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November 2014
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archive for 'diy art school'


the bauhaus textiles book is truly inspirational, so far i especially like gunta stolzl (full catalogue of the centenary retrospective Gunta Stölzl – Master at the Bauhaus Dessau – textiles, textile designs and free drawings 1915-1983) and benita otte’s work.

the bauhaus manifesto also appeals majorly:

Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as “professional art”. There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies.

bauhaus-archiv museum
bauhaus teachings: an overview of itten, kandinsky and klee’s theories of colour.

i’ll definitely be back to edit this post since i’ve only read the first chapter so far.

random “artist i like” post

Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson

and on the same subject an article on lucien freud and his women.

another new name for me: balthus


drawing on the right side of the brain was recommended to me, and i’ve just started to read it. there’s an awful lot of chat before she gets down to the meat, but i guess that’s trying to convince people who really don’t think they can draw.

i can draw – to a degree. i liked drawing at school and never found it anywhere near as hard as i did painting. i’m quite good at representational drawing, but i always find the resulting pictures rather bland. i’d like to be able to draw expressively and creatively.

i’m interested in what the author says about developing your understanding of line and space through drawing, and working your way up to colour work and painting. i think i got kinda half way through the change in perception she describes during my art classes at school, but not the full way, hence why i find painting so hard.

so here’s my “before” self portrait. it kinda looks like me, though madam didn’t recognise it was me until i took my glasses off :D she reckons it looks like me after i’ve had a shower cos i didn’t draw in all of my hair. my pencil kept breaking so i took that as a sign to finish, it took about 10 minutes. the features are all wonky cos i didn’t try particularly hard to get them in exactly the right places – mostly cos i didn’t have a rubber, so i didn’t want to draw guide lines. so the individual bits are quite a good representation, but their overall arrangement is all to pot. i could only find a 6b (though in general i prefer really soft pencils) so it’s a bit over-contrasty.

self portrait

my reading list

  • cole, b. art of the western world: from ancient greece to post modernism (on amazon)
  • coote, j. & shelton, a. anthropology, art and aesthetics (on publisher’s site)
  • edwards, b. drawing on the right side of the brain (on amazon)
  • gillow, j. world textiles: a visual guide to traditional techniques (on amazon)
  • korsmeyer, c. gender and aesthetics (on amazon)
  • preziosi, d. (ed) the art of art history: a critical anthology (on amazon)
  • roberts, j. art has no history!: making and unmaking of modern art (on amazon)
  • wortmann weltge, s. bauhaus textiles: women artists and the weaving workshop (on amazon)

art and craft and education: links

art and craft and education

i went to london yesterday and realised that a day trip isn’t as arduous or expensive as i would have imagined. i have definite plans for a v&a trip some time soon, and that idea has nudged me towards thinking about some form of guided study.

i’m a sucker for courses, but in the past my interests have burned out quite quickly. the textile thing is something that has been with me intermittently throughout my life. i still vividly remember a textile class we had at school when i was 11 that i absolutely adored (and shone in). i’ve done random pieces of needle work since childhood and i definitely find it meditative and soothing to work something repetitive, particularly at difficult times.

i think working in a group setting would be beneficial to me (another kick in the pants to join the s’n'b) and i would also dearly love to exercise my academic inclinations again. but i don’t think that it’s physically or financially possible for me to enter some kind of undergrad programme at the moment, i’m not sure whether i really want to, and they wouldn’t let me in anyhow cos i have no foundation course. which leaves me the option of making up my own.

i’ve worked in arts education – damnit i’ve written a sub-undergrad syllabus in the past – so it’ll be an interesting exercise to see whether i can come up with something similar for myself, a kind of hotch-potch of locally-accessible short courses and self-guided study, reading (yay! for access to university staff loans ), field trips, online research and discussion.

i think this could be a good way to test the water before thinking seriously about some larger commitment to a formal course.

i think part of me is worried that if i delve too deeply into things i might get the same kind of burn-out of interest i had in previous areas i’ve studied in depth (archaeology and psychology), but then i think that perhaps i could actually draw on those other interests and bring them into my textile work.

it’s funny, yesterday (at the tate modern) i was saying that i find conceptual art unappealing, that i have no interest in the ideas behind things, it’s the immediate aesthetic or emotional impact a work has on me that matters. but i think i’m finding as i continue with the textile work i’m unsatisfied with the pure craft aspect, the physical construction and development of technique – although i realise i have many many years of that to come beore i can call myself a true crafts person – i need to explore the ideas and the history. i desperately want to create original work, but i don’t have the framework of understanding to do that.

and i’m thinking again about “art” something i’ve kind of sidled alongside for much of my life while refusing to embrace it and often despising and decrying it. but those thoughts are still so half-baked i can’t put them into words.

soooo, i think this leaves me with a plan: to define my area of interest and narrow down what i actually want to learn; to research what might be available to me locally in the way of courses or opportunities to work alongside or in collaboration with others; to research places of interest i could visit; to write myself a reading list; to explore the work of textile artists/crafters; to find if there are any self-study resources available to me; to surf the web a lot finding random (but related!) stuff :D

cool, that should keep me busy.