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.
I have documented the physical outcome of our final performance piece. It is interesting to consider whether the performance and the outcome on paper have a symbiotic relationship or whether one becomes more important that the other. In our piece, I feel that both the performance/Process and the trace left behind are equally important. Both the process and the physical trace document the disharmony between nature and urban society, only in the performance it is conveyed through action and in the outcome through aesthetics. You can look at the outcome and see that there are two sides that are disharmonious from one another and that the order (the line) has been merged in with the disharmony and so is successful.
The outcome is successful both visually and conceptually in my opinion. It is not like making a painting or a drawing as it isn’t fully planned, you cannot know what marks will be made and what the outcome will look like, you can only know what actions will be performed. In terms of colour, there is a clear disharmony between the sides of the paper, one is very organic in colour and the other brighter and more man-made. Also in terms of marks and materials, the disharmony is evident in that one side is made using organic materials as drawing materials and making natural movements and the other is purely evolved from the human body. I think it is very visually appealing because of the variety of marks within it and because you know it was a performance, you question how the marks within it were made. The brooms scratching into the paint have added texture to the piece and given it another focal point. The line is more visible in some places than others and even though this wasn’t planned I do feel it shows how society can be more disharmonious to nature in some areas and maybe become more harmonious with it in others. Overall, I think the process and the outcome portrays our learning as well. We have incorporated many elements from the practical workshops and had no previous experience of paint performance before.
I am highly inspired by the work and the concepts of John Piper. Particularly his views about the landscape work you create having a connection to a place and therefore a connection to Nature. I have started playing and working with the idea of incorporating parts of a place and natural objects into my work with success and I think connecting my painting and drawing with nature itself is an interesting idea to work with within my project. My tutor thought that my abstract drawings were a successful and visually appealing element of the work up in my studio space and I agreed but I felt that they lacked a connection to the place I portrayed.
Over the Weekend, I went home and collected Ivy Leaves from the area of the Brecon Beacons and primed them and started drawing my abstracted landscape drawings on to them. I chose Ivy Leaves because their waxy quality means they don’t shrivel and die quickly.
I think there is something quite charming about these delicate leaf drawings. After producing these three drawings, I experimented with adding watercolour of a similar colour palette to my chosen painting – John Piper’s Rocky Valley, North Wales.
I am very pleased with these little drawings/paintings. I felt that only drawing on paper didn’t tye in well with my project, especially considering the fact that natural trees are cut down to make it. I was restricted by the surface and so found a new surface that fits in with the concepts of my project to paint and draw onto.
Using nature as a surface to work on is something I am keen to experiment with further. I am thinking about painting onto stone and drift wood or bark as well. After completing my drawings, I took them back out into the Landscape and photographed them back in their natural environment. My drawings have a strong connection to the place they portray because they are drawn on nature from the place and put back into the natural surroundings. I am moving away from John Piper’s influence and making a current body of work with his in mind but it is not dominating my ideas any longer. This idea was inspired by being introduced to Ian Mckeever’s Painting in a hole in the ground. He made a painting and put it in a natural landscape. This set of photographs are incredibly interesting and juxtapose the man made with the natural. I have changed the natural environment here. The leaf would usually just blend in with the others but I guess it has a sense of power and importance because it stands out amongst them. I could also experiment with painting abstract Landscapes onto leaves in similar colours to the surroundings so that they do blend in and maybe they may almost become part of nature.
After undertaking the Collage workshop, I decided it would be useless if I didn’t put what I had learn’t into practice and try and make a collage referring to the notes I had made and the new techniques I had been introduced to in the session.
I decided to integrate my subject work in with what I had learnt during this workshop and attempt to produce a collaged Landscape with an element of abstraction to it.
In terms of process, to create my collage I used imagery from newspapers and 1960s magazines to construct it. Older printed papers are easier to scratch into and manipulate than newer print. I used both sandpaper and wire wool to scratch into the surface of my collage. Drawing on top of the paper was another technique used. I also included tracing paper and printed text within the work, as well as using various imagery to produce a textured affect.
Above, are a few close ups of my collage. You can see that the scratched surface both adds texture to the piece and helps the paper that the image is printed on to come through. I think this makes my collage more exciting and appear less flat.
I think I managed to successfully create a collage encompassing all the new ideas, artists work and imagery that I had been exposed to in this workshop. It was enjoyable to create and I will definitely be revisiting these techniques in my artistic life. Here, The imagery was supplied in the workshop and so I was restricted as to what I could use to make the piece. Visually, this fits in with my subject work but also my idea of documenting a journey through found objects is at play here. If I was to make another collage, I think I would work on creating more perspective within the work and more of a distinct foreground.
After having a talk about my work late one evening with David Fitzjohn in my studio space, he mentioned to me that going on a walk and picking up found objects and putting them all together, creates a sense of the place they were found. He encouraged me to not be afraid to make work that is completely abstract because in terms of experimentation it is very relevant to my work and could inform more final outcomes. He also got me thinking about materials themselves having symbolic meanings and connotations.
Under the influence of John Piper and at the moment: his concepts, I am working with the influence of creating artwork that shows a connection to a place. I decided that I would experiment with making abstract pieces that even though I call them mixed media work,could also be sculptural. I went on two walks and collected objects from the floor as I went. I have used all of these objects and arranged them together onto boards to create balanced compositions that capture a sense of a place or journey and a connection to it.
Firstly, I took a walk around a natural environment, with trees and grass etc. I wandered around Bute Park in Cardiff and collected objects from the floor, they are mostly natural but there were a few items of litter that people had left.
This piece is Bute Park on a board. It documents the place. In john Piper’s work, he aims to capture a connection to the place through the marks he uses to represent it, the textures he paints and the colour palette and elements of expression. I have taken this concept on board and portrayed it through found objects alone.
Next, I walked through part of the City from Richmond Road to The Museum and collected objects that I found. As expected, the park piece is full of more natural forms.
To me, this piece illustrates the amount of litter that us as a human race drop on the floor. It also reminded me of an abstract appropriation of Jason Mecier’s work. He produces portraits of celebrities from objects that relate to the person. In terms of the tactility of them and the 3D objects on a flat surface, I feel like these works that I have created relate. Also, we have both used the same means of applying the objects, a glue gun.
The pieces I have created are completely different to the work I have made so far and I do believe that they give you a sense of the place that the objects have come from. I feel like my work is getting stronger in terms of concept now as well because I was started to feel like I was producing abstract Landscape imagery for the sake of it.
Paul Schick transitioned into twig art just as he was graduating. Schick’s journey into the craft of creating wall hangings from natural wood elements was inspired by a photo of Charles Arnoldi’s work. He creates organic twig line sculptures.
Personally, I think this work is beautiful. It illustrates to me how objects that we see everyday, in this case twigs can be used to make artwork just like clay or paint can. I am very interested in mixed media and this work has sparked my interest in using nature within my work.
So far, I have been drawing with nature to create a landscape, but I want the connection to be more evident within my work. After coming across Paul Schick’s work, I am now thinking about creating line drawings using the twigs themselves, not using them as pencils and dipping them in ink. Paul Schick’s work is very experimental and combining that with John Piper’s influence and his passion for portraying a connection to a place could make for an interesting outcome.