The assessment criteria for the course are:
- Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness and compositional skills
- Quality of Outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
- Demonstration of Creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
- Context – reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)
I find it difficult to isolate many if these; they seem so interrelated, but, trying to look at them individually:
1. Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills
I tried to explore a variety of materials:
- oil and water based inks, watercolor, inktense, gouache and acrylics. I didn’t experiment with oil paint because I have never used them and thought this way not perhaps the place to start
- different papers, cartridge, khadi, black, Fabriano Rosapina. I made my own paper but it is heavily textured and didn’t suit any particular project here.
- different sizes of paper
- dry and damped paper
It seems to me that experimenting with different techniques and combining them is the essence of monoprinting.
- applying ink with rollers brushes and other tools, but I can think of lots I didn’t get to
- using a press and hand pulling
- flipping and stamping stencils
- negative and positive fields
- combining different sized plates
- combining techniques
- back drawing
Observational Skills and Visual Awareness
I have been drawn to certain images, both drawn from life and photographic. I have tried to develop a selected idea into a body of work. I find that a single idea can send me off in many directions and I enjoy developing it and seeing where it can take me. I don’t know that this really demonstrates any particular observational skill. When I have drawn from life, my drawing interpreted via printmaking is an abstraction. Some particular prints, hopefully, demonstrate some observational skills, such as my drawing of a fellow printmaker and my garden. I struggle to differentiate observational skills and visual awareness. I know that I am weak on the subtle use of colour.
I think my compositional skills need a lot of development. I do try to consider the placement of the centre of interest of a work, the impact of tonal values, the balance of a composition, negative spaces and how shapes intersect the edges of the plate, etc. I don’t think that I am nearly successful enough in this. I think my work could be much more exciting.
2. Quality of Outcome.
I have worked hard to produce a set of well registered, clean, well printed prints. I have not always been successful. My ambition is that every print I submit should meet a professional standard and be able to stand up to exhibition, at a technical level and at a compositional level. Sometimes I have achieved a decent print, but often the ones which excite me compositionally do not meet the technical standard. In particular, I have found registration very challenging.
I have tried to cover a range of content and have selected some ideas which really excited me. I am disappointed that some ended up twee. I hope I have created a body of work of substance.
Application of knowledge:
I think I have used my developing knowledge to solve many technical problems along the way, especially trying to select the most appropriate paper, ink and registration method for a task.
Presentation of work in a coherent manner
I have tried to be very methodical in my learning log, reviewing each task and print as I produce them. My prints are presented chronologically in a folder to my tutor, labeled with the appropriate project. I know that I must present my work to my tutor and assessors in a way that demonstrates my journey.
Conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
I have used my sketchbook to record an initial idea and then develop it towards a plan for printing. I think I need to develop this use of my sketchbook much further and in more depth. I think I have communicated my original idea much better in some prints than others. My exploration of plough marks and crops worked much better than the agricultural and industrial landscape from above (although I haven’t finished with this idea yet!).
3. Demonstration of Creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
I really don’t know. I have tried to be imaginative and think outside the box, but maybe it was a very small box? I don’t believe it is possible to be objective about imagination. I have tried to be experimental but that is largely at a technical level. I hope I have been experimental at an imaginative level, but I feel I could grow so much more. I don’t think I have demonstrated invention; I haven’t been anywhere that someone else hasn’t been first, but I do have ideas of where I would like to go. I particular, I would like to move 3D and onto other surfaces than paper. I would like to combine techniques in more ways and I would like to combine printmaking with multimedia/collage/painting. I don’t think that I have a personal voice yet; in fact I feel as through I am living in a tower of Babel. I know that my direction lies in combining texture and colour.
I think I am apt to gaze at my navel all too much, but I do find the learning log helps me think through my difficulties and future direction.
I have tried to read around my subject extensively, and I have looked at the work of many printmakers in books and on line. Perhaps I could have documented this more.
I have tried to analyse my own work objectively and for every print I make, I try to think how I could have made it better and what direction I would take next. I find writing extremely difficult and the only way I can make myself do it is by thinking that I am just chatting away to the computer, and, sometimes, what a load of drivel.