little Sparta, his beautiful garden) and his son Alec Finlay (1966- ) who further explores nature and our intervention of it.

Research completed – See blog – 4-3-7 Additional Artist Research.  The work of Long and Goldsworthy particularly resonated with me.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log. Done
  • Continue to work with an open mind and not shy away from experimentation – keep pushing the boundaries of your practice. This section on Environmental Interventions has certainly pushed me with regard to experimentation as well as hinting at possibilities for the following section related to time.
  • Take your time to formulate ideas and to think about appropriate processes and their efficacy. I have allowed myself several weeks longer than I initially thought to do this section Part 4) in. This was mainly due to the extensive research I undertook for this section (4).

Check out the artists I have mentioned in this feedback: H. Mompó, Hanna Tuulikki, but specifically those relevant to the next part of the unit: Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Alec Finlay. Do further research on other artists, past and present

The research into the artists noted plus others has certainly helped with the section on Environmental Interventions.  There were several artists which took me some research to get to grips with as it was far from what I had initially thought of as art!  Research completed – See blog – 4-3-7 Additional Artist Research