Summative Field Assessment: Reflection

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.

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