Drawing the sea, finding the marks would be a test of our hand and eye co-ordination, so we set off with a warm up exercise that would help us look more carefully at our subject and less at our paper. Pairing up, we draw each others' portraits with the paper on our heads or way below/away from our regular eye level. These portraits were made with some nerves and some hilarity but all were made and in each case caught a line of hair, shape of eyebrow or curve of cheek that was true to the sitter. If the drawn line followed the eye then the portraits were a true representation of the way the drawer was actively looking as they drew.
Warm up over we got onto the watery bit. Linking up to a big screen we watched various water footage, pieces mainly designed to relax the viewer and some to be used for meditation or even to sleep to. One participant explained that the sound of heavy rain helped them get to sleep and another that they slept better in a thunder storm. The footage included waves, deep sea, waves at the shoreline, rivers rippling, raindrops making ever increasing circles in puddles, waterfalls, bubbles, slowed down rain that looks like snow, drips and bursts.
Marks were made to record the lines that made most impression, then these lines were interpreted into paper cuts. We cut some in coloured card and some in white paper with the intention of using the paper ones as paint stencils. We spent the rest of the sessions arranging and rearranging the shapes onto frieze like strips of paper trying to create different forms of movement, inspired by Matisse’s cutouts.
A directional whoosh, like in the swimming pool frieze
A zero gravity, weightless feeling given by Oceania, the sea and the sky.
We worked with the sun in the windows above and the sound of heavy rain at our backs. We talked about the force of water in a waterfall, standing behind a waterfall and looking through, a dislike of the sea, the weightless feeling water can give, feeling warm and safe in a jacuzi.
‘we don’t get much rain in Blackpool. We get a lot of wind
nothing ever stays for long. Being sheltered by 3 mountain ranges
the wind moves things on. Blackpool has it’s own microclimate
in one day you can see sun, rain, hail and snow.’
'Best bit of the week’
‘This group is what art is really about'