Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tutor report reflection. P5. L1. pop

Another highly influential video tutorial with Diana Ali, She is the most efficient, effective and self driven person I know. 
The outcome of the report was;

 • New confidence in handling paint and interpreting my surroundings.

 • Worked with technical aspects to my advantage.

 • Showing an openness to new ideas and new mediums.

 Things to resolve before assessment;

 • The straw in Assignment 4/5 (1st attempt) needs to be attached in a different way to the board. It needs to be embedded with the composition.

 • Consider renaming your work, when you spell something out such as ‘Microbiology study’ the viewer becomes less engaged.

 • Need more studies to show creative thinking behind the exercises.

 • Keep questioning your own work and the work of others, If you don’t have the answers, that’s OK as it shows thinking about possibilities.

 • When being self critical, think about how that will move you forward, don’t be so negative in your blog (pessimistic).

 • Make blog images bigger and add in background images so it’s bright and colourful like myself.

 • Foe assessment; Lay out all work, pick out pieces that show a variety of techniques and breadth of skills.
Areas to reflect upon;

 • Assignment work 1-4 still quite flat with tonal qualities and light. Have focused more on the development of semi abstraction and techniques of working with other mater.

 • Assignment 2-3 are verging on being too easy to abstract and not connecting with the rest of the series. The balance of progression within a series of works, needs to consider the elements.

 • Assignment 5, final image has resolved the above concerns with layers of colours, texture, focal point and the size helps to balance the progression and give the work purpose. This envelopes an understanding of paint and gives a sense of a scene.

 • Writing is in-depth and a journey of progression has been documented well, self reflective throughout.

Alberto Burri- Artist that burns plastics

Yinka Shonibare- Textile artist.
My Thoughts

Really pleased I have been able to move away from pictorial representation but still able to convey a sense of place. I would like to build on the works I have created over the past 16 months with this new confidence. I am much more aware of what is required from me as a student and I must remeber to question certain directions so to gain more breadth of possibilities. Moving forward I would like to set up a Web site and Facebook page so to become more connected online, not just with other students but with a wider audience. I would like to exhibit some work but I don’t have enough commercial pieces yet so it would have to be a collaborative show. This stage of my art education and past retail management skills are sliding together like tectonic plates, I normally try to keep the two areas apart because I become overly influenced by the audience. 

Research- Anselm Kiefer (1945-)

HEAVY CLOUD by Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945)
Lead and shellac on photograph, mounted on board
Dimensions: 23 3/8 x 34 1/2 in. (59.4 x 87.6 cm)
Classification: Drawings

The above image (as a link) is how Kiefer illustrates a message of contamination; the lead cloud is dripping shellac which drips down onto earth.  Heavy Cloud is transcribing the scientific process of heavy water which is created with heavy Hydrogen which enables neutrons to split uranium in a process of nuclear fission. In nuclear reactors, the splitting of uranium heats fuel, which can be used to produce electricity. Kiefer has questioned that even though lead is used “to seal radiation, as an envelope for this very dangerous stuff,” the possibility is; there is a risk of a radiation leak.

From My research I have found that Kiefer uses numerous materials or matter in his work and I wanted to know why?

Kiefer treats photography the same as non painterly materials such as straw, earth; lead ect. They are all redeemed as matter for the construction of his paintings or drawings like ‘Heavy Cloud’. My thoughts on this is; how do we classify work as photographs, paintings, drawings, collage, sculptures, ect?

Much of the writings are differentiating between Kiefer and Gerhard Richter as the two artists played a major role depicted the banished (therefore historical repression), the atrocities of a fascist regime associated with German History. Richter style and technique documents the mediation of dissociation from the horrors of the past and re-associate within another time with photographs, found media with regards to his ongoing work ‘Atlas’

Richter presents the past in a neat categorized package as seen with the work ‘Atlas’, he is representing historical experience and constructing conceptions of historical memory. If we see a subject/object in the form of a photograph, generally we believe it actually happened or was captured so was real, but also knowing it could have been taken out of its context, so there is a feeling of sceptic certainty.

Kiefer work is German Expressionism, its his own historical representation painted. Therefore the capacity of the medium of paint is being questioned, Can it really represent historical experience?

‘October 1977’ by Richter consists of 15 oil paintings taken from newspapers that reported on the suspected suicides of contained (by German state police) members of the red army fraction; A left wing terrorist group condemned for kidnapping and killing during the 1970’s.  These paintings are blurred, dark and haunting, they are expressive but have a documentary context. My thoughts are that the two mediums can coexist as forms to represent historical experiences. ‘The Death of the Author’ by Roland Barthes comes to mind when writing about perceptions.

“…the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author” Barthes p.148.

All experiences are our own, to converse these experiences, then someone may be experiencing them passively , but they will never experienced what the self experienced. What ever form of expression is needed to create expression, for it to be successful , you need viewers, readers and generally someone else.  The authenticity of auratic originality or an object, or as a craft that generates a unique aesthetic experience that is in the form of Painting, is never questioned by Kiefer.

To understand the above works, the events of the past need to be acknowledged; German art in 1988 was a project of dismantling postwar historical repression. In the 1960’s , the differences culminated between the work of Richter and Kiefer. At this time, Nouveau realism and pop art were popular artistic practices and Richter wanted to place German painting somewhere in relation to these movements. Kiefer seems to denounce this affiliation and could be considered ‘anti-modernism’. Renationalise and re-regionalize culture production was another avenue taken at the time as the culture was subjected to the ideology of inherited destruction so to divert away from the historical atrocities associated with their race.

“…by the critique of the very idea that a model of national identity could be articulated by cultural production- that Richter and Kiefer can be situated”. Foster .P.613.

The two artists were considered mediators of Germans cultural progression. Kiefer addressed the legacy of German Nazi fascism and Richter incorporates events of German political life recent past as in the series of works- October 1977.


Art work accessed on 12/08/2017 The Met.

Art since 1900. Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-alan Bois and Benjamin H.D. Buchloh. Thames and Hudson Ltd publishing. London 2004

Image music text. By Roland Barthes. Published by Fountain press London. 1977

Link accessed on 12/8/2017. MOMA with reference to the art works mentioned by Richter; Atlas and October 1977.





Evaluation of Assignment 5 works

Write an evaluation of your series of paintings and of the progress that you feel you have made as a painter. Draw attention to the parts of the course that have furnished you with the most creative resources and explain why this is.


My series of paintings are of a development of a landscape which was first painted for assignment 4. The development of this landscape is how it becomes progressively more abstract. My first initial plan, was not how the work progressed; I first planed to take one  composition and focus on areas of that composition with dedicated supports. For example, the park bench that is covered in moss , graffiti and expresses intricate textures was going to have a support suggesting these textural features. What I did do was take my Tutors advice; “…think about a sense of self-discovery to investigate what paint can do.” This Part of the course ‘ The practice of painting’ is called; Personal development and I certainly feel that I have developed along side my Painting Practice. The series of works that have been sent to my tutor are nothing like what I initially planed, these works have progressed with referring to my tutors comments above and researching the Objective Abstraction group. I did work with the paint and a surface, but the plan of depicting certain subjects was deconstructed with the use of paint handling techniques. Removing myself away from the paint brush was revolutionary as exercised in the project ‘ Different ways of applying paint’. The other key factor was the project; ‘working towards abstraction’ because this delivered me to the National Geographic magazines, where most photographs are taken from a satellite  position therefore they describe an abstract world.

The National Geographic magazines are a fantastic resource for me as the paper quality is so glossy that when you wipe it with cleaning products it has the same qualities as paint brush work. Why was this important to the creative process? The connection is the glossy photographic modern machine made medium placed within the same context of my creative space. This resonates with me, as the actual wiping away modernity and then placing that deconstruction within the context of my expression. I have taken the magazine pages, stuck them where I wanted to as a means to express a sense of a landscape. I then cleaned the glossy ink away where I wanted to blur the images and then I dropped paint down onto the same surface and watched it spread out, infiltrating the areas of collage. I interfered with the spontaneous paint spreading by moving the surface, I also removed and carved into the paint by scrapping it with a comb or a pine-cone taken from the actual landscape. Finally I borrowed from the artists I had researched through out this part of the course; Anselm Kiefer (1945-) , Sam Francis (1923-1994) and Frank Stella(1936-) I have already noted why and how these artist have influenced my direction of work in this past blog; Assignment 5 work in progress 

I don’t feel this creative progress has come to an end, I am still experimenting with other works that I have not sent to my tutor. I have been recently burning holes in past painted canvases which is something I talked about doing after I received a disappointing result on another course here;Assignment 5; Final painting.. I found the marks left behind on the canvas was an image of danger and was fascinated how the paint shrivelled up in the heat. The holes that were left by the fire needed treatment, so I attached a magazine page taken from the resourceful ‘National geographic’ and stitched over it. My technique has become progressive, just like my painting practice, finally the two have made a connection.

Collage, Enamel paint, burnt canvas and embroidery thread. (some of the enamel paint has been pealed off from the drip tray and then the reversed side has been stuck onto the canvas- top left hand corner and orange sauce mark in middle)

Enamel paint on fabric with embroidery hoop then stuffed. (PS. The hoop is not framing the painting but finishing the painting, adding the final touches as the Embroidery hoop is not the frame , it is an element of the painting. The circular, puffed out fabric suggests the painting as subject)




Enamel paint with Aliphatic Resin


Melting wax crayons with taper onto cake stand that’s had filler applied.


Demonstration of Technical and visual skills-

I worked larger and with more fluidity suggesting a gestural semi Abstract illusion which demonstrates ownership of the medium ( Enamel paint), texture, and colours which are used to explain depth of perception. The layered colours suggest a sense of place under the tree; a focal point and area of engagement.

Quality of outcome-

The progression towards the final painting was a formula of trying out different ways of working with paint (4 studies) and then reflecting on the outcome before preparing to work on another painting. I had to analyse the outcome of the painting process and select what direction to take next each time. My judgement was based upon my contextual research of other artists. By understanding their work I am able to understand my own work, I am now at a stage in my learning process where I can be guided and not over influenced by my research.

Demonstration of creativity-

I have added other matter to paint from assignment 2 onwards and have painted on untraditional surfaces such as carpet and fabrics so I have gained more confidence using this as a technique to add interest to the overall image. I feel this shows invention and independent judgement. I have challenged the ideals of painting being just about paint. Is the ‘creative arts’ more creative than the ‘fine arts’? I am more intrigued with paint and other context/matter than I was at the beginning of the course.  I have taken notice of my tutors comments; to take experimental exercises from my workbook and reference these expressions in the assignment work. My research and breadth of reference have encouraged risks to be taken and I have persevered with this technique as a way to move forward and improve.


I recently asked some questions on the OCA forum about this particular subject. The responders  were very helpful and some were frustrating because they had misinterpreted the question (on hindsight the critical response was helpful in another area). I had also watched a university website video about critical analysis which correlated well with this subject. The student in the video was explaining how some students think that a critical review should not be to critical, but the student questioned this idea; If the reviewer is engaged enough to give sound critical analysis then this should be heard and responded to.

All interaction is good as long as its helps the person to move forward. I find I struggle with this, hence why I asked for help on the forum; which on its own accord was a process of discovering more. I have a tendency to take comments personally, I am emotional naive. Its  easy to ask certain people advice when you have pre-empt the anticipated positive response. I will mature as a student when I methodicaly put into motion the  process of dissociating my emotions and re-associating myself with the work.


Objective Abstraction link, Cited on 20.9.2017

Assignment 5 personnel blog posts referred to-