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CollegeStudio.1.Buziak

Even though this drawing is dated 1963 I can still remember sitting in a corner of the art college studio under the eagle eye of Miss Hopwell… she was the hard working and enthusiastic tutor during my pre-diploma year at the Openshaw annex of the Regional College of Art and Design, as it was known then, later becoming the Manchester College of Art and Design, and I think now probably a part of the sprawling university campus known as the Manchester Polytechnic.

Miss Hopwell gave interesting exercises, all meant to try and test our techniques and skills. Here – judging by the feint traces of inked lines – she would have told the group to draw directly with pen and ink with no initial sketching-in of shapes and proportions with pencil, which could easily be erased later if mistakes were made. This is a good test of co-ordination of mind, eye and hand.

From memory I think the initial sketching was made with a fine mapping-pen, with a much thicker nib used for the stronger outlines and shapes; and the ink colour looks as if I used Raw Umber, Sepia or Vandyke Brown… all favourites then as today with soft pastels, although I haven’t adopted that grouping from the colour palette for my acrylic works. Maybe those “browns” are more traditional, and my current abstract subject matter doesn’t suit such earthy tones.

I wonder if artists at college today still use pen and ink to the same extent as we did as students 50 or more years ago – and of course as most artists would have used for hundreds of years before that. Nowadays artists have an incredible range of materials at their disposal from Sharpie markers in several colours to Faber-Castell PITT artist’s pens and Pigma Micron pens… the list is almost endless! However, our bottles of pure inks in the 1960s were probably a lot safer than the Sharpies of the early 1990s which used toluene and xylene, two substances both harmful and characterized by a very strong smell. Today, the ink is usually made on the basis of alcohols, e.g. 1-propanol, 1-butanol, diacetone alcohol and cresols… Hmmm, think I’ll stick to water-based liquids!

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StudioCollage.3.Buziak

Collage – from the French word coller, to glue – is a technique of art production, primarily used in the visual arts where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.

A collage may sometimes include newspaper and magazine clippings, bits of coloured or handmade papers, portions of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas. The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty.

The term “collage” was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso at the beginning of the 20th century when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.

According to the Guggenheim Museum‘s online art glossary, collage is an artistic concept associated with the beginnings of modernism, and entails much more than the idea of gluing something onto something else. The glued-on patches which Braque and Picasso added to their canvases offered a new perspective on painting when the patches “collided with the surface plane of the painting.” Furthermore, these chopped-up bits of newspaper introduced fragments of externally referenced meaning into the collision… the juxtaposition of signifiers, “at once serious and tongue-in-cheek,” was fundamental to the inspiration behind collage – “Emphasizing concept and process over end product, collage has brought the incongruous into meaningful congress with the ordinary.” – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage

And so after a productive month in the studio I thought it time to tidy-up the scattered newspapers and posters (out-of-date street advertising posters) I use as floor protection against paint spills and splashes. But, the more I looked at some areas of accidental spills and splashes the more I thought they could be used in some form of assemblage… or collage.

After much selecting, measuring, tearing and overlaying, I mixed a small bowl of wallpaper paste and carefully glued the three strips to an 80 x 60 cms stretched canvas. I then weighed the covered canvas down on each corner with my hand-exercise weights to make sure the wooden frame stayed true and flat whilst drying. By tomorrow I will know whether or not, or perhaps what, to add to the assemblage.

The finished artwork will be for sale at Saatchi Art in 24-hours…

Image © 2014 Ed Buziak

OrganicState.3.Buziak.2

A fourth day in my studio on ‘dribble’ paintings… but with only one completed. I worked on two large pieces yesterday and then this morning along the same theme, but using different colours from the red, orange and yellow part of the colour charts.

For this third piece of artwork in the on-going “Organic State” series I have used a ‘warm’  palette of colours on smooth Arches Platine cold-pressed, hand-made 76 x 56 cms (30 x 22 inches) watercolour paper. Again I have tried to express the slow movement of organic forms intermingling with each other, sometimes blending or fusing. Last evening a friend posted on Facebook the comment, “Thousands of balloons” against the multi-coloured “Organic State #1” which I had simply not seen before in that way.

OrganicState.3.Buziak.3

For a few days I had been imagining a downward movement in these abstract compositions – moving with the gravitational flow of the paint. Strangely, my friend saw an upward direction with balloons… and bizarrely, at the same time as I edited my WordPress blog text and Saatchi Art keywords list to include, “or are they swimming upwards like sperms?” and “sperm”.

When I checked the number of works for sale on Saatchi using the keyword “balloons” there were 872 hits (I thought there could have been more)… whereas “sperm” produced 136 hits which was more than I thought. So for the two latest “Organic State” artworks, which are more monochromatic, I will include “Sperm Count” in their titles.

This painting is currently for sale at Saatchi Art…

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Organic-State-Sperm-Count-3/395193/2154406/view

Images © 2014 Ed Buziak

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