Blog Studio

CYANOTYPES AND CLAY: Experimenting with Composition and Aesthetics

I decided to start off this term with trying to understand composition and balance a bit more before moving onto drawing freehand; these experiments can then serve as a reference point if I get stuck. In addition these have also helped me further my understanding of the visual aesthetic I started to develop last term.


The experiments were inspired by the cyanotype experiments that I did over the holidays, especially this one in particular:


These experiments have taught me:

  • more about how to best achieve depth with such an ephereal composition incorporating plants
  • how to achieve an essence of a plant without giving away too much of its details – how ephemerality and ambiguity can be used as a way to communicate its energy
  • soft and dynamic
  • they acquire a sculptural-like quality which is simultaneously a direct result and evidence of the previous presence of the palpable subject


I was inspired by an Instagram post I saw with Louise Bourgeois’ work as its subject. What I’ve gathered from it was that she made large sculptures and installations inspired by her own memories and experiences.

Which then led me to believe that using clay to recall memories. This would be a more automatic way to recall these, spending 30 minutes of immediate interactions with the material, rather than hours, when I was not patient enough to recall through drawing.


This proved to be a very effective way of recalling and letting go of any expectations for aesthetics.

I was able to be very hands-on with the material which allowed me to investigate the memory very physically – allowing my hand to literally trace and investigate the formative and spatial qualities of the past time and space.



These then led me on to transcribing them into drawings, to explore the sculptural and spatial properties of drawing. To explore how I can form depth, how to shape the forms updwards and lift them off from the page.

It also helped me see how I can use prior experiments to arrange forms and how to make them visually balanced.

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