I have been watching a lot of Youtube videos on the painting process, (SEE APPENDIX 1). I have been inspired by the artist Liz Ackerley and her artistic process. She uses a range of mixed media and collage in her work and I am especially interested in her process of mark making.
Indigo Heather 4 mixed media on watercolour paper; white mount; cellophane wrapped; 45 cm x 25.5 cm by Liz Ackerl https://lizackerleyart.com/portfolio/indigo-landscapes/
Her process involves using a selection of different mediums and tools to explore the shapes, lines, and patterns in the landscape. She draws and paints on location to reflect her feelings and emotions and to characterise the landscape as a direct experience.
I decided to experiment with this process on some small canvases.
I used the view from my bedroom window as my location to explore some of these techniques.
The above scketch was a direct reaction to the view from my back garden.
I decided to use dark turquoise as the dominant colour, based on the neighbours newly painted fence. I have observed them gentrifiying their garden over time. They removed all the ivy from the tree, stripping away nature, including removing a birds nest which had been there since I moved in nearly five years ago. I saw the bird come back in early spring, for it to find that it had sadly been made nestless.
I decided to do a series of scketches from this view, I feel uncomfortable scketching in public spaces so I used this familiar landscape. It also feels very personal to me , I enjoy watching the changing seasons from the comfort and warmth of my bedroom enviroment.
I am still unsure of the scale and type of canvas I want to work in . So shrinking my sckethes down has been enlightening, the small size helps for me to not overthink the process making them more fluid and instinctive. Also limiting my pallette has helped, although I made the mistake of buying small crafters paint to use on these scketches and I do not really like the hue or the texture of the paint.
I have also been experimenting with portrait and landscape canvass and paper to explore textures.
The impressionists used mark making – in the form of separate brush marks or dabs of paint – to add life, movement and light to their paintings of the things they saw around them. Later artists working in an expressionist style such as Willem de Kooning also created representational artworks using mark making. In his Untitled drawing of 1966–7 de Kooning uses rough charcoal lines, marks and smudges to suggest the movement of the people he draws.
Willem de Kooning Untitled 1966–7 Tate
Cy Twombly developed gestural mark making into a form of personal handwriting. In his series of paintings based on the seasons, he uses this ‘handwriting’ of marks to express what the different seasons mean to him.
Cy Twombly Quattro Stagioni: Inverno 1993–5 Tate © Cy Twombly Foundation
Mark making describes the different lines, dots, marks, patterns, and textures we create in an artwork. It can be loose and gestural or controlled and neat. It can apply to any material used on any surface: paint on canvas, ink or pencil on paper, a scratched mark on plaster, a digital paint tool on a screen, a tattooed mark on skin…even a sound can be a form of mark making. Artists use gesture to express their feeling and emotions in response to something seen or something felt, or gestural qualities which can be used to create a purely abstract composition.