This observation journal page features strong but deliberately not particularly thought-through opinions — and also a council employee dancing dramatically with a whippersnipper.
The exercise is from Elizabeth McCracken, who tweeted:
I enjoyed this type of manifesto much more than some introspective ones (see: Manifestos (ugh)). It’s rather fun being unreflectively and unsupportedly opinionated. Here’s the list as it stood then (with some commentary):
- Art should be just absolutely infested with so-subtle-its-invisible allusions & references & foreshadowing. [I don’t like doing puzzles, so I kind of hate this as a viewer, but as long as I don’t expect anyone else to pick up on them, it’s an excellent way to add texture.]
- Movement trumps accuracy. [I went to the She-Oak and Sunlight exhibition and just sighed a lot at hurrying flecks of people busying themselves across canvases in one or two smears of paint.]
- Expression ditto.
- Aesthetic is king. [Guillermo del Toro makes movies for illustrators]
- Keep it chatty. [An excuse or a philosophy?]
- Space should be filled with a network of bits.
- Tinier is easier (it isn’t).
- With enough SIZE or REPETITION anything can become fine art.
- The soul of most composition is just this: be deliberate.
- Why realism, though?
- Texture and colour like icing is a heaven closed to me. [I write so I can be painterly — there are passages in Flyaway that are deliberately me using e.g. Tom Roberts’ palette and light.]
Revisiting this after almost a year, I don’t think my feelings have changed significantly (although some are being tested, though not threatened, by recent projects). However I’ve been thinking more about them, ever since writing them down. Some have turned into exercises and workshops; some have helped me make clearer decisions; some are lessons I never learn.
Here is another element that emerged from the journal! It’s a tiny note on which jagged leaf shapes were most fun to draw (at least in ballpoint pen).
Together with some ornaments from a summary page, these leaves made it into the May 2020 calendar (also demonstrating repetition, small drawing, and filling up space with bits).
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