Cy Tombly

I have been asked to research a list of artist and collect information about their different styles of drawing. I started with Cy Tombly an American abstract Expressionist.

Reading from different sources I learn that he reworks the Ancient Greek Roman past that surrounds him in his home in Rome. Cy Tombly finds inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology in history and places.

He used writing and poems in a conceptual way. His lines and doodles replicate hand writing in what apears to be a childish way. He worked from his feelings, thoughts and impulses. I get the impression that he was more interested in the lines he made rather than colour. He was once quoted saying that he had a feeling for paper rather than paint which is a complete contrast to how I tend to work.

I enjoy the image below as he has scribbled and deleted some words from three secret poems by a Greek poet George Seferis adapting and making his own quotes. I like how he plays with literature transforming it into conceptual art. This piece to me is documentation of how he did his research and teaches me how he found his inspiration.

Above is III notes from Salalah: It’s a calligraphic style graffitty painting in neutral or monochrome colours. This painting appears to be painted on a blackboard. The lines resemble words, giving us a feeling of calligraphy, a feeling for words. It is acrylic on a wood panel, 96x 144 inches ( 243.8 x 365.8 cm). The scribbles are big and powerful it appears that Cy Tombly experiments with different pencil angles to flatten and sharpen the tone of his scribbles. I am not sure if it’s a piece that will be in my collection of favourites pieces of art. I respect and enjoy the process and the idea of this piece more than the final piece. I am still learning and trying to understand abstract art so being analytical about a piece like this one is out of my comfort zone. It looks easy enough just some scribbles on a black board! But translating the feeling of words and giving the illusion that they are real words is an art and for that reason I have chosen this piece. There is feeling in this painting as well as movement and energy and that is why I enjoy it! It is no secret that I am moved by emotions and feelings.

Jenny Saville

Reproduction drawing IV (after the Leonardo cartoon) 2010. Pencil on paper 89 5/16 x 69 5/8 in 22.9 x 176.8cm (

The above picture is from the it is called Plan. It is an oil on canvas 274 x 213.5 cm 108 x 84.

Jenny Saville is a painter who is obsessed with the human body. She likes painting female nudes in a exaggerated, obese sometimes brutalised state. Jenny Saville works against the male-dominated history of idealised portraits of women, she has been quoted saying ‘I want to be a painter of modern life and modern bodies’. What I like of Jenny Saville is that she sometimes uses music to help with the strokes and movement of her brush. I wonder if she used music for the painting above, and if so… what music does she listen to? I enjoy how she has archived the Blochiness of the lady’s skin exposing her fascination with flesh and anatomy.

The scale of the lady’s body in comparison to the canvas fascinates me as she is deliberately challenging the view and image of women’s bodies making them apear grotesque and causing a reaction. I like her use of paint: the way she just dabs the paint to the point you can see the strokes, using purple, green, tones of beige and white where the light hits the flesh. The contrast of the lady looking at the viewer directly in the eye while covering her breast but exposing her vagina makes this painting apear aggresive and in your face. I think it reflects how women feel today. “I am who I am and I am going to try and accept it, but most importantly I do not need to apologise” very different to the works of the old masters!

Personally, visually this is not a painting that I would hang in my living room but I apreciate the investigation and study in the human body and the message the artist is conveying, fascinating!

I think one of the things I will take from this artist is her use of paint and how she doesn’t  blend it together archiving a very realistic effect. ,

Elise Engler

Elise Engler uses place as a form of inspiration. She recorded the contents of sixty five different women’s bags. Each of these drawings are as big as a stamp. Elise mainly paints with Gourache, water colours and pencils.

I am particularly drawn to her ‘year on broadway collection; 66 to 74 street 2014 – 2015

Gouache, color pencil on paper

6×36″ of 6 x102″ more on htt://

Elise Engler drew every building for a year, recording all the detail in different weathers – even in the rain! I enjoy all the detail capturing the moment, the people, the everyday life in the streets of broadway. Reading in between the lines I think that Elise Engler started her  drawings with pencil and then proceeded with watercolours and once home she finished them with colour pencils (That has answered my question on how people sketch on the move, as I find it hard to capture all of my chosen scenery in a sketch while being out and about). Elise describes her works as a time capsule: recording not only the different seasons but the architecture around her, sometimes capturing some buildings that are no longer there. She talks about her work as making people notice by recording the detail around her that other people would miss as they go about their busy lives. Elise uses her five senses,  recording a walkers view not a photographer view. She does a layer of pencil and another one of watercolours to get a prospective of movement. Elise makes an informative desicion of what part of the building to record by walking around the block and choosing one view: allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps.

I am really inspired with Elise perseverance in sketching in all types of weather, no excuses! I feel that I need to take a ‘leaf out of her book’ and sketch and record what I see so I can immortalise ‘the moment’ and make my own capsule as well as practicing drawing.

Information taken from

Michael Graig- Martin

Michael Graig- Martin is a conceptual artist who uses text and colours. He is a minimalist artist who paints simple everyday objects like; eye glasses, milk bottles, scissors etc. His paintings are realistic and graphic usually big installations. Michael Graig- Martin uses unexpected colour with a black outline.

A series of 12 screen prints 410 gsm Somerset satin paper. Paper and image 50.0 x50.0 cm

Michael Graig-Martin describes himself as a ‘putter together’ of things, he thinks of his paintings as flat sculptures. In an interview with the guardian he describes how he cuts and pastes on his computer. He would scan all his separate images that he wanted to assemble on to his computer. This process helps him make informative decisions about composition and colour. He uses digital printing and paint.
The paintings are done with four inch rollers so it creates an even colour. I enjoy learning how he layers the colour using six coats for each colour so that the end result is a richer hue. He brings each colour to it’s highest level of intensity – I find that fascinating! He uses tape to make a template of his drawing also removing the tape so it becomes a stencil. He draws from his studio as most of his paintings are in a large scale.

At first glance I liked Michael Graig- Martin’s work but kind of took it for granted. “He makes it look so easy!” I thought. Just recording everyday objects and making them look simple by using blocks of colour and line. After reading about his work and the processes I realised that there is nothing simple or easy about Michael Graig’s work. I have quickly changed my mind (how foolish of me) I feel connected to his work if nothing else because I enjoy his use of colour, how he has studied and investigated colour and used it in it’s natural form. Looking at Michael Graig-Martin’s work has also helped me or reminded me of how I can use technology to help me make decisions as it makes it quicker. I have also been reminded of how colour can be intensified by layering – of course that makes sense when I say it out loud but sometimes for me I need to be reminded and go back to basics.

The by Dale Berning), Michael Craig-Martin-Royal Academy of Arts

Claude Heath

Claude Heath draws blindfolded from touch alone, some of his works end up being sculptures and make reference to the sense of touch. He investigates the process of drawing putting aside esthetics and separating what he knows to what he feels as a form of sensation. I enjoy how he uses different colours to represent the diffrent stages of his drawings mapping what he feels.

Acrylic inks on triacetate film, mounted onto Perspex 30 x 30 x 30 cms

Claude Heath tries to compress the sight and touch of a solid object ( in this case plant’s) onto versus parts of a flat surface.

Aesthetically I am not in love with Claude Heath’s work as at first glance all I see are colourful scribbles. I don’t connect to his work as much as I do with other artist but I do enjoy the freedom that his drawings convey. The fact that he can feel with one hand and draw with the other and he is not limited by what he feels like we are limited by what we see – that concept intrigues me. I will try and practice his process and see what comes out and that way maybe try and broaden my lateral thinking. I guess I am more attracted by this artists experimental process than I am with his actual art. I think that for me aesthetic’s has become so important in my work that I find Claude Heath has challenged me. After reflecting I have come to the conclusion that maybe I need to put my need to make everything look nice and adopt or at least try Claude Heath process; putting aside aesthetics and separate what I know to what I feel!

Now that is a challenge!

This will maybe be a good response to some of my Tutors comments on my review of part one.

Fred Sandback

Fred Sandback is a minimalist conceptual- based sculptor known for his yarn sculptures, drawings and prints.

Cornered Triangle, fith of Ten cornered Constructions 1980. Caldmium Red medium acrylic yarn 360.7 x 403.9 x 403.9 cm 142 x 159 x 159 in

The drawing above is about volume and space. Fred Sandback uses acrylic thread which he compares to a number two pencil line. As a material he describes it as being ‘pretty mundane but doing the job’. He sometimes paints his threads but because his installations are so big he mainly used what was available. He described the threads as neutral and obedient.
Fred Sandback doesn’t use the thread in the most obvious and expected way – a textile material – but to draw space and create volume in space. Fred Sandback believed that Illusions are real and reality is allusive (I enjoy that concept). I am finding it hard to expand my analytical thinking when it comes to Fred Sandback as I haven’t a lot of information about him. I guess for me to talk about someone’s work I want to know more about the artist and in this case I feel restricted. I like his work but feel like I haven’t seen enough.

Jan Dibbets

Jan Dibbets is a Duch conceptual artist who works mainly with photography. He was one of the first artist to recognise large-scale photography as a medium in it is own right. He collages together a series of photographs of land and seascapes to create a new illusory horizon, transforming various images into one new one. I enjoy how he transforms an obvious pictorial photograph and changes it, creating an illusion. With his collage work he creates a dialogue between nature and cool geometrical design, by rotating the camera. He studies perception rather than what is been perceived (clever). At first clanced Jan Dibbets wasn’t inspiring me but after looking at his way of working it has showed me a different way of using photography as a medium. I still find Conceptual art challenging, it always makes me think… why didn’t I think of that or maybe I did think it but didn’t communicate my ideas as well as these artist. It makes me think of how important it is to comunícate your ideas well for your art to be successful. It is not just about the work that you do, it has to be supported by how you communicate, what got you to does ideas and how you processes them.

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin is an English contemporary artist who is known for her autographical and confessional artwork. She uses a variety of media: drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, neon text and sewn appliqué.

I have watched several interviews with Tracey Emin to try and understand her work. In every course I do I have been told about Tracey Emin and I have always struggled with her art, understanding it. I struggled because visually I didn’t like it. I suppose I have trained my eye to like “pretty” things and I find Tracey Emin’s work the opposite. After reading about Tracey Emin and watching her in several YouTube videos I finally get it! Tracey said in one of her interviews ‘ she is better than her art’ a bold and brave statement (I thought) but of course I am talking about Tracey Emin! for me she is what’s interesting and the reason I want to know more about her work. Tracey is the story, her life experiences and her honesty is what makes me look at her art. In her art she shares her raw emotions, just how they are with no embellishments which is the contrary to my work. I tend to embellish when I don’t think something is pretty, I do it unconsciously and is something that Tracey’s work has made me reflect on. She refers to her art work as not a confession but as if she was throwing up. I feel that’s what she did with the piece above. She is voicing her feelings about being a woman and her “biological clock ticking”. This piece is made with appliqué. The technique is simple and traditional ( not very innovative you may think) and that is also the beauty of this piece and so many others: Tracey brings back a Traditionally ‘feminine’ craft and ‘breaks the mould’ as the message she was conveying is strong, unrefined, and at times vulgar very different to quilt making in the past. The colours used in this piece are pretty pinks and blues while using red to highlight the words ‘call me’ and yellow for ’40’ to make sure they stand out from the rest. I wonder if she deliberately used a flower fabric for the background of the word mother to create a softer warmer feeling to the word; using a similar concept to Martin Greeds word ‘Mother’ but archiving almost a different meaning to the same word. Martin Greed made the word big as he believed mothers are the most important people. In this piece Tracey Emin almost prettify’s the word in contrast to using black for the word ‘Alone’ expressing her fears of being alone. I feel that in this, she is coming to terms with giving up the idea of having a baby for the sake of not being alone. it’s a very brave topic!

Review of my research

I have learnt a lot from doing my research. I have not only learnt about different artist and how they work in different ways but I have also learnt how important research is to have a good foundation to build on. I have recently read ‘how to steal like an artist’ and it talks about building a family tree with your favourite artist or people you admire. Doing research is collecting ideas knowledge so that then you can take all the information and use it in your own voice. I have learnt that there is different ways of working and recording what you see. It can be through touch alone like clauthe Heath who has challenged me to be more experimental and worry less about aesthetics. Equally Cy Tomby works by feelings. I am really impressed with how he was able to create the feeling of calligraphy, reminding me that sometimes it isn’t about recording the things I see literally. I can also record what I see by studying a subject in great detail like Jenny Saville who is obsessed with the human body – but not having to worry wether I offend or even if the finish product is aceptable or pretty to others. I also learnt how using music can have an effect on the paint strokes. I was reminded of how to record everyday objects in a minimalistic way by Michael Graig – Martin in contrast to Elise Engler who also records similar everyday items but using a different method. While Michael Graig-Martin eliminates lines and is all about colour in it’s natural and intense state Elise Engler is more about recording it literally as she sees it – I identify with her work as in a way we have a similar way of recording. Saying that! I was inspired by Elise patience and determination to record everything she saw ( place) and in doing so it became a time capsule.

I have also understood Tracey Emin’s art, at last! Teaching me that the way she is able to transfer her personal experience for other to see is amazing! I have developed a greater respect for her, even though I don’t always like what I see. Her experiences and honesty using tradicional textiles technics in unconventional ways has inspired me.

So this research has taught me to collect, select and steal some ideas and for sure it has taught me the different processes I can use to find my own way of working .

Below are my five Pinterest boards that I have been asked to do by my Oca brief. I was surprised to be asked to use Pinterest as a research tool as I always see people swiping images and felt that it was a tool that maybe suffocated ideas rather than feed my knowledge. And again I was wrong! I was so wrong. I enjoyed finding an array of artist who take inspiration from so many different sources. I found myself getting very exited, there is so much out there! I find it can give me a base to work on. I can discover artists that I didn’t know of and then do a deeper research. It is truly a very helpful tool. I have collected an array of artist like Cheryl song- thumbprint portrait, Majorie Shick is amazing! Nikolai never Liv Andersen, xooang Choi and I’m blown away by Pablo The cuadros collages. There is so many more that I have discovered and I haven’t even touched the surface. Pinterest has open another dimension for me to do research. So my conclusion is that Pinterest is not just a place where you copy ideas from but more an avenue to be inspired and learn from thus finding ones own answers.