Assignment 4

I have painted areas of my house before, and this time I wanted to make this an unusual view. I took inspiration from Henny Acloque’s work [1] that I discussed in my research of artists in part 4, in that she adds an unusual dimension to her work.

It took me a while to decide what to do. I had ideas about the view from the dolls house in my lounge.

I thought this might work because the wooden figures look a bit odd.

However, when I tried that out with acrylic paint, I wasn’t convinced that it worked. So I read a tutorial on mind maps and tried brainstorming that way, which I found quite an interesting experience. It certainly made me think in a more visual way, especially putting in pictures and using one word on the branches.

So I looked around for more unusual views, and in looking down into a wine rack, I wondered about looking out from cupboards and in through doorways.

This gave me the idea of the view from outside looking in through the letterbox, like an unwelcome viewer might have. Someone who is not given access to the house, how could they still look in ?

I wondered how much of the house to put in, and whether to leave the finger in the letterbox, but I decided that added another interesting shape, and maybe a clue to what it was. This tondo is 30cm diameter. I thought the paint layers made it look flat and wondered about developing it with another try using thinned acrylic layers more like a watercolour wash.

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30cm thinned acrylic on white gesso paper

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30cm acrylic using rags on acrylic paper

I also tried using rags after being inspired by Emily Ball’s book for life drawing [discussed in non course work part 4]. I wasn’t sure this was successful because it’s already a view that is not easily recognisable so perhaps that technique is best kept for stronger shapes, or it turns into an abstract view, which is not a bad thing but not what I had in mind here.

In my mind map I had put a photo of Luc Tuymen’s painting ‘The Shore’ which I had seen recently at the Tate Modern and liked the monochrome effect. I tried this out as a 30cm version and liked the direction. So I wanted to try this in a bigger format and with a ground of mid toned shorter strokes of paint – using a 42cm acrylic paper seen in picture 3.

I also wandered about using the light effect of Miriam Cabessa [2] as discussed in research on artists in part 4 but again, wondered if the effect would be too abstract. So I went for wet in wet painting on top of the ground seen above.

My tutor recommended Rezi Van Lankveld [4] and I liked her work I bought her book ‘At the first clear sight’ which has the painting ‘Ideas of a solution’ in seen below and painted in 2005. I like loose brushwork and how the image is built forward from the black ground.

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42 cm acrylic on white gesso acrylic paper

I decided to keep it simple because using too much detail would just look confusing. I also mainly used big household brushes which forced me to keep it loose. Looking at the work of Tori Day [3] I think my composition was influenced by her, in the way she keeps it simple, but also adds something unexpected, like a pegged backing paper. This is why I kept the finger keeping the letterbox open. I used dry stokes to add reflection on the plastic and thick pain in ridges for the straps on the rucksack.

Demonstration of visual skills; I think this shows experimentation with composition and materials. Although I’ve stuck with acrylic paint because of drying time, I tried different sized brushes, rags and worked up different compositions to see what worked best.

Quality of outcome; I think trying the mind map for the first time helped to refine ideas and will be something I’ll use in future. I’m getting better at trying out a few things as experiments rather than sticking with the original idea in a concrete way.

Demonstration of creativity; I’m realising that more original ideas take time to form, and it took a few weeks of looking around the house before I thought of any of these ideas. It would have been easy to develop a previous exercise but I really felt I wanted to go further with creative thinking. Other ideas I’ve had since for example the view of an ant on the floor, or even the dolls house I might take forward later on. I can appreciate these ideas might become relevant in the future.

Context; I’ve spent a lot of this course looking at other artists and going on as many study visits as possible. I think this may have made up about a third of the time on the course really. Some things I’ve liked and others not so much and generally I have reasons for that.

16/11/16 – response to tutor feedback;

My tutor commented that assignment 4 was clumsy compared to previous sketches, and I took another look. I realised that I had carried on with paintings and not looked at all the development work to see which actually was the most successful. The view through a letterbox is obscure enough that a more realistic painting means the original concept is not lost.

So I choose as my assignment 4 work;

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Assignment 4 – acrylic on gesso paper 30cm

Looking now with fresh eyes, I see there is a range of thick and thin paint, and a good tonal range. I think the varity makes it more successful than the similar more thinned acrylic version I made. It is still loosely painted. Very grateful to my tutor for pointing this out, as sometimes I realise I push on with works and don’t look back to see what worked better than the ‘final’ version!

 

 

References

  1. http://www.hennyacloque.com/
  2. http://www.miriamcabessa.com/
  3. http://www.toridayart.co.uk/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/jun/10/artist-rezi-van-lankveld
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