Author Archives: Melinda W

About Melinda W

Working towards a Degree in Fine Art, lives in Kent.

New Blog, 2018

If you would like to follow me along my learning journey, my next blog is –

Thanks for your  interest.



Exhibition; Local Artist.

Karen and Ian Record are a couple exhibiting at the Pie Factory in Margate in August, which was from a years work while living on a ship. Karen paintings are described online- ‘…oil pieces she uses a mixture of paint, oil mediums, turpentine and of course gravity to encourage movement of the paint to produce some beautiful effects. The layers and colours result in abstract work, organic in nature’

I felt the paintings were similar to the way I had started working with Enamel paints, often leaving the paints to bump into one another and watch , often mesmerised by the sloth like movement. I found her colours were far to intense and the spattering and droplets of paint pastiche. I was more interested in the harmonious paintings that looked like they were covered in moss, so the texture of the surface was something I wanted to look at more, this caught and captured my eye.

I view galleries as much as possible and don’t always share thoughts on my blog as I don’t think its relevant to write up everything, just the appropriate reflections or thoughts that relate to my studies.

My thoughts on this show was that it was very vibrant and the contrast with the reinnervated marine iron as sculptures was intriguing. It was a explanation of themselves, opposites attracted; the fluidity, brightness and delicate handling of  paint and the use of  hard, brutal, dirty metal;  the iron sculptures. I and others enjoyed the juxtaposition and I hope they sold some work but I did come away thinking that working solely with Enamel paint is to hollow, it needs more substance. Paint and Gravity is just not enough to entice me.

Submission with Links to Blog.

My 2017 Submission for Painting1; the practice of painting, consists of eight A1 boards.

Board 1– Assignment One. Oil paint.

Encouraged by the work of Andy Warhol with reference to ‘after party‘, I choose to paint these objects because they are my tools, my lifestyle is intrinsic with the OCA as either studying for this course or the ‘understanding visual culture’ course so I’m either painting or reading about visual culture – this is my depiction on an ideal dinner party.>

Board 2. Oil paint and Phone book paper.  ‘Head and Shoulder’ exercise. [Part 3; Portraits and figures.]

I refer to Lucian Freud, Night Portrait [1978] to support this study of the techniques used when painting the colours and tones of flesh.

Board 3. Two Oil paintings, one of a narrative and the other from an exercise; ‘Painting from a photo’. [Part 4; looking out]

…I didn’t like the sky in this photo so I painted sky taken from another photo, which is far more angry and turbulent. This would of course change the coloring of the rocks, but this is the beauty of painting which is; I can interpret the image how I want. The painting is of sun warming the rock face and an angry sky brewing above, looking out towards a magical purple sea line. Both paintings were exhibited with the help of ‘Friends of Ellington Park’ in a show called ‘Between the saint and the Sea’.

 My evaluation of the above paintings explains my intention of suggesting a variety of genres with a dullness of colour but fullness of light. The colourings suggest a ghostly, haunting visual language which is associated with the past tense or events that were staged but captured on film and then depicted in the medium of paint. The concept is how photography is used as a process of capturing moments and then suggesting this with another medium such as paint, how this form of medium can affect the perception and change of interpretation.

Board 4, Assignment 3, Part 3; Portrait and Figures. Oil Paint on Carpet, with wool and thread. 

The Enamel Paint has been scraped off a surface and the reverse side has been used as collage. A similar Technique was used by Gerhard Righter when painting Enamel paint on Glass therefore seeing the painting from both sides. Sinbad [2008] alludes to the book of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ is a series of works which are viewed behind glass that are often referred to; ‘Cathedral Window’ [2007] . This series relates to a notion of chance and abstraction.

The use of carpet was influenced by Samara Scott whom explores the fusing of natural and artificial, the plasticity and the organic; it’s a message about contemporary consumers.

Board 5. Assignment 4. Part 4, Looking out.

Oil Paint with Resin, Straw, Sand and Pine needles.

Strongly influenced by the intensity of summer light and an ongoing fascination with Van Gogh, I wanted to depict Nethercourt Park from my perspective. Where ever you sit at Nethercourt, it will be under a tree. The canopies are very spread out so the indication of the tree foliage was instrumental. After trial and error, I found pine needles were the ideal element to utilize and the effect resembles a bird’s nest. Many things can be associated with birds’ nests for example the Beijing National Stadium was nick named ‘birds nest’ due to its twisting steel section that forms its roof, but also Chinese culture regards ‘Birds Nest soup’ as a delicacy and is expensive. The saying ‘as free as a bird’ is contradictory when considering the labour surrounding the creation and maintaining the Nest and its contents. I feel this metaphor is harmonious with being a student as I have the freedom to create but the process of nurturing this learning journey is never easy.

Board 6. Assignment 5.Part 5.Personal Development, A series of paintings on a theme.

Oil and Enamel Paint, Transferred images from National Geographic. Straw, Grasses & Resin. The Larger painting balances a combination of elements such as texture, marks and colour alongside the subject of the tree. This semi–abstracted subject gives a sense of scene and self-discovery.

Board 7. Assignment 5 developed.

Enamel Paint, Straw, and Pepper, wool, thread and fabric which has been burnt. Influenced by my study visit, to the Robert Rauschenberg Exhibition [Tate 2017] and other Artists that work with various materials such as Yinka Shonibare, Phyllida Barlow and Michael Armitage who paints on lubugo bark cloth. I am progressing with my practice and revisited paintings and combining other materials and techniques so to consider possibilities. Some of the thread work resembles a spider web, which is a rich metaphor with a long and ongoing life. Each new painting is like spinning another Web, the knowledge taken from past experiences enables the process to evolve into something much stronger.

Board 8- Written evaluation, submission layout instructions.

My overall evaluation of these paintings is how I am expressing a development of working with other materials, investigating an intensity of light/ luminosity and my experimentation with different painting techniques. My intentions are to move away from a pictorial notion and follow my strengths which are a more fluid and colourful. I enjoy weaving mediums together and my painting has become an element of an autonomous process. The reason why I am progressing towards combining mediums is because I am questioning the value of paint as a pure element. I perceive it as being limited and dull but when interconnecting /introducing foreign elements the image is far more diverse and engaging. The reason I am interested with diversity is that my ideology knowledges the problems with hierarchy within society. Respect all materials, colours and consider empathy infinitely.  

A2 Portfolio.

Contains 15 studies that connect and refer to works submitted plus two workbooks.

Submission; Written work supporting Practical submission.

How I have Grown as an Artist.


Enamel Paint, Wool and String on canvas. 2017

The works that I have chosen to display, explain my progression while working though the course work of ‘The practice of painting’. The first 3 boards explain my struggle with formalism, the restrictions of the course work and how the exercises are a process of directing the student towards a development of ideas through using a variety of techniques, researching contextual material in the form of a range of media. I was not able to connect with these projects. My flaw was that when I came to start work on the assignment, I started the whole process of developing an idea, I did not move forward with the ideas I had already touched on in practice during the projects. This is an indication of my inability, my stubbornness to conform to the structures of the course work.  I realised a need to be more fluid in developing my own ideas as I became more confident in analysing my creative process.

I wish I had been more self-authoritative, confident and rebellious and followed my own way of developing ideas earlier on, But by obeying and conforming to the coursework, I learnt that this way of working and learning suffocated me. I wish I had used the course work as guidance and not been so controlled by it.

My new tutor (whom was assigned during part 4 of the course) delivered me to the conclusion of using the exercises as a suggestion not a compulsory expectation. I was able to adjust and work autonomously, so I decided to exploit this change of direction within the submission as this a clear indication of the process of growing as an artist. Boards 1, 2 and 3 are very controlled and the colours used are restricted. Boards 4, 5, 6 and 7, explain a direction towards a fluid and colourful expression with combining other materials and a range of techniques researched from a variety of Artists and Sources.

The reason why I have selected these submitted paintings is to visually communicate the different ‘ways of working’. This could be to, relay on the course work to deliver an idea to develop, or take the course work as a helping hand, a starting point, a suggestion towards an idea and taking ownership of exploring a notion of chance. Anni Albers [1899-1994] is to have a major show at the Tate Modern in 2018; she is perhaps the best known textile artist of the 20th century. ‘…a free way of approaching a material seems worth keeping in mind as far as the work of beginners is concerned. Courage is an important factor in any creative effort. It can be most active when knowledge in too early a stage does not narrow the vision’. (Pomery, 2017) Her Husband Josef Albers [a founder of the Bauhaus] was a painting instructor to Robert Rauschenberg while teaching at Black Mountain College in 1948. Albers preliminary courses enforced strict discipline that encouraged students to follow ‘hands-on experimentation’ (Gottesman, 2017). This apparently influenced Robert Rauschenberg and fifteen years later admitted, (Kimmelman, 2008)“I’m still learning what he taught me.” In my final tutors report (Winter, 2017), she suggested that I should question the reasons why I am drawn to certain Artists and question myself so to show control and appropriate justification, even if I don’t know the answer. I question – How unintentional are these interconnecting artists/ sources, which have encouraged my own progression towards combining mediums? Were they intentional, was my viewing censored and was I directed towards linking these sources due to the spectacle available to me at the time?


Gottesman, S., 2017. How to Be an Artist, According to Josef Albers.. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed Friday September 2017].

Kimmelman, M., 2008. Robert Rauschenberg, Titan of American art, dies at 82. New York Times.

Pobric, P., 2017. Show set to let textile artist and printmaker Anni Albers shine. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed Friday April 2017].

Pomery, V., 2017. Preface. In: K. Wright, ed. Entangled, Threads and Making. Margate: Turner Contemporary, p. 5.

Winter, M., 2017. Tutor report reflection P5,L1,POP. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed Thursday September 2017].

Overall course analysis. Pop

Ramsgate Carnival 2017.

This was an event that was entered by the Ramsgate Arts Group and was an opportunity for me to get involved in a sociable art project. Since March we have been dedicated to attending 2 hour workshops every Thursday and creating props for the Ramsgate Carnival and the Ramsgate Arts festival, both very busy summer events for the local community.

I have mentioned this before in a post called Art Residential project. The reason I’m revisiting this experience is of something that I noticed when writing my written statement and overall evaluation for submission. I questioned the reason why I had started using other material in my work, other than the sources gain from visiting exhibitions such as

  • Robert Rauschenberg,
  • Phyllida Barlow,
  • Michael Armitage
  • the amazing; Entangled  (Threads and Making).

The process of creating props for the festival was a progression or a way of escaping from the course work I was committed to as an art student. Working with Willow and paper pulp, all environmentally friendly products was so different from working with paint and charcoal. The same elements applied with regards to planning the outcome and pre thinking any challenges I would have to deal with along the way and pre-empting how to overcome these restrictions such as lack of materials, prop being movable, weight of prop and storage space. Working as a collaborator was very beneficial and I was lucky to learn with others and gain information from very experienced Rio Carnival organizers.

At the time I saw the activity as a way out/to get away from my studies, but on reflection I now understand that this work encourage development within my own work. The props I worked on were built up over time, they became characterful and we ended up giving them names. My favourite Prop or puppet is a willow entwined, ribbon covered fish. The theme was ’dream marine’ so a floaty colourful fish with foam lips and Christmas bulbuls was appropriate I felt. When the day came to take the props, (or our creations) out to be paraded, showing it off to thousands of people that lined the procession, while dancing to a cacophony of music, I was a fantastically rewarded by realising how committed I am to my work.

This free social work shop called ‘Carnival club’ has had a tremendous impact on the development of my work and will encourage me to understand my work as becoming more anthropomorphic, especially the time consuming techniques I have implemented recently. I am not a believer in ‘working smarter not harder’ mostly due to the way I learn to deal with how my brain works. I don’t learn subjects like most people, some like to call Dyslexia a learning disability but I consider this negative labelling and I don’t have a disability; I just perceive and work differently to most. I do have to work harder, reflection is extremely important and allowing the time for ideas to be nurtured is a luxury that I have at the moment. Karl Marx is considered one of the greatest thinkers and he wrote  that workers need ‘to see themselves in the objects they have created’. This relationship with ourselves and our work is hardly comprehensible today and was one of the issues discussed at the above mentioned workshop; being paid to be creative can cause resentment towards the practice of work. Years of capitalism has had a detrimentally effect on the environment, has breed a culture of ‘always wanting more’ which has caused contempt and distrust towards each other and ourselves. My work is a self-healing process of turning my back on capitalism (by leaving work to become a student) and by learning to analysis my work via learning from other sources, I have been able to connect links with the development of my practice and now notice myself in the works I am creating.


Great Thinkers by The School of Life and Published by the School of Life in London 2016.

Ramsgate Arts-

Exhibition; Everyday is a new Day.

May-September 2017 Turner Contemporary Margate

Phyllida Barlow and Michael Armitage alongside the MASK prize.

This exhibition is part of the ‘Art inspiring change’ project, where Margate primary school children have been working on injecting art to neglected parts of the town. The statement is of how important creativity is and how it can empower us to make a positive change. Central Margate is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, so encouraging children within this project should set up the foundations for positive change to carry on into adulthood.

Phyllida Barlow is currently representing Britain at the Venice biennale (2017). She makes large sculptures from everyday materials which are painted, texturised and cantilevered into positions of leaning into space.

Michael Armitage works make up a collection called Peace Coma. All the work was painted on Lubugo bark cloth and a video explains the laborious task of adapting this material ready for painting  or its traditional purpose of wrapping it around the dead ready for burial. His work is a powerful reminder of the political and cultural attitudes in Kenya society and constructs his work using western art history. For example ‘The Balcony’ , 2013 (private collection) is a reimagined Manet ‘The Balcony’ (1868) which  represents the cultural spirit of Modernity in Paris. Armitage work shows, not a fashionable middle class Flaneur but a lone Nairobi, lost in a world surrounded by advertisements; one being for M-PESA, a pioneered technology in Kenya to enable customers to make money transfers by phone. This work correlates with Phyllida Barlow ‘Towers of strength’ which is her rendition of a Balcony today. Where the Flaneur was represented by Gustave Coillebotte as looking out into Paris, The viewer being viewed while viewing is a cycle; of reality and imaginary. The creator of the scene but not creating the scene. Phyllida Barlows work is how the balcony today is just a phantom of a balcony, we see them everywhere in the city but they are no longer used or have been constructed aesthetically in a way so they will not be used, seen but not in use. A hint at a statement about society. Its extremely interesting that the image of a structure such as a balcony can have affiliations with such a variety of ideas.

I first saw the work by Phyllida Barlow at the ‘Entangled exhibition’ called ; untitled brockenshelf2015, 2015 made from timber, plywood, steel , fabric, PVAs, cement, tape, plaster , 120x300x110 cm. At first I was taken by the size and how far the messy colourful protruded into the room , almost like it shouldn’t have been there because it did look like something found in the bin after a carnival. I looked at this curiously , and if this was shown along side her other works such as untitled: holder 2014, it would have looked less bulky and roughly constructed and more playful. It was displayed next to the absolutely delicate floating works of Christiane Lohr. The contrast was very vivid and the reason was exhibiting the range of works created by women.

Barlow has always drawn and enjoys the freedom of Marks on the page, she has always worked these along side her sculptures but she tends to reuse her sculptures but her drawings date back to the 1960’s. In the exhibition you are able to see her progression through her drawings.

Barlow explains her progression of her later works;

…”trying to enjoy a lack of resolution, to enjoy a kind of sculptural sensibility”, and “just enjoying the quality of the paint, and moving it around on the paper”. (Exhibition notes)

References all cited on the 27th of 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.