Wednesday, 27 February 2013
I am in a rich creative vein at the moment, and have painted these experimental pictures, as well as a couple of abstract textured pieces, and have even made several glass pieces in workshop. I will post images of those very soon - I am very excited about how they've turned out, and can't wait to try and combine them with my copper forming work....
I am trying to take advantage of this good streak, as I know it will wane - but my head is spinning, with all the possible directions I can go in. There a few things I should be following up on, I just need to calm down and see what happens...
Sunday, 24 February 2013
One of the things I love about the course (in the Fine Art Group anyway), is how you are given free reign to explore whatever themes and media experimentations you feel inclined towards, as long as you check in with your tutors every now and again
I had been given so many pieces to complete following my tutorial/exam, but instead I went off in my own direction this week. Having made so many waxed paper pieces, I wanted to get into creating heavily textured canvasses on which to paint on, in the spirit of Antoni Tapies, and Anselm Kiefer (my main influences right now). It wasn't what I was meant to be getting on with but what can I say, I get bored easily lol....Anyhow I gathered natural materials from around the house and garden, and incorporated them into my paintwork, and they turned out really well! Here is a snippet of some of the effects I managed to achieve...
I foldformed a long piece of copper into this sinuous form, and included it in the piece
this is a cropped shot from a mixed media piece I am working on which includes waxed papers and a copper foldformed piece
close up views of a purple textured abstract painting
I think passing the exam so well has had a wonderfully positive effect on me this week. I have felt more free to mess around, knowing I don't have to pass another exam for ages now. I had been mulling over whether or not to pursue doing the Fine Art degree (as it seems likely I'll be offered a place as things stand) - there are so many pro's and cons regarding this. Finances are the biggest stumbling block, as well as mental health considerations and conflicting commitments to the shop. Truthfully I only set up theonline shop in between offline shows, and have never really put any proper effort into it since it's inception, I now have less than a full page of items on the front page of the Etsy shop , oh dear. I just seemed to have so many other things going on, but I do feel things are stabilising now, which is what I need more than anything really
I love making jewellery, but it doesn't fulfil my deepest needs for art to work as a therapeutic release for all the rubbish I have had to deal with. The course is teaching me how to channel those energies and turn it into something beautiful, my tutor thinks it's a form of Transcendentalism, turning spiritual decay and darkness into light . It certainly has been a life changing experience, and not just a course - it also helps that I have made the relationships that I have during my time there. You can actually make yourself believe that you are not acceptable or fit for society anymore, especially when jealous, ugly people encourage that negative spiral to take hold
Working in my studio at home over long periods of time has been rather isolating, and internet relationships do not make up for adult human contact really (well not to me). I also wanted to mix with other like minded people, who don't find artistic pursuits to be frivolous. I also had no idea of how good or bad I was - it is hard to know without proper guidance...anyway having mulled everything over I think I am going to do the degree, on a Part time and thus, more affordable basis. The extra time will go into the shop, to try to raise funds to pay for the course. This way I have a community I can feel I belong to, and can thrive there
Inspired by these events I am also thinking about writing a book dealing with Adult Survivors of Child Abuse and the ignorance they face. People really don't seem to realise that even though there is a designated sexual predator in the scenario, there is often also a pathological family set up too. My own experiences of how these other "family" members can knowingly perpetuate abuse cycles and how to overcome them may be of use to others...who knows...it is not something I will repeat mentioning here anyway.It is just something I will do in the future....
Anyway, changing the subject, these textured pieces and experimentations got me thinking about making altered art journals, as something else I can add to my shop. I will be setting up an arts shop as a sister shop to the jewellery one this year we've decided (the hubby and me), so we'll see. Hopefully, I'll get a more stable life of spiritual fulfillment , challenge and growth...and who knows where it all may lead.
Thursday, 14 February 2013
This is more a picture update post showing the latest mixed media experimental work and some digital photomanipulation work I did based on the crystallised hydrangeas (see last post)
I had a brilliant assessment/review with my tutor who has become something of a mentor to me now. I did incredibly well in my exam and received high praise indeed (yay!) . It was a validating experience and really made up for a lot of the soul sapping nastiness I had been through lately. I really do think this is the answer for me spiritually speaking, to continue with my growth and development in art. I will be continuing my jewellery work too, but it is definitely on the backburner. I am even thinking about closing the shop for a while until the end of term...I have had to decline commission requests, so it might be an idea to shut things down until I am ready again. I haven't decided yet...
Anyway things are looking up which is nice to say and feel...
Sunday, 3 February 2013
I thought I'd document how I've gone about producing work following the method of Primary research gathering, then developments from the primary research, to media experiemntations and ultimately to final pieces of work. It's more for myself tbh, to serve as a kind of diary entry. I do have a formal reflective journal that I fill in for the course too, but I thought it'd be fun to document it here too
Primary research - following a trip to the Tate in London, I came across Sir John Everett Millais's Pre Raphaelite masterpiece Ophelia. It is world famous, and had been a favourite of mine, seen in the form of posters on uni students walls....but this was the first time I got to see it in person. It is breathtaking....
There were many reasons I was drawn to it, the theme of Ophelia's descent into madness as described in Shakespeare's Hamlet for one, then the painting itself is a real draw - the dreamy feel, the luminescence and realism of the drowning figure, and the detailed fauna framing the scene. The other thing that struck me was the effect of the ornate dress part submerged in water - the textures were so rich and evocative, and the tinges of gold, silver and pearly blues were of particular interest to me
Media Experimentations and Developments - I became just a little absorbed with the idea of trying to emulate the effect of the layers of clothing submerged under water. I did washes of acrylic paint, combining it with thicker impasto layers, but this didn't have the effect I was after
In the end after trial and error I started experimenting with layers of different types of papers and melting wax to create the translucence I was after. I combined this with fibres of cloth, and random splodges of metallic pigment - finally I ended up with many sample of waxed layered papers, which were thick, strong and reasonably pliant
The first development I wanted to do was to use these collaged waxed papers to create dresses for dancing figures as seen below
I really loved the effect, and had fun experimenting with acrylic paint effects and indian ink to create the backgrounds too. As mentioned while making these waxed papers, I found them to be surprisingly strong, and pliant, so I thought I would test this out, by using wire to "sew" them onto wire frames. I started stitching a circle of waxed paper to a frame, and once this was complete I found I was able to twist and form the wire frame - the waxed paper stayed intact and even moved with the wire....this lead to the idea of making multiples of these stitiched waxed paper frames, and configuring them together into a 3D abstract form, as seen below...
(a close up of the papers and wire weaving)
I have no real idea, at this stage, what I am going to do with these 3D "things", but it has been an interesting journey so far, from Ophelia to these mini discoveries... I have enjoyed each stage including the failed experimentations, and am trying to keep an open mind with regard to the direction I'll be going down next