I did some lino prints using coloured block printing inks which ai bought in the colours white, black, red, dark blue, purple, light green, dark green and yellow. The inks are waterbased which makes clean up easier and I can even mix tbe colours like paints to get different tones or mix new colours which I like.
For my crit, I decided to present a cluster of cows arranged in a regular way and a cluster of sheep presented in an irregular way. I did this to see what my peers thought was the most effective and to determine what route I should take my work next or develop towards.
This is the cluster of cows I presented. Due to a bit of a rush getting work finished for the crit, I didn’t have time to get them hung up professionally and so I used double sided tape which was a mistake on my behalf, I should know better by now but stress took over. I also wish I had used a spirit level as I can notice in the pictures how uneven and slated the pieces are. I wanted to create a uniform pattern to experiment as the layout of my work last term was very uniform. It was harder than I expected to arrange the diamond and triangular paintings as they were all different sizes which made mounting them quite difficult and so I feel going forward that I need to be more creative in terms of displaying them.
This is the cluster of sheep I presented. For these paintings, I wanted them to be completely slanted and scattered to explore layouts snd hopefully get feedback on what works or doesn’t work. I arranged them in a way so that the lines of the enclosures in each piece connected and so it created a link between each piece. I included the painting of three sheep in one enclosure to see if people would feel more sorry for the sheep being cramped in a small space together or separately.
Relating work to other artwork/contextual sources?:
Pop Art – colours used and the combinations/sequences of paintings
Andy Warhol pop art
Stained glass windows
Consider taking work down lino cutting due to the blocks of colour used
Henry Moore’s sheep drawings from observation
Questions about the work, feelings:
Makes someone feel like the animals are locked in as some of the animals’ eyes look sad and they are staring. Is this the intention of the artist?
Why are the cows uniform and the sheep scattered?
Is the colour suggesting something about how people feel about animals in captivity? (it’s unnatural) or the meat industry?
Someone likes the different shaped works, could there be more and a bigger sequence?
Do the colours mean anything?
Why the arrangement of triangles?
Since the animals are confined, it makes you question if farming animals is ethical
Why the colour choice?
Is there a reason why only cows and sheep are shown?
Feedback from Crit discussion:
Small painted mdf boards, layouts noticed – uniform one side, scattered on the other side
2 separate paintings or 11 combined?
The cows are separated but the sheep touch in areas
Sheep/cows – different vocal points? cohesive pieces
Irregular shapes and unnatural colours – surreal, uncommon
Some of the paintings look like camera filters
Bright vivid colours show a happier side than black and white
The vivid colours used show a happier side but the animals gaze looks sad, contrast
Humorous, not reality
Cow side is more brutal through the uses of barbed wire
Sheep are more free, more subdued and pastel colours used
Cow paintings look like grids that are overlaid
Intimidation through animals staring at viewer
Cows reminded people of stained glass windows, mosaics, transformers, power rangers, birds, shaped like an animal
Not uniform, uneven, lacks precision
Explore my subject in lino print for blocks of colour
Zoom in on elements of a cow rather than just their faces
3 sheep in one piece makes it look like a happy family – prefer them as individuals
Sheep look happier than cows – sheep are more free
People feel strange about colour scheme, baffled by it. confused by it. Bad confusion, feels uneasy and takes away from actual painting
Purple cow painting most successful as it is simple but more complex way of painting
Shows how animals are more commercialized
Size is successful, no need to go any bigger as it will lose the confined aspect
Interested in seeing a whole wall of them grouped together, accurate depiction of a group of cows, herd on a wall
Not about individual paintings, eyes move from one to another in a sequence
Colours, forms and shapes are important aspects of the work
Feel sorry for the animals – people can be ignorant, guilt trip, animals vs humans
Captures your attention, go in more, subtlety is important
Reflection of the crit:
Although initially I was happy with my crit, after the feedback I just felt that nobody understood my work and a lot of people didn’t like it even though I had worked from feedback on my previous terms work and where I was holding myself back. I feel that during my degree I have felt stuck and unsure of what to do, almost burnt out as I feel that the work I do is never enough and that I am always trying to please everyone but myself. I have to learn to change my view and just take it where I want to take it, criticism is there to help me develop and I just hope that I can pull myself together enough to get a good grade for my degree show. I will take all the feedback on board and try to improve my work as best as I can.
Cheri Christensen is a fine artist who does a lot of drawings and oil paintings of animals. Her main focus is conveying the effects of colour and light on form. In particular, she focuses on capturing farm animals which are part of the reason that I decided to research her, as there is a great significance.
I like the way the brushstrokes add texture to the painting and make it seem like real feathers. I also love the colour scheme of this painting as it is very balanced with complementary colours. I always find it interesting to see the way different artists use colour.
Cheri Christensen does paintings of individual-focused animals as well as groups of animals in the same painting which is really interesting and something I hadn’t considered doing in my own work. However, this could take away the sympathy for the animals as they have company so individual animals may be the best idea within my own work. Lots of animals do survive by having company and I feel that Christensen truly captures animals in a realistic and beautiful way. The focus on lighting is very effective and I am drawn to the golden shades of the sun in most of the paintings I have seen.
The playfulness of this painting works well as goats are very playful animals. I feel that this painting resonates with me as I have painted a lot of goats in my project so far. The layers of colours are built up to create a captivating result. Again the colour scheme works nicely even though it is quite simple and I like that.
In particular with this painting, I love how the bright colours work well together yet contrast with the darker areas as it is eye-catching. I like that Cheri Christensen does paintings of zoomed-in segments of the animal as it allows her to capture a lot of small details and create a different effect compared to the full-body paintings.
Things I learned from the video:
Cheri Christensen was a part of the 2021 Texas Masters show, she discusses her love for backlighting
She does a lot of photography and considers the time of day vital, she doesn’t just go and rim light anything
The Colour is reflective, the weather affects the outcome of the lighting. She mainly wants nice sunny late afternoons
The fun yet challenging part of her process is finding the animals during that time period as a lot of them are free-range so it’s not guaranteed that they will always be there
She enjoys working with cool and warm colours to make her work pop
In some of her paintings, she combines using brushes and palette knives
When painting roosters in particular she likes to use mostly palette knives as it gives more energy and it’s more realistic as they are always moving
She uses a lot of paint as the texture is important
She sometimes paints while listening to music to get a rhythm going
Influence of Cheri Christensen’s work on my project:
I am interested in the ways that Cheri Christensen varies her focus on animals in her paintings – doing groups of animals, individual animals and certain segments of the animals like faces. As I explored earlier, doing a group of animals wouldn’t go well with my intentions for this project but I could always try to eliminate that option for my own project. I also feel that it could be interesting to explore doing segments of different parts of the animals that I am focusing on in my work to show variation.
Although lighting is not something I am focusing on within my own work necessarily, I still find it captivating to see and learn from Cheri Christensen how she captures the lighting and how it can completely change a painting.
Cheri Christensen uses a lot of contrast with her colour choices which is an aspect of her work that I am very interested in. The colour aspect of my work is used partly because I enjoy working with colour, and partly to show the irony of people claiming to care about animals in captivity but never doing anything to actually help them. All talk, no action vibes. Although some could consider this making the subject less serious, I feel that it works well when the paintings are grouped together.
In some of her paintings, the animals are gazing directly at the viewer which is something I love to explore in my own subject as a way of making a connection with the viewer and making them uncomfortable or sad for the animals.
Text : ‘The presence of animals in contemporary art as a sign of cultural change’ – Karin Andersen
Artist: Kate Clark’s human-animal hybrid taxidermy
Things to explore in the essay:
How the view of animals in art has changed over time, why
Developments of taxidermy
Rogue taxidermy group, more ethical approaches to taxidermy through sourcing of animals
Significance of hybrids
Some of Kate Clark’s work demonstrates racial prejudice… ‘Little Girl’ used in Claudia Rankine’s ‘Citizen’,
I often struggle with having everything such as sources and citations in an organised manner. So, I have created a document which I am adding all of my sources to as I go along with key information such as citations and relevant quotes to make sure I keep an organised approach to make writing this essay an easier process.
This week, I continued to work on my A one sized paintings and added a fence around the deer inspired by my time at the farm which I feel added an interesting element to the painting which I liked.
I decided to add some quick bright white highlights which I feel added an interesting aspect to this piece and made it a lot more realistic. I am very happy with this piece overall and the ways that it introduces my theme of animals in enclosures. I look forward to seeing how I develop this idea further in my next paintings.
Owl painting: I also finished the owl painting with acrylic paints and oil pastels, using layering to create an eye catching expressive piece which I feel works well. I am considering adding an enclosure of some sort to relate it to the other work I am doing but I don’t want to ruin it. I feel that the expressive background really adds to the image overall to create an interesting painting for this project.
I also decided to go back to the farm to capture more imagery and even went to Tropical Bird-land in Desford to get some drawings done of birds within enclosures too. There was a section with a range of birds out of their enclosures where people could touch them which I thought could be interesting to study within my work, exploring how being out of their enclosures could affect the animals (positive effects).
I added some colour to some of my drawings, both from this week and last week to explore colour palettes and get a sense of what works well before I start to work onto board.
Welcome to my Fine Art Blog, my name is Gemma and this blog features work I have done throughout my second and third years at University, including my studio work, art history and CPS module. I include my thought processes and images of my work to show my development of ideas and to inform my decisions.