Moving on to the actual process of making these marks!
I decided to go with the flow; I had all these mark-making tools and they all had potential in being whatever emotion it may be. Instead of forcing them to be one, I let my emotions do the work.
SO this is DAY 1!
Starting with: CLING WRAP
It’s nothing too fancy. Something you use to cover your leftovers up, or to wrap premature babies in. But cling wrap sure is versatile. You can stretch it, you can scrunch it up, or roll it into any shape you want. I first started by brushing on some Chinese Calligraphy ink onto the cling wrap and stamping it onto paper.
They turned out… pretty good. Funny little shapes that looked like watercolour brushes I can get on Photoshop. Each little attempt at blotting ink on the wrap gave a different result, given the clingy, crinkly material of the thin plastic. I further explored by scrunching up the cling wrap and dipping it into more calligraphy ink.
I tried it with Block Printing ink too, hoping it would give a different effect. It did; it had a slightly thicker look to it, and seemed more textured in comparison.
Next up: METAL CHAIN
It had a unique square-like chain going on, and thought it would create some cool square-like patterns. I tried to spin it around after dipping it in ink, and it made a huge blotch on the paper.
How about lighter touches? You know like… teasing touches. Although it’s a little hard to tease when it’s a metal chain. I tried though. It could also be jumpy; excited. It turned out decent, some of the square patterns showed up better in this version.
I got thirsty. So I got a: MILO CAN
Four hour lessons are long and tedious sometimes. So I went to get something to drink to boost my morales. And hey, why not use what’s left as a mark-making tool? I’m so smart right.
I played around with the bottom of the can at first, but decidedly used the top part of the can instead. The little aluminium pop tab added a little more personality to the result whenever it caught a little more ink.
I also crushed the can using my fist and tried using the kinks created from the crush.
Considering how hard the metal is, it created some pretty gentle marks.
Well, back to work then: BROKEN CD
I bent a CD in half and it snapped; showing off some interesting sharp edges (don’t worry, they are plastic). I dipped the broken part into ink and got to work.
I gave some tiny strokes and proceeded to give it some sort of a… let’s call it a backwash. hah. SO SMART. WOW. But anyway. It created a sort of “regretful” look to it, which I kind of like. Might go with it.
I used the non-broken side of the CD too, to create some short wave-like effect.
Something a little more wholesome, I feel. It has a clean look to it, like a line of action across a river.
Next up: WOOL
I got some wool from good friend by trading it for something I had. Thank you good friend. You are A Good Friend.
I tried to go for something that wasn’t just whipping a thread around. That’s kinda boring wasn’t it. So I did this:
I knotted the wool string too, and tried stamping it around. It looked a little like light doggo footsteps. Happily trampling about.
I could probablyyy tear them and put them together. I will consider doing that.
Something a little more gooey?: LIPGLOSS
Self-explanatory. Lipgloss doesn’t have to belong on lips. [s]I didn’t like the colour it gave my lips so I’m using it now. Four dollars ain’t to waste now.[/s]
It gave a slight creamy look to it, although it did end up smearing slight pink across the paper. I probably have to redo it if I wanted to use it in my final version, and get rid of all that pink.
More beauty products: FACE CREAMS
innisfree gives lots of free samples. This isn’t sponsored. I just threw in a bunch of things into a cult concoction of sorts with calligraphy ink. I’m sorry Mother, but art is more important than my face. To be fair they were free samples.
I tried it on paper with a brush, but it just looked stale. Like i just used a brush on block printing ink.
Okay so plan B. I’m going to THROW IT.
I love me some glob messes. The dried out version didn’t turn out as nice since the paper ended up absorbing the globbiness. But I still tried, and I really dig it.
I didn’t stop there. Oh yeah.
I have more.
I retried some of the previously used methods, but this time on papers and such that’s a little closer to the desired size. I tried using acrylic paper too, with some of them, although the result did turn out pretty similar to what was achieved on newsprint.
Yeah. Now on to the other new things I tried.
Going for something a little clean: TOOTHPASTE
To be really honest, it’s hard to record and be messy at the same time, so I don’t have that many gifs anymore whoops.
If something was off-white then I could… make it whiter right? Purity?
Yay, cleanliness: GLADE
More nice-smelling things. I painted a strip of paper with ink, and proceeded to ruin it with a lot of Glade Air Freshener.
In an earlier version I messed up and used too much ink, so I tried strips of ink instead, to let that Breath of Fresh Air get to the ink better.
Well, I guess this is still clean?: SANITARY PAD
Pads are clean, but some cheaper pads have this sorta weird icky plastic hole-y pattern on them. And I wanted to make use of that, along with the fact that periods are the bane of every girl’s existence.
And using a pad for work felt different. Like I was trying to fight some social norm or something, while also feeling a little antsy over using something that could possibly be used to save someone’s poor ass on art. Credits to a friend for giving me her cheap pad.
I tried stamping it onto the newsprint, and it created a really hole-y effect as expected. But it wasn’t gross enough.
So I pasted the remains onto the newsprint itself.
I had some extra cotton from the insides, so I used one of the old Glade Attempts and hoped to salvage it somewhat.
I had several Glade Attempts, and I left this one out to air with some glue on top of it, hoping it would collect dust.
But Shirley said there wasn’t enough. I think the lack of values made it even worse, so I’m scrapping this one for now.
Negativity, Negative Space: BABY POWDER
Wanted to try playing around with something white instead. So I painted a piece of paper entirely black, and shook on some baby powder.
It had a similar vibe to the cotton one, but better? A smoother transition of sorts, gentler and more hopeful.
In some moment of boredom,
I played around a bit more with a random brush, slabbing on more ink onto a piece of paper. Like, a lot of ink.
It was a rubbery brush, not the usual hairy brushes we had. And I quite like how splobby it turned out.
And I had more random attempts at saving old pieces. so they became weird collages.
Working with black ink and a lot of glue tends to get your hands real dirty. So I had to use a lot of wet tissue to wipe my hands in order to touch any other thing that wasn’t my work. So this was the end result; tons of crushed paper, tons of wet paper remains, and the leftovers from the sanitary pad sanity.
Was thinking of having parts of this on the one with toothpaste, to show the idea of Infatuation.
All in all, I know I have a lot to work on. I concentrated too much on using different mediums, but I feel like I lost my idea of the emotions I had in mind. In class, I barely had anything to consult on, and it made me rethink many things. Also my lack of composition and all. I’ll try to experiment a little more before Tuesday’s submission, and hopefully my remaining six would make more sense.
Creating a dot, line, shape with absolutely anything, and putting it on something be it paper, cloth, or your body; that’s the idea of mark-making.
There are various ways to achieve mark-making, and there are many techniques that gain different results, be it gestural and loose forms, or structured and disciplined lines. Artists can use thick and black lines or create grey and somewhat ambiguous blotches to show different sorts of emotion; there’s no limit to how one can deliver their emotions through ink and tool.
I looked up several artists and their methods of mark-making, and everyone had such different techniques and personalities that made their pieces so unique. One such example is Franz Kline, an American artist who had started out as a realist.
Franz Kline was known for his minimalistic black and white works, moving on from his realist style for a more abstract approach. His mark-making consisted of thick, bold strokes, often in an extremely dark and deep black ink. Many have said that his works were likened to Japanese calligraphy, with the lines differing in thickness but remained equally strong and controlled.
On the other hand, Cai Guo-Qiang made use of gunpowder explosives on top of paper to create his artworks.
A Chinese artist based in New York, Cai Guo-Qiang wanted to express the idea of primordial chaos using natural forms of energy. Despite its destructive nature, his works tend to give a softer feel compared to Franz Kline’s harsher strokes; due to its lighter shades of brown from the gunpowder, and the dust fading away from the center of impact.
I have also looked up on various mark-making tools that others have used, and how they have affected the various marks made on paper.
Stiffer materials (metal wires, sticks, etc.) tend to give solid tones of black, whereas organic materials (leaves, flowers, etc.) absorb the ink, and spreads said ink evenly across paper, creating a more diluted grey.
One good way to start is to play with texture and use all side of your mark-making tools. Feel free to get big splotches of ink onto paper, or small splatters created from the bristles of grass. Try to achieve unique shapes from the tools. Repetitive patterns can also be used, besides simple dots, lines and shape.
Some have even attempted using different mediums to experiment their tools on. Above, the artist has decided to use cloth as their base, creating a smudge-like effect that drips and stains. The use of white spots helps bring across negative space, which is something I wish to consider doing during my project.
Tools I Have Considered:
After much consideration, I have chosen a few things around the house to use as mark-making tools. Some with more organic forms, some more hard-edged, or some in between.
BUBBLE WRAP: A nostalgic piece from childhood. Everyone always has the urge to press on those bubbles, and it gives off a somewhat calming atmosphere when you are in your own world like that.
CDS/BROKEN CDS: CDs are rarely used nowadays; I asked my parents if they had any to spare, and they said I could take all the blank ones. They are cheap and we don’t have a CD burner. “Just take them lah!”
FACE GELS/BODY LOTIONS: Something to mix with ink to hopefully create a different consistency.
GLASS PEBBLES: They came from a part of my polytechnic days when each of our campmates would give it a well-wish and pass it on to you. They all have different shapes, although the texture is smooth.
METAL CHAIN: Given its interesting form, it is possible to create something unique out of its flexible shape and hard smooth surface.
FLUFFY FINGERLESS GLOVES: An essential for the easily-chilled. Curly fur bits can be used as a sponge, and further dabbed into a softer grey.
PAPER CLIPS: A simple daily object. Perhaps grabbing a bunch of them to use as a singular tool might create something interesting.
CLINGWRAP: Could be used in various ways; bunched up, rolled up, scrunched up like a tissue, etc.
WASHI-TAPE: I am considering using this to take ink away from certain parts.
TOILET/TISSUE PAPER: 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply. If I can find them.
BODY PARTS: Expression starts with the body. Why not use it.
There are many other sorts of mark-making tools out there that I might use in the future, but for now these are the few I will try experimenting on. 🙂
I had a few in mind, although I’m always open to the idea of being open-minded. See what we can get, right? But here are the few emotions I wanted to explore; and maybe I can get something out of it. Meanings are still somewhat vague; I know, I will work on it.
an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.
Basically speaking, it’s the short burst of lust that occupies the mind, which gets mistaken as a form of puppy love, ain’t it? Infatuation is a young emotion. A… somewhat pure, but yet mature emotion. It gives off the sense of youth, with its energetic behaviour.
a yearning desire.
Think of it this way: Long. It’s been a looooooong time. It’s like being stretched over a pot of boiling water, and your muscles are aching and you really want to snap. It hurts in a slow and seething sort of way, like your torso wants to give in from the tense feeling and you yearn it, yet can never get rid of the strings that hold you up above the pot.
enthusiasm to do or to have something; keenness.
You realise it’s dinner time soon after doing assignments for a whole day; maybe you want to reward yourself, and you suddenly get this burst of energy. Get it done and over with, and then food. Get it done and over with, and then food.
a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.
It’s basically holding a big ol’ dump for hours and finally letting it all go. I can’t explain this any better.
a feeling of great surprise or wonder.
Amazement could mean something respectful, or just all out awe. Like woah, this building is amazing. Or something like bewilderment that has the shock factor in it. But I’ll personally prefer amazement that goes like woah, COOL, I GUESS.
anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.
Like when your sibling gets something despite being younger. In other words, in teen lingo these days; salty.
a feeling of intense irritation or annoyance.
Ever get that feeling some point in your life when your parents don’t understand why you chose art for a living? Yeah, that. No matter how many words you try to use to explain why you wanted to survive on art, they will always remember to pick at you for it and you just sit there, kinda angry but somewhat speechless.
be extremely distressed about something.
It’s like having a thing stuck in the back of your mind; like someone said: your hall has strangers coming in and out recently. Did you lock the door. Possibly, but you aren’t sure. Did your roommate lock the door. What if they didn’t. Oh god, they didn’t, didn’t they? Now your money is gone, your life is ruined, and that one piece of work you left on the floor could be in smithereens, your grades are now in the drain, and it’s because you weren’t sure if you locked the darn door.
fail to care for properly.
anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.
Somewhat pacing, somewhat back of the mind thing again; but this time over the future. You could have done everything right but the possibility that you were born under the star of unlucky circumstances always haunts you. You pace every corner of the room because the ceiling fan could fall on you any time.
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