Painting Inspirations

These are the artists that I  used though out the painting project to inform and inspire my decisions on what I should do throughout the painting process.

There were several artists that I initially wanted to use. Unfortunately there is not enough literature on them to be able to quote that I used them, especially in my artist statement. These included an anonymous artist named Caia, where upon I could only find one of her paintings that was relevant to the piece that I was designing.

http://www.britishwomenartists.com/users/000870/art-001753-00.jpg

Source: Journey On

http://www.britishwomenartists.com/users/000870/art-001754-00.jpg

Source: Forest Fire

http://www.britishwomenartists.com/users/000870/art-001755-00.jpg

Source: Rapture

I was inspired by the strong use of the colours in sometimes partly undefined shapes to create a painting. I was also attracted by the painting ‘Forest Fire’ as personally, I was confused by where each tree trunk began and end as they merge into one. And yet, the trunks are all still defined and are individual in one forest. I wish to bring that aspect into my own painting.

I also looked at the Instagram photographer Mike Kus who often takes photos in clear reflections. I was inspired in the way in which the reflection that he was able to capture was as clear as the object itself.

View this post on Instagram

#Chichester Reflected. #reflection #officecommute

A post shared by Mike Kus (@mikekus) on

Source: Mike Kus

Source: Mike Kus

View this post on Instagram

More of #Berlin reflected. #btconf #reflection

A post shared by Mike Kus (@mikekus) on

Source: Mike Kus

I also had a quick look at the work of Pete Gilbert. He is an artist that works and lives in the New Forest, and so I found it appropriate to look at his work. The work of his is also very free, much like Caia’s and yet also very natural. The works are colourful, and I hope to have as many colours within the painting to express the mood and the atmosphere in not only the painting, but the individual areas of the painting too.

http://www.petegilbert.me.uk/images/gallery/hale%20p2web.jpg

Source: Pete Gilbert .me.uk

http://www.petegilbert.me.uk/images/gallery/sowley%20web.jpg

Source: Pete Gilbert .me.uk

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b5/8c/06/b58c06259454e7594475863258a28dac.jpg

Source: pinimg.com

There were then the artists that inspired these artists, and these are the artists that I intend to use to inform my practice and technique throughout this project. The inspirations are not only artists as I also looked at books and films to inform by decision about the way in which I was going to paint. All of these inspired me in different ways including that of composition, use of colour palette and the general technique of painting and mark making.

Paul Klee Trees

  • It is not the way in which Paul Klee paints trees, in a blocky, unrealistic way, but the passionate way in which he describes them, that caught my eye.

“Le noyer”
I
Arbre qui, de sa place,
fièrement arrondit
tout autour cet espace
de l’été accompli,
arbre dont le volume
rond et abondant
prouve et résume
ce que l’on attend longtemps:
j’ai pourtant vu rougir
tes feuilles en devenant vertes:
de cette pudeur offerte
ta magnificence, certes,
les veut à présent punir.
II
Arbre, toujours au milieu
de tout ce qui l’entoure –,
arbre qui savoure
la voûte entière des cieux,
toi, comme aucun autre
tourné vers partout:
on dirait un apôtre
qui ne sait pas d’où
Dieu lui va apparaître . . .
Or, pour qu’il soit sûr,
il développe en rond son être
et lui tend des bras mûrs.
III
Arbre qui peut-être
pense au dedans:
antique Arbre-maître
parmi les arbres servant!
Arbre qui se domine,
se donnant lentement
la forme qui élimine
les hasards du vent:
plein de forces austères
ton ombre claire nous rend
une feuille qui désaltère
et des fruits persévants.

—R. M. Rilke

Allow me to use a simile, the simile of the tree. The artist has studied this manifold world and has, so we may suppose, somehow found his way in it, quietly. He is so well oriented that he can bring order to the flight of appearances and experiences. This orientation in the things of nature and of life, this multifarious ramified and branching order, I would liken to the root system of the tree. From here the juices flow to the artist, passing through him and through his eye. Thus he stands in the position of the trunk. Battered and moved by the power of the flow, he introduces what he is seeing into the work. Just as the crown of the tree visibly expands in every direction in time and space, so does the work.

“Walnut”
I Tree which, from its place,
proudly rounded
All around this space
Of the summer accomplished,
Tree whose volume
Round and abundant
Proves and summarizes
What we wait a long time:
I have seen blushing
Your leaves becoming green:
Of this modesty offered
Your magnificence, certainly,
Now wants to punish them.
II
Tree, always in the middle
Of all that surrounds it -,
Tree that savors
The whole vault of the heavens,
You, like no other
Turned towards everywhere:
He looks like an apostle
Who does not know where
God will appear to him…
However, for it to be safe,
It develops in round its being
And hands him ripe arms,
III
Tree that may be
Think within:
Antique Master Tree
Among the trees serving!
Tree that dominates,
Giving itself slowly
The form that emliminates
The wind hazards:
Full of austere forces
Your clear shadow makes us
A leaf that quenches
And persistent fruits.
– R. Mr. Rilke

https://www.pubhist.com/works/18/large/18934.jpg

Source: Pubhist.com

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/cd/40/63/cd40633c03063de103985c60ec86f09e.jpg

Source: pinimg.com

Elizabeth Magill

  • The slightly colourful mist and eerie feeling that the paintings create by using a misty background and coming further into focus to the foreground where  upon there are trees and twigs. I would like to somewhat recreate this.
  • The ‘creepy’ twigs – I don’t necessarily want twigs in the painting as I am working with evergreen trees, however I want them to be ‘creepy’, such like these twigs.

Most landscape painting focuses on the land: its valleys, its horizons, its mountain peaks. But for Irish painter Elizabeth Magill, the sky is the main attraction. In her work, the earth is often nothing more than a hulking silhouette separated from the heavens by a carefully drawn horizon line, while vast patches of sky, marked out with birds, solidly occupy the majority of the canvas. Sometimes no land is visible at all; its existence is implied only by tree-tops or wires from an electric bus or tram. In almost every case, what’s above is more interesting than what lies below.

Source: proquest.com

http://images.exhibit-e.com/www_kerlin_ie/EM181051.jpg

Source: images.exhibit-e.com

http://www.artinliverpool.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/3837-Sighting-by-Elizabeth-Magill.jpg

Source: artinliverpool.com

http://www.lisesinnbeck.com/files/gimgs/6_vanishing-lake5x6-07-my-digi2.jpg

Source: lisesinnbeck.com

http://www.lisesinnbeck.com/files/gimgs/6_blue-constrictor-153×183-oil-on-can-06-07.jpg

Source: lisesinnbeck.com

Under the Skin (Film)

  • A dark and mysterious forest that which strange happenings occur to the central character. This is the same sensation that I wish for the viewer to have when viewing my painting.

http://stampsy-eu-1.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/07/04/2014/user/539/84c73042-174a-42f4-81b9-1fd756dfe02e.png

Source: stampsy.com

http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/hammerandthump/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/under-skin-2.jpg

Source: openlettersmonthly.com

Cabin Porn (Book)

  • This book presents wonderful cabins that which I would like to take a large amount of inspiration from in order to design a derelict house on the water of the painting.

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/736/cpsprodpb/13107/production/_87478087_1024backcountryarchive_haukursigurdsson_eastgreenland_hr_06.jpg

Source: bbci.co.uk

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/168E3/production/_87478329_59c48119-5fe5-498e-ac64-a5ce8fcdc45c.jpg

Source: bbci.co.uk

http://66.media.tumblr.com/e9767574b47b043cade1d513d952cff1/tumblr_o936p6OVOG1qzwmsso1_1280.jpg

Source: tumblr.com

Source: bbc.co.ukcabinporn.com

Antony Gormley

  • This is a childhood artist whom I have loved ever since I first saw this piece. It is not the piece itself that interests and inspires me, but rather the view that you have when lying down on the floor and looking across. This is the stepping of the each individual sculpture to make the forest. This is what I want to recreate through the forest in my painting.

https://klausjoynson.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/anthony-gormley-field-1991-ls-m1.jpg

Anselm Kieter

  • The erratic nature of the way in which he paints to create scenes such as forests and fields. I would also like to use this erratic nature in the painting of the trees to continue the creepy feeling of the forest.

https://d1inegp6v2yuxm.cloudfront.net/royal-academy/image/upload/c_limit,f_auto,w_1200/kfaflhecq7gp32kzy49v.jpg

Source: cloudfront.net

https://d32dm0rphc51dk.cloudfront.net/Gesr8OfPD3sGN-nPYte64w/large.jpg

Source: cloudfront.net

http://www.gagosian.com/__data/f7dec6e38923265095494353f403c26a.jpg

Source: gagosian.com

Peter Doig – White Canoe

  • From the Friday 13th film still, a creepy sensation comes across from both the film still and the Peter Doig paintings. The colour palette and brash brush strokes helps create this.
  • The layering of the brash brush strokes and colours helps create the atmosphere and this is something that I wish to try and recreate when painting.

http://www.saatchigallery.com/imgs/artists/doig_peter/20091127030335_peterdoigwhitecanoe.jpg

Source: saatchigallery.com

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/03/dd/5b/03dd5b45da9f61837ab6a134f3500167.jpg

Source: pinimg.com

http://www.christies.com/media-library/images/features/articles/2015/04/24/doig-transformative-landscape/doig.jpg

Source: christies.com

Stills from Friday 13th (Film)

http://www.phaidon.com/resource/friday13th-canoeii.jpg

Source: phaidon.com

Peter Doig – Concrete Cabin

  • The same brash brush strokes used as in the White Canoe pieces.
  • The bark and the visual texture of the trees in particular in these pieces are what I would like to replicate if I need to paint the base of the trees.

http://www.saatchigallery.com/imgs/artists/doig_peter/20091127025732_peterdoigcabin.jpg

Source: saatchigallery.com

peter_doig_concrete_cabin_ii_1992

Source: tate.org.uk

peter_doig_concrete_cabin_1991

Source: tate.org.uk

Peter Doig – Reflections

  • Reflections in general – I am still unsure whether I want to do the exact replica either side of the middle of the painting or whether I wish to make it slightly blurry. Whichever way I decide to do the reflection, I hope to take some inspiration from these paintings in order to get the complete reflection.

http://66.media.tumblr.com/278d9bd3a944868ff2086ac9ec954bd4/tumblr_inline_nbagy0kc9k1smt0f8.jpg

Source: media.tumblr.com

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/images/work/P/P11/P11544_10.jpg

Source: tate.org.uk

http://monsoonartcollection.com/media/thumbs/peter-doig/reflection/Doig_Reflection_jpg_920x490_q95.jpg

Source: monsoonartcollection.com

Alex Hartley

  • Derelict settings for sometimes very modern looking sheds and huts. This derelict and un-visited look is something that I wish to recreate in the medium of painting, instead of photography.
  • Different forests have different sorts of huts and houses. The evergreen forest photographed has a very shed-looking sort of house, which is what I am aiming for in my painting.

https://res.cloudinary.com/artlogic/w_1400,h_1400,c_limit/artlogicstorage/victoriamiro/images/view/cd96f97bc7b99f0e5383db5bc7fd7d2fb3eb2511.jpg

Source: cloudinary.com

https://res.cloudinary.com/artlogic/w_1400,h_1400,c_limit/artlogicstorage/victoriamiro/images/view/ed62db534dd9e46b13e37cc74156ebd6c6e34da8.jpg

Source: cloudinary.com

https://res.cloudinary.com/artlogic/w_1400,h_1400,c_limit/artlogicstorage/victoriamiro/images/view/0e5e7e5914a2986c34220ce97673af98e1d8b9e3.jpg

Source: cloudinary.com

Zeng Fanzhi

  • The use of bright and slightly washed colours in the background is something that is an element that I wish to have in my own painting.
  • The layered colours in the background and the twigs in the foreground is also an element that I wish to have. The layers will also be shown within the forest as I wish for it to look deep and also very dark.

http://www.gagosian.com/__data/48bbc489e39b41d29d79dd76dc69e69a.jpg

Source: Gagosian.com

https://eightartgallery.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/tiger.jpg

Source: eightartgallery.files.wordpress.com

http://d2jv9003bew7ag.cloudfront.net/uploads/ZENG-FANZHI22.jpg

Source: cloudfront.net

http://www.artnet.com/WebServices/images/ll900445llgxRFCfDrCWvaHBOAD/zeng-fanzhi-this-land-so-rich-in-beauty.jpg

Source: artnet.com

http://www.hatjecantz.de/files/00002532.jpg

Source: hatjecantz.de

Neo Rauch

  • The use of juxtaposed colours within the painting creates strange scenes. I would like to use the same, or a similar colour palette within my painting as it would hopefully help create the contrasting moods and atmospheres that I wish to have in the painting.
  • The fairy tale image that the paintings have is also something I would like as the text from which my painting is derived from sounds like it is a scene from a story like this.
  • The juxtaposition of the oversized people versus the smaller houses is also strange. Everything is in proportion, however, not in size. This is like the description of the girl in the text, which is something I am considering to add to the painting in order to follow the writing piece that I was given.

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For more information on Neo Rauch’s latest work visit; Adventures in London(land).

Painting Process

1 . Planning

See Conceptual Writing – Interpretation of Others. I decided to carry on with the initial ideas of derelict houses and forests where nature and man are becoming one (well, more nature than anything). From here, I had no idea what to do.

I wanted to continue with my question ‘What way is up?’, so I know I wanted to work with a long, thin canvas, in order to gain this effect. I would then split it in half and work like so. This led me to the conclusion that I needed to build a new canvas as I could not produce the painting that I wanted on the canvas I originally made.

I also made some initial paintings and colour swatches of what sorts of things that I wanted within the painting. I did the paintings with watercolour as I found these easy to manipulate in the situation to create a coloured wash of the sky and the layered forest. I chose to create the small swabs straight from acrylic paint tubes. I did it this way as it was quick and easy, and also I would be using many colours straight from the tube when painting on the canvas. These included everything from grass green to brilliant red.

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There were also several artists that I initially wanted to use. Unfortunately there is not enough literature on them to be able to quote that I used them, especially in my artist statement. These can be found in Painting Inspirations.

I also found initial photos that helped me make my first decisions about the first layout and the way in which I want to paint the canvas. These were all photos found on the internet. These included everything from basic forests in Canada and America, and sheds and huts that are found commonly in back gardens. This simple beginning stage of finding these photos also helped me to chose further artists and also helped with the general layout of the painting itself.

http://www.logspan.com/image/data/Classrooms/Kota%205.jpg

Source: Logspan.com

https://eilishscreativespace.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/patchwork-wooden-hut.jpg

Source: Eilishscreativespace.wordpress.com

http://www.hikewithyourdog.com/page115/page142/files/ben-hut-angled.jpg

Source: Hikewithyourdog.com

http://cdn.paper4pc.com/images/water-landscapes-trees-lakes-wallpaper-1.jpg

Source: cdn.paper4pc.com

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Source: Gettyimages.com

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Source: Gettyimages.com

https://www.thetreecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/evergreen-tre.jpg

Source: Thetreecenter.com

http://www.cttbusa.org/evergreen/7.jpg

Source: Cttbusa.org

http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/row-of-evergreen-trees-are-laden-with-snow-gail-shotlander.jpg

Source: Fineartamerica.com

2. Making the canvas

This was a 60 x 190 cm canvas that I made. These dimensions were chosen as I felt like they were going to be easy to work with when creating the painting that I had envisioned. It did end up as a bent frame as it was difficult to build flat (the tables were not big enough and I could not find anything to support it properly). I do not mind this, even though when it hangs on the wall it will be slightly skewed on the bottom end.

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3. Seminar

Through the use of a seminar with some of my peers, I was able to help develop others ideas and sketches of their paintings, as well as developing my own through the information about new artists, films and books.

To view all inspirations including that of the artists, books and films, see; Painting Inspirations

Through the use of the new inspirations of artists, films and books, I did some research into whether I thought they would be valuable to my inspiration for this painting. Not only did I find them inspiring, but I also played a little game to find other contemporary artists that might further inform my work. This involved searching up the existing artist, for example, Peter Doig, on Google. Once I had found the gallery in which Peter Doig was based, I then looked at the other artists that the gallery also showed. These were sometimes very similar artists, and sometimes very different and unique artists. From here, I found several other artists, who can also be found in the Painting Inspirations post.

https://charlotteabrahamart.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/img_5242.jpg

https://charlotteabrahamart.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/img_5241.jpg

4. Artist Statement

To see the progression of the artist statement and the planning I used to produce it, go to; Artist Statement Planning. To see the final artist statement go to; Artist Statement.

I completed my artist statement as I was painting the last few parts onto the canvas. It helped that I was developing both my statement and painting in conjunction with each other as I feel like this has both helped them to strength and help explain each other.

5. Photography of progression

 

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6. The finished piece

I think that I was not completely happy with the overall finish of the piece as it is not what I envisioned, or intended it, to be. This put aside, I also do not wish to paint trees for a very, very long time! I often found it tedious, especially as I was working so close to the canvas. From a distant viewpoint I am certainly happier with the trees and the colours of which I have used for them. It does seem a little like an optical illusion, as to me, everything isn’t quite sitting right within the painting. for example, the trees seem like they are over hanging too much and there is not much shadow underneath them, and the hut also seems randomly placed there. But there is also a question that arises in this; is the floating fake to create the image of a rushed painting, or an illusion to create a creepy, mysterious setting and forest? Personally, I believe it is the first one, however the creepy setting is a very cool idea too.

I was not used to oil paints as I often work in acrylic and occasionally water colour. My preferred medium is graphite, which is entirely different to oil paints. This, therefore took a little getting used to, especially when using turpentine to thin the paints down and white spirit to clean the brushes, all instead of just water. It was a good experience though as the paint was thick, and easy to work with when thick – a texture that I wished to used to make the trees more three dimensional and realistic. It was also surprisingly easy to water it down using the turpentine to create the light background of the colourful haze.

If I am honest, I would want to start again. My canvas was wonky, the trees are all very repetitive and everything seems like it is floating. However, I am also very happy with the overall final piece, as this is a new experience for me, from making the frame and the canvas to painting with oil paints and turpentine. Lastly, I would suggest having a very aired room when using turpentine as for the sky, I was pretty much painting with it, and it can go to your head very quickly! I have to say that I cannot wait to try painting with oils again!

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Painting Experiments

As I had never worked with oil paint before now, I decided that I needed to get some experience in using them, and did experimentations before each new part of the painting process.

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I have never worked with oil paints before and so this was just testing the waters. Here I have experimented with blue oil paint and turpentine to ‘water down’ the paint.

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This was a quick interpretation of another person’s conceptual text that they received. I used acrylic paints for this as not only were they more readily available, but I also find then easier to control, especially in situations such as these.

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Experimentation of the sky/background of the painting using oil paints, turpentine and paper. Is was very hard to control and water down and I was very worried that it would appear dark on the canvas. It ended up being easier to control on the canvas as it did not soak up the paint or the turpentine as quick as the paper.

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These are the general experiments that I did before starting to paint the trees on the canvas.

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The top experimentation was how I was used to doing trees – very rough and long brush strokes. I did have to YouTube how to paint evergreen trees in oil paint as this is an experience that I have not yet had. The smaller trees are the experimentations that I did during the video. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-PdLJ_dubM

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Large tree experimentation. I decided to do a larger tree in order to determine whether I could do the same style of tree painting on larger trees, for example, the size that I wish to do on the canvas.

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Palette during painting. I used various colours to create the depth and atmosphere in the forest.

Artist Statement

The main concept behind my painting is the confusion of reality, and the interconnection between man and nature. With the increasing growth of the manmade structures, nature is often pushed to the side, and sometimes even forgotten about. In a world where everything is electronic, we can often forget what reality is. My painting is a part of this story, a question of reality encapsulated in the wilderness of nature.

My work presents a large, portrait canvas, depicting a water forest scene and a partially derelict house. I was initially inspired by the work of Peter Doig, and his Concrete Cabin  (Doig, 1994) and Reflection (Doig, 1997) pieces. These are melancholic and contrasting pieces depicting thin forests. From these, I began to experiment with oil paints to create the same sense of depth within the forest that I would paint. This led me to the contrasting and colourful backgrounds of Zeng Fanzhi, with his bright backgrounds and dark, mysterious twigs in the foreground (Fanzhi, 2015). Inspired by this, I wanted to create the same contrasting atmosphere using a similar palette and repetitive layering of the paint. Under The Skin, a 2013 film (Under The Skin, 2013), further informed me of a large forest with unknown events occurring all around and to the central character, and also the depth and detail of forests, which I wish to recreate.

In my own work, I wanted to have a contrast in mood between the forest and the misty, colourful sky. By referencing the earlier artists, I hope to confuse and question the viewer as to “which way is up”, a question inspired by James Elkins (Elkins, 2009, pp. 11-32). I also wish to evoke the memory of nature in the viewer as they live in the ever-growing electronic world.

In addition, I was inspired by Cabin Porn, a book that takes you around the world with different cabins, with everything from being built with boats to being built on a cliff edge (Porn, 2009). This book helped inform my design of the small derelict house within the painting. I wanted to include a house within the painting, especially within an environment such as the forest, as they were once the home to many an adventure in childhood.

My piece presents ideas about the confusion of reality and the interconnection between man and nature through a contrast of colour and mood. The painting depicts a grand, overwhelming forest rising out of a lake, next to a small, derelict house sitting on the water. The contrast between the deep greens and blues of the forest and the light washes of reds and yellows in the misty sky distinguishes the contrasting atmospheres and highlights the interconnection and the power that nature has over man.

 

References:

Doig, P., 1994. Concrete Cabin. [Art] (Saatchi Gallery).

Doig, P., 1997. Reflection (What Does Your Soul Look Like?). [Art] (Tate Gallery).

Elkins, J., 2009. What is Painting?. [Online].Available at: www.jameselkins.com. [Accessed November 2016].

Fanzhi, Z., 2015. Blue. [Art] (Gagosian).

Porn, C., 2009. Cabin Porn Archives. [Online]. Available at: http://cabinporn.com/archive. [Accessed 27 November 2016].

Under The Skin. 2013. [Film] Directed by Jonathan Glazer. UK, USA, Switzerland: British Film Institute.

 

Conceptual Writing – Interpretation of Others

A cold, winter morning in the forest. A misty, colourful and transparent fog manifests itself in the distance. A small, wooden house stands on stilts in the middle of a milky and cloudy, pale river with a dead-end bridge come up to it. An array of dark, tall evergreen trees is emerging from the left side, bringing a creepy feeling I to the welcoming atmosphere created by the house. A young girl is sitting on the bridge by the house, dipping her legs in the water, with a luggage by her side. She’s looking nostalgically at the water and is clinging to an animal on her lap. The atmosphere created by the right side of the painting is calm and neutral; from the left a feeling of uneasiness and fear can be sensed, however they both clash in the middle. The only bright or happy colours are on the house. She is not proportionate to the environment and is bigger than the house.

This is the anonymous conceptual writing piece that I received as a stimulus to create a painting. I was first drawn in by the fairy tale aspect of the oversized girl reminiscing by the house. However, after reading over the piece several times, I was more inclined to look closer into the forest and the house that were both described frequently. This led me to explore the wilderness of places such as America and the linking of humanity back to nature.

Writing About Imaginary Artwork

I really did struggle with creating this piece of text, and so I took inspirations from childhood stories. These were not my own but rather the memories of family, as I personally do not enjoy writing about my own memories as they are incredibly personal. However basing this on others memories, I have been able to only take a small element of their memory and then make the piece my own (Credits to Daniel Snipe for the memory and inspiration).

After having this memory for a week or so, I had no where to begin, until this morning, where I sat down at my laptop, and just wrote. There were a few alterations to create the finished product, but I just wrote and wrote and wrote, until I had written 245 words, and I had a completed piece.

I am also really interested in how this will be interpreted as there is many various ways of doing so. I personally envisioned having the last ‘scene’ painted, so you were the child on the floor and the painting was of the ceiling, with the lights and the plane. But shh, the one who will get my text will not know how I envisioned it, but rather how they envisioned it. Good luck painting! (Below is my written text about my imaginary artwork)

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Source: Handout from week 7

Conceptual Art Writing Exercise

I can’t often remember my childhood, but you know certain memories that stick out in your mind? Well this is one of mine.

I don’t remember the age that I was or which house we were living in at the time, but the plane spinning round and round in circles, like a teddy bear, was always my favourite. It was just a simple toy plane made out of balsawood, but normally looked like new pine with a very fine grain. It span in circles thanks to the rubber band, or piece of string, I could never tell, attached to a little silent thingy that made it spin round and round and round and round. Papa would come and wind it up and set it off on another adventure to places far, far away. Off to Wonderland, to Neverland, maybe even Dreamland.

One night, there were stars above the plane that went round and round. This was incredibly exciting, and very new to me, and I ran down to tell Mama, but she was asleep. So I went back upstairs and distinctly remember staring up above, watching the new night time adventures of the little people on the plane. I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke, Mama and Papa were laid down with me, where we all went on an adventure, where the stars were burning bright and the little plane went round and round and round, up above, to places far, far away.

Thursday Exhibition Opening

And so it happens! Our first art exhibition as a Year 1 Art (and Psychology) student! It of course featured free wine, coke, orange juice and crisps. It was so nice to see everyone’s up on the wall after some incredibly hard work was done. For those who don’t know, our year is split into two groups depending on which day we get taught the Studio module. For us this year, it is the Monday group (my group) and the Thursday group (our enemies in this particular battle). I do have to be incredibly biased in this situation, however, and say that the Monday group definitely won this battle… And yet the war continues!

(Photos in order of; Thursday group, Monday group, Thursday Group, Monday group.)

Project 2.0 Creating a Manifesto

*See Manifestos and Typography for more details*

Task debrief;

Western artists have been presenting their visions of what art should be in the form of manifestos since the 19th Century. From Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses to the impassioned avant-garde manifestos of the Futurists, Cubists, Surrealists and Vorticists in the early part of the 20th-century, to the powerful Feminist Manifestos of the 1960s and 1970s, the course of art history and how artists respond to the world has often changes as a result. Many contemporary artists continue to set their objectives out as Manifestos on paper today, more often with humour but always with some kind of vision to create better art and a better world.

Using hand made or digital text, we would like you to produce a manifesto with a peer that proposes a vision for making/living/working/being an artist. Using the example manifestos discussed in your lecture and seminar as a starting point. Consider how language and typography in an Artist’s Manifesto might function to visually articulate the challenges we face today in our societies and in our cultures.

 

I decided to team up with someone else in the Monday group to create our own manifesto on the topic of our prints; about the equality of people, and the way in which this comes across in our different topics.

We decided on the plan of writing a list of rules that say how we should free the nipple, or wear the Hijab (her point was around the topic of France banning the Hijab due to terrorism and the recent terrorist attacks. Hopefully with her permission, I can post the link to her blog to show you how she explains the process of which we went through for her points on the manifesto), and yet at the end we would completely contradict ourselves all together with a final statement saying about that it shouldn’t matter about what we wear or what actions we take to show equality, we should all just be equals.

We decided on the initial plan (as you may be able to see incredibly roughly) of having 5 separate points on the political, law, social and views of the opposite sex. When researching these, I wasn’t expecting so many…

Here are my top picks, and links included for extra reading;

  • (as an extra resource:) Female Nipple Policies
  • What a horrible thing to expose children to and how sad that women feel the need to do these things to get attention. If you want to be treated like equals maybe stop doing childish and attention seeking things. Your really just promoting pornography more than anything.

    Source: Brisbane Park Outrage

  • To be naked in public is not against the law, unless your nakedness is proven to be anti-social in that it is officially ‘disturbing the peace.’ By acting in a way abnormal to what is socially acceptable, then you are committing an offence.

    Sources: Breast CensorshipThe Guardian Nipple

  • You can show some breast in a photo but the actual nipple has to be blurred out.

    Source: The Guardian Nipple Liberation

  • It is a culture that beats into women and men the notion that female bodies are exclusively sexual, even when acting in ways that would be innocuous and permissive for men.

    Source: Nipple Sex Symbol

  • Women are being too expressive. They are acting like sluts.

    Source: me

  • Showing your nipples doesn’t do anything.

    Source: unknown

  • Stop trying to gain equality with tits.

    Source: unknown

  • It’s just not how clear how empowering it is for women to get their tits out, when in fact that’s what pervy blokes have been asking women to do for years.

    Source: Not Nipple Empowering

  • Nobody gives a shit if ya wear nothing at all you idiots. But if you want to get ya dick out in public your looking at a fine (and a court appearance) and harassment, so yeah there’s a discrimination.

    Source: Nipple Picnic

  • While censorship is supposed to represent popular opinion, there is a constant bombardment of mediatised imagery and propaganda, which leads us to think that what we are being told to believe is a subject opinion.

    Source: unknown

Throughout the thought process, we also said NO HELVETICA! We not only found the font to be predictable and kind of boring, but the political, historical and social context of which it has come from is something that we did not want tied to our piece. We decided on two ‘foreign’ fonts that were located on the internet which resembled the argument that we held. For my partner, we found a very arabic-based font which accentuates her argument of the Hijab. My own font was based on the ‘sexy font theory’ (as I have so aptly named it), where it has been found that big loops on the letters ‘g’, ‘y’ and ‘p’ (I believe it was p), is classed as sexy writing. This once again, accentuates the side of which we are arguing.

The list was a simple choice for us as we found it to be the best way to get our points across, loud and clear. The handwriting in some respects does take some of this away. however, we found that it does make our arguments somewhat clearer. This would have been harder to do (we thought), by hand as the lettering would have been more detailed, making it a bit more complicated. We wanted to keep it simple and yet keep our fonts in order to have that clear difference.

Colouring of the composition was chosen from ying and yang. This is kind of a classic example, however after testing out several colour pallets, no other colours simply matched our argument, and matched our poster like the simple colours of black and white. This, admittedly, took up a long of ink when printing, however it was worth the choice. We decided to add in the small parts of red, highlighting six words in total and underlying the ‘Do Not’ on either side, as we felt is excentualted our arguments further. Highlighting those words in particular also gave rise to them and caused them to be a further topic of conversation in our manifesto. The composition and the colour was also altered when we found the best conclusion to fit at the end. The contrasting colours of the conclusion and the individual pages, and also the contrasting pages all harmoniously fits together, and yet it continually makes the point that we are different, and we are all at war with each other, even though we are equals. Doesn’t make sense does it? Don’t worry, we will just leave you hanging with all the questions and conversation topics that come with our manifesto.

Project 1.0 Political Prints

FIRST PROJECT OF THE YEAR! (Not including the summer project.)

So from the Introduction to Political Prints session that we had, we were given the task of producing our own political prints.

Here was our task debrief;

Art has had a troubled relationship with propaganda, which is frequently seen as overly didactic.

The history of print as a medium is often associated with radical politics. From the Russian constructivists to the art students of May ’68, to contemporary protest posters from many artists in countries around the world, artists have used print to create quick and bold statements, to combine images and text.

Using stencil printing, we would like you to produce an image that functions as a piece of propaganda in response to the challenges we face today in our societies and in our cultures. Consider the relationship between the imagery you use and the concepts you are exploring and think about what issues you would like your 2016 student revolt to address!

Source: Task debrief – Reading University Blackboard Learn

There are a lot of things that I feel passionate about and that I could do my stencil printing on, including the topics of; endangered animals, brexit, the American elections, sexism and feminism. But after a few hours of having a sit down, think, and a doodle (what else are you supposed to do?), I came across the quote

Can you see me now?

Source: Unknown

This led me to looking at the topic that was raised a few months back;

Free the nipple

When this hit the news, I felt incredibly passionate about the topic. My take on the subject was all about the women who were breastfeeding their babies in public. This is in no way, shape or form, is a sexual act, unlike how some men and reports I found were showing this. It is a simple act of the human body to want and need food, including those babies who still need fresh milk from their mothers. It did, however, become a fashion statement very quickly. This personally annoyed me as many of the articles reporting the ‘#freetheboob’ movement, were commenting on how uncomfortable bras were and how it is just commercialism that is making us buy bras. How ‘Free the Nipple’ became summer’s biggest fashion trend – EveningStandard. Yes, it has been scientifically studied as to whether women need to wear bras or not, and apparently we don’t, (Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wear A Bra, According To Science – IFLScience) but that doesn’t mean we need a hashtag and a fashion trend about it, especially when it draws it away from the Free the Nipple campaign, which is very different.

I did not know this, but Free the Nipple is a lot bigger than just the whole breastfeeding in public taboo. The Free the Nipple campaign has been described as

…a global campaign of change, focused on the equality, empowerment, and freedom of all human beings. Free the nipple has become a premiere voice for gender equality, utilizing all forms of modern media, to raise awareness and effect change on various social issues, and injustices.

Free the Nipple Campaign

Looking closer and at more detail of what the Free the Nipple campaign truly stood for, I was inspired to create my own piece of propaganda to support the campaign.  I couldn’t exactly just whip off my shirt to reveal no bra to show my point, like hundreds of men and women did on Brighton Beach to protest against the social media policies banning on the female nipples.

‘Free The Nipple’: Hundreds Gather In Topless Protest On Brighton Beach – Huffington Post

I could, however, create a stencil printing, using my new found information on the Free the Nipple campaign, and the quote that inspired all of this; Can you see me now? I did have to take a moment to figure out what I could do inn order to get my point across – the female, and the male nipples, are something that we should not be ashamed of and that we should not hide. It should not be a taboo.

I therefore created the following design whereupon the nipple and the boob that are uncovered are the centre of attention, being the focal point of the print.


I initially couldn’t decide on whether I wanted this design, or to invert it and print where the majority of the page was black, showing a white boob and a black nipple. However, I soon realised that this could not be done as there would be multiple areas of the print that were not connected, hence I went for this design.

I also changed the composition of the wording several times. The consistent parts were the bra itself, the O, U and nipple. Initially, the ‘o’ of the ‘now’ was smaller, as to represent the other nipple. I did change this as it looked, to me, out of place, so I changed it to the now, larger ‘O’. I also changed the composition of the ‘y’ as originally it was vertical. The reason for this change was due to it being more aesthetically pleasing, but looking back, it now also follows the curvature of the breast which accentuates both the breast and the nipple.

The screen printing itself was interesting.. I have done screen printing before, however the screen printing ink has never stained this much! A tiny bit on my hands and it stayed there for days. As per usual, some of the prints were absolutely atrocious and barely legible, however there were a couple of them which were crisp and defined!

Drumroll please…

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Our exhibition isn’t fully up yet, but will be open on Thursday afternoon, so more photos and updates soon!