Recently saw the work of an Indian printmaker, Anupam Sud. Her figurative etchings are very inspiring. It also opened up the possibility of trying out my drawings in a different medium. I’m now looking at finding ways to get hold of some plates to try an intaglio (?) I’ve done it once before in college but that as you can see below was very basic. The wide range of possibilities had not sunk in. Mostly due to a lack of studying or research, on my part, before the classes started. Also I had not settled into this style of drawing then.
“Kali Ma” my first etching not numbered or signed as I still hoped to do more work on the plate. The goddess Kali symbolizes birth, life, death and the seeds of creation. The complete cycle.
Yesterday was my last CD & AA session for the year. A third kind of line was discussed in detail, described as the lyric line. We used a thin brush with ink for this exercise. I could not break away completely from my normal style to make the right kind of marks. I would start correctly but lose my way within minutes. For the 3rd piece below I just gave up half way and started enjoying trying to capture a likeness of Javed who was posing for us for these pieces. I intend to do a few soon and attempt to draw sweeping lines to depict the form. One stroke for a line or a curve and no restating for this exercise 😀
Missed participating last week and when it looked as though I was going to miss this week too, decided that I needed to do both! Made the one for last weeks topic, yesterday and one more today for this weeks topic “excess”.
I spent the evening gessoing an illustration board in order to spend half an hour making a self portrait in oil for the 30 minute Self Portrait thread in the Artists Magazine Forum. Unfortunately the surface refused to take oil and after half an hour I ended up with a mess on hand. And with that my hopes for material for today’s post.
Here’s my back-up for finishing a month of a post a day for Nablopomo. Yesterday, a link was posted to The British Museum, in one of the groups I belong to. They are making their collection available online for browsing. When I went to check, the front page had information about the exhibition of The First Emperor, China’s Terracotta Army. It had me rushing to the balcony to take some photographs of the two feet tall replica that I have at home. I didnt get to see the warriors in Xian and it is unlikely that I’ll be attending the exhibition at The British Museum but I’m happy that I have one to look at at home!
I’ve been feeling very restless lately. I think it was ten days ago when last I worked on my piece for the portrait swap. At first I was waiting for some feedback and now I dont even know what it is that I’m waiting for!
In the meantime, I pulled out this photograph of a friend of mine and had a go. Using acrylics after a break and once again having a problem with blending. Gave up before the hour was up as the board was warping with all the water I’d added. 😀
For the first time I used watercolour brushes. Of the two I preferred the synthetic one to the sable but I found the longer tips and shorter handles a bit difficult to use and added a bristle brush to the mix. Still trying to paint loose without too many details.
There were a couple of sketches made yesterday which were two toned. A left over from working on the Kevin MacPherson exercises. This morning when I stepped out on the balcony to look for a subject, the sun was really bright and that ruled out taking any photographs of the lake. Noticed that the recently gifted, grafted Frangipani ( Champa ) plant and the pillar were making interesting shadow patterns on the tiled floor.
I had thought that a black & white version would look good but I think the original looks better after all.
I take reference pictures of scenes and subjects that I would like to paint. My focus, in the past, had been on friends and family. It’s only after arriving in Dhaka that I’ve started taking photographs of the daily activity around me in the streets. I prefer to take photographs during the golden hour in the afternoon. Usually the snaps are taken while whizzing past in a car. Here’s one which I’ve saved inspite of the blur. Something in it appeals to me.
Yesterdays CD & AA session was a discussion about using mechanical lines to draw. The orderliness, precision and the weight of such lines. We had a demo by Javed and then drawings of Juan Gris and Stuart Davis were shown and discussed. Both were influenced by Picasso and Cubism and expressed form in terms of line, plane and colour.
The exercise for the day was to make two drawings spontaneously using mechanical lines. We were to continue using black, wet medium – pen, ink, brush, markers etc. A third drawing was to be made using an office stapler as the take off point. I used a thick black marker for all three.
I am enjoying these sessions and the thrill of allowing myself to put whatever comes to mind on paper regardless of what it may mean. All this is a part of my subconscious mind and I am keen on learning to interpret them 😀
Today it was quick sketches at Susanah’s. She is a great photographer and we based our sketches on some of her work. The task was to simplify but that was forgotten somewhere along the way.
This lady breaking bricks was the last piece made this morning and by that time I was spending more than 5 minutes on each 😀 The first three were made with a marker, the next two with a pen and the last two with charcoal. All in my sketchbook.
The BWA had organised a visit to the Monno Ceramics factory and though I had to wake up a couple of hours earlier than usual I was keen on going.
It took us about an hour to drive out to Savar. The factory consists of several large and long sheds. There were quite a few baking and heating lines which were automated. The rest of the process used mechanical equipment or were manual. All quite labor intensive. The section we visited was where they made the porcelain crockery. We had several escorts explaining the procedures.
First the stone is broken down and kneaded and then extruded into flat clay sheets. This is then send for kneading again and extruded into rolls of different dia. The roll is then hand sliced and the slabs put into plate moulds. The shapes are removed from the moulds, checked and sent for firing. At this stage the, after the first firing, the pieces are in the “biscuit” stage. The plates are apparently fired 4 times! The product is then hand checked and sent to the oven once more. This is then dipped into glaze and fired again. Decoration in the form of decals are added and it gets baked one last time. It is checked for faults at every stage. After the biscuit stage the breakage all becomes waste as it cannot be recycled. The process for bone china is the same except for the use of some chemical. I did take a bunch of photographs with my point and shoot but the flash was not strong enough in quite a few.
After the walk in the factory we went to the showroom to have a look at their local and export range of products. Monno Exports a large amount of its production. You’ll find the names of their large customers familiar. IKEA, Country Road, BHV, Monoprix, Pierre Cardin are some names that come to mind immediately. Soon there will be some more crockery in my home and this time it will be from Monno Ceramics. The factory visit was very enjoyable.