Starting to really enjoy painting square compositions. These abstract studies are based on smoke over mountains with trees. The main interest is looking at the possibilities paint has, letting it drop and letting it move around. I enjoy this kind of painting but often in my representational work I begin to over focus on the detail. I like both types of painting but I look forward to the day they begin to overlap. Where abstraction and representation meet has always been an interest of mine, and trying to push it is my intention in the work I’m producing at the moment.
Strangely roads have begun to enter my paintings, which is strange as normally I like to look at the power of nature alone compared to the man made elements, making them less important in a composition. However, I’m
Just going with the flow at the moment and letting the paint lead me. And at the moment the paint is leading me towards roads.
stusy from earlier in the week back to squares and looking through windows and looking at the drips to create atmosphere
When painting the sea, i often find i stick to the same kind of traditional compositions, where as when i paint other things such as portraits or other landscapes, i play around a lot more with the composition. On Sunday i was looking through my window, which had been egged on Halloween ( yes i still haven't cleaned it) Through the egg wash and the condensation and the rain, the image through my lounge window intrigued me, how things get distorted and blurred through this window,everything seemed to be in line for a painting and i thought why not try painting it. In second year my tutor once told me, to try and paint everything, imagine leaving art school with out painting a tree, well i though i have never painted a van, so why not try. Although this painting turned out fairly realistic, i started it from just shapes of the basic colours, and let the paint do the rest of the work. Pouring diluted white paint down the board and blending it with a big brush to get a sense of blurriness, and then applying small details where necessary. I always find that there is no one way to paint a painting, this painting could have been done with tiny brushes building up the layers, but when this took approximately half an hour to produce, why not let the paint do the work for you:?
In contrast, i went back to one of my Borth watercolour studies, and decided to try and tackle it using thick paint. This is just made of one layer or paint.not allowing any of the other layers to come through. The paint made all opaque so that each layers still built up, but in a different kind of way. interestingly this painting also came out more realistic than some of my other work. Which isn't necessarily what i enjoy about painting, For instance, i knew this painting required more detail on areas, but i became quickly bored of it, as the main intention for this painting was to purely represent, it doesn't have any of my personality, or my feelings towards it in the painting. However, is still a good excercize to do. I find at the moment im working in a lot of different ways, and hopefully there will come a point where these begin to crossover in one image rather than as if my paintings were made by multiple artists.
Thursday: With the idea of getting back to the coast, and looking more at the sources, i headed to the beach to start some studies. Packed a flask as i knew it was going to be a long day. Took my sketchbooks my paint, my boards. and realised id grabbed the pencil case which contained my printmaking tools, rather than brushes and pencils. I decided to get a little inventive and use my etching pen to draw on some stones. The chalk that comes out whilst drawing on is fun to work from, however when washed off, they are merely stones with a thin lines in, which perhaps may have been good to take a rubbing from and print, but i just placed them back on the beach. nevertheless, this was still a good exercise of looking and observing, light and shapes, which is all very helpful when it coems to painting in the studio.
I then returned after lunch to the beach and got my paint brushes, It was absolutely freezing, which in turn makes me paint a lot faster than i do in the studio, trying to resolve the image as much as possible on location. I feel this painting is a lot more about my experience, and less about the representation, although aspects of the painting are representational.
When returning to the studio, i played around with some of the drawings i made, and tried a different style composition. Letting the paint be paint, moving it around and allowing it to drip etc..
This image in turn is completely different to the other on location study, i don't feel you get the same sense of atmosphere in the work, but i feel that aspects of this painting will help me move forward in the paintings to come. Getting back to the idea of not forcing paint in to place, and enjoying the happy accidents.
This week i wanted to get back to painting the sea, after doing a lot of travelling back and forth on the train, this week i am finally put in Aberystwyth, which gives me the time to be able to get out in to the landscape and explore.
Wednesday afternoon. In the studio, looking out at the sea, and suddenly beautiful light started to appear, so i rushed out of the studio to grab some sketches and photos to work from. The light changes so quickly that to capture it in that moment i couldn't paint it there on the spot. Photos worked as a good reference point to bring back the memory, however a lot of the colours i tend to remember and then transfer in to the painting.
This is one of the small studies i made from the blue light, the photo makes some of the colours look black and a bit deadened, but it is just very deep blue.
I then began to make a larger study, using big 3 inch brushes, trying to remember the power of the sky and sea from my sketches. The sketches i make i tend to emphasise on aspects of the landscape which were stand out to me. For instance the clouds clustering in this heavy way. Then when painting i can work from those ideas, this painting required thick paint to get this point across, where in other occasions i will use thin layers built up. This painting is still a work in progress but i am enjoying how it is starting to take shape. I will probably leave it for a while and move on to something else for now. I tend to find sometimes when i come back to a painting in a few weeks, i will see it differently and know how to answer it.
When returning home i was looking at one of my older quick studies in oil, looking at what used to interest me about the sea, i think it used to be a lot more about the power and the forces of the waves and trying to get that across in the painting. i feel i have started to let go of this kind of energy in my work and i want to try and get back and include some of these marks in future work.
At the moment I’m still currently travelling back and fore to home at weekends to work. Which involves lots of time spent on the train which I generally spend thinking.
For the majority of the journey there isn’t any phone signal, and limited WiFi. So it is some of the only time I get where I’ve not got my phone beeping at me.
The train journey has become the main focus of my paintings that I’m currently working on, which is not saying that it shall continue to be this way.
I enjoy painting my life, as I find it much easier to connect with and make a painting if I have experienced it. And my life at the moment consists of zooming through the landscape.
I have always been interested in capturing movement in a painting, but I have never thought of capturing it in a sense where the view is moving through man rather than nature.
This idea is still raw, but it really is helping me engage with my work. Creating new problems which I have to resolve in the painting. Trying not to creaate a static image, it has to give the feeling of being on the train. Where the image is there but then it’s gone and you see something else.
Previously I have looked at the ways the movement is occurring in the landscape through the forces of nature and light movement, with this addition of travelling i have created my self problems in which I’m determined to resolve in a unique way.
this image I have worked more on since last week, in explanation to behind the work I have tried to capture a stillness that still incorporates the element of movement from the train. The foreground is where both I have detail whilst also containing blurriness to try and get that sense of movement, but through a large scene of the landscape.
For instance, sometimes the view seems to last much longer than other views, because of the scale of the mountains-/fields etc.. where as compared to
My other painting, that image view would have only lasted a few split seconds, and then it’s gone.
All of these ideas are still in working progress, I’m not 100% certain of what I’m looking at and why, but I have ideas and problems that I am trying to resolve through paint, whilst creating imagery.
The Lovely view from my studio space. Although I'm not currently painting the sea, i have been making some charcoal drawings, looking at the light, working out some compositions. Im certain i will return to painting it very soon.
a few of the sketches i have made this week for inspiration. Using different coloured greys and black paper and working negatively or positively with the shade range to create equal looking images that are created on different backgrounds. Using the paper to my advantage.
Second week in the studio.
Still working on compositions from the Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury train journey. A painting which i started last week and abandoned, i decided to pour paint on it, apply it with a rag and a pallet knife and then blend all the colours together using a big brush, trying to get that sense of movement, Something which the next day i ended up abandoning and restructuring the painting. in a sense they are both still very abstract paintings, but the representational side, is still very important to me at this point. I am aiming to try and make things ring true, look like the landscape, whilst still just being mainly blocks of colour. Using empty space to mty advantage.
Post reconstruction. Still unfinished.
An attempt to construct the landscape without water, I'm often drawn to water as it can give natural paths which help with the composition. This painting mainly an experiment, Still not focusing on detail, just suggestions. With lots of broad spaces of empty colour. I invested in some slow drying medium in an aim to give me the ability to move the paint around more easily. This addition has also helped blend colours, and mattifies the paint slightly which i enjoy.
I decided to make a construct of a landscape, based upon shapes, and tape them together so that i could move them around and work on a composition which i could apply to a painting. Whilst doing this, i also used the colours which i mixed for the paper and created a small abstract based upon water falling over rocks. I would like to use some of these paint application methods and apply them to my larger paintings. But doing exercizes like this helps me get a feel for different paint applications.
Painting inspiration of the week. Isaak Levitan. Fog over water. Oil On Canvas, 1895
Church Stretton. Home
October has fallen, and so have the leaves. Landing questionably over this pavement doodle.
First day back, strange to say back when the majority of people on the MA are new. Which means meeting new people, and learning about the rest of the people who are on this new adventure. It’s strange being back, Kind of like starting all over again. Only a few familiar faces around town, and somehow now at 21 I’m one of the oldies.
Tuesdays are my timetabled day.
10:00 A small meeting with the fellow painting students, assigning studio spaces, discussing our artwork, learning about how the course will work.
12:00 talking about the out of hours access to the building,, General health and safety discussion.
14:00 The first art history seminar, the new topic brings many new difficulties, in which I hope to prosper.
16:00 The Vocaional course, a nice balance of art talk/ psychology and general chit chat. A different kind of seminar, in which gave us all a little bit of rest bite.
18:00 quick look st my studio space ready to move in tomorrow.
9:00 Moving in to the studio, which over looks the sea. perfect. Only issue is carrying heavy boards up a few flights of stairs, and through narrow corridors. In addition to the trundle from my house to the old college. Each time I returned home wishing I had a car.
Inspiration all around, and so pleased I can see the sea.
Still uncertain whether I will continue to paint the besuty, I am kind of looking forward to including more elements of where the sea meets the land in my future paintings, still looking at the light and movement in both the sea and sky, but in contrast to the land, but I also hope to paint the land in such away where you can see the relationship to the non solid elements of the landscapes, by applying the paint thinly and retaining its lustre.
Newest addition in the painting studio, currently working on some train sketch ideas from the views over the Dyfi. Getting back into the gist of it. To start back I have been confused about what to paint, now it’s the masters everything has to step up. I don’t just want to paint the same paintings as last year, they had their place, but I need to look at my work in a new perspective.
Monday: Binding diss, ready for hand in tomorrow. So glad to call it finished, and ready for the fun of the exhibittion opening.
Although my paintings for the exhibition are finished and ready for hanging, i've still been working on some small paintings which are still in the making. The fog over this week has really intrigued me.
Tuesday: After handing in my dissertation, ive been "umming", and "aahing" about what ones iput in the, and which order they go in. Certain paintings may be stronger than others, but its about which work as a whole.
Wednesday: Hanging my paintings finally, and helping others hang their work. The show is starting to fill up and were all beginning to realise that its coming to an end. I'm so overjoyed with my time here, and with the masters approaching, i cant wait for it all to happen again.
Saturday: Exhibition day. First hour was packed full, and wonderful to see everyone with their hard work. Public asking questions about the work, all business cards were taken, (didnt think id need more) but topping up next week. Ecstatic to see so many of my family members come and see the work, and travel from a long way to get here! Especially to see my grandad there, my biggest critic, pleased with my work. Onward and Upwards.
It feels strange that this is my final week as an undergraduate, but this semester i have had very little timetabled lectures. My attendance must be amazing, as there isn't anything to really miss. This kind of self motivation to still work everyday is hard, but when your'e doing something you enjoy, its not. I live for painting, I love it. At this time of the year when i'm writing the dissertation and sorting other writings, and tasks. I just wish i was painting. But, it is quite nice to write about my work.
Tuesday: Painting the edges of all possible exhibition pieces, I personally like the way the paint goes down the edges, but it isn't up to show quality i suppose. All my edges are now a lovely tube grey! A colour i have tonnes of as it comes in a pack and is one of the colours i don't touch, together with black.
I also spent the day, cleaning up possible exhibition works, and working on this sky. I didn't want to over do it, but wanted to get some of the same colour in the sky, and create more depth. I am pleased with the result.
Wednesday: Tutorial, Managed to get a lot of questions answered today, i wanted to varnish one of my works, because it had a lot of shine, but after testing it out on one of my other paintings, it made it foggy, so ill just deal with the bit of shine on the work. At this point i don.t want to cause any extra stress.
Thursday: Emptying the studio. Including taking back last semesters work. Finally.
This painting was one i had finished on this day last year, Still one of my favourites. Its nice to see how i have progressed, my interest now is more sure, i know what makes me want to paint the landscape now. And i feel that this is still evident in my older works, i just didn't know yet. I was clearly still interested in the sea and sky as a major factor in my work, as well as movement.
Nature paints for us everyday. Todays sunset reminded me of rothko. I constantly see abstract art in the natural world. Its easy to paint what you see. whats hard is painting what you see in its most simple way. This idea is something i have been thinking of recently, as my work has began to become less representational. I know that in no way Rothko was a representational painter, but he evokes so much in such a simple way. It speaks power to me, and I feel i can learn a lot from this idea. Not painting in the same way as Rothko, but perhaps in simplifying the landscape.
Friday: Boards Finished, Stored safely ready for hanging. Quick tidy up of anything left in my space. The end.
09:00 Monday. Three hour session preparing the studios for the exhibition. In the first group of the week, which involved dismantling tables, easels , floor, cleaning and making space for the exhibition walls to be built.
12:00 both rooms empty ready for the next group to start building. Exciting that in just less than two weeks this will be full of art and people!
Wednesday: Al the walls more or less up which means it is time to paint the spaces. Involving taping up gaps, filling holes and painting over marks. mine was very lucky to be almost perfect, apart from a huge hole which took some filling! having to go home this weekend and still needing to finish my dissertation and paintings. tonight and tomorrow night will be long.
Thursday: Morning. all finished painting, floor cleaned, ready for hanging paintings next week. Finished writing the dissertation almost entirely at 4 am in the library. The first time i have actually stayed past 10 pm. The dissertation has taken so many hours to complete but now im nearly there i feel relieved. Now just finishing it and painting!
Friday 27th April: This weekend I am off to Cardiff, and travelling in the evening of today. But in the day i have lots to sort before i can go jetting off. Firstly My Business Cards Have arrived! The site where i got them told me they would take a long time to arrive, but two days was all it took. Glad i didn't fork out any more money on postage. They have come out a bit darker than i would have liked, but i'm pleased with the result. Its beginning to feel more real that there really isn't much longer left of this year.
11:00 :Lately I haven't been sleeping very well at all, Sleep for an hour and wake up and not be able to get back off. A trouble but i cant stay in bed all day unfortunately. I had to go and collect a letter from the industrial estate. which is quite a bother when you have no car. So i decided to get a taxi and ask it to wait, unbelievably it cost me £9. Extortionate, but much better than the other option of playing chicken under the blind corner death bridge as i like to call it. Dropped in town to run a few errands, Before catching the train.
I adore the views from the train, Strange going past my usual stop and carrying down towards south wales though. The views gave me ideas for future paintings, i would really like to create a series of blurry views from the train journeys i take. It offers views which normally cant be seem and for this reason it really intrigues me. Its a new way of capturing movement too, But in this case, movement from being in a man made vehicle rather than from nature. This distinction could be a new challenge for my future work. Just an idea anyway, But I'm always thinking of ways to develop my work. I never want to be stuck painting the same thing. as for me I'm always looking for new challenges in work. I don't want to expertise a certain style quite yet, there is too much time to discover and learn.
Sunday: Proud day, watching my boyfriend cross the finish line running his first marathon. This is something i couldn't even imagine doing. The furtherst ive ever walked is 22 miles and that did me in for a week, let alone running 26. It was lovely being a part of a crowd of supporters and a great day all round.
Monday: Back in Aberystwyth around 11 am. Its already been a long day of travelling but i take the sacrifice for having a weekend away. Calendar has been changed on the correct day. Home bags dropped off and off in to the School of Art. The final week of university has some how arrived, and im full of mixed emotions. Thankfully today i have found out i have been offered a place to study my masters here, another year painting by the sea and i couldn't be happier. I know it will be hard but i have decided to do it in one year rather than part time, a decision i will inevitably regret, but i can always go down to part time if i find it too difficult. I Just want to finish in a year, 4 years at university doesn't seem so bad, but five years would be a quarter of my life spent here. And as much as i love it, i want to start the next chapter of my life, hopefully still continuing working as a professional artist.
Photo from evening walk. Wednesday 25th April.
Monday: I have decided to spend this week working on some pieces i already have got, tidying them up , sanding the edges and painting them to look.... "exhibition ready". Starting to feel the stress now, finishing the paintings is always the hardest part and pressure doesn't make it easier, but it means i will get it done, And i wouldn't have bothered with out the exhibition deadline! People are actually going to see these works including a lot of my family, Its a big moment and I'm anxious for the day!
Business cards ordered, Id had them in my basket for a while just waiting to see in case i wanted to change the photos, But they take a while to arrive so i finally ordered them today. I really enjoyed making them, But they don't come cheap!
Wednesday: I started painting a more summery sky painting, but i don't really like how its going and definitely won't be one going in the exhibition so i have left it for now. I may come back to it, but for now no. I want to at least have one more painting that could possibly go in the show, so after i have finished the ones i have now i'm going to have a go at tackling another. I Know i can at least do one more but i don't want to make the other ones suffer because of it.
Not the greatest photo as i dropped my phone and the camera has messed up a bit!
But thursday; Early start, didn't get much sleep if any more than an hour. Can't seem to get a good nights sleep at the moment, putting it down to stress, but getting headaches at night, and my over dramatic brain always thinks the worse which keeps me up. However, i cant spend the whole day sleeping so i had to just deal with it and carry on.
I made the best breakfast to make up with the lack of sleep, Fresh fruit salad and some natural yogurt to keep me going throughout the busy day.
11:00: i got in to the studio ready for my tutorial. It was good to see them all together, and the potentiality of the show. We spoke about space i could potentially have, works which should definitely go in, and works that i should leave out. My tutor told me to just tweak them all slightly so they're ready for the show, and if i had time, to do another. I am sure i want to make another so I spent a few hrs working on some old ones before deciding to come up to the library to work on my dissertation. There isn't much time left for that, and with the lack of sleep i was all painted out.
April. How has that happened?! I hadn't changed the calender over from march until today, Partly because i loved march's painting. ( The calender was a Christmas gift from my grandparents full of my grandads paintings) Changing it over brought the sudden realisation that we are now half way through April, Power is on full.
Throughout the last couple of days i have been working on this piece, together with other work but i finally got around to painting something a bit larger. With the weather changing dramatically from when i started this project back in January, I'm longing for days where we get rain, or any skies! So On Monday around 8 pm i went out sketching in the rain, and taking some videos to work from. Over the past few months i have realised that its more important to paint than to worry about the outcome. I used to constantly compare my work to other artists, where as now i feel i invest my time in my paintings, as anyone can paint, but no one can paint exactly like me. I want to show the land in a different way, lacking human life, lacking the man made world just to highlight the power of nature. Ive started to simplify my compositions, not over working them to show just what stands out to me in the scene, trying not to pretty-fiy them. I suppose its leaning towards abstraction at this point, but I'm not afraid of that.
The painting i actually finished on friday after a discussion with my tutor, she told me not to hold back and just answer the painting. I feel i have done so, i eliminated a lot of the marks and i am pleased with the overall outcome, it was a stressful one to complete but i am happy for now. Here after i need to complete my other paintings and paint the edges ready to be exhibited. I am mostly excited about the exhibition and although filled with fear, the moment the work is on the wall i can celebrate.
Saturday, i did some finally touches on the painting cleaning up a few areas and thinking about a possible new painting. In the evening i made a paella, after a lovely hot day i couldn't think of anything better to eat, later watching the sunset with a few friends and a fire, it is just as important to spent some time with the people i have got to know over the last three years, and it is very sad that it is coming to an end.
After going Here there and everywhere work and deadlines are getting closer and closer.
First on the agenda, Catalogue Statement. 100 words wouldn't take long. Unlike most, I actually don't mind talking about my work as it something that means something to me. Unlike the art history essays which are always about something i don't understand and always are a struggle to achieve. However, once complete i always think it wasn't that bad, i enjoyed it really. After finishing the catalogue statement i also continued with the dissertation, now around 2000 words, i am enjoying the process.
As much as i hate being in the library when the weather is like this, There are much worse places to study- a room with a view as they say, But as i see the sea all i want to do is paint.
After another day in the library i have managed to complete my personal statement for my masters and sent of my application, as well as the catalogue statement. Amazing what you can achieve when you're in the right environment!-
Back home for a flying visit, two nights, its the time of year where all the males in my family meet for the "greenwood cup" an annual golf competition. As i don't play golf, i was on baby sitting duty, nothing t complain about, i love having quality time with my family, and they were so well behaved i managed to get some work done! After the early morning start, i managed to get on a train to crew, not Aberystwyth, so getting up before sunrise was pointless as i was waiting round for a few hrs until i got the next train. lack of sleep made this day very unproductive
Sunday: After a good night sleep, my boyfriend and I went for an English breakfast as a little treat after not seeing each other for a couple of weeks. We then both headed up to the library spending the whole day working on our dissertations, We left at around half 10 and had a well deserved pint. Tomorrow university would be back open and the real work starts.
some small studies made from the last few days and today. the weather is delicious at the moment, so i am making the most of being outdoors and painting on location.