My Space is set up for assessment. After seeing the size of the wall I had been given, I decided to display the landscape mark making experiments I produced on hand-made paper using my tools as well as the original plan of the three paintings, the tools and paints. I am very pleased with how the display looks. I have kept it quite minimal and I think it looks clean and proffessional.
Statement about my Display of Work
Natural Landscapes have for a long time, been a subject of artworks. John Piper’s ideas about creating an experience of being in a place within a painting and his work “The Rocky Valley” got me thinking about how some landscape paintings today document landscape visually but don’t really connect with the nature within the place. I started thinking about how I could create connections between art and nature and expose people to nature in a world that is becoming increasingly urbanized and technological. After much experimentation, investigating how to work with the natural world within the art world, I decided to create a final body of work to bring my experimentation together and consolidate my findings. Three Natural Paintings, accompanying hand-made equipment and sixteen tool mark making experiments framed with twigs make up the space. The Colour Palette is dictated by Nature alone. Within this work, the landscape type images themselves have come from nature, the shapes of sticks dictated the form of the mountain shapes (these are displayed below the paintings). Inspired by my Field Modules, I have used elements from nature to both create the paints I have painted with and the tools with which I applied the paint. I have chosen to display the tools and paints that I have made on shelves with the outcomes as I see them as artworks in their own right and give the audience an insight into how the work was produced and visibly show the relationship between art and nature that I am portraying.
I now just need to display the jars of paint on the top shelf and my space for assessment and an exhibition is complete.
Assessment is looming and we have been asked to display work that showcases our subject work and displays links from the field modules undertaken within it. Supporting work and sketchbooks will be placed on a table below. I have drawn a proposed plan of my wall space.
I have decided to display three outcomes. Each image will be of a landscape taken from the shape of twigs I have found out in the environment. I will display the twig shapes underneath the paintings. The paintings will be produced from natural paints that I have ground and made myself and the paint will have been applied with tools that I have made from natural materials, inspired by my field modules. I will also display the paints I make in jars with labels on them on a shelf and another shelf below will display the tools I have made as I believe both these elements can be considered as artworks in their own right. The whole display will showcase a connection and relationship between art and nature. I have been exploring how I can link the two through a variety of ways within my subject work and I believe this display will portray that connection.
PAINTING PERFORMANCE – 500 word REFLECTION
I decided to undertake the painting performance module to push the boundaries of my practice and explore new ways of creating artwork. I was a little nervous about what to expect but eager to get stuck in to the challenges that were to be presented to me. I learnt to utilise my own body as a tool for painting and discover what marks could be made.
In the first practical session, I was determined to explore the possibilities of making marks with my body and really move the paint around in inivative ways. The exercise where I was encouraged to paint using a brush and use my left hand to make marks made me consider the role of a paintbrush and to what extent it controls me. I felt much closer to the artwork applying the paint with my body and realised that using a paintbrush to apply paint can actually somewhat remove the artist from the work.
I had the opportunity to work from an aerial perspective by dropping paint from a scaffolding block. This removed any control I may have wanted to have on where the paint landed on the paper and forced me to create a completely free piece. I learned to remove any preconceptions of what my outcomes may look like and to be surprised by the marks the paint created. In the past I have focussed on finished outcomes and struggled to be free in my approach to art making. I have learnt that exploring the possibilities of art is highly important and that actually an artist’s experimentation can be more of a success that a final culmination of that experimentation.
Collaboration was a crucial part of this module and taught me vital skills about working with others which will undoubtedly benefit me indefinitely. Paint performance is a highly enjoyable practice and not only did I gain personal confidence but I learnt that the process of art-making can actually be more interesting than the final outcome. Documentation was a crucial part of my experience on this module and encouraged me to document my subject work in more depth.
One of the sessions encouraged me to experiment with my choice of materials and push the boundaries of what can be used to make marks in art. I learned that you don’t have to stick to conventional art materials and that sometimes it is more appropriate to use materials not typically associated with art to convey a certain message or image. This I feel is relevant to my subject work. I am more confident in experimentation now and want to explore my materials and not just stick to working with tubes of pre-made paint. I have just started experimenting with creating a connection between art and nature in my work and this field option gave me a chance to incorporate natural matter into my final piece and mix natural materials into paint which is something that will influence my subject work.
DRAWING A EXPERIENCE – 500 Word REFLECTION
I chose to undertake the drawing as experience module because I felt quite distanced from the practice of drawing and thought that I would be introduced to new techniques to apply to my practice and reinthuse my interest. This module has not disappointed, it has pushed the boundaries of what I previously considered to be drawing and equipped me with new tools and techniques to document not just the things I see but my experience of the world as a whole.
I have learnt that drawing can be used to provide someone with a visual insight into an experience . Drawing does not have to be about documenting something exactly, it can be more representational. Once I got used to the idea of creating marks to represent sensory experiences, I started to understand drawing as a much more vital part of an artistic individuals life than I ever realised.
Throughout the module, I feel I have been building my own visual language step by step whilst trying to decipher how to use that language to convey a certain experience. Being introduced to sensory stories and learning that visual stimulation can aid so many people’s understanding really inspired me to focus on working on creating marks that universally could be recognised. Having to represent smells, tastes, sounds and touch using pen and paper was incredibly challenging but really made me aware of my own senses and forced me to deeply concentrate on thinking about how I would represent experience.
The musicality of drawing session also gave me an insight into how you can respond to the surroundings, the only difference being that I was tasked with responding to the senses and experiences through drawing rather than through music. Drawing in the dark environment of the Opera unable to see the paper forced me not to think about the outcome and only to focus on documenting my experience.
Both the materiality of drawing and the psychogeography workshops were the most beneficial, influencial to me. In the psychogeography session, I almost mapped the pathways that I walked, physically documenting my journey on paper. This encouraged me to think about the versatility of ways that you could document an experience of landscape or environment which could be a useful skill to tie into my subject work. The materiality of drawing workshop encouraged me to work with a variety of materials and to utilise every day items to make marks with. The use of unconventional drawing tools made me consider the fact that the object you use to draw with and the connatations of that item are embedded in the drawing. I am keen to link this into my subject work and with a theme of art and nature running through, I want to use natural materials to make tools from and connect my art to the natural world more deeply. This is something I would not have experimented with if It wasn’t for undertaking this field module.
OVERALL SUMMATIVE 500 WORD REFLECTION – How has Field fed into my Subject work?
The field projects that I undertook have definitely affected the direction of my studies and fed into my subject work. Before undertaking these modules I was working with themes surrounding landscape and place, my interests soon shifted to creating a connection between the art world and the natural world and my experiences of field equipped me with the implements and ideas to be experimental, branch out from the restrictions of more traditional mediums and tools and explore the relationship between art and nature.
Painting Performance encouraged me to consider the process of art-making far more significantly. I have struggled to be experimental in the past and explore ideas in depth, this option gave me the opportunity to be less controlled and more free when producing art. I have become more confident and consider experimenting with materials and techniques a strength of my practice now. The session that pushed the limits of what could be used to make marks and gave me an insight into using unconventional, everyday items as paint was a stand out learning experience. I learnt that it can be more appropriate to use materials not typically associated with art to convey a concept or idea. I explored mixing organic matter into paint in my final performance and continued to do so within my subject work but how could I create a connection between art and nature when I am using plasticy man-made acrylic paints to produce my work? I progressed to grinding my own pigments from nature and making my own paints, limiting the colour palette of my work and connecting my outcomes more deeply to the natural world. This module also encouraged me to film the process of some of my subject work like tool making and drawing outdoors.
Drawing as Experience has broadened my understanding of what drawing can be and equipped me with the means to document not just the things I see but my experience of the world as a whole. The materiality of Drawing session within this module was an invaluable learning experience for me and has been highly influential to my practice. Being introduced to the idea of making my own painting and drawing tools from found everyday items inspired me and encouraged me to think about the possibilities of using natural materials to make marks within my subject work. Drawing and painting with a tool made from natural objects conveys a much deeper connection to nature than painting natural imagery with a typical paintbrush. The tools that I have made are artworks in themselves.
Combining my experiences of field has pushed my subject work forward and allowed me to experiment with techniques and materials that I would not have employed otherwise. I would never have thought of physically using natural materials to make paints if I hadn’t undertaken painting performance, nor would I have made tools to apply the paints with from nature without inspiration from drawing as experience, two key components of my subject outcomes.
I have been making tools to draw and paint with out of natural materials and playing with using them to make marks and images etc within this project, in a recent tutorial, my tutor suggested that I should draw them. I started drawing the tools with a variety of media.
I had thought about drawing the tools before inspired by the work of Stuart Cairns but I didn’t really have a reason for doing so. As I have experimented with the tools, I have grown to see them as art objects in themselves and not just tools for creating art and so I definitely think they are worth being drawn and being used to draw with.
After experimenting with the natural paints that I have created in my sketchbook, I decided to produce some mountainous images on board. I took the shape of the mountains from twigs, painted with natural substances and also used sticks to apply the colour: articulating numerous relationships between art and nature. I feel that these experiments look very natural and communicate the colours of the earth, browns, greens and tones of yellow. I also managed to create a convincing bluey turquoise colour, using bluebells with which I portrayed a sky feel to the experiments.
These images are possibly a bit too aesthetic and I think if I experimented applying the natural paints with some nature tools that I have created they could be more gestural and even closely more related to my ideas. I have been communicating a connection between art, place and nature and I definitely think these experiments are successful in doing so, I am now thinking about the final outcome for the project and want to sum up my ideas and display my findings. Brainstorming begins.
After exploring the possibilites of creating paint using natural materials I decided that rather than just putting a blob of it on a page and writing down the ingredients next to it, I would try and use it to paint an image with. In my Sketchbook, I have explored blending the paints and using different mixtures of paint next to one another to create a landscape type image where the shape has been dictated by the shape of a twig.
Some of the paint surfaces are quite textural, others quite smooth, they all have different qualities. At first, I didn’t like the bits in the paints and wanted them to be smoother but actually having little bits of nature on the work that haven’t quite ground up makes the fact that the paint has been handmade more evident. I have used darker and lighter colour outcomes to create highlights and shadows and experimented painting one on top of the other. I had to let some dry before I could paint on top or blend the colours together successfully. It is very satisfying to create an image from paints that you have made yourself. These artworks are deeply connected to nature as not only are they painted using natural paints but they are also made up landscapes dictated by the shapes of natural stick forms that I experimented with previously. Experimentation has been key within my project to explore the possibilites of a relationship between art and nature and to create art that has a connection with it and could portray that to society/the viewer. I will experiment out of my sketchbook as well and maybe think about trying to paint with the natural paints using hand-made natural tools that I have created.
Art actually originated from nature which is highly relevant to my project. Cave paintings were the first medium based art dating back to around 18,000 years ago. People used natural materials to grind to make pigments to paint with. Cave painting paints usually consisted of pigments such as earth/soil, clay and charcoals mixed with a binder such as spit or animal fat. It is interesting that painting itself was developed out of nature and created using products from the natural world.
I am exploring a connection between art and nature within my work and attempting to incorporate the natural world and natural materials into my art making in a variety of ways. Grinding my own pigments would definitely make my work more deeply connected to nature because nature itself would be the components of my paints.