Dear Cleo and Loz 18 06 18

Dearest Cleo and Loz

Thank you for your help in collaborating with me in completing Assignment 5.

As the collaborator I get to title the final pieces and to decide which way up they should be hung. I could go on and discuss each piece making comparisons with the work of other artists and mark making techniques and the reasons why the game has comparisons to chess and Exquisite Corpse. All that was not the concept of the original game and to super impose meaning on what is a record of a process seems false.

I have chosen to give them obscure titles so as not to influence the viewer’s perception of the pieces.

Figure 1 Drawing number 1, various media on A5 cartridge Loz and Mickos

Figure 2 Drawing number 2, various media on A5 cartridge Cleo and Mickos

Once again thanks to both of you for your help and perseverance

My love as always

Mickos xx

 

 

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Dear Cleo 18 06 15

Dearest Cleo

It is early Friday morning and after escaping from the monastery I am off to Liverpool later in the day but first I must go to see the printers to organise the prints for the Beasts of the Apocalypse. Here is the full set.

Figure 1 Two Horsemen of the Apocolypse

Figure 2 The Serpent

Figure 3 The seven headed ten horned beast

Figure 4 The eagle

Figure 5 The locusts

Figure 6 The lion

Figure 7 The leopard

Figure 8 The calf

Figure 9 The lamb

Figure 10 Another two Horsemen of the Apocolypse

Ten doesn’t feel like a lot now but it did while I was doing them, so there is definitely a passage of time there, the ten unfold across the Book of Revelations, reading it takes quite a while. The story itself takes place over a long period of time and was written two thousand years ago and of course there is the alpha and the omega which is the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet. That is a whole lot of time, never mind the printer is only two minutes walk away so that will speed things up a bit.

Sorry to be missing you this weekend but have a happy half day and I will see you next week sometime.

My love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 18 05 13

Dearest Cleo

I suppose you are looking forward to being seven and a half at the weekend, it is a big milestone in your young life so make the most of it,  I remember being seven and a half myself and it doesn’t seem so long ago,at least not to me.

Today the Unseen University have tasked me with unearthing some details about Frank Auerbach, if you need to see the pctures you will need to click on the links in the bibligraphy.

Frank Auerbach’s process involves putting paint on and scraping it back off again until he feels that the image has a solidity, a weight and a reality. He work in a similar process with his charcoal portraits putting charcoal on and rubbing it off so many times that it is not unusual for him to rub away the support and have to include a patch in the paper where it is worn away.

Over the years Auerbach has used a limited number of sitters who sat for two hours a week over a long number of years, with each portrait taking up to thirty or even forty sittings he therefore knows his subjects well. At the end of a series of sittings, the paint is again scraped off and the portrait is completed in a single sitting. This makes the final painting very fresh in appearance and because of the extended sitting Auerbach easily captures a likeness as he has practiced the likeness many times. While researching this essay I came across some Polaroids that Frank had taken of his sitters and the likenesses are uncanny. Auerbach said that the end result of his process is always a surprise (Lampert 163) so the likeness is double uncanny.

Auerbach portraits have a vivid three dimensionality with a sense of air and space around them and the weight of the image is also very important to Auerbach. He achieved this in his landscapes and cityscapes but especially so in his portraits. His heads combine seamlessly with the background to form a complete image across the picture plane.

Over thirty or forty sittings Auerbach would get to see many moods of his sitters, and some of his sitters have sat for twenty or more years, this amongst other things and together with the cramped spaces in which the portraits were made , gives Auerbach an intimate knowledge of his sitters which he exploits to portray a great sense of reality and humanity in his portraits.

There is currently an exhibition of five paintings in the National Portrait gallery in Room 32 on the first floor, the portraits are by Ingres Degas Sickert, Bomberg and Auerbach. The exhibition is titled One Unbroken Stream from a quote by Sickert. Auerbach is the last of the artists in the stream each of whom was taught their predecessor. By googling portraits by these particular artists, the stream running through them is very evident, widening and progressive even though Auerbach prefers to distance himself from Sickert (Lampert 182)

Auerbach’s love of process and material has served to make him ome of the greatest painters of the twentieth century

Bibliography

Lampert C.: Frank Auerbach Speaking and Painting. 2015 London, Thames and Hudson

Clark C. J. & Lampert C.; Feank Auerbach 2015 London Tate Publishing Ltd

Http//www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/frank auerbach-676

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/frank-auerbach

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/frank-auerbach-676/how-its-made-frank-auerbach

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/auerbach-drawing-from-veroneses-the-magdalen-laying-down-her-jewels-national-gallery-verso-t06697

http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/frank-auerbach-lucian-freud

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Auerbach

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/display/2018/one-unbroken-stream

I hope you enjoyed my investigation of Auerbach, and sadly I will not see you this weekend as I am going to Liverpool so have a happy half birthday and don’t worry, I gave your present to Aunty Loz to deliver to you, I hope you like it.

My love as always

Mickos

 

Dear Cleo 18 06 12

Dearest Cleo

I trust you are well and have enjoyed your half term holiday. After many long weeks I have emerged from the Monastery having completed my appocolyptian task. I will write more tomorrow about that, in the meantime the Unseen University have asked me to consider how working from life differs from working from a photograph in terms of the way we experience the time spent. It is a difficult aspect to consider without considering working from photographs as a whole, so I will consider this, and hopefully my conclusion will bring out the aspect of time spent.

Working from life involves intense slow looking at the model and the model is three dimensional which gives practice in working between the three dimensions of the model and the two dimensions of the picture plane. Following much practice and study, this later enables the artist to create fully realistic two dimensional images of things that he imagines because he fully understands the use of space in its truest sense. From my studies in life class, I am beginning to get fairly realistic human forms with a sense of space around them without the use of a model or photographs. Part of the essence of being an artist is the ability to emphasise parts of the image that attract the eye more as Auerbach does in his paintings of the building site in the Earls Court Road, a photograph gives equal edges, prominence and weighting to everything within it.

One of the things that gives a true sense of three dimensionality is tone which is extremely hard to judge when working from photographs, either coloured or black and white, as photographs tend to average out tonal differences and give very dark darks in the shadows or the use of flash on the camera bleaches out the tones.

Working from photographs is using an image where the actual looking is a fraction of a second, while I appreciate that a professional photo shoot can take many hours or days to set up and therefore can appreciate why they look so much better than your average photograph, the act of looking is still a fraction of a second. Transferring an image from two dimensions to two dimensions collapses any aerial perspective, you can check this by taking a photograph on your mobile phone and comparing it to what you are looking at.

Artists known to have used Photographs include almost every artist who has been alive since the invention of photography, artistically it is probably best used as a reference by artists such as Degas and VanGogh who were able to draw from memory and use photographs to judge pose or movement.

I have been toying with the idea of buying a camera lucida, after all they are only $130 each. This is not a photograph in the strictest sense of the word and after all Caravaggio and Vermeer cannot really be classed as bad artists it is however reputed to speed up the drawing process.

Speed is not the object of art just, like football is not about money. Art is about slow looking and consideration and deep thought to produce something that can be appreciated over time by an audience that were not yet born at the moment of creation. You cannot do this with a flash in the pan or the camera unless you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right millisecond and a true photographic wizard.

I hope you are settling back down at school after the half term and congratulations on getting 100% in maths, sometimes I wish art was like maths and there was a right answer.

My love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Loz 18 06 11

Dear Loz

It was good to see you at the weekend and I had a great time in Manchester thanks for offering to help with my project.

As I said, I have invented a game and called it “Kandinsky” as it is about points and lines and planes. I suppose it is a bit along the lines of Exquisite Corpse, a game the surrealists were fond of, except that it takes longer to play as we will be using the postal service to pass the playing piece between us. It needn’t require great thought, it can be instinctive as you like or be carried out with much thought and take longer, whatever suits you.

The rules are exceedingly simple and are on the next page and the playing piece is enclosed. There is no wrong or right answer. Just enjoy it, I think it will last for three of four rounds, and I have gone first to get us going.

When the game is over, we can have a chat about it but we won’t speak of it till then for fear of influencing the outcome.

My love as always

Mickos xx

Kandinsky

Rules of the game

  • There are two players, yourself and your collaborator.
  • At each turn a player is allowed to make three marks on the paper the three types of mark possible are a point, a line or a plane.

Figure 1 examples

  • You may take as long as you like provided you complete all your marks with 2 days.
  • You may use any mark making tool or colour to make your marks.
  • Once you have made your marks, as a minimum put the date of your marks and your signature on the attached sheet and return both sheets to your collaborator in the envelope provided.
  • Your collaborator will make three marks and return the drawing to you.
  • If you feel the drawing is complete say so on the attached sheet before you return the drawing to your collaborator.
  • You may write anything you like on the attached sheet but do bear in mind that the end results will be posted on the internet

Figure 2 First Round first leg biro, graphite and sharpie on A5 cartridge

Figure 3 First Round second leg biro, graphite and sharpie on A5 cartridge

Figure 4 Second Round First leg biro, graphite and sharpie on A5 cartridge

 

Figure 5 Second Round second leg biro graphite and sharpie on A5 cartridge

 

Figure 6 Third Round first leg biro graphite and sharpie A5 cartridge

Figure 7 Third Round second leg biro graphite and sharpie on A5 cartridge

Dear Cleo 18 06 11

Dearest Cleo

The last task of the course is to do a drawing that takes a passage of time to come to fruition I have invented a game and called it “Kandinsky” as it is about points and lines and planes. I suppose it is a bit along the lines of Exquisite Corpse, a game the surrealists were fond of, except that it takes longer to play as we will be using the postal service to pass the playing piece between us. It needn’t require great thought, it can be instinctive as you like or be carried out with much thought and take longer, whatever suits you.

The rules are exceedingly simple and are on the next page and the playing piece is enclosed. There is no wrong or right answer. Just enjoy it, I think it will last for three of four rounds, and I have gone first to get us going.

When the game is over we can have a chat about it but we won’t speak of it till then for fear of influencing the outcome.

My love as always

Mickos xx

Kandinsky

Rules of the game

  • There are two players, yourself and your collaborator.
  • At each turn a player is allowed to make three marks on the paper the three types of mark possible are a point, a line or a plane.

Figure 1 examples

  • You may take as long as you like provided you complete all your marks with 2 days.
  • You may use any mark making tool or colour to make your marks.
  • Once you have made your marks, as a minimum put the date of your marks and your signature on the attached sheet and return both sheets to your collaborator in the envelope provided.
  • Your collaborator will make three marks and return the drawing to you.
  • If you feel the drawing is complete say so on the attached sheet before you return the drawing to your collaborator.
  • You may write anything you like on the attached sheet but do bear in mind that the end results will be posted on the internet

Figure 2 First Round first leg charcoal graphite and sharpie on A5 cartridge

 

Figure 3 First Round second leg charcoal graphite sharpie crayon and biro on A5 cartridge

 

Figure 4 Second Round First leg charcoal graphite sharpie crayon and biro on A5 cartridge

 

Figure 5 Second Round second leg charcoal graphite sharpie crayon and biro on A5 cartridge

Dear Cleo 18 05 09

Dearest Cleo

I hope you are well and having fun in the hot weather, I won’t see you this weekend because I am going to see Nana Bet, I will give her your best regards and I expect it won’t be too long before she comes down to see you anyway.

At the monastery that is Sutherland Villa’s things are going better than expected, yesterday and today I have completed two further plates for the book, despite working hard for the squire all day. I am a little bit worried about the first one in that it lives fully formed in my head, at first I was unsure about this, but I reconciled it with the fact that we all have our demons. Not you perhaps, because you are yet youthful, but prepare yourself well for this one and listen to him not, I was feeling so wise there that into Yoda mode I slipped.

Figure 1 (5,2,9.1) The seven headed ten horned beast, Sharpie, graphite and coloured pencil on A2 grey sugar paper

The second plate is even more scary, but in a rather different way, I was reading Rubens Drawings and Sketches which is a catalogue of an exhibition that took place in the late seventies in the British Museum when I found my eagle. I have made sketches of eagles for this project but they have all been in landscape format, which would not suit the format of the book.

The eagle in question was originally attributed to Rubens but experts have now declared that the drawing and the painted version in Prometheus Bound were carried out by Ruben’s pupil Frans Snyders.

I have read Steal like an Artist and I recently visited the exhibition Art in the Making in Copenhagen the crux of which was that artists stole from each other’s compositions and sketches so I stole Snyder’s eagle without feeling too much compunction preferring to describe it as collaboration rather than theft, after all, the research was done by me and me alone in this monastery.

Figure 2 (5,2,9.2) Eagle, Sharpie, graphite on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 3 (5,2,9.3) Eagle, Sharpie, graphite and coloured pencil on A2 grey sugar paper

Ok so none of that seems scary, but here is the totally scary bit, a copy of a drawing by a pupil of Rubens seems to fit seamlessly into my current series. I can appreciate that I have incorporated some my own voice into the copy, but leave it alone, had I but an eagle in a cage, it would have been Gissa job Rubens, I can do that, or am I three decades and four hundred years too late?

Anyway my dear that is four of the ten complete, maybe in another week I will be ready to talk to the printer.

My love as always

Mickos xx