Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Painting

I have started a new painting, again using the imagery of a dog as a mask for the face, I concentrated a lot more on the background of this piece, which is reflected in the photographs taken.

This piece has taken quite a long time to paint, because I have been adding layers and then rubbing back, I am enjoying this way of working, it lends to sense of blurred imagery and yet intricate elements.

I have spent working the face, apply and then removing by rubbing back, I want to create a slightly blurred element to this piece.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Tutorial - How do you judge that a work is successful

Emma bulley has asked me to think about How do you judge that the work is successful?
Last night when I felt that the piece was finished, I stood back and just stood and looked personally for me it is successful because the image portrays the sense of threat, darkness, uncomfortable feelings which was in the forefront of the idea behind the painting, so in that sense the piece has been successful.

The area's where the canvas has been allowed to bleed through, which shows the first initial marks made, has created an extra level of layering within the work. again I believe in doing has lent itself for this painting to have worked.

However I do feel the background is the weakest area and after looking at the work of Callum Inness (b.1962) this has lead to be more aware of the background, therefore  for my next piece I am going to take more care? more interest I think is a better word in utilising that space. At the moment I believe that it has the sense of being an afterthought. I did not recognise this until after my tutorial.
Emma also spoke about the sensory aspect of creating work, and she has recommended that I need to create more sketches and express my thoughts and intentions within a journal, I could draw on instincts, for example how two animals react with another. 

The work of Callum Innes (b.1962) reflects monochrome within the sphere of abstract art. However the injections of colour are quite stunning.

Exposed Painting Dioxazine Violet - 2006
by Callum Innes

"His paintings are created through a process of addition and subtraction, sometimes removing sections of paint from the canvases surface with turpentine to leave only the faintest traces of what there was before. Using this method of subtraction he has established his own vocabulary in the form of distinctive groups of paintings which evolve concurrently".

I really thought that Innes has an interesting practice to his work, and the idea of adding and subtracting paint as part of the process towards creating a piece has can have relevence within my work, and how I set about creating a piece.

Another artist who I have found to be very interesting is 'JR' he is a french grafitti Artist he calls himself 'a hybrid photograffeure' He uses photography producing large scale monchrome portraiture of people living in the poorest areas of the world.

http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/5456/french-artist-jr-and-his-kibera-photo-graffity-project-in-kenya.html  - Accessed 5.3.2011

This link shows the work that he has created in Kenya. JR and 10 unpaid volunteers went to Kibera, which is one of Africa's biggest slums, he turned it into a massive exhibition space. By using the portraits of people who live in this slums, these images where placed on train carriages and on the roofs of their houses.

What JR did was to use waterproof vinyl material and in doing this JR extended the art aspect to have a practical purpose as well.

JR states "They don't understand art just for the love of art, it has to make sense, by helping theirs roofs to become rainproof, we did make sense and they loved it".

Tutorial - Peter Howson (b.1958)

Corso Donati 2010 by Peter Howson

Emma Bulley suggested that I look at the work of Peter Howson, his work are inspired from Glasgow, where he grew up as a child, he uses the idea of the human condition, his work has the aspect of the working class, the heroic and hard working. I personally look at his work and there is a grit due to the use of the colours that seem dull in some way. I see a sense of romance in his work.    

Tutorial Continued - My work on context and research

Emma and continued to discuss the issues raised in the painting I was working on, and about the society in which we live, the cycles of depravation in some areas. Furthermore we touched on the subject of my faith as a Christian and relating this to the idea of good vs evil, and the social issues.
Emma suggested that I look at the artist Lucien Freud (b.1922)
http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/freud/ - accessed 3.3.2011

Freud's subjects are the people in his life, "I paint people" Freud has said "Not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be".

Head of a Naked Girl 1999 - 2000
Oil on Canvas

Freud sees painting his subjects without their clothes, because he believes that it allows them to shed their protective facades, and to reveal their more basic aspects of their instincts and desires. He states "I'm really interested in people as animals".
"I like people to look as natural and as physically as ease as animals". 

When I look at the work of Freud I struggle to see warmth in the skin that he paints, there is a sense of aversion to the skin, the fleshiness is quite off putting, His figures does not create a sense of menacing that I have produced, and the image is quite forceful. Freud has the ability to bring the figure and the background in a united aspect, Emma suggested that I need to create a relationship with the background and the figure.

First Tutorial with Emma Bulley

Emma firstly looked at this piece, she was shocked because this work is so removed from the work that I concentrated on at University when I concentrated on the female form and my body. I was interested in understanding the issues of being a middle- aged, overweight woman in a society that does not view this as attractive. I explored these issues through imagery of paintings. Whereas the work I am producing reflects situations that I have either witnessed or an incident that I explore within my paintings.
When discussing this painting the grafitti in which I had already decided had to be removed, it made the image too obvious, and Emma agreed. This image is about a situation that occurred as I walked to the shops, and the man just glanced at me, and his look was very threatening even though he was in a passive pose, and within that split second there is that 'flight or fight' reaction.
The size of the painting is large and menacing, and as the viewer I felt that there is a sense of voyeurism, and looking at the understanding of society in which we live this piece reflects 'the grit of city' or 'Urban Grit' the reality of what happens and yet certain aspects that could be confrontation is removed by the use of masks of animals.           

Finished Painting ?

I finished the painting last night taking on board what Emma Bulley and I discussed in my Tutorial, and the question that is being asked of me is "When is a Painting finished?" My reply to this is a painting can continuely be altered, there is no ending in the technical aspect. However there is a point to which as the artist you can end ruining a piece by continously touching up, reapplying paint. What I believe is important is to learn from the work, and think about how the next piece can be improved on, especially within the context of a learning enviroment in this case the MA. I am asked to contextualise my work with other artists, and already I am in the process of changing how I will start the next piece, in view of what I have learnt during the making of this piece and the artists who I have looked at. 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Start of new piece

This piece was inspired by an incident whilst walking to the local shops, there was a group of people gathered by a high wall that is about 20ft long, one person was seperated from the group. He was talking on his phone and when I approached, he ended his call.

  As I went to walk past him ,he looked up at me and throw a look of pure contempt, but there was something else this sense of underlying violence. He was not in a threatening stance, the body language did not betray anything, however his eyes said everything.
At first I was frightened and felt very intimidated, however I decided that this was an interesting reaction between two unknown individuals in which I could explore within a painting.
I decided that I wanted to use a mask of an animal.

The reason I decided to use a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is because where I live is known as 'Staff City' because there is a large population of this breed of dog, as well as Pit Bull Terriers and Cross breeding between the two breeds is known. So in using the mask of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier seemed to fit within the context of the image and the situation. When you live within a city you gain a sense of the society in which you live amoungst in day to day life.
Within the final image you as the viewer can see the point that I have reached at this moment in time, and it will be an interesting process to see not only how this painting progresses and the final result, and what will be the final result? When will I recognise that this piece has been concluded or not.