Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Week 7 – Crit

My Exhibition Space for my Crit

my opinion on the crit

Feedback from my peers from the feedback sheets:

Descriptions of my work – paint on board, goats in pens, vibrant colour choice, textured scratched layers, varied size, small scale animal portraits, abstracted colour, cages in relation to ethics?, acrylic, animal portraits on wood, five boards bunched together, various sizes, some small farm animals in cages, one is an unrealistic colour to the others, not much space around the animals, varying sizes of mdf of farm animals but some in unusual colours – particularly the largest piece, all animals behind fences, theme is animals/farm animals, trapped, enclosed

Relating work to other things – research into Francs Marc for brightly coloured theme, research into Henry Moore and his focus on sheep in fields

Questions/thoughts about the work – why the choices of colour? Does this work relate to farming ethics? The emphasis of the bars of the cage/enclosure brings ethics to mind (especially the central painting), would make sense with the theme and lots of small paintings grouped together. Are the fences important in the portraits? Makes you think about animal welfare – meat and dairy industry. Why are some colours bright/saturated and some are more realistic? I like the irregular arrangement of pieces with the size. Interesting idea of lines throughout the paintings. Cages, colour palettes.

Verbal feedback from peers and tutors during discussion:

  • Small scale animal portraits – acrylic on board
  • Focusing on colour and subject matter as you see it – high relation to ethics – particularly in central painting with the bars
  • High sense of “confined” – animals are confined in their enclosures, confined by scale of board too
  • Raising ethical questions of farming and animal agriculture
  • Interesting choices of colours, three are very realistic and the others a lot more unrealistic
  • Goats are funny animals with demonic eyes, adds humour to the work, silly animals
  • Abstracted colours have different outcomes but the theme remains the same, uses of colour could make the subject less serious – could represent how a lot of people don’t take it seriously, see it as a joke as if it doesn’t exist
  • Sheep and goats are often tagged with randomised colours by farmers, could make that a link in my work
  • Humour incorporated with serious topics to portray the irony
  • Experiment with scale
  • The uses of bright colours make the purple goat more animated
  • Try to do a lot more variations of the paintings – stick with small scale but generate a lot of paintings at once (consider printmaking techniques to create a lot of prints at once), flock of paintings, incorporate different goats with the same confined/trapped ideas
  • Goats have more markings than sheep, a flock of sheep in a field would look the same so see the animals as individuals grouped together in a flock of paintings
  • Henry Moore sheep paintings research
  • Farm animals are cute, not celebrated though and deemed as unimportant animals which a large amount of the population eats
  • Goats feature in films during demonic sacrifices, spiritual meanings
  • Do more singular paintings to create a herd of goats
  • Uses of the same greens in different paintings make them seem linked – same field/grass/farm/location
  • The barbed wire in the central painting crates more of a menacing look, isolated and kept alone. Isolation key part of paintings
  • The use of an unnatural green makes the environments they are in look bad, adds to trapped in enclosure idea. The use of vibrant colour is a distraction, more fences = more senses of captivity
  • Goats are looking at the audience with varying expressions. Asking for help? Looking at audience as if we are the ones in cages. On their hind legs to see if we have food. Friendly and domesticated animals. Goats look like and act like puppies, not dogs but another odd thing
  • Andy Warhol research – serial cows imagery.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Week 6 – Crit Preparation

To ensure I was prepared for my crit, I decided to get these paintings finished so that I knew what to present. I wanted to include a mixture of realistic colour schemes and colour experiments to get feedback and see what other people’s opinions of them were. I also included a sheep painting amongst several goat paintings as I felt my sheep painting was very successful through composition and colour schemes.

I tried to make the paintings relate to each other in various ways through colours used or the size of the bars which have different effects and outcomes. I also went to Wilko to purchase some Velcro as a quick and easy measure to present my work though in future for my formative assessment, I would like to have some more permanent measures to the hanging of my work using picture hooks and nails.

Overall, I feel very confident and prepared for my crit next week and I feel that having feedback will help to inform how I move forward in this project.

Sheep painting on board with pyrography
Goat painting on board
Realistic detailed goat painting on board
Purple A3 goat painting on board
Pink small scale goat painting on board

Other people’s crits:

I got to see some other peopled’s crits in the two weeks before my crit which was helpful in allowing me to understand how to present my work and have inspiration. I really liked the different subjects and methods people had used in their own work.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Week 5 – Colour Experimentation

I decided to add a cage to the owl painting I created a few weeks ago so that it would relate to my enclosure theme even though I know I want to focus on farm animals for the rest of my project due to being able to get a range of images and drawings from a primary source rather than using taxidermy from the museum which have specific stances and arrangements.

Owl Painting

Although the cage blends in quite a lot with the painting, I feel that it relates a lot more to my theme and it is very effective.

Colour explorations:

I started a painting with a vibrant colour scheme on an A3 piece of mdf board which is going well but I feel that working at a larger scale takes away the confined space theme that I have captured in the other paintings. I also feel that working at a larger scale makes it more difficult to hide any mistakes made.

Purple goat A3 sized board painting

This is a painting of a goat in which I decided to experiment with colour using purple with elements of yellow as these colours are complementary and work well together. I wanted to use the viridian green for the background to link it to my other paintings to demonstrate that lots of animals are treated badly in farms, it’s not just a small issue.

Small scale pink goat board painting

This board was a small square size and so I decided to just capture the goat’s head as the head shows the most emotion. However, moving forward I may decide to just capture a part of the goat to emphasise more on the enclosures and to experiment with the affect this has on the viewer.

I don’t feel like I have enough time before my crit to do any new paintings, I need to focus more on finishing my other paintings but when I do make more paintings, I would like to explore more with subtle colour experiments, although I like the purple goat, I do feel that the smaller pink exploration had a better effect as it still looked realistic without being over the top.

CPS 3302 Year 3

Reflection on blogs and reviews from peers

This week we were put into small groups to show our blogs and receive/give feedback so that we know how to develop them further. I enjoyed seeing other people’s blogs as it showed their different approaches and encouraged me to do things differently as well as their verbal feedback.

My feedback:

  • Good range of information on posts
  • Try to break up text with more images, visual content
  • Find relevant articles and journals to add more to my artist research
  • Complete artists talks – ones that are relevant to my practice or inspire me
Contextual Research CPS 3302 Year 3

Exhibition post – DMU gallery

Currently, at the Leicester Gallery located in Vijay Patel, there is an ongoing project called ‘Art by Post: Of Home and Hope’ which was first introduced in May 2020 to provide activities for people in the UK suffering from a range of problems including loneliness, social isolation and digital exclusion. It involved commissioning artists to make activity booklets that were sent out to people to complete and send back in which resulted in over 600 works including poetry, drawings, paintings and mixed media work being received by the gallery.

Information about the project

The exhibition was organised based on three different themes being Nature, Sound + Movement & Hope. These are the key themes that emerged during the art by post responses and submissions but they demonstrate the vital needs that we all have including green spaces, music, dance, physical activity, and experiences that we all share.

Selection of framed artworks by participants

These framed artworks (image above and below) are a selection of works made by the participants which are organised by theme and colour coded.

Selection of framed artworks by participants

The green frames are related to the nature theme, the orange frames are related to the sound & movement theme and the pink frames are related to the Hope theme. The colours used for this suit the themes well, particularly the green for nature. The wide variety of different outcomes including written work and artwork demonstrates how we are all individuals and handle things in our own way. Despite different methods, a lot of the works are demonstrating similar ideas which are fascinating as it shows that there are often so many thoughts we don’t consider.

Movement tapestry by Zoe Kreye

This tapestry was influenced by the booklet surrounding the topic of creativity in the home and cultivating that through music, dance and creating a safe space for making (written by Cherrelle Sappleton and Barbara Clarke). Zoe Kreye did a lot of research into tapestries and fabrics to identify common ones used in front rooms as people were spending a lot of time in there and this is why the tapestry includes some domesticated fabrics.

Paintings by Luke Squire and tapestry by Paloma Proudfoot

These are some paintings (image above and image below) by Luke Squire based around nature which are small scale and so Paloma Proudfoot created the tapestry around his work to support them and add scale to the work. The final effect emulates windows which were an important connection for people who had to remain indoors during the pandemic, with shades of blue representing the sky during the day and black representing the night. Being connected to nature is a key way to improve mental and physical well-being.

Paintings by Luke Squire and tapestry by Paloma Proudfoot

I feel that the colours used in these tapestry pieces work well together yet also contrast in areas to keep the audience interested. There is a contrast between the solid colours and patterns in the areas that surround the more intricate and detailed nature paintings. Since I am exploring colour combinations in my own work, I could use some of the colour palettes in this work to see if it could benefit my own work and allow me to develop a more informed choice of colour. I stayed at the gallery for a long time looking at these works, I feel that the meaning behind them is very significant and plays a big role in how they are perceived.

‘Hope’ – Collective self-portrait tapestry

This tapestry brings together a series of self-portraits of the participants. It is entitled ‘Hope’ This is vital in visualising members of the community and showing that their existence matters. This resembles the community and the support that it had for the art by post-project. In addition to the booklets used, there were zoom calls in which the participants did activities, some involving creating self-portraits which were used in this piece.

Domestic interior – Sophia Niazi

These batik works (image above and below) are made by Sophia Niazi in which she used some of the participants’ illustrations of their own interiors to create a kitchen and living room. Even the artworks on the wall in the work are adapted from pieces submitted by the participants. I particularly like that in the batik above, the light is shining through due to the gallery being made from transparent glass. This really makes the work pop and catch your eye. I believe that this is significant as it shows that your work in a gallery can be perceived differently depending on the time of day if it is in a location where light is able to reach the work. I also love the abstract colours used and again could consider using similar palettes in my work to see how it affects my personal subject matter.

Domestic interior – Sophia Niazi

This is the other batik kitchen interior created by Sophia Niazi which uses more muted colours yet the contrasts used still create a captivating effect. This work doesn’t have the same effect as the other in terms of the lighting but I think it is important to show the obvious differences in the outcomes. I have never seen batiks so detailed before but I love the small details such as the wood textural lines on the floor and the labels on the books at the bottom of the page.

My opinion of this exhibition:

Overall, I really loved this exhibition and the way it brought people together during the hard times during the pandemic. I always hated to think about the vulnerable people experiencing those times alone and so knowing that a lot of people had support and someone to talk to puts me at ease. In particular, I love the way colour has been used in the works in this exhibition as they are all very bright and attractive, a happy outcome of this project which is interesting as they could have focused on the negatives of those times but it has a positive vibe which is so lovely. The combination of detail and simplicity is nicely balanced. Some of the colour palettes, specifically the kitchen and living room batik pieces are some that I would be interested in using in my own project as I feel that they are really effective and balanced nicely. Since colour is such a vital part of my work, this is very relevant and I hope it develops my own colour use in some way.

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

CV Post – standard artist CV and master CV

The difference between an art resume and an art CV is that a resume is a summary, typically one page of recent work experience (employment) including relevant background for a job while a CV is typically a longer summary of artistic activities, endeavours, experiences, publications, skills and only relevant work experience would be necessary. 

The content of an art CV differs depending on what you are applying for including residencies, open call submissions, exhibitions, funding, studio applications, MA courses, creative industry, employment, project proposals, teaching, museum work, and gallery work. 

Master CVs – A master CV is required and it is something to which you add everything so that it builds a structure for all future CVs depending on what is required at the time. It is used to copy, edit, rearrange and structure specific CVs. Making CVs is a continuous process through life that will consistently change as more experience is gathered. 

Master CVs include everything related to your professional artistic life. This includes but isn’t limited to: 

  • Artist statement (short) = usually a paragraph, changes as your work develops. Summary of the content and drive you have for your project, summary of practice, not you. 
  • Awards
  • Biography = section for more established artists could start to articulate this now for a head start. A short narrative describing your journey, where you started to where you are now. Look at examples online 
  • Collaborations = consider putting together some proposals, get comfortable talking to people about your work, consider how you can develop your work 
  • Collections = tricky one but could motivate you to be more visible. Anyone who purchases your work such as art collectors, museums, or galleries. Organisations or colleges which hold your work. Consider donating work to organisations? 
  • Competitions = sign up to newsletters for new opportunities, apply for as much as you can 
  • Contact details
  • Curation = consider putting together some proposals, get comfortable talking to people about your work, consider how you can develop your work 
  • Education = only ever need to put your BA or above onto artist CV
  • Exhibitions = college, second-year exhibitions. Use a narrative approach to give more information including rationale, curator, artists, type of work. Enter competitions, open calls for exhibitions, organise your own exhibitions, collaborate, add forthcoming activities 
  • Internet platforms = only have art-related content on social media outlets. Professional and focused, keep social life off of them 
  • Networks = join a-n (artists information company), axis, arts professional, artists union England. Could consider more professional networks like outdoor arts in the UK, printmakers council, for art history, royal society of sculptors. Memberships of local art collectives, studios and specialist workshops. 
  • Publications, press/text = hone writing and pitch ideas to build/encourage others to engage with your work. Has anyone written about your work or you? Be proactive and contact the press, journals, blogs to encourage writers to review the work. Pitch your own writing, ideas, reviews on online blogs, websites, magazines. Approach online art sites to feature work or offer interviews or q+a. Use links to direct readers to sites where your work has been written about. Use the blog to develop a critical voice. Put together publications, zine, pamphlets. 
  • Professional memberships = join a-n (artists information company), axis, arts professional, artists union England. Could consider more professional networks like outdoor arts in the UK, printmakers council, for art history, royal society of sculptors. Memberships of local art collectives, studios and specialist workshops. 
  • Projects = consider putting together some proposals, get comfortable talking to people about your work, consider how you can develop your work 
  • Residencies = apply for some 
  • Skills = what tech do you know such as photoshop, premier pro, laser cutting. Practical skills like spot welding, slip casting, screen printing, driving license, first-aid certificate. Taken any technical/professional courses to support creative knowledge 
  • Work experience = only included if you are applying for something involving employment. Vital to focus on activities within the art and creative industries, don’t include a list of retail jobs. If you haven’t done arty jobs then consider how you have extrapolated skills and experience which would be relevant or transferable. Apply for employment in more related areas. Volunteer for creative organisations 

If you don’t have a lot of experience, you can approach it in two ways by building on what you have done from an honest viewpoint or working harder to gain more experience. 

To do’s: 

  • avoid clutter, faces, bright colours and patterns
  • Stick to monotones 
  • Don’t include photo unless it is asked for 
  • Personal details vital including name, number, email, website, blog, social media 
  • Use clear layouts and formats 
  • Aim for one or two pages maximum when established 
  • Reverse chronological order (most recent at top) 
  • Concise and relevant information 

My CV:

Gemma Sly

Currently based in Leicester

Email –

Artist, Painter


  • 2019-2022 Fine Art BA (hons) De Montfort University
  • 2018-2019 Foundation in Art and Design, De Montfort University, Distinction
  • 2016-2018 BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design, Leicester College


  • 2022 Degree Show, De Montfort University
  • 2020 Southwark Park Open Exhibition
  • 2019 Foundation Show, De Montfort University
  • 2018 Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design Show, Leicester College St Margaret’s Campus


  • nil


  • nil


  • nil


  • nil


  • nil

My CV is quite empty as I haven’t had a lot of experience and never had the confidence or money to apply for exhibitions when I was younger. I wish I would have tried to find more free opportunities but I can’t change things and I’m hoping to apply to a lot more opportunities in the near future to make my CV a lot more impressive.

My Master CV:

Gemma Sly




Experience working in retail and a school

Currently studying Fine Art BA (Hons) at De Montfort University


Exam Invigilator – Fullhurst Community College, Leicester

April 2019 – June 2019

Setting up exam halls with adequate equipment, helping students with enquiries, being a scribe for students who need help, enforcing exam boards rules and regulations, tidying up exam hall

Crew Member at McDonalds – Meridian Park, Leicester

November 2016 – October 2017

Greeted customers and handled payments via a POS system, prepared raw food materials to cook over 30 menu items, maintained clean dining areas, restrooms and work stations by routinely sweeping, mopping, replenishing supplies and getting rid of waste, worked with colleagues to maintain a smooth operation and high standards of customer service during high volume rushes


Fine Art BA (Hons) at De Montfort University, Leicester – October 2019 to 2022

Diploma of Higher Education: Foundation in art and design at De Montfort University (Distinction), Leicester – September 2018 to June 2019

Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Leicester College (St Margaret’s Campus – Triple Distinction*), Leicester – September 2016- June 2018

GCSE’s at Fullhurst Community College, Leicester: Art (A*), English Language (A*), English Literature (A*), Maths (B), Core Science (B), Additional Science (B), French (B), Geography (A) – September 2011 – June 2016


Adobe Photoshop

Microsoft Office

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Year 3

Exhibition post – New Walk Museum

‘Painting Freedom’ – an exhibition profiling Indian Modernism and its three rebels – Hemen Mazamur, Jamani Roy and Rabindranath Tagore. The largest UK exhibition from the period of modern Indian art including loans from the British Museum.

Although I found the exhibition interesting, I don’t feel that the content particularly relates to my project in any way. However, I feel that I could take some inspiration from the colour palettes used and analyze what could work well in my own work.

Untitled – Nandalal Bose (1952) watercolour on paper

The colours used in this painting are very eye-catching and work well with the intricate imagery. The detail of the illustrations remind me of wallpapers and the colours used in the painting seem to work really well with the grey wall colour. I find it interesting that the piece is made using watercolour as from far away the colours seem really opaque. The gold framing works well as it fits in with the colours used in the painting and although I can’t be sure if this was the curator’s intention, I still personally think it is effective.

Untitled – Rabindranath Tagore, watercolour on paper

This painting was a much smaller scale and I can’t work out the reason for such a big white border, it may have been done like that to fit the frame unless the intention was for a lot of contrast to be created with the border and the actual painting. The subject being animals is relevant to my own work, although I am focusing on farm animals rather than birds, the shades of blue, pinky-orange and yellow create a lovely composition.

Untitled – Jamini Roy, tempera on cloth

The uses of the bold colours in this painting are extremely effective and contrast to draw the attention of the viewer. The black border fits in well with the painting and the colour of the frame fits in well with the golden ochre shade in the painting which is a thoughtful and considerate thing to do when it comes to framing and displaying the work. The painting medium being tempura is interesting as I learned about this technique last year and it makes sense that it was painted onto a cloth.

Untitled – Jamini Roy

This painting is similar in style to the painting above with the pointed oval eyes and the black outlines with bold colours. The pattern in the right-hand corner really interested me when I first saw this painting and in my opinion, it represents the sun although it could just be there for decoration. The frames selected for these pieces are really appropriate and work well with the paintings to create a sense of unity and a flow of colour.

Untitled – Jamini Roy

This painting reminds me of a mother animal carrying her cub in her mouth. I love the use of pattern in this painting along with the colours used as they are very eye-catching. The cub being a different colour to the mother figure works well in differentiating the two and again the framing works well. I’m not sure what the symbols around the subject mean but they make me very curious. I would like to explore doing a painting for my project with this colour scheme as it works well and has a lot of contrast.

Untitled – Jamini Roy, gouache

This painting is of a sheep and so I feel that it is very relevant to my project, although explored in a vastly different style from mine. It is simple yet still effective through contrast and mark making. The side profile is unique and not something I am exploring in my own work but it is still good for me to see other people’s takes on animals.

My opinions about this exhibition:

I really enjoyed going to see this exhibition to see the range of different works created throughout history, particularly Indian art as I have never really had exposure to this style of art before. I loved the range of different works involving still life, animals and humans. I decided to photograph a lot of the animal art as this is the part that was the most relevant to my work at the moment and so I felt it could be useful for developing my own practice. Mostly, I was really fascinated by the colour palettes used and the way these were combined down to the last detail – even the framing! The patterns and simplicity of the works are really interesting and it would be really interesting to see a large mural of art in this style.

Information about the “Found” tree of life
  • Collaged birds created by a range of Leicester residents
  • Inspired by museum collections and the residents of Leicester
  • The tree itself is used to represent the tree at the front of the museum
  • Leaves and Bark created with rubbings/prints from trees around the museum
  • The collages include newspaper cuttings through the years involving the past of Leicester and the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Each bird has snippets of poems, photos, recipes, letters and songs which were chosen by the participants to demonstrate their personal stories of Leicester
Whole view of the tree of life exhibit

I particularly like the use of the light shining onto the work as it demonstrates that through all the experiences of people there is light at the end of the tunnel and demonstrates the hope that people have. I feel that this could also relate to the sun or moonlight shining on trees throughout the day. Birds are a beautiful part of nature and I feel that this work shows the unity of Leicester residents and how we can overcome things together.

I like the colours used on this bird and the way the lines on the tail create the illusion of feathers

I particularly like the mark making on the wing of this bird and how the eyes are three dimensional as it really stands out

I love that the birds are all in different poses and facing in different directions as it shows that a lot has happened over the years in Leicester and how much people have had to overcome.

I found these mixed media collaged birds very captivating as they involved a lot of textures and mark-making in a playful way. The use of contrast is interesting and ensures people take time looking at all the details, it is certainly not boring.

My opinion of this exhibit:

I was very drawn to this piece when I first saw it and I found the backstory about it really interesting and a lovely way for the community to come together after such tough times involving COVID. I have always liked collage which is why I think I liked this piece so much and the fact that people all around Leicester came together to get the materials for it, most likely more impactful to me as I have lived in Leicester my whole life so feel a connection to this piece. I also feel that the bright colours work well and portray birds nicely. The work overall is greatly patterned and textured which attracts viewers and I found it interesting trying to work out what some of the snippets of newspaper/text were.

Art History section:

While I was at the New Walk Museum, I decided to visit the art history section to give me some inspiration and to give insight into the different ways that scenes were painted throughout history. A lot of these paintings I have seen before as I have been to the New Walk museum a lot but this was the first time I had been in a while and so it seemed different.

‘St Paul’s’ – Henry Dawson (1860), oil on canvas
’Castle in a Landscape’ – Thomas Sydney Cooper (1832), oil on canvas
‘The Good Samaritan’ – William Small (1899), oil on canvas
‘Italian Landscape’ – Alfred de Bylandt (1856), oil on canvas
‘The Railway Station’ – William Powell Frith (1863), oil on canvas
‘Perseus on Pegasus, Hastening to the Rescue of Andromeda’ – Frederick, Lord Leighton (1896), oil on canvas

My opinion of this exhibition:

This Art History section has been at the New Walk museum for a long time. However, I only go to this area around once or twice a year so it is always a nice experience to look at the paintings. I feel that art historical paintings are so realistic and detailed – so different from my own work but I still enjoy seeing the ways people throughout history explored their love for art and developed their ideas. The art world has changed a lot since these paintings were made which always fascinates me. The artworld is always changing, we never know what will happen in the next 10 years.

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Year 3

Contextual Post – Rebecca Haines

Rebecca Haines Artist Website

Rebecca Haines is a Fine Artist who has had a strong passion for art throughout her life. She began her artistic career by focusing on a portraiture subject – predominantly faces, in which she built up a skill in creating photorealistic pieces. In her thirties, she began to engage in artwork with an animal-based subject which was a lot more abstract through her uses of mark makings and colour. This interest in animals came from her friend lending her a book about the spiritual side of animals and how they connect to humans. This was an eye-opener for Haines and she continued to do lots of research into animals and people’s opinions about their purpose.

During her degree, she worked at a gallery and after graduating became the director of that gallery which gave her the chance to exhibit and sell her own work. She works on board rather than paper or canvas as she prefers the feel and firmness. I feel that I can relate to that as I am using small scale boards for my paintings. She uses oil paints and grease pencils to create her works which I find interesting and I may consider the combinations of media as my own project develops.

The use of mark-making and solid colour in Rebecca Haines’s work is what captures my attention the most as it creates a lot of contrast. She also includes a lot of abstract colours with dark colours which is interesting as often the bright colours used don’t reflect upon the animal itself but more so with the animal’s spiritual feeling, which requires a lot more thought. I like that her works include drawings as well as paintings, with the drawing showing through transparent layers of paint as combinations of mediums are something I am fond of in both my own work and other people’s work. In this piece, in particular, I feel the red circles on the cheeks are very playful and doodle-like which contrasts with the serious face and stance of the bear.

In this painting, I particularly feel that the colours used are successful and the uses of similar shades in the bear and the background allow the viewers’ eyes to look around the painting rather than focusing on one area. The different areas of mark-making, both simple and complex work well and contrast at the same time. The use of the complementary colours blue and orange is a focus of this painting and as I use a lot of complementary colours in my own work, I feel that I can relate to the colours used.

In this painting, I find the colours used are really simple yet effective, with the orange bringing out the richness of the brown. The way that the owl fits perfectly into the shape is something I feel works well and shows how deer and owls may be connected spiritually. Using more than one species of animal in her work is something Rebecca Haines does a lot and they aren’t always animals you would associate with each other. The mark-making in each of Rebecca Haines’s works varies from painting to painting yet is effective in different ways. Although I know the works are created with oil paints and oil sticks, certain areas through the way they look or the texture created reminds me of soft pastels which are interesting.

Rebecca Haines discussing her work in Youtube video

Things learned from video:

  • During the initial stages of a painting, she has a computer with lots of images of animals in different poses and then starts scribbling down her preferred one. This is different from her early paintings as she used to plan them out a lot more which resulted in her losing a lot of the successful mark makings and so she is much happier with her current process
  • The decision of what animal to do is very practical, sometimes from dreams or areas she visits such as Buffalo dams, however, she also looks at individual galleries to see what animals they are in need of or which will fit each venue the best
  • She markets her work primarily through galleries as she respects the time and effort they make to display and represent her work
  • Oil sticks are used a lot in her work, Sheba branded, it’s not a pastel but is oil paint in a stick form. She likes to use oil sticks as she enjoys drawing in her work and this is the easiest way to add this drawing aspect. The sticks allow her to scribble and add marks and then smear or smudge them after. The oil sticks are permanent oil paints and have skins form over them like the paint in the tubes
  • The only painterly aspect is the gesso to prime the backgrounds
  • She uses china markers to add the fine-lined areas like a grease pencil would achieve
  • She does commissions and is willing to replenish paintings that have been damaged over the years. When it comes to commissions, she doesn’t mind doing work that is a lot different to her usual work as long as she is still able to incorporate mark-making
  • She has experience being a gallery director and she finds knowing both sides of the operation helpful in being understanding of what gallery owners go through
  • She is a successful full-time artist
  • The artist influences in her work are Leonardo Da Vinci as she likes drawing and Rick Bartow as she feels that their work comes from a similar place in terms of drawing and mark-making

How Rebecca Haines’s work is influencing mine:

I am particularly fond of the way Rebecca Haines combines colour and mark-making to build up interesting depictions of the spirituality of animals. She focuses a lot more on wild animals and animals with big spiritual beings/auras including but not limited to bears, owls and deer. Although my project focuses on farm animals in captivity, I am more interested in the applications of media and the build-up of intricate details which all say something about the complex spirituality of animals. My work at the moment involves a lot of block colours and so I feel that adding mark-making to some degree could make my work a lot more effective and allow the viewer to understand how the animal feels more or to understand the deeper meaning of the animals. In terms of colour, researching the colours associated with the farm animals I have been focusing on in my project could help as this is the method that Rebecca Haines applies to her own work effectively. Since I am working on a much smaller scale than Rebecca Haines, I feel that I should try to be selective with the amounts of mark-making and so this is something I would need to experiment with – trial and error to see what works best.