Contextual Research CPS 3302 Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Contextual Post – The Blue Rider Group

The Blue Rider Group consisted of a range of artists located in and around Munich. It was founded in 1911 by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky. The group represented part of the German Expressionist movement. The group was around from 1911 – 1914, cut short due to members of the group, Franz Marc and August Macke being called into the military for World War 1. The after-effects of the war completely shifted the art scene in Germany.

The Blue Rider Group made art to explore relationships between art, colour, music and spiritualism. The group was formed in rejection of another German group called Neue Künstlervereinigung München (Munich New Association of Artists). They were interested in presenting art that showed their emotions rather than just doing literal scenes or realistic art. Although members approached their work using different techniques or subject matters, they all expressed spirituality through their uses of colour.

Information about the different members of the group:

  • Wassily Kandinsky – He was the focal point and intellectual head of the group with his work becoming semi-abstract in 1912. After the war, he moved back to his home country Russia and was considered the inventor of abstract art over there as he introduced the idea. Although the name ‘The Blue Rider’ was believed to have derived from a 1903 painting by Kandinsky, at that time he hadn’t developed his colour symbolism theory yet and so this is rather unbelievable. Kandinsky was very important in the group as a theorist, publishing essays and an experimental theatre piece for the group, as well as his other visual offerings.

This woodcut, the cover for ‘Der Blaue Reiter Almanach’ portrays the groups’ aesthetics and ideals in an effective way. The use of the prehistoric woodcut technique shows the groups’ interest in the direct representation of Primitivism. The use of the colour blue represents spirituality and the rider symbolises mobility making this woodcut a visual manifesto of the groups’ important concepts (since the blue rider group didn’t have an actual manifesto).

  • Franz Marc – He had a preference for environmental themes in his work – with a particular fondness for animals in their natural environment. His paintings became nearly abstract at the end of his life, sadly lost due to World War 1. During his artistic endeavours, Franz Marc developed a colour theory that ran parallel to Kandinsky’s, yet the two overlapped at points with the pair doing some collaborations together. Spiritualism was something Franz Marc explored in his work throughout his life, with a key idea of his being that animals were much closer to a natural state of spirituality due to them being at one with nature, while humans were too civilised to reach the same state of spirituality – animals were purer in spirituality than humans will ever be.

“Blue is the male principle, astringent and spiritual. Yellow is the female principle, gentle, gay, and spiritual. Red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the color to be opposed and overcome by the other two.” – Franz Marc. In ‘Yellow Cow’ pictured above, Marc through his colour choices was demonstrating femininity resounding in spirituality not being able to be silenced by the opposition.

  • Gabriele Münter – She became companions with Kandinsky and they spent a lot of their time at a house in Murnau outside of Munich. This house became a common meeting point for the members of the Blue Rider group. Locals called the house the Russenhaus (House of the Russians) as a lot of the members came from Russia originally. Münter’s work often had black outlines with bright uses of colour and often have a compact perspective which creates a flat effect. The uses of simplistic shapes demonstrate her influence of folk art and children’s paintings. She never went completely abstract as she enjoyed doing figurative art that showed the reality of life.

The colours used in this painting by Münter are very delicate yet have a completely different effect when viewed against the black outlines. The black outlines and bold colours make this work similar to a colouring book page. The application of paint holds texture which with the colour selection works well. Different tones of colour in each section create dimension and make the work more realistic.

  • August Macke – He was close friends with Franz Marc and went on various trips to different places with different members of the group. He also sadly died during World War 1. Macke was critical of the blue rider group in a humorous way.

Macke often painted forms cut into sections/fragments with common angular shapes and often focused on depictions of women doing different things. In the above painting, four women are gathered in a forest with high amounts of contrast between the subjects and the background which pushes them forward and makes the viewer focus on them. The use of the shapes in Macke’s work is often linked to cubism.

  • Alexej Jawlensky – His style involves broad brush strokes and strong colours. At the end of his artistic life, he suffered from arthritis which made painting difficult for him.

The works of Alexej Von Jawlensky, including the painting above, have similarities to a colouring book due to the heavy black outlines and bold solid areas of colour to create contrast. He focused on head portraits a lot in his artistic endeavours to portray emotion, often using bright colours to show how colour can become the essence of one’s being. Expressive brushstrokes are shown throughout a lot of Jawlensky’s work. Although I know this is created using paints, the textures created do remind me of oil pastels which I find interesting.

  • Paul Klee – Until 1914, Klee mostly did watercolour paintings and graphics in his very unique style. He loved to explore form and colour, both figurative and abstract but reduced to the essential. He did small scale work, sometimes miniature. Paul Klee’s exploration of colour began with the Blue Rider group. He became inspired by Kandinsky’s writing and so started an intense study into abstraction and colour, with the two going hand in hand at times. This made him a central member of the group.

The painting above is considered one of Klee’s first fully abstract works and exchanges familiar imagery into a balanced composition of different shapes coloured in a variety of mixed hues that make the piece very eye-catching. Although this piece is rather simplistic, the colours balance yet contrast in areas which makes the viewers’ eyes travel along the painting rather than just staying in one area.

  • Alfred Kubin – His works were much different to the rest of the groups’ colourful explorations. His work is nightmarish and apocalyptic. His preferred medium was drawing ink mixed with watercolour. Out of all the members of the group, Kubin was the only one who wasn’t outlawed by the Nazis.
  • Marianne von Werefkin – She joined the group at a later stage than other members. She focused on women and the impoverished in her work, showing how differently people were treated at the beginning of the 19th century. She often depicted the women in dark coloured clothes to demonstrate the harsh reality of women in her era with a splendid landscape.

This painting demonstrates the experimentation of the blue rider group that was semi-abstract explorations of colour and forms. Werefkin often had loose brushwork and uses of random colour which showed how artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch influenced her. I feel that the bright yellow highlights on her face work really well to draw the viewer in as a lot of the other colours are quite muddy and dark, so the highlights stand out and bring the painting together.

  • Albert Bloch – He was the only American member of the group who moved to Germany in 1909. Kandinsky and Marc visited his studio and convinced him to join. He developed his own unique style, often incorporating harlequins and clowns dancing and playing instruments in his work.

This painting shows Boch’s connection to the Blue Rider group which has no visible foreground or background and makes it seem like objects are floating. This is to show the combination of the physical and spiritual world. The fruits have their own auras which shows how Boch was giving life to inanimate objects. The fluid and wavy lines also link to spiritualism. Albert Boch continued this style in his work even after the Blue Rider group ceased to exist.

Information learned from the YouTube video above:

  • Many artists during the early 1900s wanted to take their art in a different direction, they didn’t want to just paint and sculpt realistic images. They wanted to express their feelings in their art and make viewers feel the same emotions when looking at their work
  • The blue rider group came together to rebel against the way art was created and created a new art standard of creating work from within rather than from external sources
  • They were a part of the art movement called German Expressionism
  • They expressed feelings and abstract ideas that paved the way for Abstract Art. They wanted to express spirituality in their work, beyond reality and life as they knew it
  • Blue represented a spiritual colour, part of the reason for the name of the group. The action of riding a horse represented the fact that they were riding beyond realism in art

In 1912, Kandinsky and Marc produced a collection of art essays with a woodcut cover created by Kandinsky. This was titled ‘Almanach Der Blaue Reiter’ and the name has only been explained with speculation, nothing was confirmed by the group. Franz Marc has always had a fascination with animals, in particular, horses which he painted a lot through his artistic career and Kandinsky had always been fascinated by riders on horseback, with one of his paintings in 1903 being titled ‘The blue rider’.

Influence of colour on the group:

Each of the members of the group had their own individual applications of colour but all used similar colours in a lot of their works, with blue being a popular colour for all of them. Colour allowed the group to be more expressive and allowed the artists to convey their spiritual feelings in their paintings. Their work was freer than other artists at the time and very eye-catching, no dull work was created.

The colour of music:

Synaesthesia – the ability to hear taste or smell colour introduced Kandinsky to the idea of using colour to represent physical senses. Each colour represented different parts of an orchestra to create a colour symphony in the painting. This was significant to Paul Klee in his progression to abstract art. Yellow – earthly colour, brighter yellow = chaotic feelings. Blue – calming and created balance with the yellows. Reds are powerful to represent drums or trumpets. Green – calmest colour to represent violins. Violet – melancholy and sad to represent horns or bagpipes. Black – represents the finale. Every placement of colour in Kandinsky’s musical pieces was intentional with some pieces taking him years to complete due to the deep considerations.

Artist and movement inspirations of the group:

  • Robert Delaunay/Orphism – influenced Franz Marc and August Macke, particularly the way colour was fractured into different fragments of colour
  • Fauvism – Gabriele Münter and Alexej Von Jawlensky
  • Music – influenced both Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee
  • Edvard Munch and Vincent Van Gogh – Marianne Von Werefkin, influenced by their use of colour to demonstrate the soul

My reasons for researching The Blue Rider Group:

I decided to research into the Blue Rider Group as colour is an important part of my project and so since each member of the group explores colour in different ways, I felt that this would be good to inform some of my colour decisions rather than just making the colour choices up as I go along. I got encouraged to research the Blue Rider Group as a whole by my tutor after they heard that I was being inspired by Franz Marc and I feel that this was a good idea as although the group all have used colours to express particular emotions, they all have very unique styles and relationships with colour which is something that has always fascinated me – two artists focusing on the same subject with the same colour palette and materials very rarely, if at all, produce the same outcomes, each person’s art is completely unique and new and this is a concept which I love about art.

Main sources:

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Plan and progress

Sheep paintings so far, exploring layouts

Things to consider about sheep paintings:

  • Add enclosures to the painting without
  • Have the enclosures going in different directions?
  • Goats facing different directions
  • Have enclosures meet in certain points but not all to show different enclosures
Cow paintings so far, exploring layouts and different shapes

Things to consider about Cow paintings:

  • Do the boards have to be square or rectangular? Triangles or irregular shapes could work
  • Add enclosure to the painting on the left
Chicken paintings so far, exploring layouts

Things to consider about chicken paintings:

  • Could explore making the bars meet at certain points like a puzzle
  • Have some chickens facing different ways?
Image of plan in my studio space

I printed out my work so far on A3 sheets of paper in which I annotated about different aspects or areas that I am contemplating at the moment. I decided to print these out to inform my practice as I often take my work home to get more done and carrying my work to and from uni can be quite a hassle. It also shows how I have been developing my ideas and gives an idea of the final result I would like of clusters of different animals in which colour is explored in a variety of ways.

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Online exhibition

Since I have been having some difficulties being accepted into exhibitions due to the number of applicants or my work not fitting in with other people’s themes or the themes of the exhibitions, I decided to make an online exhibition on the platform Artsteps which I discovered last year. This will allow me to get my work noticed without having to worry about my work being rejected or fees until I have the time to make art for specific themes without interrupting my university study as if I focus on personal work I will fall behind with university work which wouldn’t be a good idea – especially as it is my final year of study.

Starting a new Exhibition
My chosen layout/format

I decided to go with the modern exhibition template as it reminds me of the exhibition spaces within DMU and I thought it would be a good idea to visualise how I want my work to look for the degree show and what changes I should make to improve the outcomes.

Adding images to my exhibition

I added some images of the work I have done so far including their titles, a description, measurements and tags to get my exhibition noticed by more people on the internet/artsteps site. I hope to add more images as my project develops so that I can work out what is most successful for my degree show.

Arranging my artworks on the wall space

I started to put my work onto the wall in clusters of animal groups – one chicken, one sheep and one cow cluster. I hope to make the clusters much bigger as I progress in my project and fill the wall in more so that there is a lot to look at. As my art works are rather small you have to get close to the images to see all the details but I like this interaction between the viewer and the work as it allows them to almost have an up close and personal conversation/exchange which works so well with my intentions.

Another view of the online exhibition
Image of the cluster of sheep
Image of the cluster of cows

I am happy with this exhibition so far and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses further as I produce more work for my project. I hope to receive some good feedback on what I can do to improve and I hope the scale of the online exhibition doesn’t put anyone off.

Publishing Exhibition

Title – Confined Animals

Description – Small scale paintings exploring animals – in particular farm animals – which are confined in small enclosures and have no quality of life, trying to draw on the irony of people claiming to care about animals yet doing nothing to help them through uses of bright colour which could be considered to be taking the seriousness of the issue away, even though the issue isn’t considered serious by most people.

Categories – Contemporary art and Paintings

Audio – none

Tags – Farm Animals , Paintings, Cows, Chickens, Sheep, Acrylic, MDF, Wood, Abstract, Colour

Changing Cover of Exhibition

I made the exhibition cover an image of the work on the wall so that people can understand my intentions and what the work is about.

Finished exhibition:

Chicken cluster and sheep cluster
Zoomed in on chicken cluster
Sheep cluster
Cow Cluster
Zoomed in cow cluster
view of all the clusters

My online exhibition –

Although making an online exhibition requires a lot of time due to glitches in the software, I am still glad that I made one as it allowed me to get my work out there whilst I try to get accepted into real life exhibitions which is proving to be difficult at this moment in time – the life of an artist. The online exhibition has allowed me to overcome these challenges and I look forward to getting feedback.

Contextual Research CPS 3302 Year 3

Artist talk – Kasia Redzisz

Kasia Redzisz is a polish curator and art historian who curated two exhibitions with the non-profit Biennial Foundation.

Biennial Foundation website –

Write about quote on website ‘first of its kind initiative’ 

The organisation has artist residency opportunities and promotes young talent in Romania as well as the art history of Romania. – information about Kasia Redzisz being the first artistic director at KANAL after serving as the senior curator of the Tate Liverpool since 2015 and before that working at the Tate Modern from 2010. Therefore she has a lot of experience and expertise in the curation industry.

Information about the exhibitions:

Information about the ’4th Art Encounters’

Redzisz organised the exhibition with Mihnea Mircan (another curator) in Transylvania which is a cultural crossroads that provides a chance to see art which is unique. 

She proposed that the exhibition be split into two parts, one being an historical exhibition and the other being a contemporary exhibition. 

Information about artists in the exhibition

For the historical exhibition, she wanted the artists to focus on combining art and nature in a way of questioning how we spend time in nature together. Creating a new language in a context of a historical show where artists were going into nature to create art since they weren’t allowed to experiment within the accepted institutional artistic language. Also mentioned was that traditional ways of making isn’t always good for the earth and so sustainability was explored. 

Historical exhibition was situated in fairly contained, traditional gallery space – white cube painted green to counterpart the black and white colours of archival images featured in show. Space was split into six different parts. 

Contemporary show was just down the road, important for viewers to make parallels between the historical and the contemporary. 

The contemporary exhibition involved exploring feminism in art. Some of the works in the exhibition aren’t directly feminist, some have a community of charity based practice, very big part of how they live their lives and see themselves.

It was situated in a transport museum which had train tracks on the floor. Approximately 33 artists were involved in this exhibition, but this number includes collectives and groups. 

View of the exhibition
Detail of a sculpture in the exhibition

The contemporary exhibition still had links to nature through the materials used or imagery included in the works. Caramel used in one of the sculptures, coal in another sculpture. Recycled mount boards/walls from previous exhibition 

Full sculpture (refer to image above for detailed segment)

Sculpture with sponges, metal and caramel. Interested in natural processes, mechanisms and substances. Sculptures evolve – science fiction and post humanistic themes. Cooked sugar which leaks and is very sticky which adds a sense of the sculpture being alive which links it to nature, animate and inanimate matter. 

Another sculpture in exhibition

Sculpture piece – Czech artist grew up on farm and actively cares about the land and our relationship with the land. Interested in the mechanisms of food production and damaged ecology of food production through big companies not caring about land. Also interested in social realism, utopian moment when social realist figures are very much alive and in perfect sync with machinery. 

In background you can see Lala’s photographs. Reconnecting with the identity of the place she was born. Haystacks, changing over times, shapes of them are determined by humans and animals that eat them, nature and elements. Mark the complex and wounded territory of the balkans. Photographs are used as a frame for the exhibition to locate the show, show the artists legacy and where they situate. 

Sculpture and painting

Space lures you to go more into the exhibition, move into the exhibition. Painting – commissioned to do it in response to the biannual tactic. Living nature of nature and the pleasure that we can get from being with nature. 

Video and sculptures

Pinky fleshy curtain contains commission for biannual of a film about plants that are able to eat and digest meat. There is a region in Romania where there is a certain climate where the plants are still present – unveiled the unsettling similarities between humans and the plants digestive systems. The sculptures represent the plants and was the first time that the artist worked with glass. 

Painted canvases

The artist who made these works is interested in minimal aesthetics and relationships with technology. Painted onto canvas, inspired by imagery of Apollo 13, blue planet (earth from distance) inspired theological differences. 

View of the exhibition
Work based on the floor – zoomed in attention to detail

This work represents intersectionality, experience of being a queer black woman. Body presence with nature, colonialism. Drew upon times she felt excluded because of her roots, race and appearance. Soil, braids of hair, her body cast in woks, plants sprouting from soil. Utopian vision of nature, had to be watered so it didn’t dry out in biannual 

Paintings involving death

Soil work was shown in front of two colourful paintings – one ‘rehearsing death’, sunbathing or dying. Very religious work, painted after the premature death of her sister, showing the meeting point of life and death. Second painting called ‘roaming’ where she is looking for her sister in a landscape. Feminist angle in this work 

Image 1 of changing sculpture
Image 2 of changing sculpture
Image 3 of moving sculpture and half way point

The Sculpture piece showed in the above 3 images was borrowed for the biannual and is a series of 9 sculptures, your view of sculpture affects how you see, choreography changes the way you see it. The third image shows the meeting point in the exhibition, showing how objects in an environment can change a space.

Duo of sisters, work based around the fashion industry

Duo of sisters with a feminist approach. They do a lot in terms of animal rights and food waste. Analysing language and visual style of activism. Sleek costumes on sleek bodies associated with fashion companies and modelling. Want to see if activism can not only be radical but a socially accepted way of life and society. Selection of five videos. 

Paintings involving the Chipko movement

Four paintings a nod to historical moments, depicted the chipko movement of women embracing trees and protecting them from being cut away. Associations based on women protecting seeds and rivers. Nod towards women. 

Feminist paintings involving the sexualisation of women

Porn industry focused work and how the sexualisation of women’s bodies is out of their control. Puts women in nature to allow them to reclaim their sexual imagery.


Final installation – polish artist dealing with nature and ecology for many years. Large amount of fabric, made collectively in river that they were navigating through during a residency. The ceramics are a nod towards the artists general practice with a fascination of working with clay as a material – naturally produced too so another link to nature. 

Kasia said the exhibitions were like a local economic force in the pandemic which helped to influence young artists. 

My opinion of the talk:

Although I have no intentions of becoming a curator anytime soon, I found Kasia’s talk very interesting as it allowed me to see her thought process in initially coming up with the idea for the exhibitions, as well as the way she put the exhibition together with careful consideration into the arrangement of works and where they were situated in the context of each other. The works in the exhibition were very diverse and I liked that they all connected to nature and feminism in sometimes subtle ways as it made you think about the works more. The curation is just as important as the art works and I feel that people who curate are very talented in putting in a good show.

The links to nature in both the historical and contemporary exhibitions are very relevant to my own practice as animals are currently my main focus and so it was refreshing to see how different artists incorporate natural themes into their own works, The use of colour was very influential in some of the pieces too and 8 was fascinated to see them all as the talk progressed.

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Making a website

Artist websites provide a way of showcasing your work and gaining an audience with the potential to gain important contacts. Most artists have a website when they start their careers.

A clear menu is vital to provide easy navigation and good quality photos are important for professionalism. The site requires a concise summary and a short artist statement to give a clear idea of what your work is about. 

I have started to make a website on the Wix website which is a free platform specifically for websites. I have included the important pages being Home, Artworks, About, and Contact.

Information about my Wix site

Examples of artist websites: 

Robert Phelps has a very simple artist website with the pages included being portfolios, artist info, contact, shop, blog, and links to his social media. His work is categorised into different animal groups on his home page is successful as it makes finding specific work easier and is less

The format of his paintings being grouped together works well as it shows the similarities and differences between the work and makes it easier to navigate. Clicking on the images enlarges them, as shown in the image below, and includes information about the paintings which works well and is something I would like to include on my website.

Robert Phelps included a photo of himself on his artist information page with a selection of his paintings exhibited on the wall behind him. This image is suitable as it allows his viewers to have an understanding of who has created the work that they are interested in, although this isn’t always needed on artists’ websites as the images can be unsuitable which is why it is important to get a professional photo taken during an exhibition or a very formal private set up to ensure that the photo doesn’t lose professionalism.

I feel that the simplicity of the Robert Phelps website is effective as it allows the artworks to speak for the artist rather than the viewer being distracted by bold colours or distracting titles. It has a professional feel to it and is put together nicely.


Rebecca Haines Artist Website:

Rebecca Haines included these pages on her website:

  • Welcome Page
  • About the Artist
  • Artist Statement
  • Gallery One
  • Gallery Two
  • News
  • Contact
  • Resume

Rebecca Haines is another artist I have done research on for my project and so I felt it would be appropriate to look at her artist website for inspiration. I love the simplicity of her website as the banner of a picture of one of her artworks creates a nice contrast and draws the viewer in. I like that the Welcome part is a different colour to the menu as this again makes an area that pops. Rebecca Haines included a photo of herself in her welcome page which I like but I don’t have any professional artist photos with my work or in my studios so I may put this off until I am able to get a photo which reflects me professionally.

Rebecca Haines included another photo of herself in her about the artist page which is interesting as it shows her with two of her artworks which is good as it allows the viewer to connect the art with the artists and this is something I would eventually like to do when I have finished works. The information she included in this page is a very in depth biography which I find quite overwhelming but I would like to include something like this on my own website to give viewers more of an insight into me as an artist and my general intentions that I can’t put across in my statement.

I like that Rebecca Haines Artist Statement is short and sweet as if it would have been any longer I feel that it may have been overwhelming like the about the artist page. I love that she has included three different images of her work alongside the statement as this showcases her different final products she has created with her ideas and intentions. The artworks all include different animals and have very different effects which I find very captivating.

Rebecca Haines included two groups of work in her website, one called ‘gallery one’ and the other called ‘gallery two’ which showcase different animals and different techniques. I like this idea but I feel that if my works were fairly similar like these works are in context, then I would separate them through sub menus rather than having them have their own page but there may be a method or reason behind Rebecca Haines deciding to do this on her website.

The news page includes any exhibitions Rebecca Haines is currently in or has been in the past, with images which I feel works well in allowing viewers to know what she is up to and where they can see her work in person. It also shows her success as an artist with some articles written about her as well. I don’t feel that I have got much experience with as many exhibitions as Rebecca Haines so I feel that it would be a good idea to leave this out for now and possibly add a page like this once I have more experience.

Rebecca Haines has a quite simple contact page which is interesting. I feel that I would want mine to be a bit more detailed but this format must work well for Haines. I like that she has included a range of her social medias at the bottom of the page for people to go and look at and find out more about her.

Rebecca Haines resume page has made it clear just how little experience I have exhibiting work but this gives me ambition to one day have this much experience and prove to myself that I can make it in the art world.

My website so far:

Home page of website

Pages I included:

  • Home – information about the website
  • About the artist – information about me and my journey with art
  • Artist Statement – short artist statement
  • Artworks – artworks from third year project, need to add second year work
  • Contact – page for people who visit my website to ask questions or make enquiries

I decided to alternate the banner at the top of each page, being the purple cow on the odd numbered pages (first, third and fifth) and the blue cow on the even pages (second and fourth) to make it more visually exciting. I decided to position these banners with the cows eyes being the main focus as I feel that the eyes are a reflection of the soul and allow the animals to communicate with the viewer

Purple cow on odd pages
Blue cow on even pages
About the artist page

I haven’t got an appropriate photograph of me with my artwork to upload and so I decided to make it one of my paintings for now. I also haven’t figured out exactly what I want to write in this section yet but I feel that it will give people more understanding about me combined with the artist statement.

Artist Statement Page

My short artist statement:

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.

Artworks page
Artworks page

Contact page
CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Being an artist – exhibitions

  • Exhibitions – research exhibition specific websites and different art galleries
  • Making contacts in the creative industry – joining an art group of some sort to engage in crits and meet other artists
  • Competitions
  • Selling work – consider what sites to use

Since I don’t have a lot of experience on my CV and I’m not interested in pursuing a master’s degree straight after my bachelor’s degree, I feel that it’s a good idea to focus on getting my work into the real world through exhibitions and competitions which will allow me to make contacts and could lead me to gain some unique experiences/opportunities in the future.

Information about gallery spaces and exhibitions:

When it comes to becoming a self-employed artist, there are two questions you should ask yourself – What are your ambitions? and what are your hopes/dreams? The size of these ambitions matters as they show where you want to end up, which could be within the local art world, the national art world, or the international art world. There can also be crossovers, with some artists going from one to another throughout their careers. Most people begin locally and so this is something to consider, which city, place or practice do you want to start out in?

As well as different art worlds, there are also different exhibition venues including self-hire/manage, commercial and artist-run:

  • The self-hire/manage exhibition venues are very expensive and used by artists making specific work for people they know are definitely going to buy the work.
  • The Commercial exhibition venues include semi-craft shops and galleries in Cork Street. It is vital to be aware of all the different types of Commercial galleries and a good starting point would be to research London based galleries and then go to visit them in your spare time to see the types of art that are exhibited – then can understand if your work fits their criteria’s. Most often with commercial venues, you have to be introduced to the galleries before they even consider you in the exhibition – good idea to establish yourself beforehand and do a lot of networking.
  • Artist-run exhibition venues are often attached to studio spaces and artists collectives such as Two Queens in Leicester. The work in these venues doesn’t usually have success commercially but it allows artists to exhibit on their own terms without being told to change their work to fit a particular space or theme. Artists have also found non-gallery spaces to present their work since most galleries can be picky/closed off or difficult to get into.

Non-gallery spaces include empty spaces which are commissioned. Gardens, outdoor areas, work made specifically to be presented in particular venues. In some places, shop owners allow artists to use their empty shops whilst away to prevent areas from becoming derelict.

Garden exhibition example, Hillsborough

Billboard companies also allow artists to present their work for a cheap price or sometimes for free as this is advantageous for the billboard companies to create greater visibility and remind businesses that the companies still exist. Commercial companies often do things to benefit themselves.

Often using empty shops or other similar venues requires public liability insurance which is incredibly expensive as you are considered a commercial company. Artists are able to obtain cheaper public liability insurance through access which is an arts organisation that publicly buys public liability insurance.

A key area to research is art organisations. The A.N (previously known as the artists’ newsletter) is a good thing to subscribe to for the legality of being an artist and it has a lot of information making it a good service.

A.N has a section dedicated to art assistant jobs – both artist assistants and gallery assistants. It is important to think about your skillset and what skills may need to be developed to suit this job. These jobs are very variated, can be fun or difficult depending on how demanding the person/people you are working for are.

  • Artist assistant – gives you an insight into how the art world works which is important as it is a complex system. This also gives you the chance to build a network of connections that can come in handy in future endeavours. Can involve making cups of tea or sweeping the floor, even making the artist’s work.
  • Personal assistants – sometimes artist assistants can be promoted to becoming personal assistants which involves booking trains or materials for private viewings, sourcing things.
  • Gallery assistant jobs – often through internships, involve a lot of computer work via setting up websites, handling social media.

Finding exhibition opportunities:

Looking into opportunities on the websites Art Rabbit, Art Quest, Arts Hub, Arts Connect and many more will be vital for gaining exhibition experience as well as locating galleries that suit my personal style or do frequent exhibitions could also give me a better chance of being chosen.

Art Rabbit website:

ArtRabbit is a good site to use as it focuses on opportunities in and around Leicester which is convenient for me as I live in Leicester and I have lived here my whole life. I have no intentions of moving out of Leicester anytime soon due to finances so this will continue to be relevant for me for a long time – even after University.

Curator Space website:

Curator Space is a website which has opportunities for both artists and curators, as well as showing what is currently popular in the artworld. Since I first joined, I have found some exciting opportunities to apply for.

Art Quest Website:

Art Quest seems to have a lot more advanced artist opportunities involving science based ideas and activities which I find interesting. However, I don’t feel that I am educated enough on science based subjects and so these probably wouldn’t be suitable for me but I will look on the website regardless. It also included some interesting artist residencies which I will look into and add to my residency post.

Arts Hub Website:

Arts Hub has a range of different opportunities including awards/prize opportunities, calls for artists, photography, visual arts and painting which makes this a good place for opportunities which will build up your CV which is very beneficial for employment down the line.

Applying to some exhibitions:

First exhibition application:

I came across this exhibition opportunity on artrabbit and decided to go for it as it looked like a good opportunity and could be a great way for me to gain experience to add to my CV.

My application

This is my application, I submitted three of my artworks to boost my chances of being chosen, as this isn’t guaranteed. Upon reflection, I feel hat I should have included the pdf explaining my work and concepts as this may not be obvious from just looking at my paintings – although I think it’s a good idea for people to come to their own conclusions. Now I have to wait to see if I’ll be selected for the exhibition in May 2022, I will keep posting updates here when I hear back.

Update about London Lighthouse Exhibition:

Response from London Lighthouse Gallery

Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in my attempt to exhibit at the London Lighthouse exhibition. This is the response I received on Tuesday 5th April 2022. Numbers of submissions and the fact I submitted work near the deadline meant I wasn’t selected. I am aware that my art may not be for everyone from one of my crits so I take this with a linch of salt. It is simply something that happens during the process of submitting your work to exhibitions, you win some, you lose some. Onwards and upwards.

Second opportunity application:

I came across this opportunity on Curator Space where you submit pictures of your work and information about it for the chance to be featured on an Instagram page. Although this isn’t a full on exhibition, I feel that this could help me gain more attention on my art Instagram page and get my name out there more, which could lead to more exciting opportunities in the future. Gaining more visibility could allow me to hear from other people about how my work is going and give constructive criticism to help me develop it further.

The condition of entries was work which relates to the natural/metaphysical world and since my current project involved ideas concerning the captivity of animals, I felt that this was a very fitting idea and I feel that I have a good chance of being selected for this based on this information.

My application

I only wrote a small bio and statement since it specified it being brief and so I was worried about overdoing it so decided to keep it short and sweet.

My application

I haven’t yet finished my artist website, I still have areas to improve and so I decided not to include my website for this reason.

Works I selected for submission

Although it said I could submit 5 images, it would only allow me to upload 3 even though the sizing’s were all correct so I decided to just upload 3 of the most successful paintings from the opinions of my peers during my crit. I feel that these paintings portray my project nicely and could help me to be successful in the selection process.

Information submitted about paintings

I added information about materials used and the titles.

Confirmation of submission

I am excited to see if I am selected for this opportunity and I found it quite interesting to see if I can get my work promoted in a different way than a physical exhibition through an online platform which could have a lot of visibility which could benefit me greatly in the future.

Update of application

Unfortunately my application for this opportunity was denied which I was a bit disappointed about but we move onwards and upwards. It is a part of life and your work isn’t always going to be selected. I just need to keep on applying and putting myself out there

Third opportunity application:

I came across this opportunity to be featured on the ‘Haus A Rest’ Zine, Instagram and Facebook pages for one month or more. Again, like the Instagram opportunity previously, this gives me a chance to get my work seen by more people and allow me to make more contacts which could be very beneficial for my artistic endeavours or future opportunities. The theme for submissions being consumption fits perfectly with my project, as farm animals in captivity often end up being sent to the slaughterhouse so I felt this was very relevant to my project.

My submission
My submission

Update on the Haus-a-rest submission:

Email about my submission

Unfortunately I wasn’t accepted for this opportunity as my work doesn’t fit well with the other work or theme and so they most likely meant a more literal sense of ’consumption’. They encouraged me to follow them back on instagram so that I can apply for future opportunities as they do them quite frequently so that gives me a good sense of worth as they seem to like my work.

Mutual following
Image of their instagram page

Having access to their instagram page allows me to see how diverse their open calls are and the fact that they include a range of different art works and styles on their page which gives me hope for the future.

Another Opportunity:

  • Closing Date – June 12th
  • Location – United Kingdom
  • Artform – visual arts
  • Artists can submit up to four artworks

website for more information –

  • Exhibition will run from 15th September – 6th November and is open to any medium of art
  • £5 entry fee
  • Work needs to have been created in the last two years
  • Short artist statement and websites can be provided
  • Successful applicants will be informed by Monday 4th July
  • Some awards up for grabs (£1000, £500 or £200)
  • Maximum size of entry for 2D work is 200 cm x 200 cm

Steps of applying:

  1. Read guidelines
  2. Pay £5 entry fee
  3. Complete submission form
My payment proof

I payed the small fee of £5 so that I could continue with my application. Usually fees are a lot higher than this so I was quite surprised – on the website it says it has reduced fees from £20 due to the long lasting effects of the pandemic which I thought was a nice gesture as a lot of people wouldn’t be able to afford an expensive fee.

Submission form

This was the start of the submission form which told me exactly what I needed to include.

My artist statement submission and artist website submission

I added my short artist statement and my website link which could come in handy if they see an artwork which they feel would fit in more with the exhibition, widening my chances of being accepted.

My application

This is a screenshot of me adding my artwork information and images.

These are the artworks I submitted. I feel that these are some of my strongest pieces and I hope that I get selected for this opportunity as it will allow me to build on my CV.

Application checklist

The form went through a checklist to ensure that I had done everything which I found helpful.

Proof of submission

I submitted my application form so now I have to wait to see the results. I am happy with my submission and hope to hear good news on Monday 4th July. Unfortunately the timing of this exhibition means I won’t have received confirmation until after I submit my CPS work but I have proof of application and in the meantime will do an online exhibition whilst I search for more exhibition/competition opportunities.

Cons of exhibitions:

  • Fees to enter your work
  • No guarantee that your work will be chosen
  • High amounts of people submitting work
  • Requirements for specific themes so may have to explore new subject matter
  • Can be stressful – lots of preparations involved in exhibitions
  • Sometimes receive negative reactions to your work – have to have thick skin and be able to take criticism (both constructive and non)
  • Amount of people who visit exhibitions vary so only certain people will see your work
  • In a large gallery there will be a lot of works selected and so your work could get overlooked

Although this is a good way of gaining experience for my CV and making myself seen by employers, there are also some cons as a lot of exhibition entries require money for you to submit your work and there isn’t a guarantee that your work will be chosen. In order to afford this, I will need to be making some kind of income which I hope will be through my creativity but I will go for any job to provide an income for myself and build up to a creative job when I get the chance to. There are also some that are free to enter so this isn’t always a concern but it may

Studio Practice 3301

Studio Practice 3301 – Farm animal paintings

Purple and yellow chicken painting, acrylic on board, 10.5 x 15.5cm

Orange and blue chicken painting, acrylic on board, 15 x 10.5cm

Purple and yellow cow painting, acrylic on board, A4 size

Black and white cow painting, acrylic on board, 15 x 15cm

Trio of sheep painting, acrylic on board, A4 size

Blue sheep painting, acrylic on board, 29.9cm x 16cm

Sheep painting, acrylic on board, 13.1cm x 21cm

Sheep painting, acrylic on board, 10cm x 15.1cm
Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Collages

In order to start to consider colour more in my work, I decided to do some collages based on a selection of the continuous line drawings I did at my last visit to the farm. This technique worked well during my second year and I felt it couldn’t hurt to move away from painting to allow me to generate more ideas and see what colour combinations work well.

Goat continuous line drawing
Goat collage

This is the goat collage I did using yellows, oranges, green and a brown painted pattern paper for the fence. I feel that this works really well, both the colours used and how abstract it is. Although I was at first just going to use brown paper for the fence, I’m glad I went with paper that had texture to create a contrast. I feel that the continuous line drawings are perfect for this type of collage as subjects are split up into different segments which makes creating a collage a very simple process.

Chicken continuous line drawing
Purple and yellow chicken collage

This is the first chicken collage I did using complementary colours purple and yellow with black for the pen fence. I love the contrast that this collage has and how the white in the patterned purple pieces near the rear of the chicken stands out. I feel that this is an effective yet playful process although it can be tedious cutting out a lot of shapes, depending on how complex the original continuous line drawing is. I feel that this will encourage me to play with colour more which will benefit me a lot.

Blue and orange chicken collage

This is the second chicken collage I did using complementary colours blue and orange for the chicken and a bluish grey colour for the pen fence. Although this collage is still effective, I feel there is less contrast as I have used quite a muted blue for the background but if that had been a more abstract blue, it may have changed that altogether. I tried to incorporate more patterned papers into this collage but I felt that too many patterns can clash too much which is why most of the chicken is done with more solid coloured paper.

I would like to do more collages to experiment with different colour combinations and create some effective colour palettes to use in my paintings as I feel that I was holding back with this last term and should really be playful to determine what works the best for my degree show. I am happy with the progress I am making so far this term and hope to continue this way, onwards and upwards.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301- More farm animal drawings

I decided to go back to Gorse Hill Farm to gather more primary evidence including both drawings and photographs to give me more to work from so I don’t feel limited. I went on a weekday so it wasn’t too busy and spent a few hours there to gather as much as I possibly could. I may go again in the future if needed but I feel that I gathered enough to keep me busy for a while.

Red goat drawing on green watercolour background

This was a very simple line drawing I did using complementary colours. I felt that beginning primary research using colour (already prepared sketchbook pages) would be good inspiration for continuing developing my uses of colour. Although the lines of the fences aren’t entirely straight, I feel that this adds to the piece.

Black pen goat drawings on pink watercolour background

These were some more simplistic drawings I did, one in a box to give me a sense of how it would look on a piece of board which was a good idea. I also added annotations to some of my drawings to jot down my ideas to look back on later. In this annotation I was thinking about making the materials of the fences three dimensional somehow to create a different effect although I will have to experiment with this later on in the project.

Black and yellow goat drawing on purple watercolour background

Although I like the effect of this drawing overall with the uses of two colours for the outline, it is very clearly out of proportion which is always a risk when drawing directly from life, especially with animals which move a lot. However, it is still very obviously a goat so I am not too upset by this.

Orange pen sheep drawing on blue watercolour background

This is another example of the animal being out of proportion in the face but I like the outcomes of these simple coloured pen drawings on coloured backgrounds. I enjoy working with complementary colours as it is guaranteed to produce a captivating effect.

Black and silver goat drawing on purple watercolour background

I am not too pleased with this drawing as I feel the proportions are wrong but I enjoyed experimenting with silver pen to add a different feel to the drawings.

Purple goat on yellow watercolour background

I love the simplicity of this drawing and feel that the yellow and purple are balanced nicely. I thoroughly enjoy doing drawings with a lot of mark making as you can build up a lot of detail without being too particular or being a perfectionist.

Blue goat on orange watercolour background

Again, I feel that the colours of this drawing works fell together and I am pleased with the drawing itself. I like that drawing in this way is very loose as it adds a realistic image, particularly with fur.

Continuous line goat drawing

This was one of my most successful continuous line drawings and I love that the goat is split into different shapes and sections. I feel that this image would be effective as a paper collage and I look forward to painting this image onto board as I feel colour experimentation will be very easy with this drawing. In the annotations I was considering how I could alter the orientation to make it a bit more playful and thinking about cutting the image off at certain points.

Jotting down ideas with small continuous line drawings

In this drawings, I drew different angled squares and rectangles and went around the farm doing quick sketches and continuous line drawings to have an idea of where I can take my work and how I can alter it from last term. In my annotations, I considered doing pieces with more than one animal in a painting as this could emphasise on the small spaces.

Continuous line sheep drawings

These are some more continuous line drawings of sheep which work nicely, I love doing continuous line drawings when working from life so that I don’t get to drawn into trying to add every single detail. In the bottom drawing, I drew only a portion of the sheep’s face which I hadn’t done in any of my other pieces and I feel that it works well, although I would like to include both of the ears in the frame of a painting if possible, I would like to be more considerate of how the image is cut off depending on each individual piece.

Mark making sheep and cow drawing

In these drawings I focused a lot on mark making which was really effective and I used a lot of cross hatching in the cow drawing. The cows were in enclosures made of barbed wire and I felt that using actual barbed wires for the enclosure of the painting could be effective. I would like to experiment with this once I get some paintings done.

Chicken continuous line drawing

These are some continuous line chicken drawings where I did most of a chicken and then a zoom in of a chickens face. The continuous line was effective for adding in an illusion of a lot of feathers and made the process a lot more playful. Chickens often don’t look straight at people, they look to the side and so I considered taking photos of the chickens facing forward and then working from photographs as they move around a lot.

Cow line drawing

I love that this drawing breaks the cow up into different segments similarly to the first goat continuous line drawing as this could be effective as a collage paper cut. I love that the cow is making direct eye contact with the viewer. Exploring different animals is definitely a great idea to further develop my project.

Continuous line cow drawing

In this continuous line drawing, the cow was giving me the side eye which I thought was quite funny and worked well. I forgot to add the barbed wire so I will do that using the previous drawing as a reference. I look forward to seeing where I can take these drawings and I am excited about the potential for a really strong degree show.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301- Feedback from last term and plans for this term

My grade for last term was a high C which I felt a bit disappointed by but not surprised as I struggled with time management and was focusing more on my essay for my CPS module. I hope to build a lot more stronger works this term to build up my grade and make myself enjoy producing art again.

Image of my feedback form

Strengths of my work:

  • Grouping the artworks together was effective due to size
  • Large colourful goat was considered more effective

Weaknesses of my work:

  • Need to pay more attention to the way the animals are painted
  • Could be more playful with orientation of the boards
  • The effect is too cutesy, not really an idea that is being taken further

This term my aim is to experiment with colour more to gain an understanding of what works and see how playfulness could benefit or take away from my work. I am keen to experiment with the orientation of the boards so that they are more playful and I can see if I can better the composition. I feel that the clustered effect of the paintings works really well but I am hoping to capture a range of farm animals rather than limiting myself to sheep and goats. I feel positive about this term and am hoping to create a really effective degree show.