Friday, 4 March 2016

Sketchbook Revealed

Now that Becca, my second Partner in the Sketchbook Circle, has received her sketchbook back from me, I can show you the additions I made to her book.

The first four show Becca's original pages with my additions. On her introductory page she spoke of new beginnings but chose to include a number of skull drawings which we tend to associate with death. Working with those apparently opposing ideas, I started thinking about sprouting bulbs and new growth and went on from there in the first three. For the fourth, I had a blank page opposite a skull, so introduced the uniformed figure of "Major Death", complete with military medals.

For the five pages of my own I began by looking at scraps of collage material I had on and heads. Two anatomical diagrams of parts of the head, intended for students of life drawing, came together with a fragment of red stained etching paper on a background of  a map to give me "Skinned". More simply, I found an old photocopy of a cross-section of a head with what appears to be a foetus for a brain and laid it on another fragment of blue stained etching paper.

The girl from Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl was a torn fragment Becca had left in the back of her book for future consideration. I used it with some other ideas of "white" and made a new image.

"Onion Head" happened by accident. While looking for images of sprouting bulbs to use with the skull drawings, I had printed off from the internet an image of a sprouting onion but found it was too big for the any of the skull pages. Laying it down on a blank page, I suddenly saw it as a head; with the addition of a pair of eyes from the front page of an Observer Colour Supplement and some gouache, the mysterious character came to life.

Finally, the "Owl Queen" is a fragment of a photocopied image I put together in my days of Mail Art exchanges. Coming together with another curiously shaped fragment of old cut up brochure and a bright flame-like piece of etching paper, I think I made something mysterious.

Now comes the exciting bit: what will Becca make of all of this? Will she add to my images? Will she find something in them to strike some sparks? Time will tell.

And what do you make of all of this? I'm always interested to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting on tenterhooks for my original sketchbook to come back from Ang with her additions.


Roy said...

I love your collages, particularly Onion Head and your take on the Little White Girl.

Is it possible to show Becca's original of the first four alongside your subsquent versions.

harry bell said...

I'm afraid not. I didn't scan the pages before I worked on them because I assume Becca scanned them before sending them to me.