Sunday 4 September 2016

2016 #17 Making Marks {Challenge}

 2016 Topic 17: Making Marks

Heather Hansen

Well hello everyone, Darcy here with our latest topic. This one is a very broad subject, and the title alone may baffle you, but I shall attempt to clarify and give you lots of inspiration in this post. 

Mark making is a term used when we want to describe lines and patterns, also textures ,if they overlap. 

Marks can be made with any tool, any medium and on any surface. these marks can be dots, dashes, spirals, scribbles, even scratches. They can be definite and controlled or they can be loose and wild, either way marks are expressive and can convey many emotions. 

Sometimes these marks can represent something real, and therefore must conform to various rules regarding shape and proportion etc. Other pieces of art are totally abstract and fully intuitive. 

Frank Auerbach

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 16 : Beads,Charms,Dangles Challenge...

Winner of Beads, Charms and Dangles is Bryan from GeezerCrafter

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

So let's dive in, what is mark making, and what is the point? It is a way to open the mind to alternative ways of making art. Not everything has to be a finely tuned and thought out image. Look at the way that children create, they scribble for all their worth and they are so proud of what they create. Only as adults do we become overly concerned with how others see our creations. Children communicate through drawing before they can speak, it makes their thoughts visible. As well as developing fine motor skills. 

Wouldn't it be good if we could allow ourselves that freedom to be so expressive: to let our fingers take control and enable the character of a piece to develop. 

Stephen Lursen
In the modern era we have all kinds of pencils and paintbrushes, but often just holding these can induce panic and worry over making even the first mark on a page. These tools are somehow deemed to be the tools of professionals, they cause us to freeze up and questions our abilities. Therefore mark making exercises encourage us to use different tools. Ones that give us more freedom. 

Try using twigs instead of pencils, or leaves,feathers,berries,flowers. Use your fingers.. use mud instead of paint. Draw on the path with chalk or squished berries. Go to the beach and draw in the sand. 

Try blind mark making, close your eyes: first explore the surface with your hands, is it smooth, is it rough, how does it make you feel. What can you hear or smell, is the sun warming your face or do you feel a breeze. All these things come to us more clearly when we close our eyes and shut off that visual sense. Now translate how you feel to the surface, make your marks accordingly. Express yourself, your emotions. Focus on the marks and noting else, don't try to create, just make marks. 

Lesley McInally 

There are so many tools you can use or make , let's look at some that you might have fun playing with. 

Of course you can still use pencils, but why just use one? 
South Wales Uni

This has to be one of my favourite photos for this topic, any of you with children or grandchildren must try this out. I am tempted to rummage in the attic for old toys.
 If you are lucky enough to have trees or bushes nearby, now is the time to start collecting fallen twigs. As we move into Autumn there will all sorts of twigs, leaves, seed pods that you can utilise, as well as feathers grasses and even your own hair. next time you have a haircut remember to save the trimmings. 

Catherine White
 This is a cool and very simple tool, a shoelace wrapped around a paintbrush or stick/skewer. You can do the same with elastic bands or string/yarn. 

Just look at the fabulous splats made by this dried flower head. , this one made me squeal a little, I love it. 

There are so many items just laying around that you could use, why not fill a bag or small box with found 'mark making tools' I have one, and the contents are varied; sticks, skewers, bits of fabric, mesh, pen lids, glue stick lids, bits of plastic, mesh bag from oranges, screws and natural sponges. 

So now we know how to loosen up, and we have our home made tools.. or whatever you choose to use, where do we make these marks ? As I said earlier you can go outside, make use of natures canvas, or you can grab a journal and turn that into your mark making place. 

Elisabeth  Couloigner
Within art there are of course general marks, but also texture can be created with marks, the most obvious one is hatching and cross hatching. There is also the technique of pointillism, where small dots of colour are used to create an image. Dots are one of the most basic marks, why not have a go at making something just using dots!

I found this fun photo, a different approach to making dots, as this piece requires holes to be made into the substrate. As the holes are made from the back the paper is forced upwards, creating not just the hole/dot but also texture. 

Amparo Sard
How else can these marks be translated into art? how are the thousands of mark making sketchbooks across the world even remotely useful? You might think them pointless scribbles, but in fact many designers use mark making as a very important resource when designing fabric for example. Not only does the act of mark making loosen up the creative juices the results of mark making can themselves be developed in many art forms. 

Look at these mark making experiments, all torn up into strips and arranged with other marks. This could easily be developed into fabric. Or you could use it as it is, perhaps glue to a canvas, what do you see in the marks? I think a landscape piece could evolve from these. 

Here you can see that marks have been cleaned up, filtered, simplified and turned into fabric. 

Laura Slater

Mark making does not need to be restricted to working on paper or canvas, use any substrate, chisel your marks into wood, sculpt into clay or take your needle and thread to fabric. 

Pottery can be a fabulous substrate for mark making. 

You can of course bring mark making into journalling and cardmaking. How? well either by making the marks yourself or utilising the many background stamps and stencils that are available.

The start of this journal page is a perfect example of a really nice composition of mark making. Gorgeous colour blending really shows off the bolder marks, but look beyond the black marks, there are other marks within the layers.

This card too uses mark making to fantastic effect underneath the focal images. 

Now I am not encouraging you to dip your hair into paint, but there are other fun ideas in this video. Perhaps encourage your children or grandchildren to make the marks, let them do the messy bit and then you use the paper in your project? that would be a fun collaboration. 

How else can you discover your own unique marks? The easiest way is to write your signature  over and over, starting out normal and considered and letting your hand loosen up till the letters evolve. Cover the whole page, keep going until you can no longer recognise the letters. This is your totally unique set of marks. You can also make art with your fingerprints, remember no two sets of prints are alike, this would be your mark and nobody elses.
I just love this collection of marks, you could easily replicate this in a patchwork way by taking small squares of your mark making and arranging them onto a canvas. 

The emphasis over the next 2 weeks is to experiment, get messy and have fun. Let go of the worry that you must make something perfect, and in doing so you just might make the best thing ever. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! 

I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!

Topic 17: Making Marks PaperArtsy Blog Challenge

We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.
All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Making Marks link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Sept 18th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.

Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.

3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.

4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday Sept 18th   (London Time)

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.

8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Helen said...

what a fantastic fun, messy and appropriate after yesterday, subject! can't wait to get messy.

Julie Lee said...

Oh, I love this topic! Mark making is so much fun! xx

Wendy Mallas said...

This was the very first thing we did in uni (illustration). We were all a bit put out by such a basic task. I didn't particularly enjoy it then. But now, it's my favourite thing to do. And it's so important to experiment with tools too. Get that Indian Ink out! Yay!

Artmadnana said...

Really looking forward to this one!

Ruth said...

Great introduction to a fabulous topic Darcy! x

Mac Mable said...

Another fantastic topic..thank you for introducing the subject and looking forward to learning more x

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Interesting theme and a great way to loosen up in our artwork too :)
Donna xx

Unknown said...

Cool! Right up my street. 😊

pearshapedcrafting said...

Great topic! If it wasn't for Poldark I'd be in my craft room now! Chrisx

Craftyfield said...

Daunting theme for those who are afraid of drawing! Could be interesting though...

geezercrafter said...

Smashing theme, really looking forward to the next 2 weeks!

Mary C. Nasser said...

Love this theme and making marks! Looking forward to seeing what everyone creates! :)

Lucy Edmondson said...

Ooh a male winner! Has that ever happened before? Well-done Bryan! Fab post intro Darcy!

Lucy x

Etsuko said...

Congrats to Bryan! Fantastic Topic and let free myself!! xx

Unknown said...

Well done Bryan! :)