by Tiffany Budd
I am an established British artist based in Surrey who is known for my Fractured style of art, inspired by Cubism and Russian Constructivism. I have paintings and drawings all over the world in private collections and work primarily in colored pencil and acrylic. Recently I have been developing a new branch of my Fractured work which combines collage and poetry in a horizontal panoramic size.
When I was at University studying Textile Design, I became inspired by British artist called Tom Phillips. Tom created a visual book called The Humument. He found this book at a second hand book store and then began to reinterpret each page using illustrations. I based my final year textile design project on this artist using floral images. Years later, my love for Tom Phillips has been reignited and I now combine my passion for colored pencils with his inspiration.
This is the process of how they are created:
Firstly, I like to sketch out any idea in my trusty A4 hard backed sketchbook. I always carry one around, just in case inspiration strikes! In it, I will choose the colors, which pencil brand to use and also write out the created poem. Sketchbooks are invaluable to me, sometimes mistakes can become a new idea!
I create my new poetic drawings using an old dictionary that my late grandfather (I called Gramps) owned. I first think of a theme for my drawing, be it buildings, landscapes, nature, and then will flick through the dictionary and pick out pages of words I may think relevant to the piece. From this a poem will develop, almost organically. I then move pages about, pick out certain words and will circle them lightly ready for gluing. I use MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) as the support and glue the pages of the dictionary to it.
I then prime and clear gesso the board to give the surface a tooth to draw on.( It feels a bit like sandpaper). Once the gesso has dried I begin to sketch out the drawing. I like to use quite a waxy pencil which covers beautifully and brings out the strong color on the gesso. As the gesso is very toothy, there can be a bit of dust created so I wear a mask while drawing, (which can occasionally scare off my cat!!)I also try to work from right to left as I am left handed and don’t want to smudge my work as I work along each piece. Sometimes I do forget and then that’s when a kitchen towel is used to protect the drawing!
When I fracture my drawings, the key to getting the effect to work, is to never have the same tone at each edge. You are basically creating an almost stained glass effect, and making each section glow and move. Light to dark- both in tone and color. A good tip for balance and making sure one section isn’t standing out too much is to look at it in the mirror. Somehow the imbalances and mistakes stand out when you look at it in reverse.
When the drawing is underway, I will leave each chosen word uncovered to make the poem appear in the picture. I really love strong color, and it’s something I have become known for. My choice of colors is relatively limited as I like to combine them and blend to create unique colors. Sometimes in each section I will use Zest It to blend the pencils, using a brush and a fingertip. This is a solvent that makes the pencil turn into paint. I don’t usually use solvent in my work, as I like the purity of colored pencils and the texture they create. But in these pieces, on the MDF, it works as the support is sturdy enough!
Once it is completed, with the words left uncovered, I use an acrylic varnish on top of the pencil to seal the color and then I am able to frame the piece without glass or Perspex. I really want to pages to be seen, without interruption.
The complete poem reads:
The City is stumbling, deliciously constantly. Constantly contained in a mystery.