It has seemed like a very long time since we last met as a cohort and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and making progress towards our final goal. As suggested by Angela and Caroline I have severely limited my reading and artist research, to focus on painting. I haven’t planned specific work, preferring the freedom, but I have immersed myself in painting for around 25 hours a week. This has proved to be challenging and absorbing in equal measures.
Watercolour on paper/canvas 60 x 60 cms Continuing the series based on Bachelard’s book the Poetics of Space. This piece was based on a work I sold. This exercise highlighted for me the constraining nature of repeating, something I found surprisingly difficult.
Watercolour on canvas 100 x 100 cms Exploring the challenges and qualities of watercolour on a canvas prepared with gesso and Daniel Smith’s Watercolour Ground. I am looking for a way to scale up my work without the need for framing. The ground doesn’t really give a comparable surface to paper, so my next experiment will be with Golden Ground.
Watercolour on paper 58 x 78 cms reworked over an existing painting to create depth and a dreamlike quality to the final piece.
Watercolour on paper 78 x 58 cms Reworked existing painting from a life drawing. I enjoyed the structure the drawing imposed on the work, leaving me free too concentrate on the quality of the paint.
Watercolour on paper 58 x 58 cms An exercise in capturing light. This was a confidence building indulgence, a safe haven.
Chalk on paper 112 x 112 cms A study in shape/form/symbolism/minimalism inspired by the work of Matthew Burrows.
Watercolour on paper 38 x 38 cms Continuing the series based on Bachelard’s book the Poetics of Space.
Watercolour on canvas 60 x 60 cms A reworked giclee print inspired by a scene from a video.
The summer has also been a time of commitments to exhibitions, a joint and group show in St Leonards, group shows at the Adur festival in Shoreham and Artwave in Seaford, and finally Open Studio as part of the festival celebrating the 950 anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Plus 10 pieces in offices. All of which adds up to a large body of work as several ran concurrently.
I now feel I have all that out of my system, and with the exception of a solo show in a hotel in Eastbourne in October, I will have no further distractions.
The summer has also given me time to reflect, on my failure to channel my energies in the right direction last year, on my academic direction for this year, on what I am trying to achieve personally, on what I have personally achieved so far.
When I am considering my assessment, I need to also acknowledge that I have come far, have a greater understanding of how the art world functions, art history and the context of my work. This may not be in alignment with my academic performance, but it is fundamental to my development as an artist.
Looking to this year an idea is germinating, and I have slowly been allowing it to take shape. I wanted the project to be a distillation of my reading, research, interests and diversity of subject, record of my journey through my MA. I have written before about my word list, words that I have discovered through my reading. It was Les Bicknell during a tutorial, who planted the seed, and the summer has allowed me the luxury of time to consider the presentation of such work.
I have started the research into each word, experimenting with the directions this could lead. I am conscious of historically not using a sketchbook to explore ideas, so I will be creating a separate sketchbook for each word that develops into a project, based on loose leaves that I have learnt how to bind. The product of these projects will be my final pieces, which I would like to present as a ‘book’.
It’s early days and the tutorials may lead me in different direction, but for now it feels like a good plan.