Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Final exhibition

Cow cluster:

Final cow cluster in show

This is my final cow cluster (one cluster of three) which includes 17 individual small scale paintings with the largest being an A4 size. I feel that the colours of the pieces flow well together and yet contrast in the right places to keep the viewers focused and engaged with the artworks. Initially when mounting the works with sawtooth hangers and pins, they had a slight tilt forward which I felt was distracting from the art itself. I therefore decided to add some Velcro to secure the boards to the wall more and prevent this tilting forward which made my work look a lot more professional. I love the shape that I have managed to create as it gives an illusion of a cow silhouette with the triangular pieces on the left resembling a head and the triangular piece on the right resembling a tail.

These are zoomed in images of my final cow cluster which show the intricate details that bring the individual paintings together. I am really happy with the way that colour flows from one painting to another yet manages to keep the individuality through areas of contrast. Although a lot of people saw the barbed wire enclosures as a way for me to emphasise on my theme, the cows I took studies of and photographs of were actually in barbed wire enclosures which worked in my favour as it goes well with my theme, although unintentionally.

Chicken cluster:

Final chicken cluster

This is my final chicken cluster (two of three) which features 16 individual small scale paintings of chicken. Again, I feel that the colours work well together yet contrast in areas to keep the viewers eyes entertained and allow them to come to terms with how the paintings are related. I love the inclusion of lino prints in this cluster as they stand out. The different editions of the same image, both in size and colour, create different effects which I feel will resonate with people for different reasons. I tried to include paintings of the chickens looking at the viewers from different sides/angles to explore bringing different chickens experiencing the same mistreatment and showing the severity of the situation. The arrangements of the paintings in this cluster created the silhouette of a geometrical egg which I find really interesting as it relates to the cluster as chickens lay eggs.

These are some zoomed in images of the chicken cluster which I took to highlight the individual details including patterns and mark making which really bring the works together. The colours used link together in different areas of the paintings with the most popular colours used being yellow, purple and blue which I feel work together really nicely.

Sheep cluster:

Final Sheep cluster

This is my final sheep cluster (three of three) which features 17 individual small scale paintings of sheep. A common colour in this cluster is purple which links a lot of the paintings together and yet contrasts in areas too, making it very eye catching. I wish I would have added another small painting to the top row but I didn’t have enough time. However, with the small scale painting being added to the left side, I created the illusion of a silhouette of a sheep due to the arrangement of pieces which I find really interesting as it relates to the cluster itself.

These are some zoomed in images of the sheep cluster which highlight the intricate details which I hope viewers will acknowledge when they inspect my work by getting quite close to it. I love that areas are quite bright anf yet other areas are quite cool as a contrast is created which brings the individual works together.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice – Degree show/ final assessment plan

  • cluster of cows – triangular boards on the borders
  • cluster of goats
  • cluster of chickens
  • cluster of sheep
  • attaching them up with saw tooth hangers and nails
Four clusters for degree show

Materials needed for hanging:

  • saw tooth hangers and nails
  • spirit level
  • hammer
  • pencil
  • measuring tape/ruler

My designated space:

My designated space

The blue section at the bottom of the image is my designated space cor the degree show in room 9.55. I have quite a large space which I feel will fit my work nicely. However to separate my work into different clusters in an arrangement which works well with the lighting in the room, I feel that three clusters will be more effective than four due to spacing out. Therefore I felt it would be good to review my four clusters and eliminate the one from the final show which wasn’t as developed as the rest.

Arranging clusters of cows, chickens, goats and sheep:





I put all of the clusters I had onto my wall and photographed them so that I could evaluate which one was the weakest in comparison to the rest. After thoughtful contemplation, I decided that the goats weren’t up to the same standard as the rest of the clusters as a lot of the pieces were unfinished and needed more intricate details added to fit in with the rest of the clusters. For this reason, I have selected the cow cluster, the chicken cluster and the sheep cluster for my final presentation of work. I decided to create a plan of the space below taking into consideration lighting.

Plan for degree show

This is my plan for the show I which I want the cow and sheep cluster to be lit with the main lights and the central chicken cluster being lit using spot lights which I felt worked really well to draw attention to the centre and allow people to work their way from one cluster to another.

Experimenting with different layouts:

Cow cluster:

Experimenting with layout of cow cluster for degree show

I decided to explore a plan for mounting my work for my assessment/degree show to allow me to be fully prepared and get it up without any issues. I was trying to create a silhouette kind of image of a cow to relate it to the subject matter further. I feel that I was getting quite close to my desired effect but I will alter this accordingly as the mounting of my work develops further.

I took some zoomed in/close up photos of the plan for mounting to allow me to make sense of the correlation between each piece in terms of colour and imagery. I especially like that the cows face both left and right as well as central yet maintain eye contact with the viewer regardless of their positioning as this allows all of the individual paintings to have communication with the viewers as well as collaboratively.

Chicken cluster:

Experimenting with layout of chicken cluster for degree show

I also did an experimental mounting of my chicken cluster to give myself an idea of how to mount it approaching my deadline so as to avoid too much stress down the line. The mounting wasn’t perfect as I was using masking tape as a short term measure to see how the pieces worked together. I found an arrangement which I really liked and it reminded me of an egg shape which I felt was very relevant to this cluster in particular and could show that I am trying to convey the mistreatment if animals in using them for their produce.

These are some close up images and further images that were zoomed in to show how the pieces worked together yet created contrast to attract the eyes of the viewer. Although the arrangement isn’t perfect as it a rough plan, I am really pleased with this arrangement and feel that I won’t have to make many alterations when it comes to my degree show as I am super happy.

Sheep cluster:

Experimenting with layout of sheep cluster for degree show

This is my experimentation of the sheep cluster for my degree show with an intention of creating a sheep silhouette in terms of the wool of a sheep. I am pleasantly surprised as I feel the layout of this cluster differs a lot from the chicken and cow clusters in terms of arrangements yet the colours and paintings are balanced to create a nice harmony. Again, the arrangement isn’t perfect but it has given me a good idea which reassures me for the degree show.

These are some close up pictures I took to show the correlation between each piece and to focus in the intricate details which I hope viewers will be able to notice when they get close to my work ad I would like them go interact with my paintings relatively similarly to how they interact with farm animals at a farm – getting up close and personal.

I used a spirit level, ruler and my artworks to measure out where each one should be. I made sure that the central point of the central pieces of each cluster were 57 inches from the floor and worked around them. The pieces had a measurement of one cm between them. I used nails and a hammer as well as saw tooth hangers on the back of my paintings to secure them to the wall. The paintings were leaning forwards and so I decided to use velcro to secure them into place. Since my works are rather small and lights, I feel that velcro should be sufficient enough to secure the works in place.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio practice – working on lino prints and more paintings

Lino print manipulations

Here is an image of the lino prints which I have been working on by painting over them in areas to change the colours and adding details such as pattern and texture. I still need to add enclosures to the cows and chickens to make them fit in with the other works and fit with my theme of animals in enclosures. I am enjoying experimenting with these and creating different effects. I will select the most effective ones to be used in my final show.

Starting more paintings

These are the paintings which I have started to apply block colours to as a base which I can work on more as I build up layers. I am trying to make the sizes of board I use vary to emphasise on a confined space and allow the audience to move closer to inspect the art, having to get up close and personal to see the more intricate details and make them uncomfortable through the gaze of the animals.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio practice 3301 – Working onto more lino prints

Working onto cow lino prints:

Chicken print manipulations:

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Work so far

Cow cluster progress
  • Exploring different layouts
  • Confined layout yet different shapes on the edges almost breaking away
  • Trying to group pieces together that have similar colours or would it be best to do the opposite? contrasting colours next to each other
  • Need to make the barbed wire more obvious, just looks like bars
  • need to add enclosures to other pieces
Different arrangements of work

Different arrangements of work

My intentions of my work

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Linoprints

Chicken Linocut 2:

Chicken Linoprints:

Cow linocut 2:

Cow linoprints:

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Working onto Lino Prints

As all of the prints I have done so far are black and white, I felt that I needed to work over some of them to incorporate colour to see how they fit in with my other work and since my project involves a lot of colour this was very important. I will be doing some coloured prints once my ink arrives but until then I felt like I should keep my project moving rather than coming to a stand still. As the inks I have used are water based, I couldn’t paint over the prints as this would have caused the paints to combine and create very muddy colours which I do not want. After some consideration I came to the conclusion to try coloured pencils over the top of the prints which worked really well, particularly over the black ink areas. Pastel pencils seemed to work the best and so I decided to go through all of the prints adding colour to them. I kept some of the original prints black and white as a reflection to show my progress and because I feel that the black and white prints are very effective on their own, they just don’t fit in too well with my project as they are.

These are the sheep print manipulations I did using pencils. I was experimenting with different colour combinations and seeing what works the best. I didn’t worry too much about staying in the lines of the original print as the border will be cut off as soon as they are complete. I feel that the prints on the top left and middle left row are the most effective in terms of colour combination (green, oink and yellow & light green, dark green and blue). I feel that this is because they have a big area of contrast while the other colour combinations have colours that are similar tones or similar shades in terms of warmth of coldness. This has really helped me to identify key colour combinations to consider as my project progresses as well as colour combinations that don’t work well.

These are my chicken print manipulations in which I explored different colour combinations. Again, I didn’t feel the need ti stay within the lines as these will be cut down later on. Although I feel that all of the designs are effective, I feel that the colour combinations on the top row are the most effective due to the right tones of each colour being used. There are some positives in the bottom row and I would like to see where I can take the brown shade one. This design made it easy to apply the blocks of colour and rhe pencils add texture/pattern in areas which is interesting. I wonder if I would be able to work over the pieces with another medium but it depends if the pencils I used were too waxy as I used a range of pencils including watercolour pencils, pastel pencils and oil based pencils. I may try this out to see if I can develop them further.

These are the cow manipulations I did. There is a much bigger quantity of these prints as I generated a lot of these prints at the start due to me wanting to experiment with them. I like that I did some prints involving the simplified version of this print, although I with I had done more of them so I could experiment more, I could always photocopy them if it comes to it and then work over them. In my opinion the simple version involving the red on the middle fourth row ( red, orange, yellow, blues and pinks) is the most successful out of the two as I feel that the tones of this all work together nicely yet contrast with the bright yellow and orange. For the more detailed prints, the orange and blue/green and red pieces work really well (first and middle pieces on the third row) as they are simple yet complementary colours so they balance each other out yet attract your eyes. I am happy with the outcome of a lot of these manipulations but some were difficult to work on due to the ink of the print being really thick (first and third on the first row) and so I feel that I should work onto these some more with different mediums to see the outcomes I can achieve.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – More linocuts

As I am hoping to do clusters of different farm animals in my degree show, I decided to do more lino cuts of different animals including a chicken and a goat. I tried to use a range of the lino cutting tools for variations of marks and detail. As soon as I get a range of prints, both black and white and colour explorations, I hope to work into these more to develop them further.

Chicken linocut:

Chicken linocut

This was the chicken lino cut which I did. Focusing on just the head of the chicken was a good idea to give variation from the other chicken paintings I’ve done. I tried to keep it quite simple but wanted variation in the thickness of the lines cut out. I found the thicker line was hard to control and I sometimes very easily cut too deep into the lino creating a horrible texture and feeling like I was damaging the lino. I tried my best to avoid this but I can only get better with practice. Overall I love the design of this lino cut and I like its simplicity yet its varied line. I look forward to seeing what this lino cut looks like printed.

Rubbing of linocut

I did a rubbing of the linocut to see what it would look like by using a piece of lined paper, which was all I had on me at the time and a pencil and rubbing over the linocut. Although this wasn’t a perfect execution, I feel that it helped me get a sense of what if would look like printed.

Goat Linocut:

Goat Linocut

This is the goat linocut I did using different line thicknesses for the goat and the enclosure. In this example the mess up of the thicker lines of the enclosure is more obvious and I wish I could rectify this somehow. Though I tried to build detail using repeated lines, I feel this linocut is really simple and I will definitely work onto it more soon to build it up and make it look better.

Lino Prints

To print my linocuts I used a roller, some water based printing ink and a range of white papers. Applying the right amount of ink isn’t always straight forward but once I get the hang of it, it is an enjoyable process and very satisfying. I have ordered some coloured inks to work with and I look forward to seeing the different effects I can achieve in the future.

Chicken Lino prints:

Black and White Chicken lino prints grouped together

These are the chicken lino prints I did as a collective. I didn’t want to do too many as the black ink can be quite limiting but I am hoping to work over these prints with pastels or crayons to incorporate colour which is vital for my project. Overall I’m really happy with the design but feel that I could do something with the background to make the chicken stand out more. I also need to add the enclosure but I will do that later on.

Here is a better picture of each chicken lino print. I feel that the two prints on the right side had the best outcome as the other four are quite faded due to not enough ink being applied. Though this could create a cool effect with coloured inks, I feel that the block effect is the most effective for the black and white prints. However, this doesn’t matter too much as I will be working over these black and white prints to incorporate more colour and make them fit in more with my project. I really like the design of this lino cut and how simple yet detailed it is.

Goat Lino Prints:

Black and White goat lino prints grouped together

These are the goat l prints I did photographed together. The two prints on the left were the most effective in terms of ink application. I feel that the general design definitely needs to be worked on more as I feel that it is lacking a great deal in comparison with the chicken lino print.

These are the individual prints and I love how crisp the lines are. I hope working over these will give me insight into how to improve and make me see the positives of these prints. Adding some mark making and pattern could be interesting but I worry that I will overdo it and make the print worse but it’s a matter of trial and error and I can always do another goat linocut if the worst case does happen.

Studio Practice 3301 Year 3

Studio Practice 3301 – Linocuts and Lino Prints

From the feedback of my crit, it was suggested that I do some printing, specifically lino printing. I decided that this would be a good idea to allow me to generate a lot of works in a small amount of time, and I have a lot of experience with lino printing from college and my first year of university, as it was a process I enjoyed I figured I would have nothing to lose by doing it.

My Lino Cuts:

The lino I bought was extra soft grey, double sided and 3mm in thickness. It has a size of 10cm x 15cm which I felt was a good size for my project.

Cow Lino Cut

This linocut had a lot of fine lines and I decided to completely cut out the background so that the cow stood out. I may work onto this more in the future to add more details but I think the use of lines and pattern will work nicely.

Sheep Linocut

This is another Linocut I did of a sheep which has a lot of interesting mark making which I think will make it a successful lino print. I made the darker areas more blocky with only a few lines cut out whilst the lighter areas had more cut out to create an illusion of lots of hairs.

My Lino Prints so far:

Image of lino prints all together

These are some of my black and white cow lino prints in which I was getting used to how much ink to apply, which is why some of them look quite faded and others (in particular the one in the middle top row is too dark as I applied too much ink). Some of these prints were from before I added the intricate lines and I forgot to take a photo of the lino cut itself at that time which I now regret. I feel that I was starting to get used to printing the image but would like to incorporate more colour to make them fit in with my project more. I also didn’t include the enclosure in this lino cut so will have to add that down the line.

These are some more lino prints onto better quality paper than my first prints which allowed the ink to sit much more nicely on the surface and I seem to have got used to how much ink to apply. However, in some areas, I didn’t apply enough or too much due to not being able to see very well whilst rolling the ink on but I feel that washing the lino after every print would be too much hassle so I will deal with this for now. I like that the background is cut out yet not perfectly as I feel this adds to the prints overall.

Working onto Lino Prints:

These are some of the first lino prints I did in which I decided to paint over the top to incorporate more colour. However, as the printing ink I used prior to this was water based, the paints that I applied on top got quite dark unless I applied several layers of paint which on silks, particularly the one that includes yellow, has a lot of texture. I am going to continue working on these to see what effects I can achieve but I feel it would be better to work onto another colour of prints that is lighter so the colour blending isn’t as noticeable.

Sheep Lino Prints:

These are the sheep lino prints that I have done so far, starting to experiment with different colours being used to print with and to print onto different backgrounds. I feel that these prints are a lot stronger than the cow prints, most likely due to the fact that I was familiar with the printing techniques when I did these prints. I feel that the print onto the red and yellow background works really well and could be just as effective if it was red and yellow ink printed onto a black background which I am hoping to try in my next prints.

Professional Development Studio Practice 3301

Artist Statement

Full artist statement:

I am focusing on capturing farm animals within their enclosures to explore farming ethics and how this affects the welfare of animals.

I use acrylic paints onto small scale board as I love the process of layering paints to create different textures. I have been using small scale board partly because I am used to working small scale from lockdowns last year, but also to emphasise that animal enclosures are often too small, and the animals are trapped within a space. I have started to incorporate abstract colours in my work, even adding unnatural greens to my realistic paintings to show how unnatural it is to keep animals trapped for a show for humans, especially since they are the animals which are killed for food consumption. I am focusing on creating a large amount of paintings as often farm animals like sheep are grouped together in flocks so this, though unintentional at first, works well with my theme.

Within this work, I hope to make the viewer feel empathy towards the animals and make them consider how it would feel to be trapped within a space. Since the lockdowns last year, people will already have some experience of feeling trapped which could affect the ways people interpret my work. By focusing on farm animals, I want to demonstrate the fact that they are deemed unimportant, either being used for show or slaughtered for food for a large amount of humans. The animals featured in my work have different expressions and look directly at the viewer which is ironic as it makes the viewer feel like they are the ones in the cage. This also demonstrates how farm animals have become domesticated, relying on the presence of humans to be fed.

When presenting my work, I intend to have an irregular arrangement yet place them close together to emphasise the confined space that most farm animals have. Going to different locations of farms or animal sanctuaries to collect primary evidence in the form of photos and drawings is important as places use different materials for the enclosures, which is why my work features both standard wooden farm enclosures and wire enclosures. Although both create a sense of being trapped, the painting of the goat behind the wire enclosure is a lot harder hitting and menacing, creating a sense of isolation. My work effectively portrays the confinement that farm animals experience in their lifetime that the viewer can hopefully sympathise with. To develop this idea further, I need to paint a lot more paintings of animals in their enclosures to create a herd of animals so that I can make my ideas more obvious to the viewer. I want to consider my uses of colour more as making my work too abstract can distract from the seriousness of the subject.

I have done research into a range of painters including Henry Moore, particularly his sheep paintings as that subject relates to my work a lot. The works of Franz Marc and Andy Warhol were vital during my colour exploration stages and could help develop my work further provided I am more selective. I like the idea of presenting my work within a gallery on a white wall so that the viewer can fully focus on the work without too many distractions.

Short artist statement for website:

I am currently focusing on exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is so normalised in day to day life through farms and even animals in the countryside which we see when driving to places. I am hoping to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how being in captivity makes them feel and impacts on them. Colour is an important aspect of my work to represent how humans are often hypocrites who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t actually do anything to better the situation. Subtlety is important to me as I want to make people see through sympathy rather than disgust or outrage from violent imagery, the innocent imagery is very important to me. The idea of humans being regarded as more important than animals has always saddened me as we are similar in so many ways and animals deserve a lot more respect than we give them. There is more to animals than becoming a food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.

Short Artist Statement for Degree Show (3rd person):

Gemma Sly is exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is normalised in day-to-day life through farms and animals in the countryside which we see when driving. She has an intention to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how captivity impacts them. Colour is an important aspect of her work to represent the humorous irony of people who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t do anything to better their situation. Animals are more than food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.