Experimenting with expressive lines and marks
Exercise to investigate how to make marks to express your feelings.
The first sheet I worked on focussed on the feeling ‘calm’. I prepared by breathing more slowly and feeling meditative. The words I noted in my sketchpad after finishing this sheet included: peaceful, easy and soft.
For sheet 2, ‘anger’, I drew on my feelings about the incompetence of the government to protect people from asbestos. The words I noted included: dark, intense, sharp and firm.
Sheet 3 (pictured) focussed on Joy. Easy feeling to conjure as I have two children. My thoughts about this sheet include: gentle, took my time, loops and hooks.
For the final sheet (also pictured) I chose to focus on ‘grief’ as it’s a strong emotion and one I’ve become used to feeling over the past couple of years. I noted for this sheet: shaky, slow and downwards.
I’ve never experimented in this way with expressing emotions in my work before, so I found the exercise very interesting and useful. I feel emotions deeply so it all came quite easily to me (in fact I’m still a bit tearful from the final sheet). I can see a real difference in the marks made during the different emotional states, for example, on the ‘joy’ sheet, the marks are freer, generally lighter and more flowing than on the ‘grief’ sheet.