Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – Small scale cardboard paintings

I decided to do some small scale paintings on cardboard of the windows I sketched last week to make the differences more noticeable. I found this to be an easy process but I needed to apply several layers of paint to make them opaque enough.

Cardboard painting 1
Cardboard painting 2
Cardboard painting 3
Cardboard painting 4

View of work on my wall

Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – More primary research, sketchbook work

During week 2 of my primary research, I walked up to the Leicester City ground and went down different streets capturing the differences of windows, some due to natural wear and others due to people’s specific preferences after they bought their houses. I did these quite simplistic and made a note of the colours so I could add paint to some of the drawings later. I also painted on the drawings from last week, both the photocopy of the detailed drawings and the more simplistic versions I left in my sketchbook.

Detailed view from my bedroom window 1
Simplistic view from my bedroom window 1
Detailed view from my bedroom window 2
Simplistic view from my bedroom window 2

I like both versions of these paintings for different reasons. I feel that the brickwork elements are a key factor in the historical aspects of Leicester architecture but I do see how the use of brickwork in this manner can be too overwhelming. I need to add more layers onto the first simplistic version but I like where it’s headed.

Sketchbook work:

Sketchbook page 1 – Brazil Street
Sketchbook page 2 –
Sketchbook page 3 –
Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – Primary Visual Research and Tutorial

I started to do some sketches of architecture in Leicester beginning with the view from my bedroom as that gave some interesting angles and compositions which I liked. I like the idea of capturing different segments of buildings in areas rather than just one building as this could show how old architecture has collided with new architecture.

Drawing my bedroom view

This is the first drawing I did capturing my next door neighbours house. I added a lot of detailed brick work which took a while but I feel it really paid off. I believe this piece will look great when I add some colour and I’d like to explore different ways of portraying brickwork as there could be simplistic ways that are still very effective.

View from my bedroom window

This is another sketch of the view from my bedroom window from another angle so that I captured a view of the house I live in as well as houses in the background. I like the zoomed in area of the house as this could allow me to add a lot of detail when it comes to adding paints.

I would like to continue sketching views from my bedroom window as well as physically going to the different areas of Leicester and capturing different architecture. This will be easy since I have lived in Leicester my whole life and am very used to the area.


I had a tutorial with my tutors which allowed me to see that I was producing drawings that weren’t fully representing my full potential. It was made clear that the addition of detailed brickwork in the above drawings were ‘interesting motifs’ but took away from the drawing and the place as one of my tutors said I was drawing what I thought I saw rather than what I was actually seeing. I also realised that I need to start motivating myself to produce more work at a higher quality to allow myself to gain the best result at the end of this project.

After my tutorial, I went back to the drawings I had done and photocopied them so that I could explore the brickwork separately. I then erased the brickwork from the sketchbook drawings to leave a simplified drawing that I am planning on adding colour to next week. I feel that doing the simplified paintings in the sketchbook as well as working on the more detailed photocopies will allow me to see which is more effective and how I could proceed, possibly by combining elements of the two?

Simplified drawing 1
Simplified drawing 2

These were the simplified drawings which I am going to continue to work on. I am also going to work on the photocopies and do more drawings of Leicester from real life. I intend on creating some paintings in the upcoming weeks exploring how different places in Leicester have different features such as windows and doorways, even the quality of the bricks and how these differences can be quite subtle yet still make a big comparison.

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual Post – Architecture in Leicester

As I am focusing my project on architecture in Leicester, I felt that it would be appropriate to do some research in the history of Leicester and see why certain decisions were made and have continued to be made through the production of modern architectural elements in the city. I have looked at a range of websites and books to ensure that my research is correct. I found it interesting to learn more about Leicester even though I’ve lived here my whole life as it opens to my eyes to what people went through in the past.

History of Leicester:

“Leicester is an ancient Iron Age settlement that was held as a high status tribal centre near the east bank of the River Soar just over 2,000 years ago. It quickly turned into a significant capital city at the time of the Roman Conquest of Britain around AD43. Through the centuries the city’s population grew, exploding with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s.

Much of the Leicester was re-built and old buildings swept away for new terraced houses built to accommodate the workers, which gave rise to a strong community spirit in many areas of the city.

After World War II more new communities came to Leicester, from Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent. Today Leicester is one of the most diverse cities to live in and is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK in terms of population.”

Industrial history of Leicester:

From the early 19th century to the end of the 20th century, Leicester had a big industrial sector being engineering, hosiery (in many forms) and footwear. A lot (or most) of the companies from then have since gone out of business and been taken over by other brands.

Although industry hasn’t left Leicester completely, it isn’t what it used to be. This has left a lot of buildings which have industrial history, with some needing to be repurposed for things such as restaurants, offices, bars and flats.

The Victorian era involved constructing new buildings as well as pulling old ones down. This is the reason that there isn’t much if any industrial history of Leicester that goes before the 19th century. There were only a couple of buildings which were refurbished but a majority of the others were repurposed into offices and residential units. Some have even been made into artist galleries and studios. Larger buildings were turned into temples, gurdwaras, mosques and madrassas as the culture and diversity in Leicester grew.

A lot of the factories were based in the city centre in the past. After World war 2, companies started to move into more industrial areas outside of the city centre. The former Imperial Typewriters building on East Park Road is a good example of an industrial building that is still used for making things. Nowadays the building is split into smaller industrial units.

As there were so many different industries in Leicester, there was work for both men and women which increased its popularity. There was a lot of information about poor working conditions that people faced. The introduction of paid holidays, pensions and shorter working days led to a better work life. The factories being in operation meant that there was a lot of sound and smell, pollution increased and sirens were rang to announce the start/end of shifts.

From the mid-19th century, housing was built to accommodate the workers from outside the city and communities of people who lived in terraced housing near places of work formed. These communities were self-contained and comprised houses, schools, shops, religious buildings, factories and parks.Though work offered people the chance to earn money, it also allowed them to build a social life through social clubs and events.

Today, there are still a small amount of hosiery companies in Leicester but certainly not as much as there used to be. Factories are based in areas outside of the city centre and a lot of old factories are serving new purposes.

Examples of popular buildings in Leicester:

The architecture in Leicester has a variety of styles and is very diverse. The city grew in popularity during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901 which is why there is a lot of Victorian architecture in the city. A lot of the buildings original purposes have since changed and are used for different things as the city and people living here have developed.

Some well known buildings in Leicester:

This building was made in 1894 after the death of Thomas Cook. It was intended to be an office building and was built in the Victorian style.

This building was designed in 1877 by Edward Burgess. It was originally the Wyggeston Girls school, later becoming a part of Charles Keene College and now is the Headquarters of the Age of Concern of Leicester. This Victorian style building has a lot of historical importance and is under the protection of the local government.

This is another building which has a lot of historical importance and is protected by the local government. The Secular Hall was designed in 1881 by W. Larner Sugden for residence of one of the oldest societies in the UK which was founded in 1851.

This hotel was built from 1897 to 1898 by Amos Hall and Cecil Ogden. At the time this had a reputation as one of the most stylish hotels in Leicester. In recent years it has lost its uniqueness but is still considered a good hotel.

Joseph Goddard designed this Venetian Gothic style building which was built in 1874. A lot of detail was added to the facade including stained glass windows and small statues. The building is known for having a lot of detail on the inside.

Leicester Town Hall is located in the City centre of Leicester which contains an impressive fountain. The town hall was built on the former cattle market between 1874 and 1876 in the Queen Anne Style by Francis Hames.

The City Rooms is a Georgian building constructed in 1800. It would have become Leicester’s first hotel but was not completed and the building was sold in 1799 with £3,300 still needed to complete it, and opened as the Leicester Assembly Rooms in 1800. In 1817 it was adapted to become the Judges Lodgings when it passed into the hands of the County Justices, then becoming known as the County Rooms. When it passed into the ownership of Leicester City Council it was renamed again, to The City Rooms. The building has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building.

HM Prison Leicester was designed by William Parsons to resemble a castle. The oldest part dates from 1825, and it was opened in 1828. The gatehouse including the adjoining building to north and south and the perimeter wall are grade II listed. In 2001 Leicester hit headlines as a “failing prison” and David Ramsbotham, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, declared that it should be shut down.

The Church Building Act of 1818 provided funds for two new Leicester parishes, one of which was Holy Trinity. The church was built in 1838 in accordance with classical design as the city expanded, and formed part of a new suburb. In 1872, Holy Trinity was completely redesigned in a High Gothic style, with spire and side turrets in red-purple brick with limestone decoration. . A significant building project was undertaken in the late 1980s, and there is now a single balcony at the rear of the church.

Journal about history of migration in Leicester and how this affected architecture

I found this journal in the library which went into detail about how migration in Leicester’s history has affected its architecture and the ways it is viewed by others in society. I found this read very interesting as it is something I haven’t thought much about before and it allowed me to get a better understanding of the place I live.

“The current multicultural nature of the town is one of the elements that have gradually contributed to redefining its urban landscape, enriching the lexicon of shapes forms and signs of a built environment traditionally associated with its industries and manufacturing plants. Two main events have been crucial for the development of this process: the first one was the arrival, in the 50s of the Caribbean population from Antigua and Jamaica. the second was the migratory phenomenon of the late 1960s and early 70s which involved Asian families fleeing from Kenya Uganda and Malawi. in the following years diversity and openness progressively became a distinctive sign of the city image often defined as one of the capitals of Asia and Britain by local stakeholders.”

Images in the journal

I found it interesting to see the ways that there were clear differences between the architecture of each picture, even if they were quite subtle. The different businesses and restaurants demonstrate how there is a lot of different ethnicities in Leicester which will impact upon the different types of architecture needed.

Maps of Leicester

These statistics made it clear as to why there are a range of different religious buildings in Leicester, a lot of different needs had to be met to ensure everyone was happy.

As I read more about migration and the history of Leicester, it made sense as to why certain areas of Leicester such as Narborough Road and Belgrave Gate are filled with people of similar religions and ethnicities. The different amounts of churches and mosques are all impacted by the amount of people with those religions living near them. These areas also had a lot of specific shops and restaurants suited to their religion or lifestyle including Sari shops and jewellers which made Leicester well known for it’s inclusivity and Belgrave Gate was named ‘the Golden Mile.’

“The consequence of this process of adaptation is evident in the coloured building facades in shop signs and in the architectural elements used to redefine their language of old houses or former industrial buildings.” This shows the impact of these communities making changes yet it allowed those buildings to have a better purpose.

Diwali became the biggest celebration outside of India in Leicester with people coming to last door purely for the two week celebrations. All these elements all the reasons why Leicester has been branded as a multicultural city. Although a lot of the buildings have changed, they have still retained some of their original characteristics.

Narborough road is another place which has a diverse amount of cultures which is “evident in the shop signs, bright and vivacious and often in contrast to one another which generates a peculiar landscape at the street levels in which brands and logos are proportion to the dimension of the retail unit. the same diversity of language is present outside can be found in the different informal arrangement of the interior and the outside area characterised by household products foods and second hand items often displayed in the internal part of the sidewalk.”          

“The highest representation of countries of birth amongst the landlords includes the UK, India, and Turkey, although European, African and Middle Eastern countries are also present. As in the other parts of the city, long-established retailers are the migrants from Uganda, Malawi and Kenya who fled from the “Africanisation” policies of eastern African countries.”

Why I decided to research the architectural history of Leicester:

Although I researched the general history of architectural styles and how it has changed, as my project is focused on Leicester I felt that the architectural history of Leicester was important for me to understand. Although I have grown up in Leicester, and my grandparents did, I have heard lots of stories about it from their experiences which has allowed me to envision what it was like. Seeing how Leicester has developed is very interesting as it explains the reasons for the building of certain historical buildings which have been in Leicester longer than I’ve been alive. I also find it interesting to see how the fact Leicester was an industrial city in the past led to the construction of housing and flats for factory workers. Without the history and how things have changed, Leicester wouldn’t look like it does today. I also felt it was relevant to look into the cultural side of Leicester and how that rapidly developed over the years. Without all this history, my project would look very different than it does now and I love seeing how things have changed and finding the reasons for these changes in the first place.

Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting Term 2 Plan – Leicester based project

After my tutorial with Carina, I decided that I wanted to continue on with my exploration of architecture but from a local viewpoint rather than Cornwall. I feel that this is more appropriate to my circumstances right now and as I have lived in Leicester my whole life, I have good knowledge of the different areas.

I filled out the Initial Work Plan with all of my intentions and had a good range of ideas for starting research and for producing work.

The areas of research I have started to do include architectural styles, architecture in Leicester and architecture in horror films as well as contextual research into artists including L.S Lowry, Richard Diebenkorn and Sydney Nolan. I feel that this research will provide me with a good backbone to my project and will inspire me in different ways.

I am looking forward to seeing how I develop my work in this project.

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual Post – Architectural Styles

As I have decided to do an architectural project, I felt it would be appropriate to research the different styles of architecture throughout history which will give me an awareness of the reasons there are different types of architecture in different places. I am also planning on doing a contextual post of architecture in Leicester which will explain certain architectural factors and the reasons they are there.

There are several types of architecture styles which have different purposes and functions. In many cities, there are often combinations of modern architecture and historical architecture which I find captivating as it demonstrates how the world has changed which is pivotal, history has a lot of importance and showing how we’ve moved on is very interesting in my opinion.

‘Architectural styles – a visual guide’ by Owen Hopkins. Published in 2014.

‘Architectural style’ is largely a creation of the 19th century. ‘Style’ is associated with Heinrich Wölfflin a Swiss architectural historian. he established 5 pairs of opposing concepts linear/painterly, plane/recession, closed form/open form, multiplicity/unity, and absolute clarity/relative clarity. His theory overlooked content in favour of form while ignoring the social economic or material factors that determine the creation of a building or piece of art. style is considered in a broad sense and is used to group and analyse buildings according to particular traits to highlight cultural trends or particular traits, to highlight cultural trends or particular architectural strategies that buy together works that superficially might seem unrelated. Architects often change styles throughout their careers depending upon clients.

Some architectural styles:

  1. Classical – Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman
  2. Early Christian – Byzantine And Romanesque
  3. Gothic and Medieval – Early Gothic, High Gothic, Late Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Secular Gothic and Castle
  4. Renaissance and Mannerism – Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Northern Renaissance and Mannerism
  5. Baroque and Rococo – Italian Baroque, German and Eastern European Baroque, Spanish and Latin American Baroque, French Baroque, English Baroque and Rococo
  6. Neoclassicism – Palladianism, Classical Revival, Greek Revival, Empire Style, Picturesque and Sublime
  7. Eclecticism – Gothic Revival, Orientalism, Beaux-Arts, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco
  8. Modernism – Chicago School, Expressionism, New Objectivity, International Style, Functionalism, Constructivism, Totalitarian Reactions, Essentialism, Brutalism, Metabolism and High Tech
  9. After Modernism – Realism, Postmodernism, Deconstructivism, Echo Architecture, Expressive Rationalism and Contextualism

1) Classical architecture is the style of buildings created by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Ancient Greek:

Ancient Greek Architecture – Parthenon

Region – Greece and Mediterranean colonies.

Period – Seventh Century to First Century BCE.

Ancient Roman:

Ancient Roman Architecture – Hera II, Paestum

Region – Europe (Italy, the Mediterranean – North Africa, Asia Minor and the Middle East.)

Period – First Century BCE to Fourth Century CE

2) Early Christian architecture is the buildings that were created by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity.


Byzantine Architecture – Constantinople

Region – Eastern Mediterranean

Period – Fourth to fifteenth century


Romanesque Architecture – Abbey-of-Maria-Laach,-Glees,-Germany

Region – Europe

Period – Mid eleventh to mid twelfth century

3) Gothic and Medieval architecture evolved from Romanesque architecture and was most popular during the high and late medieval period.

Early Gothic:

Early Gothic Architecture – Laon Cathedral

Region – France and England

Period – twelfth to mid thirteenth century

High Gothic:

Region – Europe, particularly England and France

Period – 13th to mid 14th century

Late Gothic:

Region – Europe, particularly England, Germany and Spain

Period – Mid 14th to 15th century

Venetian Gothic:

Region – Venice, Italy

Period – 12th to 15th century

Secular Gothic:

Region – Northern regions of Europe

Period – 12th to 15th century


Region – Europe

Period – 12th to 15th century

4) Renaissance and Mannerism. Renaissance architecture was created between the early 15th and early 17th century showing a development of early ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Mannerist architecture involved architects experimenting with forms found in Renaissance architecture to emphasise solid and spatial relationships.

Website where I found information for Renaissance

Website I found information for Mannerism

Early Renaissance:

Region – Italy, particularly Florence

Period – 15th century

High Renaissance:

Region – Italy

Period – 16th century

Northern Renaissance:

Region – England, Europe, France, Germany and the Netherlands

Period – 16th century


Region – Italy and Spain

Period – Mid to late 16th century

5) Baroque and Rococo. Baroque architecture has a highly decorative style and appeared in Italy in the 17th century. It celebrated the wealth of the Catholic church, being linked to the Counter-Reformation. Rococo architecture was more graceful yet more elaborate than Baroque architecture as Baroque architecture was very focused on religion while Rococo was more light hearted. . Rococo architecture focused more on privacy than publicity.

Italian Baroque:

Region – Italy

Period – 17th and 18th century

German and Eastern European Baroque:

Region – Germany and Eastern Europe

Period – 17th and 18th century

Spanish and Latin American Baroque:

Region – Spain and Latin America

Period – 17th and 18th century

French Baroque:

Region – France

Period – 17th to early 18th century

English Baroque:

Region – England

Period – Mid 17th to early 18th century


Region – Europe, particularly France, Germany and Russia

Period – 18th century

6) Neoclassism. Neoclassical architecture was a revival of classical architecture in the early 18th and 19th centuries.


Region – England and America

Period – 18th century

Classical Revival:

Region – Europe and America

Period – Mid 18th to mid 19th century

Greek Revival:

Region – Europe, particularly England and Germany

Period – Mid 18th to mid 19th century

Empire Style:,style%20of%20the%20eighteenth%20century.

Region – France

Period – Late 18th to mid 19th century


Region – Europe, particularly England and France

Period – Late 18th to early 19th century


Region – Europe, particularly England and France

Period – Late 18th to mid 19th century

7) Eclecticism – an architectural style which incorporates diffeent elements of previous architecture styles to create something new.,that%20is%20new%20and%20original.

Gothic Revival:,the%20late%201740s%20in%20England.&text=Gothic%20Revival%20draws%20features%20from,hood%20moulds%20and%20label%20stops.

Region – Europe

Period – 19th century


Region – Europe and USA

Period – Mid 18th to early 20th century


Region – France and USA

Period – Mid 19th to early 20th century

Arts and Crafts:–what-s-it-all-about.aspx#:~:text=The%20architectural%20style%20which%20developed,using%20local%20materials%20and%20traditions.

Region – England and USA

Period – Mid 19th to early 20th century

Art Nouveau:

Region – Europe, particularly Brussels, Paris and Venice

Period – Late 18th to early 19th century

Art Deco:

Region – Europe and USA

Period – 1920s and 1930s

8) Modernism is an architectural style based on new construction methods involving the uses of certain materials including reinforced concrete, glass and steel with a sense of minimalism and making form more important than function.

Website where I found information

Chicago School:

Region – USA

Period – 1880s to 1900s


Region – Germany and the Netherlands

Period – 1910s to mid 1920s

New Objectivity:,Neues%20Bauen%20(New%20Building).

Region – Germany

Period – Mid 1920s to mid 1930s

International Style:

Region – Initially Europe, later worldwide

Period – 1930s to 1950s


Region – Europe, particularly Germany and Scandinavia

Period – 1930s to 1960s


Region – Soviet Union

Period – 1920s to early 1930s

Totalitarian Reactions:

Region – Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Stalinist Soviet Union

Period – 1930s Germany and Italy to 1950s Soviet Union


Region – USA

Period – 1910s to 1970s


Region – Britain

Period – 1950s to 1960s


Region – Japan

Period – 1950s to 1970s

High Tech:

Region – International

Period – 1970s to 1980s

9) After Modernism


Region – International

Period – 1960s to now


Region – International, particularly Britain and USA

Period – 1970s to early 1990s


Region – International

Period – 1980s to early 1990s


Region – International

Period – 1970s to now

Expressive Rationalism:

Region – International

Period – 1990s to now


Region – International, particularly Europe

Period – 1960s to present

Why I felt I should research different architectural styles:

I decided to research into the different architectural styles throughout history as I felt that it would do me good to see how architecture has evolved as new uses for buildings arose. I felt that seeing the ways things have changed and the reasons for it such as providing housing for a lot of people, giving people efficient places to pray, schooling. Demands for things are constantly changing, with needs/wants for different amounts of decorative architectural elements. I feel like it is also eye opening to see how different things used to be in the past as without those things having happened, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Also as my project is focused on architecture, this seemed like a good foundation to get going. Identifying different architectural styles of windows and roofs was important also as it allows me to identify different elements which could be used to develop my project further somehow, possibly by being able to label drawings, adding annotations for a different effect.

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual post – Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn is an artist who is known as “one of the finest abstract painters” in America. He has done abstract work as well as figuration, making him a versatile artist not tied down by one thing. His work focused a lot on places he worked and lived using balanced compositions and beautiful colour palettes.

I have decided to research Richard Diebenkorn as I find his different angles and perceptions very unique, as well as the way he makes flat paintings come out of the canvas and pull the viewer in. I also like the limited colour palettes as it is realistic yet achieved in a way that shows everything isn’t a solid colour, there are often a lot of colours that build up things such as the sea and the sky which is something I would like to explore in my own work using washes of colours and layers.

‘Cityscape #1’ – Richard Diebenkorn (1963)

This is an oil painting on canvas by Diebenkorn which features a view of a rural area which is quite flat but the colours and shapes used work well to pull in the viewer. I like that this painting is quite simple yet it is still easy it identify what the painting is of. I especially like the way that other colours show through in sections creating little subtleties that makes the eye look at all of the piece in a rhythmic sense.

‘View from a Porch’ – Richard Diebenkorn (1959)

This oil painting by Richard Diebenkorn uses a darker colour palette and has a much different technique and texture to ‘Cityscape #1’ which I like. This painting reminds me of an oil pastel drawing through the scratchy elements and I really like the ways the warm and cold colours work together to create a really interesting composition. I feel that the colours effectively portray the light on each part of the scene, with the shadows in the darker areas and the sunlight on the warmer areas, as well as portraying what materials were in each section. Again, the different elements aren’t just solid colours and are built up of several layers which is realistic, a surprise from an abstract painting.

Information I got from video above:

What an artist does is all about what’s around it, what’s his environment culture, physical, visual. Wandering through the countryside of California Sonoma County, he appears every bit the outdoorsman. I used to think I was really a landscape artist. I think I revise that little bit he is in fact a recent arrival from the big city who has come to this land of colour and quiet to paint to paint the quiet colourful words that have made him famous. He is Richard Diebenkorn, a master of contemporary American art. I think it’s hard for an artist to see to see himself really, I’m aware of a predisposition to sparing this or our aloneness is something I value. Right now, his sense of aloneness extends well beyond the canvas in an age of publicity hungry artists Richard Diebenkorn has always felt uncomfortable in the spotlight, the solitude of the studio suits him well. For years, his working procedure has been the same, to sit and contemplate a canvas sometimes for hours before ever picking up a brush, pieces must go through several sessions. “I never seem to be able to get anything one shot right off, sometimes I get sort of rooted to the to the chair and then sometimes I think well you know I can’t just sit here, I’m going to do something so then I’ll be really rather arbitrary the feeling you feel like you’re wasting time or sometimes yeah it’ll intends going by the pound you describe it in its current state possibly almost finished but to those are kind of famous last words almost finished and I’ve said that about pieces and found my still self still working on them a year later”. Nearly 50 years of it includes early abstract paintings a period during the 50s and 60s when he turned to landscape to still life a human figure and in the last 25 years, the series of serene geometric abstracts that sealed his reputation the ocean park series named for the area in Santa Monica in Southern California where his studio was. It was a place that inspired many of his greatest works, but the pressures of the Los Angeles area began to intrude too much on this most solitary of men in the last year. “I felt each time I went out in the in the car to West Los Angeles for errands or whatever every trip I made it was that much worse I felt that it was I was more hemmed in, more closed in on. The traffic was heavier that shows you something about how high the water was but I am so it was that deep in corn came to the Russian River of Northern California where his dogs Amy and Lucy can run free and where the River itself attracts him again then again do you ever sing a scene like this say alright now I’m just going to go back to representational painting one time just to get this for sure pencelli yeah, I just thought I was down here with Amy several days ago and I thought well next time I come down I’ll bring sketch pad number like draw Richard I’m going to I guess in the 50s when I was doing abstract painting I thought well to do representational stuff is just beyond the pale when the artists ability seriousness is sensibility simply couldn’t do that you know it was so this sort of mindset that for a set of reasons when had and now I am most artists don’t have that mindset. So, if you see something out there that earns you one, well it’s subject. I feel subjects working one measure of demon court standing in the art world this current display of his drawings at the Museum of Modern art in New York another the recent sale of a Diebenkorn painting for $1.2 million which puts him in a very select club of living American artists whose works command such prices. His friend and this exhibits curator John Elderfield said,  “for me he is a very important artist,  he had managed both to be pioneering and to remind one in this work of another great Masters of the past and to reinvent their message for new generations a sort of reimagining of Matty’s of Cezanne or even earlier artists who he admires very deeply got a bit more chaotic all the analysis.” Richard Diebenkorn marvels just like the rest of us at the mystery of how art comes to be created, each of his works a road map of its own making with changes on second thoughts right there on the canvas for anyone to see there’s a trial and error and the budding one’s head against the wall and I might say it’s alright except for one little corner and so I changed that little corner and then that all his other parts and pretty soon then back into it and then maybe it changes completely the aim is not what we might call finish in a conventional way because some of the words look unfinished but rather having fought that fight to his satisfaction and when he feels somehow that his work that out then he can leave it alone.

How Richard Diebenkorn’s work is influencing my project:

The number one element which drew me into Richard Diebenkorn’s work was the way he used shapes to build up a composition as I found his technique really unique and a focus that I could take into my drawings and even paintings. When it comes to his application of colour, I especially like the fact that the colours aren’t fully opaque, they are all transparent in areas which allows other colours to show through. For instance you can sometimes see yellow peeking through green for the fields which is something I explored in my first term and have continued to this term as no colour is fully opaque, even if it looks it. I find this interesting as although I could do things in a really cartoonish way, I want to maintain a sense of realism so it doesn’t all go to fantasy.

Websites used and images:

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual post – Sidney Nolan

Sidney Nolan was an Australian artist who used a variety of mediums in his work. His work focused on Australian history which is one of the reasons he is so well known.

Although the subject matter of his work is not relevant to my project, I feel that his colour palettes and high amounts of contrast which he uses to draw attention to certain parts of his works could be useful in my work. His work features a lot of nature and landscapes, lots focused in desert like areas which is relevant to where he lived.

The uses of red in ‘Camel and Figure’ and ‘Inland Australia’ are very captivating and it seems like these bright colours were used to portray the intensity of the sun in the desert areas at specific times of day. The fact that places look different depending upon the time of day is very intriguing and shows that you could get different feelings and emotions from architecture and nature during different seasons and times.

Sidney Nolan doesn’t make the skies in his paintings block colours which I like to explore in my own work through adding different colours into the sky as even though sometimes the sky does seem one colour, if you look properly there is always more than meets the eye.

I find this piece very relevant to my work as it includes widows which is a key aspect of my project. I find the colours used very eye catching and I find the layering of browns in the background creates a wood effect which could be Nolan trying to capture an element of history.

Information I got from video above:

A room which is dedicated to Sidney Nolan’s famous Ned Kelly series. It’s a very important series both in the national gallery’s collection but also in the history of Australian art. Part of the reason for the importance of this series is the fact that Nolan drew on the incredible saga of Ned Kelly and the way that he brought a totally fresh response to the Australian landscape and to the idea of a national identity. This series wanted to pick on the idea of a legend based in history. He was interested in Australia’s national identity at a time when the Ward raised a whole lot of questions. One of the iconic images in this series is simply named Kelly and in this painting Nolan encapsulates the image of Ned Kelly in the way that he conceived. We need to remember that this was a totally fresh vision Ned Kelly. He places Ned Kelly on his horse very centrally in the composition and the extraordinary thing about it is he places him in the suit of Armour with the box of his head basically it’s just a black square and in the middle is this visor which stands in for the head and we see the clouds in the Sky had very much that sense of Ned Kelly integrated in the Australian landscape. Very bold and poetic it’s informed by European Modernism as the whole series is and we really get a sense of Nolan trying to nail this idea of what constitutes the Australian landscape, He painted a landscape around the wimmera that he saw when he was in the army. It’s a flat bleached yellow landscape with little trees dotting the horizon line at the spaciousness works beautifully against conic compact image of Ned Kelly with his rifle in his horse. It’s an image that was shown at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 to symbolise Australia, perhaps to give a sense of us as something anti-authoritarian with a sense of which and certainly the image has a sense of drama. Sidney Nolan had an extraordinary vision to the story of Ned Kelly. It’s now become so well recognised in Australian art that the image of Ned Kelly is very much synonymous with Sidney Nolan. It was a very important series in his own artistic life and certainly in the history of Australian art. It has assumed great significance by placing these works in an Oval room as they are, we really get a sense of the unfolding nature of the story. In an almost filmic way, we can trace that view of Ned Kelly in his Armour in a whole lot of different versions. In the way that Nolan has painted him, I think the poetry, the humour, pathos, a lot of bad sense of the struggle that went on in the saga is brought through in the way that Nolan painted this series, but he’s obviously done it in a very poetic way. He thought about how we see the landscape and these works turn just as well in the history of Australian landscape painting as they do in terms of history painting. Sunday Reed gifted the series hanging in this room to the National Gallery in 1977 and we remain very grateful to her for this extraordinary gift.

Information I got from video above:

Sidney Nolan is one of Australia’s most important artists of the second half of the 20th century. His output was prolific, his sense of originality was extraordinary. He was innovative, he took risks he was a truly Avantgarde artist and he really changed the way we understand the Australian landscape. In fact, he changed the way we understand who we are as people, by that I mean that he has become synonymous with the way we understand who we are through the legend of Ned Kelly. It is a wonderful story about this Irish bushranger, but I guess why we find Nolan so fascinating as an artist is his own life story. He started out in Saint Kilda and he grew up so adventurous to take risks,  to you know stand upside down on the Big Dipper and make everybody scream with fear at the thought of him falling off, so he was a bit of a larrikin, a bit of a lad and I think that that sense of taking risks was what underpinned his greatness as an artist. He went to the National Gallery school to attend the sketching classes but as he accounted later he only stayed ever for about half an hour and then it’s a “I’ll forget this I’m going up to read” and he go up into the Public Library and there he read he read the philosopher’s, he read the poets and in fact for some time there was a struggle between whether he would be a poet or whether he would be a painter. Fortunately painting won but his painting is always imbued with a real sense of the poetic and it’s one of the reasons he’s such a great artist. When you get into the 1940s of course he’s called up into the army, he was a pacifist he knew that he couldn’t fire a rifle and so he was sent out into the wimmera district to guard the army stores. It was the light that he discovered out in the wimmera with the horizon line and the wonderful sense of clear blue skies that really tells the story of the loneliness of this young man who had been stationed out there who found beauty in just observing the landscape. When it appeared that he might be sent New Guinea to fight after all and being a pacifist, he left the army,  and he went AWOL. It was during this that he painted the Kelly series out Heidi and it was this series that he really gave Australians a new vision of their own sense of identity. Nolan once said no one will ever know what the series is about but I think we guess that it is very much about the tangled life of Nolan and the reeds and the separation of Nolan from his first wife who he had met when he was in school. He also painted in 1946 an extraordinary image of an Australian footballer they love sport NI loved Australian rules and although for many years people thought that this image of a footballer was generic, we now know from Nolan’s own words that in fact it was someone from his favourite team that he was depicting and was one of his favourite players none other than the famous full back Billy Moore. Nolan later painted another Saint this time a real Saint turn Anthony. In the early 50s he went to Europe for the first time to really explore the old Masters, to come to grips with the great musical scene that he loves so much and in Italy he fell in love with the Renaissance. He fell in love with artists like Joto, like Piero Della Francesca and these artists always brought something new to his work but Nolan couldn’t leave behind his love of the Australian landscape. So, in the temptation of Saint Anthony, you get a Fusion of both the Australian landscape and the Renaissance world of Saints and the Renaissance landscape of Joto. With all of Nolan’s paintings you have this great Fusion of the poetic the personal and the universal as you have in this work.

How Sidney Nolan’s work inspires my project:

I have decided to research Sidney Nolan through the recommendation of one of my tutors. As he focused on the Australian landscape they felt it was relevant as I am focusing on the Architecture in Leicester. The similarity being that we both are focusing on one place only. Although Sidney Nolan’s work isn’t architectural themed, I felt drawn in by the colour schemes and layering. Leicester architecture doesn’t have many colours related to the desert but as I am being experimental with colour in my project, I feel that I could integrate some of Sidney Nolan’s colour schemes into my project, even as mere experiments and if they are successful then I will find ways to take them further. It would be interesting for me to have an icon in my pieces, like Sidney Nolan did with Ned Kelly but I’m not sure what this could be and I don’t want to take away from the architecture but I may look into this in the future.

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual post – Laurence Stephen Lowry, film on Netflix

Laurence Stephen Lowry also known as L.S Lowry or Laurie, was a British artist who did paintings and drawings based around his hometown, Pendlebury in Lancashire and surrounding areas of Salford. He is famous for his industrial landscape paintings which feature human figures resembling “matchstick men” but a lack of lighting, weather conditions and shadows of the figure led to a lot of bad reviews from critics about his work.

I have decided to research L.S Lowry as I find his style of painting architecture very captivating yet also very simplistic, almost like a children’s book illustration. The limited uses of colour is fitting since he lived in an area which was very industrial so I like his realistic portrayal of the place he was capturing.

Netflix film: Mrs Lowry & Son:

This film focusing on Lowry and his relationship with his mother and painting came out in 2019 and had a duration of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It was directed by Adrian Noble and its description was “British painter L.S Lowry tries to pursue his passion for art while living with a bitter and bedridden mother who takes a dim view of his vocation”.

The film focused a lot on how Lowry’s mother resented him and his father for the way her life ended up since his father got into a lot of debt and they both weren’t successful businessmen. It was clear that this affected Lowry a lot as it was his ambition to pay off his fathers debts and make his mother happy.

In the film it was clear that Lowry’s mother had an issue with his painting and wanted him to be a successful businessman rather than following in his fathers footsteps and becoming a debt collector. Many times she refers to Lowry’s art as a “hobby” and says that he doesn’t have artistic attributes and so will never be an artist, which he disagreed with since he went to art school for several years.

The film mentioned an art critic’s (Mr Denby) opinion of Lowry’s painting ‘Coming from the Mill’ which caused further vexation with his mother. The painting was made in 1930 and is oil on canvas with dimensions of 42cm by 52cm. It features an industrial scene with many figures walking in different directions presumably after work from the title of the piece.

From the paper, his mother read the critics opinion which was; “An ugly painting. The painting by Mr L.S Lowry, ‘Coming from the Mill’, is confusing and appears to have been painted by a child. The figures, if we may call them figures, are nothing but smudges, ridiculous marionettes suspended in a squalid industrial scene. If this is Mr Lowry’s vision of the Lancashire landscape and its people, I feel very sorry for him. It is a most unsatisfactory picture, and an insult to the people of Lancashire.”

Throughout the film, there was a lot of things Lowry says that explains his reasons for painting, processes used and insight into how it makes him feel. I found this interesting as it allowed me to see his viewpoint and it was captured with a lot of emotion.

This is a painting which Lowry’s mother’s neighbour liked which influenced her to like it too. This painting was created for his mother as a “gift of the past” which he painted from his memory of being on the beach in Lytham with his mother when he was 7 years old. His mother liked ir so much that she paid 2 shillings for his work to be entered into an amateur artist competition but it didn’t win. However, Lowry also entered the painting ‘Coming from the Mill’ without telling his mother which someone wanted to buy for £20, this caused his mum to have a bad reaction as her favourite wasn’t chosen. Then she told Lowry that she didn’t like any of his paintings which made him destroy a lot of his work. Then he revealed that every painting he ever did was for his mother. everything he does is for her, for love.

His mother died in 1939 and later that year he got his first exhibition in London. He was offered several British honours including an OBE and a knighthood but turned them all down saying “there seemed little point…once mother was dead.”

Quotations from the film:

“I paint what I see, I paint how I feel, I am a man who paints. Nothing more, nothing less. Every picture I paint begins the same way – begins the same colour (white) Flake White.”

“I paint to fill in the time, I paint for something to do. I’m not fit for anything else. Night after night, I sit up here in the attic. Nothing in the house stirs. The smell of turpentine, the hiss of the gas jet, Outside, one solitary star watches over me. This is my world. I’m safe here. Alone. I paint, and I paint. A smudge here with my finger, a stroke of the brush there. I see light and atmosphere in the bleakest of places, a railway arch, a stone viaduct. There’s a beauty in everything. A man just has to open his eyes and look. Observe everything. Life. What does that make me? Am I an artist? What would you call yourself Laurie?”

I found these quotes really interesting and it related to my project through capturing the atmosphere of Leicester through studies of the buildings, though I haven’t considered incorporating figures into my work this is something I could try out at some point.

Overall, the film was very interesting and featured a lot of information and quotes which are really helpful in allowing me to identify some of the ways I can approach my studies of Leicester.

Information I got from video above:

In 1938 Daisy jewel persuaded the director of the LeFevre Gallery in new Bond Street London to show some of Lowry’s paintings. In early 1939, attracting many reviews in the national press his mother was not impressed but the Tate Gallery was, and they bought dwellings Ordsall Lane for £15.00 but they didn’t display for 20 years which Lowry took personally believing that they didn’t really want the painting. His mother died in October 1939 and Lowry painted the bedroom in Pendlebury in memory of the long hours he spent looking after her. After she died, Lowry lost all interest and continuing to paint was his only Salvation. Lowry was 52 when his mother died and for the next nine years he stayed in the house alone. He had no wife, but he did adopt several young female companions who he mentored and paid to go through art college. He referred to them collectively as Anne. A young girl called Carol Lowry of no relation was one of these girls. She had written to him in 1957 saying she had an interest in art and since she shared a surname would he offer her advice. He took her to gallery’s and paid for her education throughout college. Years later Carrol said he always behaved immaculately; he was always invariably extremely circumspect in his behaviour towards her. In the 1940s, he became an official war artist as he drew the ruined shelves of bombed outbuildings and was strongly affected emotionally. These paintings sold for as much as £60.00 each. You could see from his pictures how his own loneliness is reflected in his paintings but by 1948 he was earning good money as a painter, so he moved to a new house to the more affluent village of Mottram in Longdendale near Manchester. He began collecting works by other artists that he admired particularly the pre-Raphaelite painter daunting Gabriel Rossetti. In 1951 he confessed to a psychiatrist friend how he would stare for hours at empty houses with empty windows standing in isolation on derelict streets. He saw in those desolate buildings an image of himself.

How Lowry’s work inspires me in my project:

As Lowry focused on painting scenes where he lives, I felt I could easily relate to him as my project is focused on Leicester, the place I have grew up in and lived my whole life. I find his processes and colour palettes very simple yet effective and they easily demonstrate his difficult relationship with his mother, I can see how he felt isolated and alone through his paintings with a lot of the figures not interacting with each other. I find the ways he paints buildings very effective as they have a lot of detail yet are simple at the same time, reminding me of children’s book illustrations or small cartoons. This combination of realism and playful characters is something I have been exploring in my work as I feel it can really bring out the qualities of a place, even subtlety. I find the ways people reacted to his art over the years very interesting in a sense that I feel sorry for him with his passion being looked down on by strangers and even those close to him. I feel that I have been judged by people in the past for taking an artistic education rather than academic but I can’t comprehend what it must have been like back in Lowry’s experiences. I feel that his work truly captures what industrialism was like and I am going to continue to use Lowry’s work as inspiration throughout my project.

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