Categories
Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Week 2 – tutorial and farm drawings

During the second week, I had a tutorial in which I discussed my ideas with my tutor and she gave me ideas of how I could make further progress.

From my drawings, my tutor felt that they were all done with the same amount of pressure on the pencil and I could have benefitted from capturing a range of line thicknesses and tones to add more detail and realism. I need to keep the looseness of the drawings but refine areas to make it more effective.

Also, although the museum for drawing animals was a good initial start, she felt that I could go to actual farms and zoos and capture the animals within their enclosures to add more context and create a link to last years project which included areas of linear fences which my tutor was drawn to when looking at my work from last year. I was encouraged to get a range of wooden boards as I enjoy working on board and work to a range of sizes, both small and large to explore colour palettes.

My tutorial really helped me understand how to progress with this project and I feel I have a lot to keep me busy in the upcoming weeks.

Deer painting using drawing from museum, palette knife background
Start of owl painting using drawing from museum onto painted background

Using one of my deer drawings and one of my owl sketches, I started to do A one sized paintings exploring mark making and my subjects, experimenting with what could work for me. Being able to use palette knives reminded me of the start of second year which I thoroughly enjoyed and I enjoyed being expressive with my mark makings.

Animal drawings at Gorse Hill Farm
Colour studies of animals at Gorse Hill Farm
Donkey drawing at Gorse Hill Farm
Quick study of enclosure at Gorse Hill Farm


I decided to go to Gorse Hill farm in order to capture animals within their enclosures as my tutor thought that would add some context to my work and allow me to capture the lifelikeness of the animals. This also related to areas of my work from the end of last year having fences around them and are areas I can create a lot of contrast in my work.

I did some studies in watercolours and coloured pencils to add a sense of colour experimentation in my work.

I need to go to the wood workshop to get some board to paint on at a range of sizes in order for me to zoom into certain sections and explore colour palettes.

Categories
CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Artist Residencies

There are a range of different residencies with some artists moving from one to another throughout their life, also known as altering modernity or nomads. The different types of artist residencies are aimed at different stages of artistic careers, some for established artists and others for emerging artists.

Types of residencies:

  • Non-funded residencies – for a mix of affluent amateurs and people who have a lot of experience. Res Artis website offers lots of opportunities.
Res Artis website offers residencies all over the world
  • Part-funded – free accommodation/studio space but no travel (although the travel costs can be funded by art organisations so research is vital.)
  • Fully funded – very competitive. high standard and high application numbers.

During COVID there were online artists’ residencies but they were incredibly hard to control and translate, in-person residencies give a sense of time and place.

Most artist residencies keep in touch after and follow your artistic career afterward – a very rewarding process. Some residencies even allow your family to come which is great for single parents or parents struggling with child care – even though children can be distracting. Some residencies are project-based, some offer technical support, residencies respond to a theme. There are a lot of exhibition opportunities after you take part in an artist residency.

Artist collectives are a good idea as they offer conversation opportunities and discourse, artist talks, lectures, crits. It is much easier to get funding for collectives vs as individuals. Collective studio spaces give you support, both physical and psychological support, motivation. Collective exhibitions are more likely than individual exhibitions.

Location is very important within the art world with different places offering different opportunities with different places suiting people for a range of reasons.

After university, a key problem is accessing facilities, so an artist studio is a good idea. Budget is also key as materials can be expensive.

Artist residency advice/experiences:

Art residency video

Although I learned a lot about artist residencies in my lecture, I wanted to find more information so came across this video on YouTube for more information. It is about an artist residency in Beijing and the experiences of artists within that residency.

In the video, the creator had a friend who had been running an artist residency and was going to be running an exhibition from this residency. An interesting part of this residency was that it was in a fairly remote location and it was a small residency with a maximum of 20 artists. The video showed clips of the artists in the residency at work with large-scale paintings which I found very captivating, even if I don’t ever get the chance to take part in an artist residency I would like the chance to attend a residency exhibition. 

Screenshot of an image of the residency space from video

The exhibition involves connecting the artists with some collectors to give them the chance to sell their work which is a good idea, especially with large-scale works as transporting them back to the artist’s home would be rather difficult. The artists were very busy creating work which highlighted to me how you have to be prepared and have high motivation. This video showed how a range of people from different backgrounds, at different ages and stages of life are brought together in residencies. 

First resident experience – Tom travelled a lot and moved into different industries, didn’t have a physical space to create work. The residency gave him the time and space to concentrate and be really productive. He tried to avoid social media and his phone so he could completely focus and take advantage of the space to just do art in order to relaunch his art career after a long period of not doing art at all. He struggled to make a living in art and so was making a living in other sectors which is a sad reality for a lot of creative people.

Screenshot from video of Tom and his paintings in the residency space

Second resident’s experience, Karen – she was from America and had graduated from art school a long time ago. She had a lot of opportunities arise in her life and got caught up with them including being involved in an art magazine which she did for around nine years. The residency is her opportunity to relaunch her art career after over 20 years of not painting. She wanted to put herself first for once and focus on her passion for art. 

Screenshot from video of Karen working in the residency space

Third resident’s experience, Max – originally from London but works in the US worked as an artist for a long time, quite successful. Over five galleries over the world represent him. He’s a curator, museum manager and had been involved in a range of projects over the world. Teaching art. Took this opportunity to relax and discover China’s local art scene to give him inspiration. 

Screenshot from video of Max in residency space

Hearing people’s different reasonings for doing the residency was really interesting for me as it showed that even the most successful people in the art world sometimes need a break and people who don’t have much success are resilient in their passion for art and want to push their artistic career. A key observation is that they all wanted the time and space to just focus on art without any outside distractions which they couldn’t do without the residency.

An alternative of artist residencies is renting an artist studio near your home town but sometimes moving away from the place you live works wonders for inspiration. When asked what makes his residency stand out, Steven said they offer a unique experience for the artists to network with local galleries, collectors, and museums so that they could build up connections and contacts which can be referred back to even after the residency is over. A networking opportunity. However, it is not guaranteed that the artists will sell their work but it is a good possibility. 

What is an artist residency and should you do one?

Information learned from video:

  • Some people do an artist residency every year in the summer
  • An artist residency is an opportunity for artists to work outside of their studio in a new environment where they can focus on creating art, reflecting and researching.
  • It is an escape from your reality
  • Lots of different artist residencies out there – some are collaborative and others are independent. ‘
  • Some collaborative residencies involve doing art and mailing it to a person from another country and vice versa until a whole project is built up and then the different members of the collaborations meet in a designated place for residency for one month in the summer each year in which they can focus on the body of work they created and develop it even further together.
  • Residencies differ in length – sometimes a month or two, sometimes six months or even a year.
  • Studio residencies are located in many cities and countries meaning you don’t always have to travel a huge distance – you can sometimes commute
  • You are able to meet a range of new people including mentors, art collectors, curators
  • You get a lot of crit opportunities during residencies
  • Online residencies have started to become more popular due to covid and they have had good reception so will be sticking around
  • Applying for a residency – think about what you are looking for – travel/local, alone/with family, collaboration/working individually, funding/able to pay. The things you need to apply for a residency are typically a letter of motivation (kind of a cover letter saying what project you want to work on), project proposal in which you break down all elements of your project (the residency will know if you have any specific needs from this and will know what to expect), artist CV, artist biography, artist statement and portfolio (possibly letters of recommendation)
  • expenses of residencies vary depending on the type of residency. Sometimes you can get grants or funding which you apply to from different places – have to give a detailed list of materials, travel expenses. In most studio based residencies you have to pay to use the studios and be a part of the program.
  • some artists look for residencies that give them access to specific equipment including but not limited to ceramics, print and glass
  • Some residencies give you a brief or require you to make art about a heritage site or the place the residency is in so it is good to take that into account and read the fine print
  • Benefits of a residency – you have time to focus on you and your passion. Time is valuable as an artist. It is a good CV builder. You make a lot of connections. Press opportunities, exhibition opportunities. Artist talk opportunities

https://www.artshub.co.uk/opportunity-classification/residencies/

Artshub Residency page opportunities

When looking up Residencies that I could apply to for when I’ve finished my degree, I came across the Residencies Opportunities Page on Arts Hub which includes a range of Residencies in the UK and other countries with the chance to win residencies in some cases through competitions or exhibitions which I felt was interesting. I came across a lot of interesting opportunities but some of them had fees and this is something I need to take into account when applying.

https://www.curatorspace.com/opportunities/detail/an-open-call-to-all-women–shifting-terrain/6301?fbclid=IwAR3NFkWeNcZ7LKpf2Nf3JMGMCOMgbeiNMqh1KZzplD3RDDvCOoXSGrS02bI

I found more details about the opportunity on Curator Space, finding out that it is an opportunity for women artists based in the East Midlands with two residency spaces up for grabs which is based in Derby – not too far from where I live at the moment. The deadline for submissions is the 31st May which gives me a lot of time to apply once my work is submitted for marking.

Online residency opportunities:

  • Deadline – June 30th 2022
  • Location – National/online
  • Artform – All arts
Information about the Residencies
  • Residency fee for a one month residency is 270 euros (£227) and two months is 450 euros (£378.35).
  • What you get from the residency – regular meetings/activities, usually 3 sessions per week. Weekly live meetings with artists for crits and reflections of progress. Advice about social media presence and artist websites. Discussions with previous residency members. Online exhibition at the end of residency. Being presented on their blog. Become a permanent member of their international artist network.

Unfortunately I don’t have the money right now to join this residency but I found researching into an online residency was interesting and a good option if I don’t have the time to travel or dedicate myself to a residency full time. I feel that an online residency would be limiting in terms of space as you would have to find your own studio space or work from home but you will have access to people who can give you advice, crit your work and even influence your work with their own, an option which you most likely wouldn’t have without the residency.

Art Quest Residency Opportunity:

When I was looking for opportunities and exhibitions, I came across Art Quest which had some interesting science based projects and some different artist residencies which was insightful and something to consider for when I’m finished with University.

I came across this residency which is available for an arts practitioner or a collaborative group for a 6 month residency in South East London. I find the project quite interesting as you get to work with families and children to create a narrative about their life and as I am interested in working with communities I feel that this would be a great opportunity for me.

More information about the residency – https://taco.org.uk/CYP-STUDIO-RESIDENCY

Information about residency from website
Information about residency from website

Unfortunately, I don’t have the right specifications for this residency as I haven’t co produced any cultural projects, delivered workshops or released any publications. However, I still feel that researching into this residency has been beneficial in the sense of allowing me to know just how different artist residencies can be and the different options out there. I am hoping there will be a residency like this again in the future as it really interests me.

Res Artis Residency Website – https://resartis.org/

Image of home page of the website

An interesting part of the Res Artis website is that it includes residencies in all parts of the world which makes it a great source for if you decide to travel for a residency. This is something I would be interested in but I need to consider my finances – even if funding is available, I’d still like to make sure that I am comfortable financially just in case. I also think that I would find going to a different country on my own quite scary but it would be an amazing opportunity so I’d have to work over the fear. I feel that residencies in other countries would open me up to a lot more valuable connections and I will have the experience of living in a brand new area and learning about cultures which I would find very exciting.

The website takes into account a lot of factors including:

  • Location – region, country and city
  • Disciplines – ceramics, glass, printmaking, sculpture, visual art
  • Artistic Facilities – library, metal work tools, exhibition space, woodworking tools
  • Practical Facilities – car, cleaning, internet, kitchen, private areas, shared spaces, places for family
  • Studio type and size – private, shared, live studio
  • Duration of residency – 1-3 weeks, 1-12+ months, 1-1+ years
  • Organisation type – artist run, foundation, government, hotel/guest house, museum, gallery, not for profit
  • Residency fees – yes or no
  • Setting – rural or urban
  • Accommodation type – private or shared, apartment or house or cabin or room
  • Working languages
  • Companions allowed – children, partners
  • Wheelchair accessibility – yes or no

I decided to do a search for residencies in the UK as I don’t want to travel out of the UK just yet. There are 13 available in the UK which is a fair amount but they are spread out quite far which surprised me.

I selected Newcastle and London on the list and no residency fees to see what results I would get so I looked into the residencies to see if I would like them.

Residency 1 – Unit 1 Gallery Workshop, London

Images of the facilities
Images of facilities
  • 3 months access to studio spaces with natural and professional lighting
  • Working above the gallery space
  • Networking opportunities with artists, curators, collectors and public
  • Guidance from gallery directors
  • End of residency solo exhibition
  • Open to artists of all ages and backgrounds
  • Cannot provide housing for the resident currently
  • Application cost is £35

Criteria for selection:

  • contemporary practitioners in fine art ‘
  • must be able to travel to London for the duration of the residency
  • open to collaboration
  • create relationships with gallery visitors

Residency 2 – V&A, London

Images of facilities
Images of facilities
  • Allows artists to activate the museums collections through their work
  • Residents carry out research and create innovative unique work
  • Only accepts applicants in response to an open call – define an area of the collection for themes/mediums they want the resident to explore
  • Duration of residency – over 6 months
  • Number of studios – 3
  • Shared studio
  • No accommodation offered
  • Provide residents with funds – £12,000
  • Expenses paid by artist – travel, housing, food, supplies
  • Residents expected to do a workshop and public talk

Residency 3 – D6, Newcastle

Images of facilities
  • Artist talks and networking events are arranged for residents
  • They offer funded residencies throughout the year
  • Promoting role of artists in the sustainable development of towns/cities
  • 1 month residency
  • 1 private artist studio
  • No accommodation offered
  • Networking artistic facilities
  • Open call

Out of all three residencies, I feel that the first one would be suited towards me more than the other two. However, commuting to London everyday would be very expensive, even getting accommodation in London would be too expensive and so costs are definitely something which I’ll have to take into account before applying for residencies.

My plan:

As soon as I’ve finished with University, I am going to find some residencies taking place at the end of this year or the start of next year which I can apply to in order to develop my CV and gain experience, as well as making connections in the art world. I feel that waiting until the end of this year/the start of next year will give me some time to get a part time job and make sure that I am financially able to do a residency as even the ones with no fees have other costs that need to be taken into account such as materials, living costs and travel. It is my ambition to do at least one artist residency in my life, hopefully more if I get the chance as it is an incredible opportunity.

Categories
CPS 3302 Professional Development

After University plans

At this moment in time, I am unsure of what I want to do after my University degree. I know that I want to go straight into a job and then consider doing a master’s course in a year or two if I decide it is something I want to pursue but I am currently in no rush. I feel that doing a Masters straight away would just be a waste of time and money as I have had enough of education for a while and would like to gain experience for my CV as my experience is quite limited at the moment. I also feel that I am unsure of what subject I would want to specialise in and so I feel that this is important to consider in depth.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/masters-degrees/should-i-do-a-masters

Things to consider about a Masters

At the moment, I don’t feel that a Masters would be suitable for me as I don’t have the drive for it yet but this is something to consider in a year or two when I feel more up to continuing my education and pushing myself further. At the moment however, my main focus is to get a job and gain experience for my CV.

Things to consider about a Masters

Another factor that puts me off doing a Masters straight away is the cost as I would like to experience doing a Masters in a place outside of Leicester where I have lived my whole life and so as well as course fees, I would need to factor in living costs which isn’t financially possible for me at the moment and so I would be in a much better position to do so in a couple of years when I have some savings.

Things to consider about a Masters

Another thing to consider is what grade I am going to get in my degree which could affect my chances of being accepted onto a Masters degree. I am currently unsure of what grade I will get as I find University grading can differ a lot from tutor to tutor and can be harsh and so I wouldn’t want to make the effort doing the application just to be rejected if I end up with a lower grade than I want.

Things to consider about a Masters

I don’t feel that I am ready for a Masters straightaway as I feel that I have burnt myself out during my degree and lost my passion for art as I have felt that my work is never good enough and so I would like to build my confidence and ensure I am at a time in my life where I will get the most out of my Masters rather than wasting the good opportunity and not doing the best of my ability.

Although these websites gave me a lot of information, I felt it would be good to watch a YouTube video or two to hear people’s own experiences and how they navigated life after University in terms of doing a Masters. This reassured me also as I have no idea what to do and I can be too critical about that sometimes but it is completely normal.

Pros and Cons of Masters

Although I already know that I don’t want to do a Masters straight away, I felt it would be beneficial to see whether a Masters would be beneficial to me anyway and who Masters are mostly suited to. I found this YouTube video which went into a lot of detail and I found it useful to hear all the points.

Information learned from video:

  • A masters is a postgraduate qualification done after a Bachelors degree which allows you to go more in depth in a specific subject
  • Masters are good for people who know what direction they want to go in, they know the industry and sometimes which specific roles they want
  • You need a different mindset going into a Masters compared to your undergraduate degree – they are typically only one year so you have to have more focus, not a lot of time for fun or a social life. A Masters is viewed as an investment
  • Cost of Masters – typically £8,500 but it varies depending on the course and location. Living costs aren’t covered so it is quite expensive and you miss out on a year of wages which you would have earned if you went straight into a job rather than doing a Masters
  • A Masters does give you a chance to earn more than just having an undergraduate degree but this isn’t always guaranteed. More of a chance of employment too but again this isn’t guaranteed
  • A Masters isn’t vital in getting the best roles, you can still be successful without a Masters – its not a necessity
  • Who should highly consider doing a masters? – someone who has done research and found out that doing a Masters is essential in getting a job – in some sectors having a Masters is much more beneficial such as Law and Engineering so you can niche down in the subject and make yourself more suited to your dream role. If you want to maximise your potential. Someone who got a 2-2 in their degree might feel that they didn’t do too well and a Masters could help hide that qualification as that could hinder your chances with some companies. Someone who wants to pivot their subject and move to a different specialism
  • Why you shouldn’t do a Masters? – If you’re unsure about what you want to do as a Masters is an investment, not a way for you to avoid adult responsibilities or keep in the university lifestyle life. If you can’t afford it right now it would be a good idea to wait until you’re in a better financial position. Some universities prefer masters applicants who have experience in industry and so depending on where you want to do a Masters this is something to take into account

Information learned from video:

  • 1) Gap Year – go travelling or get a part time job so you still have a lot of free time. Last year of freedom before going into the working world full time. Going to different countries for the experience. The part time job ends up funding these opportunities.
  • 2) Getting a job – Lots of different jobs out there and the jobs don’t always have to link directly to your degree. Some degree subjects offer graduate schemes after uni which are helpful and train you in the role that you want to pursue. Some graduate schemes allow you to gain different qualifications.
  • 3) Building your CV – people often realise after uni that they don’t have a lot of experience and so focus on building it up before applying for graduate schemes or applying for their dream jobs. Getting an internship, either paid or unpaid depending on what is on offer. Internships last different amounts of time and so will be suitable to some but not to others. Volunteering is another good option (either in the UK or abroad). If you don’t know what you want to do, you can dabble in different things throughout the year and try different careers to see what best suits you. It might make you feel disorganised and out of place but it will help in the long run.
  • 4) Masters – so many different types of post grad courses in different areas with different specialties. Have to consider how much you pay for the course vs how much you’ll get back from it, is the investment really worth it?
  • 1) Gap Year – go travelling or get a part time job so you still have a lot of free time. Last year of freedom before going into the working world full time. Going to different countries for the experience. The part time job ends up funding these opportunities.
  • 2) Getting a job – Lots of different jobs out there and the jobs don’t always have to link directly to your degree. Some degree subjects offer graduate schemes after uni which are helpful and train you in the role that you want to pursue. Some graduate schemes allow you to gain different qualifications.
  • 3) Building your CV – people often realise after uni that they don’t have a lot of experience and so focus on building it up before applying for graduate schemes or applying for their dream jobs. Getting an internship, either paid or unpaid depending on what is on offer. Internships last different amounts of time and so will be suitable to some but not to others. Volunteering is another good option (either in the UK or abroad). If you don’t know what you want to do, you can dabble in different things throughout the year and try different careers to see what best suits you. It might make you feel disorganised and out of place but it will help in the long run.
  • 4) Masters – so many different types of post grad courses in different areas with different specialties. Have to consider how much you pay for the course vs how much you’ll get back from it, is the investment really worth it?
What to expect after graduating from art school

Although looking into ideas as to what to do after university is helpful, I decided to look into people’s experiences of graduating from art school and the challenges they faced with getting an arts based job as I felt this would be more relevant to my own experience and build my confidence if I see other people’s successes.

Things I learned from the video:

  • Art school does not adequately prepare you for the financial realities of being an artist
  • A lot of art graduates are confronted with the realities of working alone for full time hours
  • Some artists get normal jobs to fund their passion and make savings before taking the leap to making art their main source of income and work on art full time which allows them to focus on art opportunities more such as exhibitions
  • Some people create and sell work but don’t manage to see any profits building up – it is bound to happen when you take the risk to focus on art full time
  • You have to consider how to become financially efficient – consider working from home and converting garage into art studio, means there aren’t any extra expenses. Make sure living expenses are reasonable
  • Figure out how to keep material expenses low as it is sometimes the only way to maintain being an artist full time. Framing one of the biggest expenses. Building your own frames would cut those costs down massively. Working on panels is quite inexpensive. Working with other shades of yellow than cadmium which is the most expensive will cut down costs.
  • Be creative with materials and experiment. Find a job with freedom which pays well, flexible schedule or even part time so then you have a stable income yet can still pursue your art. Then you don’t have the financial pressures
  • Teaching could be a good route but it’s not guaranteed that you will have the time or energy to do your own art alongside teaching

Interesting comments about peoples experiences on the above video:

This comment was interesting as it showed the harsh reality of wanting to pursue art and how difficult it can be to make a living and even get accepted into shows which is something I myself have experienced this year and it makes it really difficult to keep motivated.

I really relate to this comment in terms of feeling nervous that you won’t get a career doing what you love. I just have to see what happens and keep pushing myself to get a job that makes me happy. I hope I get there some day

Finding a job/ job sectors suitable for me:

The job I get maybe a normal retail job for me to get experience but I am hoping to discover an artistic job so my degree hasn’t been a waste of time. To assist me with finding jobs that are relevant, I started to do some assessments on the ‘National Career Service’ which uses your interests and skills to recommend relevant job opportunities. If I do end up in a normal job then I will still work on my practice in my own time and build up a strong portfolio to make me look good to potential employers in my preferred industry.

National Careers Service home page information
National Careers Service home page information

The assessments are used to identify skills you already have, your interests, your work ethic, and good things about you that make you suitable for certain jobs. Each assessment takes around 15 minutes to 30 minutes and there are 10 in total. I am working my way through them all so that a report can be generated for me which will give me jobs that would be suitable for me individually as well as suggest areas of improvement which could greatly benefit me.

Personal Skill Assessments
Work-based Skills assessment

I finished my assessments and downloaded my report:

My Completed Assessments

My report:

Here is a copy of my Skills Health Check that you can download and view. I have also attached a range of screenshots in case any technical problems occur.

My strengths
A strength and area of development
Area of development
My interests and suitable job families.
Job families I’m not interested in
My job approach style
Job approach developments and motivations
My motivations
Working with numbers results
Working with numbers tips and written information results
Written information results

I am really glad that the report gives me thorough information about my strengths and areas for improvement with tips as I now know what I should work on to build my employability and make a good impression on employers.

I am going to speak to a careers advisor when I have the chance so that they could recommend some more detailed information and specific jobs rather than ‘job families’ as I feel this could be an eye-opener and could allow me to find a career I feel gives me a purpose and allows me to make the most of my degree doing something I love. However, I have learned that the University careers advisors are more tailored towards academic careers rather than creative and so I feel I would need to find a careers advisor more tailored towards creative subjects.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/graduate-jobs

In my search, I selected ‘Creative arts and design’ for the job sector and ‘East Midlands’ for the location as I can’t see myself moving too far away any time soon due to finances and family. Unfortunately there aren’t any art graduate jobs nearby and so I need to consider finding general entry level arts jobs rather than graduate jobs.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/fine-art

Jobs related/linked to my Fine Art Degree

“Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.” – This gives me hope as sometimes I worry that I will be limited to certain jobs and I sometimes worry that I will never be successful but I need to stop worrying and have faith in the process.

  • Make a portfolio
  • Enter Competitions
  • Enter work into exhibitions
  • Network/make contacts
  • Voluntary work could be beneficial

Categories
Studio Practice 3301

Studio Practice 3301 – Week 1 – Opening Project

To start off third year, we are going to be doing an ‘opening project’ to allow us to get into the process of creating work again and to create a body of work with a high focus on presentation skills. This project involves a critical review a few weeks into the project which does feel like a lot of pressure but we have been told to just enjoy the process, making sure to experiment, take risks and mostly have fun.

I have decided that I want to move away from architectural subjects for now and do an animal based project as I feel that I have grown bored of architectural based art (in first year I did a project on the Leicester train station, in second year I focused on Cornwall architecture in the first term and Leicester architecture in the second term.

Although I do enjoy architecture, COVID during most of second year really made me feel demotivated and I feel like I didn’t produce work to my usual standard and so I feel that doing something different could push me more and get me more into the process of creating. I may go back to architectural based subjects after this project.

Feedback from last year and how I am planning to move forward this year:
Good points – “There is a stillness and quality of light captured within the work on paper ‘Wilberforce Road’ which imbues it with a real atmosphere and sense of what might be about to take place. This can, in part, be directly attributed to a more nuanced use of colour than is on display everywhere else across the practice. Taking some time to analyse this work, and keeping it in mind when developing your practice further will serve you well in the future. Elsewhere evidence of an effective grasp of relevant material, principles, key concepts and practices is on display with the statement providing some evidence of critical analysis and insight.”

Suggestions for improvement – “A more developed understanding of colour would hugely benefit the work as a whole as the cartoonish hues do nothing to enhance the mysterious qualities within the work – typified by their awkward viewpoints and deserted locations. Whilst some degree of creativity, conceptual ability and critical analysis is clearly present, an ability to synthesise material and contextual research is lacking. Looking to filmmakers shows creative initiative, but being more selective in terms of other contextual research, and analysing the qualities within their work you’d like for your own, will hugely enhance your practice going forward.”

  • What I hope to achieve/do differently using feedback from last year (write about areas of improvement/weaknesses, what I hope to carry forward this year/strengths)
Animal sketches from New Walk Museum
Animal sketches from New Walk Museum

I visited New Walk museum which has an animal section filled with a range of taxidermy animals which allowed me to capture a range of angles and views of the animals. The taxidermy process means that some of the animals look quite distorted (particularly in facial features) but I still felt going there to do sketches was a good idea, I may even go back in the next couple of weeks to get more.

Some Photos from New Walk Museum:

I did the drawings on sheets of A3 paper pulled out of a sketchbook but divided and cut the pages into sheets of A4. I didn’t want to work in a sketchbook as I can find that rather limiting and then I can often struggle to break out of the sketchbook.

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Contextual Research CPS 3302

Contextual Post – Along siding Exhibition by Anna Lucas

In November last year, it was recommended by our lens-based lecturer Anna Lucas to go to an exhibition which she put together in a collaboration with the Arts Council Collection. It was based at the WQE sciences building and was a fairly short/small exhibition. The exhibition was mostly lens-based in the form of photos and videos. It had Anna Lucas’s work as well as work by Wolfgang Tillmans – a popular artist in the Lens artist community and another artist Yve Lomax.

There were some drawings presented in clear display cases which worked alongside the themes explored in this exhibition such as nature and our interaction with environments. I wish I would have taken some closer up pictures of these drawings to show the detail combined with the simplicity which is something I found captivating at the time.

Catalogues of the exhibition were also presented in clear display cases with one opened to a collage of photographs. At the small scale of these pieces, there wasn’t much to look at but I like the way that the text in the background is at a large scale and creates an interesting composition.

There were several exhibition catalogues shown in the small exhibition which was interesting, especially since each one was presented in different ways with inclusions of different objects or materials. For instance, in this piece, there were again two exhibition catalogues with information about the work but the opened book was displaying a different page to the image above and there was a metal sheet that was accordion folded and had different shapes such as circles and squares cut out of it which reminded me of keyhole lenses.

In this display cabinet, there was some photography accordion-folded which I felt was interesting, as each compartment that was displayed in the clear cabinets were different and yet related to each other in some form, showing the development of things and how things are always changing to some degree.

Anna Lucas’s part of the exhibition:

As Anna Lucas had been one of the main people involved in the set up of the exhibition, she had multiple of her works in the exhibition, a lot of these looking like a monochrome mash-up of photographs that were created in the darkroom. They were quite abstract which I think is interesting in photography.

Anna Lucas ‘Babadag Tree’ (2020)

My thoughts about the exhibition:

Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibition and found it interesting that one of my lecturers was in it as often when I go to exhibitions, I don’t know anyone in them. I have always enjoyed experiencing the different ways that artists work on different subjects. Although I have dabbled in lens-based work through my art explorations, I am in no way an expert and so seeing the different ways people have used lenses to get their ideas across is always interesting to me and it makes me wonder about the individual process for prints or experiments in the dark rooms. This exhibition, in particular, wasn’t very long but sometimes I prefer that – short and sweet, especially since there was a couple of videos involved which required your attention. I found the location of the exhibition fascinating as it shows with the right permissions you can exhibit almost anywhere.

I wish I would have taken more photographs when I went to the exhibition so that I had more to write about but I was enjoying the work too much. Upon reflection, I should have gone to the exhibition more than once, the first time to experience it and a second time to make sure I gather enough photos of the experience. However, I can’t change things now so I will take this on board the next time I go to an exhibition.

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Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – Reflection of my project

I began my project focusing on Leicester as at the time of the start of this project, lockdown was still looming and we had to work from home wherever possible. This led me to the conclusion that I should focus on a place I have easy access to and that wouldn’t cause mw to get into trouble with the police or authorities.

At the start of my second year, I did a project focusing on Cornwall, paying close attention to my uses of colour and shapes. I thoroughly enjoyed that project and felt that I started to get a great foundation and idea that was executed well. Therefore, I decided to approach my project this term in the same manner, the only difference being that I was focusing on Leicester rather than Cornwall.

Due to teaching being online, I had no access to my studio which made scale a difficulty and so I stuck to a small size of A4 in general, the biggest pieces being A3. Although I would have worked bigger if I had the chance, I still feel that I managed to capture Leicester well at the size I was working with.

As I live in Leicester I was able to go out and draw from life, which I didn’t get the chance to do with my Cornwall project in term one and so I worked from photos a lot then. I captured a lot of primary evidence in forms of quick drawings and detailed drawings to give myself a large range of imagery to develop throughout this project.

When it came to colour, I started off quite simple with mundane colours and built up to more experimental uses of colour as my ideas developed and I progressed in the project. A lot of my uses of colour and colour palettes came from my artist research. I decided to do this so that the colours I was using were informed and not purely random as I feel it is always appropriate to identify why you make certain decisions in your work. As all of the artists I researched approach their colour uses in different ways, I had a lot of ways to approach the use of colour in my own work.

I began doing paintings by working over sketches in my sketchbook to get some ideas and more solid foundations to develop later on. I even started exploring uses of bold colours in my sketchbook to see how compositions would be affected.

The crit helped me to identify areas to improve as well as areas to develop further as they were working well. A key area I was told to change was to start breaking out of my sketchbook and use my initial drawings/paintings/studies to combine in different ways or use as foundations to explore colour palettes. One of the ideas I explored was to combine different streets together to create ‘hybrid’ buildings which I felt worked really well with block colours and small details.

I worked onto paper and cardboard with my favourite being high quality fabriano paper as it holds paint well and doesn’t warp easily. With the covid situation, this was also the best idea as I didn’t have the facilities or equipment to make canvases and I didn’t want to waste money on buying bad quality canvases. Overall, I feel the materials used worked out really well as acrylic paints apply quite nicely to fabriano paper. In addition to this, I used paint pens and ink pens to add small details by layering which is something I have always enjoyed as you can so easily change the outcome of a flat painting by adding lines or sketchy details over the top.

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Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – Selecting pieces for assessment PowerPoint

As I need to select 10 images for my final assessment, I decided to go through all the work I have completed for this project and select the ones I feel are most effective. I wanted to include more mundane colour palettes as well as the bolder colour palettes as I wanted to show my development and demonstrate how my contextual research has influenced my work.

Warm colour palette DeMontfort University painting

This is a painting of De Montfort University buildings which feature quite a warm colour palette. I like the fact that each section is a bold flat colour and the way the lines work with the colours. Are used a white paint pen to add detail as I struggled to do this with the brushers that I had. Although I like the composition of this image; I feel that other works are more developed, and this is more and experimentation/ exploration of colour palettes and the way this affects compositions.

Aylestone Road building

This is a painting I did of a historical building on Aylestone Road in Leicester. I decided to use a colour palette inspired by one of my artist research (). I feel that the pastel shades work well with the building an add a sense of modernity to a historical building. I like that this is quite simple and that I didn’t overwork the painting by adding too much detail. The colours used work well with the composition and I am glad that I only did a section of the building as this framing adds to the overall impact of the image.

Wilberforce Road Painting

This is a painting I did inspired by one of Richard Diebenkorn’s painting colour palettes. I did this to identify colours that work well together to allow myself to create links with the artists I have researched and to develop my work and push it to the next level. Although the colours used a mundane, I like the ways that they work together and the fact that there are different shades of certain colours such as grey as this great contrast which draws the eye of the viewer. I am glad I included the street name as this makes the place more identifiable and including a call was interesting as it linked more to the people living in the area rather than just the building itself. I’m very happy with the result of this painting and I like the composition.

Back Garden View painting

This is a painting of a view of my neighbour’s garden from my back garden. I liked the composition of this image as it included a lot of different buildings which allowed me to use a wide colour palette. this is a painting in which I used a bright colour palette with autumnal shades such as reds, browns, oranges, and yellows. I feel that this colour palette works very well with the composition and is very eye catching. Adding small lines onto the flat colours really added to the result and I’m very happy with this painting.

Narborough Road painting

This is a smaller painting I did featuring the end of a street and some lamp posts. I like the fact that included a segment of a no entry sign as this is something we all see in our day to day lives. again the colour palette is quite simple on this image and fairly normal but I am very happy with the composition and the amount of detail I have captured in a simplistic manner. I like the amount of contrast this painting has and I feel it fits in well with my project.

Aylestone Road Painting

This is another painting I did of a street on Aylestone Road with traffic lights. I took inspiration for the colour palette from George Shaw and again although the colour palette is rather normal I really like the ways that the colours work together as this ads to the piece. I feel that this painting also relates to Piet Mondrian’s work as there are lots of squares and rectangular shapes, the only difference being the colours used. I feel that the traffic lights add to the composition and are something that everyone encounters in their day to day lives.

Upperton Road Painting

This is a painting of a view of Upperton Road which features a lot of black lines. I am considerably happy with the composition, and I did find this painting difficult to do at first but it did pay off. I like how simplistic it is yet it manages to portray a lot of detail as I added thin lines and details with an ink pen. This painting is quite small which I think works well for its composition and I feel the shades of colours used work well together. The pale grey sky reminds me of L.S Lowry’s paintings which is relevant.

Back Garden View painting

This is a painting I did of a view if my neighbours house from my back garden. I took inspiration for the colour palette from a James Rosenquist painting which explains why the colours are so bold. I feel that all the colours used work well together but I felt that it was too bright for my liking, so although I like it I feel that it is just an experimentation piece to see how far I could take the colours before it became too much. I like that this painting is a build up of flat shapes as this works well overall.

Back Garden View Painting

This is another painting I did of a view from my back garden which includes parts of my neighbours house. I used a bright colour palette for this painting and avoided using black as I feel that black sometimes takes away from the colours and becomes too graphic. I instead used a dark purple for the darkest areas and lines which I feel was a great decision. I like that this painting consists of flat coloured shapes that build up to create an interesting composition.

Back Garden View Painting

In this painting from my back garden of a different angle, I really like the ways the bright colours work together yet contrast in areas as it pulls the viewer in. Though simple, this painting is really effective and I like the Pop Art vibes it gives off.

DeMontfort University Painting

Though I like the colour palette of this painting, something feels off to me, it may be the composition but I am glad I did this piece as it shows my development of ideas and the ways that I have considered a range of colour palettes throughout this project to see what works well. Again, I like that I didn’t rely on black to outline the drawing as I feel that could have been too much.

Back Garden View Painting

This is yet another view from my garden which features a fence that separates different houses. I like the colours that I have used in this painting and the ways the white highlights create a contrast with the darker areas. I used a lot of layering in this painting which I really enjoyed and I feel I captured it well.

Area near Leicester College Painting

This is a view I had from a street of Leicester college which I liked as it included a range of different buildings. I used a fairly simple colour scheme, with the lightest colour used being yellow and then I stuck with dark colours such as blacks, blues and purples. Again, I like that this painting is quite simple yet it is easy to see what the painting is of. I am happy with the composition and final result of this painting.

Duns Lane Painting

In this painting, I wanted to see what I could achieve with a black, grey and white colour scheme. Though initially challenging, I feel this painting paid off and was a good exploration as it bridges between normal colours and really bright colours. This was a refreshing piece to do and made me more excited to continue progressing with this project.

Aylestone Road Painting

This is another painting of a view on Aylestone Road and I used a colour palette inspired by George Shaw. I felt that The greens worked really well with the browns and adding the shop signs and number sign to the top of the building made it more recognisable which I liked. I added highlights with white which I feel brings the painting together and overall I am very impressed with this painting.

Aylestone Road Painting

This is a small painting of a house on Aylestone Road and I made it more of a sketchy painting rather than too precise. I like the ways that the colours work to attract the eye of the viewer. In addition, I feel that the shade of blue I used for the sky works well with the other colours used and is very balanced.

Hybrid Painting

I am very happy with this painting in which I combined two pages of my sketchbook of different streets to create a ‘hybrid’ building. From looking at this image, it is so hard to notice that there are two different places combined as it looks so realistic which I am a fan of. I could have done this painting with more out there colours but I felt the need to see how it would turn out with everyday colours. If I had more time, I would do another version of this painting using brighter colours to see how colour can affect the composition.

Final selected 10 images to put onto PowerPoint:

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Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – More colour exploration pieces

I felt that I needed to do more paintings exploring the colours I am using as most of my others were quite experimental. I also felt that I needed to increase the amount of paintings I have done so that I can demonstrate a body of work.

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Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – ‘Hybrid’ buildings

A3 sized building combining two pages from my sketchbook and painting over it (with flash)
A3 sized painting combining two pages from sketchbook (without flash)

I did this A3 sized painting by combining photocopies of two of my sketchbook pages and sticking them together, making sure to align the black pipe as this was just misaligned within the sketchbook.

Image of initial sketchbook pages I combined

I decided to switch the positions of the individual pieces as I preferred the layout overall but I am incredibly happy with it.

I stuck to what would be considered a ‘normal’ colour palette as I wanted to try out the composition before going too experimental. If I have time, I am hoping to do another of the same piece but with a different colour scheme as I am really happy with how this turned out. Though the colour scheme is quite mundane, I feel that it effectively relates to George Shaw’s colour palette which is still a relevant link.

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Painting Studio Practice Term 2

Painting – Works in progress exploring colour palettes

These are some paintings I have been working on inspired by George Shaw’s use of colour and Piet Mondrian. I am hoping to add more detail to them and build them up more to ensure they are very effective. I have thoroughly been enjoying doing these paintings and I like including road signs and traffic lights as these things make the paintings more relatable to everyday life.