On paper this seemed like a relatively straight forward exercise and it was one that I thought I would do fairly quickly. In reality I ended up spreading it out over a few days and really tried to give myself chance to get into the appropriate emotion before carrying on.
I decided to use the same set of 4 materials so that I would have a direct comparison at the end with the emotion being the only altered variable throughout. The materials were: a charcoal pencil, acrylic craft paint with a skewer, soft pastel, watercolour pencils. Out of these materials the paint is the one I am the most familiar with, although I have never applied it with a skewer before. I have used the watercolour pencils before but as a colour medium rather than just a drawing one. I have also used the soft pastels before, but again never in monochrome.
Overall I am pleased with the final 4 A1 sheets and can see a distinct difference in the type of strokes and movements used. They aren’t finished pieces of work by any means but they are the starts of learning to use more expressive marks.
I actually learned a great deal from this activity, more than I expected to. I learned a lot about my own emotions and how easy and difficult it is for me to express certain emotions. Also, due to my research I took the time to learn some basics about abstract expression and how other artists have created expressive marks to show emotion in their work. As for the materials themselves, I learned how applying different amounts of pressure can change the look of pastel and charcoal significantly. Another interesting concept in the acrylic paint rectangle was the volume of paint used and how leaving different amounts of negative space alter the end result. However, my most important learning point was about the creative process itself. I hadn’t realised before but when I have created in the past I have always had quite a fixed end result in mind, this process was a new way of working for me as I really had to let go of the end product and just focus on the process and where it lead me. I had no idea what the final results were going to be in any of the cases.
Emotion and the impact on pieces of work is something I want to explore further and if I were to repeat this I would combine the different materials and focus just on the emotion rather than the choice of material too. I did feel restricted only using one colour each time and I would like to explore the importance of colour on emotion too.
I’m not sure I have yet put theory into practice, I feel my research is limited so far and I haven’t really incorporated that into my work yet. I would like to research more in this area and then apply the techniques to my own work.
This has definitely led me to understand the creative process more and I will use this technique in the future to let the process decided the end result for me. This is somewhat different to me but I did feel I connected with the piece more and it had more of my own personality in there. This leads me to have some worries as I think this has shown me how I respond to sadness more naturally than joy and I hope this is something for my own personal state of mind that can perhaps change in the future.