Drawing as a process workshop

On the first day of this workshop I decided to use water condensation as my material to work with so I turned on the hot water really high in the shower room and waited until the room steamed up. I then experimented with different tools that I could use to make different marks and patterns on the glass. Unfortunately this was not as successful as I had hoped, because the rest of the room was white, the pictures I took to document the process do not show clearly the marks I made unless I held a black sheet in the behind me. So I then experimented with using water colours on the mirror and then trying to get an imprint of the markings by pressing a piece of paper against the surface. Unfortunately this was not a successful experimentation as the markings did not come out clearly and just came out as one large texture. So I then decided to record the process as a performance piece of me painting onto the mirror as no other documentation seemed to work. The first film I made was of me applying the watercolours onto the mirror quite obsessively and repetitively so that there was constant movement and change in the frame. My favourite part of this minute long video was the last few seconds where the paint was particularly watery and it dripped down the mirror fluidly. I then decided to make another video but this time using watered down acrylic paint so that the colours were more vivid and I only applied the paint a couple of times, mainly letting the film focus on the running it running down the mirror, which was surprisingly interesting and therapeutic. Unfortunately my camera lens steamed up from the condensation in the room so this film is not as clear as the first. In my reflection of this workshop I decided to look at Helena Almeida’s piece ‘Study for inner improvement.’ Although this piece is not about hiding or self portraiture, it is the technique used here that I felt would benefit my project. I decided that it would be interesting to base my short project around the idea of exposure and protection. Although Almeida denies that the blue paint used in her work has anything to do with Yves Klein, I believe that if we do see their works connected in someway then we can interpret that Almeida is covering up and protecting her body with the paint that Klein exposed anonymous women with previously. I found this concept really interesting and for the rest of this project I am going to experiment with the idea of ‘obscure selfies’ to show the way in which the media distorts the way we perceive ourselves in the mirror. On the second day of this workshop I decided to experiment with the technique that Almeida used of painting herself out of her portraits, but instead of painting over them after the image had been printed I decided to try and paint myself out before the picture had even been taken. This resulted in me suspending a paint brush from the ceiling using string which I could pull back and release so that the end of the paint brush, which had paint on it, made contact with the mirror and made a mark, I started with the string short so that it marked the top of the mirror and then slowly unravelled it in the film so it covered a strip of the mirror. To make a clear reference to Almeida’s work I decided to use a vivid blue colour to cover my reflection in the mirror, this is also to indicate that this is a reaction to Yves Klein’s work, but should also be seen as a modern piece about personal insecurities. I am pleased with the final outcome of this project, the video ended up being over 10 minutes long so I had to speed it up by 700x its original length, I also included a static photo at the end to show what I could see as I was going through the painting process. I really enjoyed this short project and felt that I got a lot out of is as I am not a massive fan of drawing but being able to use it in a way that creates concept and meaning was really beneficial to me.

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