I've been waiting to write this blog post for a while as it's so exciting – for me at least! When we think about line, the first visualisation for an artist is usually a line drawing, yes? As I've been writing our eBook on 'Creating a Sensational Portfolio', one of the chapters is about the use of line to inspire our research work. In the past few months whilst researching artists work for these books, the use of line and line drawing has cropped up in many different guises and I will aim to cover some of my best discoveries here. There will be more images to find on our Pinterest page, another thing I've been whittling my time away on and I love it!
The work of Monika Grzymala was a discovery I made a wee while ago when she was showing an exhibition 'The End of the Line' at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh a couple of years ago. Take a look at these installations, they are just fantastic and what I love is the way that they are site specific in many cases, involving the space and using line drawing 3 dimensionally. I also love that the work is so low tech – sticky tape alone, but the illusion is so sophisticated.
More of a traditional approach to the theme of line is a friend and colleague's work based on the theme of 'Along the line', that was a commission for a sketchbook project for Brooklyn Art Library in the US. Claire Heminsley from Incahoots posted this wee video on her facebook page a few weeks ago and I thought it was such a great example of how a themed project can really inspire a simple, really creative sketchbook that is clearly the work of a textile based artist (they seem to have this ability to cut, fold, stitch and see a sketchbook in a totally different way to painters/printmakers who I feel – it's my opinion only! – work in much more a 2D way using a page as a page, not an object to manipulate). I insisted that she made this video available for everyone in the world to view and share so it's available here on Vimeo.
This takes me onto a music artist that Claire actually introduced me to some years ago, Camille – a French artist – who's CD Le Fil translates as "The Thread". The album features a 'tone', (a low-level drone, nice as drones go!) which Camille has described as 'her note'. The note is a B. This note runs all the way through the album linking, joining and leading the ears rather than the eyes through the pieces. This artist has been most frequently compared to Björk and her album Medúlla, for Camille's use of her voice as an instrument in innovative ways. You can listen to samples of it here, maybe you’ll love it and want to buy it – it's interesting to HEAR this interpretation of the concept of Line.
There's a common theme other than line here and that's the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh – which shows some great artists and if you get a chance to visit you really must. Ingrid Calame had a wonderful show there last year and I have raved about this to everyone I've met I think ever since! I didn't previously know her work so this was a great discovery. Not only is her work visually stunning, her drawings appearing based on ariel street maps, but the process that she undertakes to achieve this work is epic. Please do take a look at her works and this video in particular as it shows how basic, simple ideas of the mundane can be so influential in the creation of artworks – we don't all need this flash of lightening inspiration to fall into our lap, we just have to take a look at the world around us, observe, record, translate and a healthy amount of obsession doesn't go amiss! I like obsession.
David Connearn is an artist who's practice is primarily based in instinctive, non figurative drawing that deals with themes of experience, process and temporality. He creates his line drawings by taking the lines from the top left to right and aims to draw straight along, gradually wavering and as each line wavers he attempts to follow that one, gradually becoming less and less straight, this process results it the images that you see. For more of these works see the Patrick Heide Gallery here. The works are delicate, fluid and feel ephemeral, beautiful – more obsession happening here, not sure how healthy this one is though as apparently he's been doing these kind of works for some 30 years now!
Now, this post wouldn't be complete without a quick mention of my own work as I do have obsessions (in a healthy amount I think) with line and line drawing. The drawings that you see below are digital drawings that I interpret as portraits. They are 'surveys' of the human navel – belly button to you and I, where I cast the belly button with plaster then 'scan' the levels around the 3D forms, very much like topographic representations of landscapes/mountains. Each is as totally unique as a fingerprint.
OK, I think that's it for now. I will probably re-visit this theme time and time again as there is so much amazing work based on the line and line drawing out there. Please visit our blog again to catch up with what's inspiring us just now and you never know it might just inspire a fabulous new body of work for your portfolio! Feel free to share our blog with anyone who might benefit from it using our Shareaholic buttons below and sign up to receive our posts direct to your email inbox with our RRS feed at the top right of this page.