Category Archives: Assingment 5

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.

Notes-

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)

 

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Enamel paint with Aliphatic Resin

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

Evaluation-

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.

Context-

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.

Reference-

Objective Abstraction link, Cited on 20.9.2017 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/o/objective-abstraction

Assignment 5 personnel blog posts referred to- https://melindawpainting1.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/assignment-5-final-painting/

https://melindawpainting1.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/assignment-5-work-in-progress/

 

 

 

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Assignment 5; Final painting.

I knew I would find this a difficult painting because the expectations were highly anticipated and I wanted to achieve so much. I wanted to adopt some of the experiments found in my workbook and due to the assignment being large (A1) it took time and space, But it could have been twice the size. I think I may redo it but on two A1 boards.

At the moment I am feeling very deflated by the results I received from my last assessment  (understanding visual culture) so the challenge is to keep the pressure on and get this work sent before I take it all into the garden and burn it! Emotions are running high.

The reason I had high expectations was because the other paintings before were indicating a direction towards expressive abstraction with the help of some technical processors such as flattering the composition by focusing on shapes and not perspectives and working with the medium of paint and not using the paint to resemble a subject or composition. I feel that I could keep adding to this final painting and it would just absorb it without adding value. So I have decided to send it to my Tutor and give myself some space away from it. Again my work has become a fetish, where I seek a materialistic desire for the object which is the changeable and newness that this painting projects to me.

Why Landscape? The context is due to previous work painting in part 4 of this course. The artist that have influenced me are all Landscape artists such as Anselm Kiefer with ‘Song of Wayland’, David Hockney and Thomas Gainsborough with Mr and Mrs Andrews. Although I have no narrative relating to characters, I do have the drama of colour.

Torgesen Murdock’s work found in ‘100 ways to paint seascapes, rivers and lakes’.p. 28 was intriguing to me because;

  • use of colour to create light and drama.
  • Painting of trees in a highly contrast colour range, Colour palette was Cadmium yellow, Yellow Ochre , Burnt Sienna, Phthalo Blue, Cerulean Blue, Viridian, Alizarin Crimson and Mars Black.
  • ‘Shape hunting’ is used to describe the artist design strategy where s/he looks for interesting shapes and how they will place them for full impact.
  • suggests using a ‘mother colour’ to help aid colour harmony through out the overall painting. In this particular painting (Moonlight) the artist used Burnt sienna and Yellow Ochre.

I have been told not to use black by tutors and I have not, but my colour tones do get very dark. I have worked up the texture for this painting using the following;

Collage, pva, shaving foam, sand,  pepper, Grass and thickened acrylic paint.

First I laid out the national geographic clippings onto the A1 board and then stuck them on with thick PVA so this would give the sheets a bumpy effect. I then cleaned the clippings with an American cleaning fluid which takes the ink and blends it or washes it completely away depending on pressure and how much fluid I use. I then carried out the paint pot drop technique which is noticeable in my previous paintings. The marbling of the colours were only used in areas of shapes such as the trees and shadows (SHAPE HUNTINGS). I then painted with Oils the areas that were still white. Added more texture, took some away and paint dropped more and then combed in some marks then washed some away. I wanted to create contrast and drama with the use of colour and the use of ‘chance’ created by the drips from the paint pot drops technique. Texture was very important which is why I think I could add more texture but not sure it would add any value. I enjoy the contrast between flat areas and areas of texture. I also enjoy the bold contrasting colours of Naples yellow and white adjacent to the  Viridian tree trunk. I have given this Painting 2 coats of varnish , some is household varnish so has a tarnished tone to it.

Why? The reason I like highly contrasting colours is that it shows light and light is intensity , it helps to explain forms, the time of day and I much prefer light than darkness. Dull paintings or muted tones are still intriguing and dictate mood but I associate these with traditional work and not contemporary works. I wanted my work to become more shiny after reflecting on past work . This shiny effect of the Enamel paints and the varnishing, directs the viewer to see the painting as more manufactured and less hand-painted. Society is attracted to newness and sparkly, glamorous things as its part of our conditioned capitalist ideology. To put this theory into context I would accommodate the affection towards shiny surfaces like the attraction given to newly released films; I and most popular cultures would prefer to watch Wonder-woman 2017 than my childhood favourite of 1975; TV series Wonder-women starring Lynde Carter .So to conclude, Light and Contrast = Intensity, Drama and a clear definition between light and dark zones. It is not about being associated with grey areas, confusion or dull. I feel its associated with clinging onto youthfulness but is earnest and serious.

Some questions I need to think about for my next post; evaluating my series of paintings, referring to the following Assessment criteria;

  • Development of visual and technical skills, design and composition.
  • Competent realisation of ideas , presented well and showing judgement.
  • Development of Analytical and creativity thinking. Showing independent judgements and presenting some indication of develop a personal voice.
  • Awareness of a breadth of contexts and debates supporting your growing personal and professional knowledge and understanding.
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Final Painting

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work area with images and pine cones from the park

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work in progress

References

100 ways to paint seascapes, Rivers and Lakes . Volume 1 International artist publishing Nevada. USA. 2004.

Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford 2005.

The Art Book by Phaidon Press Limited . London 1994.

Imbd link accessed on the 8th of August 2017;

IMDb: Wonder Woman (1 June 2017 (UK))

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/?ref_=ext_shr_eml_tt (2017 FILM)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074074/?ref_=nv_sr_4 (1975-79 TV series)

 

 

 

Assignment 5 update

To be honest, I have got Lost in my work. I have been working with how different colours and types of enamel paint (work together or not work together) flow together, how fast they move along different surfaces and the quantity of paint needed to get a formation of paint that is dripable. The process has been very technical and absorbing, I have had to work in depth with a new medium in a dense space of time. Luckily the paint can dry much faster than Oil paint. This has caused variations in perception as the paint tends to crack if not enough oil mixed or to much oil . This cracked surface is interesting in itself so trying to recreate this again has been difficult. The variables and uncontrollably associated with using Enamel paint enforce a culture of accepting the inevitable, tolerating the accidents or as Pollock (1912-1956) said in his interview with William Wright in 1950.” …with experience-it seems to be possible to control the flow of the paint, to a great extent, and I don’t use – I don’t use the accident- cause I deny the accident.” Harrison and Wood. pg 585.

“Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement”POLLOCK p.586

The statement that I am making with this new found technique is of ‘letting go’ and ‘being free’ to work with the paint. In my earlier work I can see my battles with ;being restricted to paint a representation of nature, my environment as a subject and  following the classical tradition of obligation to the standards of painting. My statement is not about expressing my feelings in the form of Enamel Paint. I used my experience of the familiar surroundings of the Park to decided on what colours to pour onto the canvas as a way of transcribing the composition of the park. My technique is deconstructing previous paintings ( the more traditional compositions) of the park to simplified shapes of trees, lumps of park land and distant perspectives. I then decided what colours to add together and how much paint to use of each colour before poring it onto the canvas. Then I would wait to see the paints marble around each other and decide to move the canvas so to affect the marbling of the paint to allow more patterns to appear or start moving it directly with a cotton wool bud stick and dragging the paint to where I wanted it to go.

Before I worked on a canvas I did tester panel’s, These have been a fantastic resource and I return to them frequently when mixing the enamel paints. These panels also have other things stuck to the surface to analysis the reaction the paint has with textured grounds.

I had spent a few weeks mixing paint and experimenting with different grounds such as shaving foam, Grass, pva and sand, but felt I needed to focus on the completion of the immediate assignment. I stopped working with paint and started reading and taking notes which was a reinforcement of the experience of my practice. From my readings of Clement Greenberg(1909-1994), and Harold Rosenberg(1906-1978) I have realised the following;

  • The American action painters correlated with American politics at the time. The power granted to American after the 2 world wars was knowledgable world wide. The connotation value the Americans exchanged was ‘larger than life’, bold and liberalising. Similar values to the Abstract movement where artists were liberated  and free from traditional aesthetic values.
  • This Post war condition became a culture. Avant-gardism was about ideas, a subject matter, not content and not just creating vessels of communication.  Greenberg writes that Courbet is called the first avant-gardian  and Manet is responsible for the spectators attention given to the problems of the medium ; paint.
  • The concept of the arts intertwined with one another; for example the Impressionist suggested their images were like listening to Romantic music. Greenberg asks…, “Since art was the only validity left, what better subject was there for each art than the procedures and effects of some other art?”  The individual and the social. p. 563-568.
  • Music is a sensory experience, it conveys mood, it can be abstract of meaning and pure in form. “But the other arts can be also sensuous if only they will look to music, not to ape its effects but to borrow its principles as a ‘pure art’, as an art which is abstract because it is almost nothing else except sensuous.” Green berg p.565. The word ‘Ape’ is relating to others words , such as mimic, copy, impersonating.
  • The status of ‘pure art’ is a confusion as to prove purity we direct ourselves towards something primitive, childish and something less detailed. This is a process of differentiating and a way of becoming objective or taking sides. Greenberg wrote…”To prove that their concept of purity is something more than a bias in taste, painters point to Oriental, Primitive and children’s art as instances of the universality and naturalness and objectivity of their ideal of purity…” p.566 Picasso has a well known quote -‘ every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’
  • The impact of Abstract art is the explanation for its superiority, The historic point where art moved away from traditional naturalisation to form abstract, its conjunction is justified.
  • Pollock says in his interview p.583 that…”My opinion is that new needs need new techniques, and the modern artist have found new ways and new means of making their statements.” he later adds that modern day artist are living in an age of mechanical reproductions where nature can be captured by cameras, so the new work is about expressing an inner world, energy and the motion of other forces. The classic artist represented the world around them. The Modern artist is representing the effects of the world around them. The visual language it the same, the medium and technique has changed, But they were both expressing themselves.
  • Pollock works directly, no preliminary drawings, drawing is a direct practice.
  • A point made by Greenberg ;about abstract work within a square frame has a tendency to be seen more abstract as its not a realistic shape, interested me as much of my assignments were painted on square formats. On reflection I wonder if I knew subconsciously that I was working towards abstraction?

 

  • A final Quote from a book I have been reading about the capitalist markets and the  devastating effect they have on climate change. “In the experience ( the call centre business) of a system that is unresponsive, impersonal, centreless, abstract and fragmentary, you are as close as you can be to confronting the artificial stupidity of capital in itself.” Mark Fisher .p.64. The reason I mentioned this quote is that Greenberg asks in his essay that we have to assimilate abstract art and fight our way through it as to return to representation would be a disaster for painters. The message is that there is no way back (from a capitalist society and from abstract expressionism), we have to move forward into the unknown. This is my statement, Letting go of capitalist reform (work/job for jobs sake) and naturalisation representation in paint (art for arts sake). I have found this painting technique so valuable and I find myself wanting to surround myself with more of these paintings. They have petrified into valuable possessions, they make up for the loss of wealth which comes with being a full time student. 
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Tester Panel

 

References

Capitalist Realism, Is there no alternative? by Mark Fisher. O BOOKS publishing 2009 Hants UK

Art in Theory 1900-2000. An anthology of changing ideas. Edited by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood. Blackwell Publishing 2003. Oxford UK.

 

 

Assignment 5 work in progress

So far I have been looking to the following Artists;

  • Frank Stella. His works show geometric markings, collage and are assembled to the stage of sculptural abstractions. The abstraction is expressed emerging from the surface. Uses  enamel paint and metal surfaces. All of these concepts are ones I would like to practice  more.
  • David Hockney. I have been influenced by Hockney for ever and have looked at his Yorkshire landscapes and how he dividends up his compositions onto panels so the outcome is that it feels life size, you feel part of the surrounding images and the viewer is seeing the landscape through Hockneys eyes.
  • ODILION Reddon. Attracted to the way the paint has been used to depict feeling, emotions and they all look timeless.
  • Anselm Kiefer.   Interested in the way other mediums are used and how this creates an overall style. Post more about this artist here; Research- Anselm Kiefer (1945-)
  • Sam Francis . Empowered by the fluidity of his work, it is very feminine as the work looks like a floral pattern found on a silky blouse. He uses paint that is very diluted so is able to drip and flow. He layers his paints so the colours are more vivid and less murky.

So Far I have been drawing on location and painting in the studio. I have taken a few photos at different times of the day as concentrating on the shadows. I have had a few ideas of how to proceed towards the final 3-5 works developing a theme. I am not set in my ways as I think this assignment will evolve in the process and don’t want to get caught up with a brief that could become constricting of the fundamentals.

The first painting is a study, it is a process of applying paint without the use of a brush. I did use a brush to add a ground colour and preparation of the A3 board. I used the following; painting knife, bottle cork, sea sponge, ragged away paint and my favourite tool; cotton wool bud.  I am happy with this composition and will now take sections of this composition, such as the playground and paint a close up of this section. A park bench is planned so far to have a canvass dedicated to it,  where it will be textural and abstract.

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Study for Assignment 5.

Assignment 4. Landscapes

Assignment 4 studies.

Review all your paintings and sketches and assess which have been the most engaging and why?

The hard and soft landscape that i painted in oil on an a4 size box canvas was a good study for me as I was able to focus on the dull colours depicted in the view out my back window. The linear study was particular engaging as I feel drawn into the composition and again the colours were an opportunity to change the colour pallet because the light was at full strength that day, and the reflection from the light on the water has an over all effect on the surroundings, for example the grass cliff was much more Naples yellow than burnt sienna. Both these paintings feel more successful than the others because they are smaller and feel more intimate to me due to the views being something I see every day. The comfort is taken by the familiarity of the composition and the feeling that I have been able to depict some resemblance.

This assignment is on about enlarging a study and working partly in location.

Detailed assessment of the finished painting;

The elements that have special appeal to me is contrasting light, the drama of shadows. After reviewing all my landscapes I noticed the same sky pushing down upon the composition. This might be that by the sea we tend to have moist air, low clouds or just a lack of sun at this time of year (April-May). I liked the idea of describing a scene that the viewer felt within, not standing on the hillside looking down but more standing under a tree looking out. This would then take away the damping sky line that I noticed in my previous exercises.

The techniques that i used were to express drama and warmth. When researching the German expressionist, I found a painting by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) called ‘Avenue at Schloss Kammer’ and this inspired the composition where the tree tops departed from the canvas and no sky line was needed to explain liner perspective. I also looked to Van Gogh and his work completed in the gardens and surrounding area while a patient at Saint Paul De Mausole asylum in Saint Remy. ‘ Undergrowth’ 1889 has blues , greens with black and yellow dancing around together. The composition I was working with needed some brush strokes to show the dense foliage of the sunny park with its lumpy hill side.

First of all I did a drawing at the park of the tonal values and then came home to draw the simplistic shapes of the composition. I had taken some photos of the trees in the park and the overall landscape. The second time I visited the shadows had gone for the day, but I picked some leaves. I wanted to study the colours that I intended to use so I did a quick oil pastel drawing and then stared on a oil painting ; both A2 size. The oil painting had good value of wash where I started with violet foreground and cadmium red mid ground with a primary yellow as the back ground/ tree foliage. These 2 studies were successful as I was able to enlarge the image, trail colour studies and practice the brush strokes size and direction.

Assignment 4 progress

In the images above I worked on an A1 size board covered with canvas and painted in with yellow acrylic and stuck on some straw and mixed some beach sand into the glue. I sat the board up so the glue would run down to suggest the trunk of the tree. Unfortunately the yellow ground all over did me no favours with the violet ground or the blue shadows. I should have painting the ground into sections like I did with the study. The green foliage was where I painted the straw with sap green acrylic and was difficult to do as, not just the top of the straw but where it leaves the surface and leaves a gap between the straw and the canvas, all needed  coverage of paint.  I worked in stages;

  1. light wash to link the shadows together but the light as individual shapes.
  2. validate the values of the shadows , work more tones into the composition.
  3. Work with the lightest areas with white and various yellows such as lemon yellow, primary, cadmium.
  4. I found that the straw was dominating the painting and pulled some away from the board. This left texture and more light was able to balance the interest of contrasting light.
  5. Details of size of brush strokes, diluting of white oil so a wash over the light shapes and layering more paint such as the flesh tint within the tree branches but also repeating that colour in the shadows connected the painting together.

 

I am pleased so far with the outcome, Its different to the paintings that I engaged with during part 4. Its full of colour and heat. The straw was experimental and I enjoy being able to challenge myself with working with other materials like painting on carpet for assignment 3. This course allows me to push my boundaries with the assignments, where I find the exercises restrict or focus on certain outcomes.