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The excellent sketchbooks of level one student Holly Norris

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HN_72_8HN_72On receiving the second assignment from OCA student Holly Norris, one of my Printmaking 1 students, I have decided to showcase her sketchbook as an example of outstanding sketchbook practice. Her sketchbook is small, a little larger than A6, a handy pocket sized visual diary, and some of the content shows that it has accompanied her on her travels. Far from being constrained by the formal nature of a sketchbook, Holly has hand bound this little book, and has made the cover and its content her own. Some of the pages have been made using a range of hand made papers, off cuts of pattern paper, normally used for garment construction, and collaged imagery, washed with paint to create a ground for her drawings.
Some of the drawings and vibrant ink paintings in her sketchbook form the basis for the work produced in assignment 1, but a number of her observations are independent of any formal work produced for the course, and as a tutor I get the sense that what this book reveals is her creative thought process, and acts as a record of her engagement with her own visual research.
Holly is using her sketchbook to investigate how combining materials, including crayon, pen, pencil, ink and paint, can express a range of different elements in her compositions. The resulting imagery is lush and engaging, with each page revealing a fresh burst of colour and a new use of the materials at hand.Her use of drawing tools is very expressive, with a real feel of the artists’ joy in simple mark-making. Elements from one page spill onto the next, informing subsequent drawings in unexpected and illuminating ways. HN_72_2 (1)Her subject matter ranges from quick and simple still life drawings, to coastal landscapes, industrial and architectural forms, to observations of decorative patterns in ceramic tiles and lace. What struck me when I received her sketchbook was the amount of time and love that has evidently gone into developing her sketchbook. It isn’t simply a notebook, it is an artwork in its own right.The exploratory relationship that Holly has developed with her sketchbook is one which, if maintained, will continue to influence her future work in new and exciting ways.
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Posted by author: India
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8 thoughts on “The excellent sketchbooks of level one student Holly Norris

  • It is good to see someone doing work outwith the course remit. Often students say they don’t have the time and, although this may be the case for some, it is often a case of getting into the habit of it. Some drawings can be done very quickly. I would encourage all students to carry a pocket sized sketchbook around and draw every day, if possible.

    • here again, I like and can appreciate this example of work. However, as an OCA student I find :
      it is unhelpful to be told to ‘experiment’ more and to find out your tutor has no time for your work which is outside the exercices’ specifics because ‘it is not what you are required to do at this stage’. (drawing 1 assignments 1, 2)
      So, OCA, I wonder, what is it exactly that you are trying to say?? what is it exactly that you want??
      Comments welcome. Thanks. (please be kind, please let it be constructive.)

  • Yes it is lush and engaging and very, very inspiring. Well done Holly, I love the diversity of materials and subjects you were able to use in such a small space.

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