Welcome to my Fine Art Blog, my name is Gemma and this blog features work I have done throughout my second and third years at University, including my studio work, art history and CPS module. I include my thought processes and images of my work to show my development of ideas and to inform my decisions.
This is my final cow cluster (one cluster of three) which includes 17 individual small scale paintings with the largest being an A4 size. I feel that the colours of the pieces flow well together and yet contrast in the right places to keep the viewers focused and engaged with the artworks. Initially when mounting the works with sawtooth hangers and pins, they had a slight tilt forward which I felt was distracting from the art itself. I therefore decided to add some Velcro to secure the boards to the wall more and prevent this tilting forward which made my work look a lot more professional. I love the shape that I have managed to create as it gives an illusion of a cow silhouette with the triangular pieces on the left resembling a head and the triangular piece on the right resembling a tail.
These are zoomed in images of my final cow cluster which show the intricate details that bring the individual paintings together. I am really happy with the way that colour flows from one painting to another yet manages to keep the individuality through areas of contrast. Although a lot of people saw the barbed wire enclosures as a way for me to emphasise on my theme, the cows I took studies of and photographs of were actually in barbed wire enclosures which worked in my favour as it goes well with my theme, although unintentionally.
This is my final chicken cluster (two of three) which features 16 individual small scale paintings of chicken. Again, I feel that the colours work well together yet contrast in areas to keep the viewers eyes entertained and allow them to come to terms with how the paintings are related. I love the inclusion of lino prints in this cluster as they stand out. The different editions of the same image, both in size and colour, create different effects which I feel will resonate with people for different reasons. I tried to include paintings of the chickens looking at the viewers from different sides/angles to explore bringing different chickens experiencing the same mistreatment and showing the severity of the situation. The arrangements of the paintings in this cluster created the silhouette of a geometrical egg which I find really interesting as it relates to the cluster as chickens lay eggs.
These are some zoomed in images of the chicken cluster which I took to highlight the individual details including patterns and mark making which really bring the works together. The colours used link together in different areas of the paintings with the most popular colours used being yellow, purple and blue which I feel work together really nicely.
This is my final sheep cluster (three of three) which features 17 individual small scale paintings of sheep. A common colour in this cluster is purple which links a lot of the paintings together and yet contrasts in areas too, making it very eye catching. I wish I would have added another small painting to the top row but I didn’t have enough time. However, with the small scale painting being added to the left side, I created the illusion of a silhouette of a sheep due to the arrangement of pieces which I find really interesting as it relates to the cluster itself.
These are some zoomed in images of the sheep cluster which highlight the intricate details which I hope viewers will acknowledge when they inspect my work by getting quite close to it. I love that areas are quite bright anf yet other areas are quite cool as a contrast is created which brings the individual works together.
- cluster of cows – triangular boards on the borders
- cluster of goats
- cluster of chickens
- cluster of sheep
- attaching them up with saw tooth hangers and nails
Materials needed for hanging:
- saw tooth hangers and nails
- spirit level
- measuring tape/ruler
My designated space:
The blue section at the bottom of the image is my designated space cor the degree show in room 9.55. I have quite a large space which I feel will fit my work nicely. However to separate my work into different clusters in an arrangement which works well with the lighting in the room, I feel that three clusters will be more effective than four due to spacing out. Therefore I felt it would be good to review my four clusters and eliminate the one from the final show which wasn’t as developed as the rest.
Arranging clusters of cows, chickens, goats and sheep:
I put all of the clusters I had onto my wall and photographed them so that I could evaluate which one was the weakest in comparison to the rest. After thoughtful contemplation, I decided that the goats weren’t up to the same standard as the rest of the clusters as a lot of the pieces were unfinished and needed more intricate details added to fit in with the rest of the clusters. For this reason, I have selected the cow cluster, the chicken cluster and the sheep cluster for my final presentation of work. I decided to create a plan of the space below taking into consideration lighting.
This is my plan for the show I which I want the cow and sheep cluster to be lit with the main lights and the central chicken cluster being lit using spot lights which I felt worked really well to draw attention to the centre and allow people to work their way from one cluster to another.
Experimenting with different layouts:
I decided to explore a plan for mounting my work for my assessment/degree show to allow me to be fully prepared and get it up without any issues. I was trying to create a silhouette kind of image of a cow to relate it to the subject matter further. I feel that I was getting quite close to my desired effect but I will alter this accordingly as the mounting of my work develops further.
I took some zoomed in/close up photos of the plan for mounting to allow me to make sense of the correlation between each piece in terms of colour and imagery. I especially like that the cows face both left and right as well as central yet maintain eye contact with the viewer regardless of their positioning as this allows all of the individual paintings to have communication with the viewers as well as collaboratively.
I also did an experimental mounting of my chicken cluster to give myself an idea of how to mount it approaching my deadline so as to avoid too much stress down the line. The mounting wasn’t perfect as I was using masking tape as a short term measure to see how the pieces worked together. I found an arrangement which I really liked and it reminded me of an egg shape which I felt was very relevant to this cluster in particular and could show that I am trying to convey the mistreatment if animals in using them for their produce.
These are some close up images and further images that were zoomed in to show how the pieces worked together yet created contrast to attract the eyes of the viewer. Although the arrangement isn’t perfect as it a rough plan, I am really pleased with this arrangement and feel that I won’t have to make many alterations when it comes to my degree show as I am super happy.
This is my experimentation of the sheep cluster for my degree show with an intention of creating a sheep silhouette in terms of the wool of a sheep. I am pleasantly surprised as I feel the layout of this cluster differs a lot from the chicken and cow clusters in terms of arrangements yet the colours and paintings are balanced to create a nice harmony. Again, the arrangement isn’t perfect but it has given me a good idea which reassures me for the degree show.
These are some close up pictures I took to show the correlation between each piece and to focus in the intricate details which I hope viewers will be able to notice when they get close to my work ad I would like them go interact with my paintings relatively similarly to how they interact with farm animals at a farm – getting up close and personal.
I used a spirit level, ruler and my artworks to measure out where each one should be. I made sure that the central point of the central pieces of each cluster were 57 inches from the floor and worked around them. The pieces had a measurement of one cm between them. I used nails and a hammer as well as saw tooth hangers on the back of my paintings to secure them to the wall. The paintings were leaning forwards and so I decided to use velcro to secure them into place. Since my works are rather small and lights, I feel that velcro should be sufficient enough to secure the works in place.
Here is an image of the lino prints which I have been working on by painting over them in areas to change the colours and adding details such as pattern and texture. I still need to add enclosures to the cows and chickens to make them fit in with the other works and fit with my theme of animals in enclosures. I am enjoying experimenting with these and creating different effects. I will select the most effective ones to be used in my final show.
These are the paintings which I have started to apply block colours to as a base which I can work on more as I build up layers. I am trying to make the sizes of board I use vary to emphasise on a confined space and allow the audience to move closer to inspect the art, having to get up close and personal to see the more intricate details and make them uncomfortable through the gaze of the animals.
These are all my contextual research pages I did this year including the two artists talks. As I have researched so many, I felt that putting them all onto one post would make it easier for my summary and allow me to be more concise and reflective without simply listing all of my research pages and using up my word count.
- Alongsiding Exhibition by Anna Lucas – information about Anna Lucas’s small lens based exhibition at a science building at the University of Leicester with reflections and my opinions of specific pieces
2. Robert Phelps artist research – information about the artist, links/images of his website, images and reflection of his work with a particular focus on his uses of colour, YouTube videos giving an insight into his process, how his work will impact on my practice
3. Rebecca Haines – artist research, information about the artist, images and reflections of her work with a particular focus on pattern, texture and colour, YouTube videos giving an insight into her material choices and artistic process, how her work will impact upon my practice
4. New Walk Museum Exhibition – images and reflections of different exhibitions at the New Walk Museum including Indian Modernism, Leicester and the community through the pandemic and the classic art history exhibition that is on permanent display, my opinions of pieces
5. DMU Exhibition – information about rhe exhibition ‘Art by Post: Of Home and Hope’ concerning the community in Leicester coming together in any way possible during the pandemic, images of the work and information, reflections of the works and how the work will influence my work particularly in terms of colour
6. Henry Moore’s sheep drawings – brief information about the artist, information about his sheep drawings, images and reflections of some of the sheep drawings, how the drawings affected my practice and the ways that I collect drawings from life for my project
7. Andy Warhol’s serial cow imagery – information about Andy Warhol and the serial cow imagery, images of the art and reflections, YouTube videos about the work with interesting facts, how the work will influence my project particularly in terms of colour and repeated images/how it is relevant in terms of subject
8. Franz Marc – research into the artist, his fascinations with colour, YouTube videos giving information about his practice, how the incorporation of colour and animals in his work influence my own practice, images and reflections of his works – particularly the horse paintings
9. Artist Talk 1, Grace Ndiritu – information about her and her practice, q&a she answered during the talk, images and reflections of her work, how her work is relevant to me/influences my practice, what I like/don’t like
10. Cheri Christensen – information about the artist and her focuses of colour and lighting, images of her work and reflections, YouTube video explaining her artistic process, how her work will influence my project, what I like/don’t like about her work
11. Pat Saunders-White – information about the artist, images of the art and reflections, links to my work/how it will influence my project in terms of colour and subject matter
12. Artist talk 2, Kasia Redzisz – information about the curator, information about the exhibitions, images of the work and information learned about them during the talk, reflections of the talk and why I found it interesting
13. The Blue Rider Group – information about the group and why it was founded, key focuses of the group, particular focus on colour, information about members of the group and images of their artworks, reflections of the work and how it is relevant to my own project, YouTube videos with information about the group
14. Dana Ellyn – infromation about the artist and her intentions, interviews and videos giving information about her processes, images and reflections of the artworks, how the work is relevant to my project and how it is different, how it will influence my work in terms of colour and pattern
15. Jackson Thilenius – information about the artist and his intentions, images and reflections of the artwork, what I like/don’t like, how the work is relevant to my own project
16. Art on DMU walls – art that was suggested for me to research due to subject matter being animals, reflections of the artworks
These are all the professional development posts I have done this year which are featured in my summary. Keeping them all in one area is important and useful in keeping my summary concise and detailed, without having to link every single page which can take away from the 700 word count.
- After University Plans – identifying my skills and areas I can improve and seeing which careers are useful to me.
2. Artist Residencies – research into what artist residencies are, finding relevant artist residencies websites, watching YouTube video about peoples experiences, finding potential artist residencies which I can apply to in the future
3. CV post, generic artist CV and Master CV – research into difference between artist cv and resume with examples and my own artist CV/Master CV showing all of my experience and information about me
4. Being an artist, exhibition post – research into different exhibition spaces, different websites/subscriptions you can use for exhibition opportunities or competitions, applications to exhibition opportunities and responses, reflection upon rejections and how I can overcome being rejected
5. Artist website – information about artist websites and their functions/uses, examples of artist websites that I like/don’t like, the process fof making my artist website on WIX
6. Online Exhibition – discussing the positives/negatives of having online exhibition vs one in real life, process of creating my online exhibition on artsteps, feedback of my online exhibition
7. Artist Statement – short artist statement for my website and longer website for exhibitions
8. My Website – my finished website with reviews of each page and screenshots
Here is the link of my finished website. I am very happy with the final look and I feel that the website reflects me and my work effectively. I like the fact that I included a banner of my two favourite artworks at the top of each page, alternating between colours in a thoughtful way. This allows people to see what my work is focused on even when not looking at the artworks page and pulls the website together.
The pages that I decided to include in my website are:
- About the artist
- Artist Statement
I have kept my home page quite simple with the banner of a purple cow and six images of my work to draw people in. I didn’t want to add any information other than welcome as all of the other information is on the other key pages and I didn’t want to make it too overwhelming. The simplicity of other artist websites is what I liked when researching artist websites and so I decided to apply this to my own website. I included my LinkedIn profile and art Instagram profile at the bottom so that people have ways to see more about me and what I’m involved with. These are showed in the menu and at the bottom of the page which gives people double the chance of noticing them.
About the Artist:
Text says – I am currently a final year Fine Art student developing my practice in painting and developing my professional artistic career. With an interest in a range of subjects including architecture and animals in captivity, I am constantly developing my own unique style. Colour in particular is a big focus in my art as I love how playful and captivating colour can be and how colour can often change the perception of an image. I have experience in a range of media, although I have my own particular preferences that I keep coming back to including acrylic paints onto wood and lino prints. If my style or focus appeals to you, I’d love you to get in touch!
I decided to include an ‘about the artist’ page so that I could give the viewers some information about me and my intentions while pursuing my passion for art that my statement may not have allowed me to convey. I didn’t have any photos of myself with my artwork that were professional and so I am hoping to get some taken in my degree show so that I am able to update the photo to allow the viewers to see what I look like in a professional manner.
Artist Statement Page:
Text reads – I am currently focusing on exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is so normalised in day to day life through farms and even animals in the countryside which we see when driving to places. I am hoping to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how being in captivity makes them feel and impacts on them. Colour is an important aspect of my work to represent how humans are often hypocrites who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t actually do anything to better the situation. Subtlety is important to me as I want to make people see through sympathy rather than disgust or outrage from violent imagery, the innocent imagery is very important to me. The idea of humans being regarded as more important than animals has always saddened me as we are similar in so many ways and animals deserve a lot more respect than we give them. There is more to animals than becoming a food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.
I added a range of the art that I have created this term in clusters of animals, beginning with cows, then chickens and finally sheep. I have been working on some goat paintings and prints too but these aren’t yet at a standard to be uploaded to the website and so I will do this as soon as I finish them. I presented them in groups rather than muddled up as this is my intention for the degree show and the idea of clusters of animals is something I find interesting as animals are often separated into different groups in farms and different habitats. Some of the images look bad quality but this is due to some of them being done with pastels which creates a matted effect and is difficult to photograph. Overall I am really happy with this page and I’m looking forward to adding more as I progress with my project.
I included the titles of the pieces, material information and dimensions.
This is my CV page in which I have included a simple CV showing a small amount of information about me, my education and exhibitions that I have taken part in. I didn’t see the point in including areas where I have no experience as this would just be a waste of space and I am looking forward to seeing this develop as I gain experience in my artistic life. Again the short CV goes quite well with the simplicity of the rest of my website.
This is my contact page which is quite simple yet includes a range of different information to allow my viewers to interact with me in a detailed manner which will help me to understand what they are asking. I am hoping that people do get in touch as it will help me to see how viewers feel about my work and whether I am meeting my intentions of my work.
Working onto cow lino prints:
Chicken print manipulations:
I did some lino prints using coloured block printing inks which ai bought in the colours white, black, red, dark blue, purple, light green, dark green and yellow. The inks are waterbased which makes clean up easier and I can even mix tbe colours like paints to get different tones or mix new colours which I like.
Light green prints:
Dark Green Prints:
Dark blue prints:
Layering different colours:
- Exploring different layouts
- Confined layout yet different shapes on the edges almost breaking away
- Trying to group pieces together that have similar colours or would it be best to do the opposite? contrasting colours next to each other
- Need to make the barbed wire more obvious, just looks like bars
- need to add enclosures to other pieces
Chicken Linocut 2:
Cow linocut 2: