I photographed 192 manhole covers today.

In Collections, Edinburgh College of Art, Rambling on November 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I counted. Every single one I saw walking from my flat into ECA, It was damp and horrible this morning, so not really ideal for drawing things, so photographing was easier. Hopefully tomorrow’ll be nicer (oh who am I kidding? It’s Scotland). If I can’t draw anything interesting looking from them I’ll map them out and make drawings from that. Or do that anyway. I’ll make them into another video thing, rather than making a huge contact sheet I think… But some drawings, and counting, for now.

Printmaking was fun and messy and all sorts of good things like that. Although I don’t have any of the nice prints at home, because it was raining when I left and there was no room in my bag. I’m going to make some more accurate/detailed stencils for next week, seeing as there were very short gaps when one of the presses wasn’t being used, so my stencils were a bit…haphazard. We were using the same ink I used to (try) do bromoil, well it smelt exactly the same. I’m not sure many inks smell like that, but then again I don’t go round smelling ink.

Tomorrow is being used for research again, so I’ll need to find something else to make a typology of. Or do very detailed drawings of pavement cracks/manhole covers. Or both. We’re having something of a tutorial in the morning I think, and I’m hoping I’ll get enough to go back in the afternoon to start doing things. I need to ask about where I paint things, I was planning on mashing up chalk and water & painting on the pavement with that (I have a lot of chalk, and I don’t really use it, and it’s nice colours). Because being sat in a bus stop on…Monday? I don’t know, whenever. Drawing on post it notes, it was like a studio again – I’d taken over the space with pens and a sketchbook and bits of paper and all sorts of little things. And I’d decided that’s all a studio really was for me, something to take over and empty things out onto, and after that comes work. Depends if they’re happy for me to do things like that though, or I do it anyway and they’re just not happy but I might be. Or I take bits of rubbish to paint on, because there’s lots of useful, flat-ish things that could be painted on. They’d need to dry out, but that’s do-able. Painting is scary, especially painting in a studio with painting students who can actually paint, but adding in not especially painting things makes it better. There’d still be paint involved. I’m not trying to be deliberately obtuse/awkward/pedantic about it, but not having anything specified to work on makes me think of these things!

Just as an interesting fact, I’ve done drawings every day since the middle of last week without making any conscious decision to do a lot of them, and there’s only a day (I think) last week when I didn’t draw anything. I should get the first drawing I did out and see if it’s gotten any better (I’d be a bit annoyed if it hasn’t), seeing as I have a whole wardrobe full of drawings… There’s probably more bits of paper than clothes in there by now. Although I’ve been keeping every single receipt I get too, so there’s probably more of those. I like drawing much more than I did, not that I didn’t not like it before, because I enjoyed it. But it was something I was crap at and I could never get what I saw to go through my hand onto paper. I can’t say why it’s changed, and I still think I’m pretty crap at it, but it’s…different. Maybe because if you’re in a drawing class it’s far more…embarrassing to draw nothing at all than something that’s crap. It’s easier to draw in drawing classes too, it forces me to think in drawing mode (there’s also a photography mode, a video mode, a collecting everything mode and a totally oblivious mode) so I do things, rather than get distracted/stare at my sketchbook/do nothing. I think there’s a picture of a very small me asleep on a drawing that I was doing, in fact I think there’s quite a lot of pictures of me with drawings. Like there’s a lot of pictures of me with animals. And whilst I’m thinking about that, that whole ‘not being extroverted’ thing was a complete lie, it’s just I’d forgotten about it. Want proof? Four years ago I danced down a street in Philadelphia wearing a pair of brand new pjs, bright pink slippers and a santa cowboy hat. With a plastic candy cane.


In precisely a month we fly to New York, in a day less than a month I fly home.

Essay got huge yesterday, it somehow got to 800 something words, and I have no idea where half of that came from. I’ve only really answered one bit of the question so far, so I think some serious editing is in order. But on the plus side I have another member of staff for my art school! A grand total of two.


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