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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Checking out Warhol 7 - you can lead a shoe to water but you can't make it drink.

Checking out Warhol 7

Task: Make a shoe drawing with a comment then keep doing it as many times as you can with different shoes.

As Warhol had advertising in his blood there is usually a strap line for each drawing. He obviously loved shoes and what they represent, convey, how they make you feel, attachments, memories, associations, glamour, statement.

Look at how Warhol drew, biro, pencil, no perspective, flat, then compare the black boots in gallery 2 with the shoes in gallery 1.The shoes in gallery 1 are expressive and definitely convey something of perhaps the character of the person who would wear them, but not Warhol of course! I love the fact that everyone has a favourite pair of shoes...they are unique in our range of attire options they are rich in association and carry all the marks our wear and tear. They are often quite literally pounded with our personality. The paratroopers black boots in gallery 2 are heavy and appear shiny, very graphic black and white they are made to feel even more grounded by the paratrooper landing from upper left. They are polished for purpose and represent a nations combative pride. Not much change there then.

What is the personality of the shoe? Show somehow what is the shoe saying to you? Aha again one of these 'that sounds easy' instructions that defy all logic. It's fairly easy to convey something about the shoe but to get the image the marks the colours and some text that all work together is not something you can just knock out.

His dotted/blotted line drawings derived from Ben Shahn, he used paper hinged and then printed in sections before ink dried. This was his illustration technique for shoes whilst working as commercial illustrator at I Miller. A few of us tried this and it was moderately successful, our paper was either too absorbent or too repellant and the ink may have been a bit thin, however the process of attempting to replicate someone else's technique was interesting as what happens is you begin to experiment with your own variations.We got to experiment with ink and kebab sticks to try and replicate the genius at work! We made as many drawings and prints of each others shoes as possible in 2 hours, they were amazing! What also really helped was seeing other students trials and prints and then experimenting further.

As an artist work can be quite isolating so attending courses and actually working alongside others is a really useful way to broaden your ways of seeing. Inspiration is infectious when artists work together and even if people have very different experience levels there is always something to learn and take away, when we create we take risks and it's these risks that enable brilliant accidents to happen. Do you take enough risks? Do you choose your shoes carefully?!

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