Landscape Drawings Taken from the Shape of Twigs

I decided to draw more detailed landscape drawings from the stick experiments that I produced. These landscape drawings have a deep connection to nature because they are convincing landscape images but they are taken from the shapes of twigs naturally formed in the environment. I have drawn them as I drew the Beacons inspired by John Piper. I have incorporated the mark making within them as these hieroglyphic type shapes that I have picked out from the mark making in John Piper’s Rocky Valley work were very interesting and an element that I should integrate not only into these new drawings formulated from nature but also back into my paints as they have been slightly lost and overshadowed along the way.

It is interesting that these scapes are not existing landscapes but are convincingly so, when in fact the shape of them came directly out of nature in the form of the shape of twigs. I definitely think these drawings are more intriguing as the shape of them has come from the natural shapes of natural elements themselves.

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Andy Goldsworthy: Natural Materials

“Andy Goldsworthy is an extraordinary, innovative British artist whose collaborations with nature produce uniquely personal and intense artworks. Using a seemingly endless range of natural materials—snow, ice, leaves, bark, rock, clay, stones, feathers petals, twigs—he creates outdoor sculpture that manifests, however fleeting, a sympathetic contact with the natural world. Before they disappear, or as they disappear, Goldsworthy, records his work in superb colour photographs.”

Even though Andy Goldsworthy creates his work outside in the natural environment, in terms of the materials he uses he is highly influential to my work. Even though I am exploring a connection to nature mostly through painting and drawing, I am using natural materials within my work and his work shows me there are no limits to what I can find out in nature and incorporate into my artwork.

His work physically reconnects people with nature as when they do to see a work of his art they are going out into the natural landscape, he is making people appreciate nature more and want to be connected with it. I want to expose people to nature too but through painting and drawing rather than land art works. Nature being used in art heightens its importance I feel as it is a worthy artistic subject and has been for centuries.

Some of his works made out of natural material are more permanent in the landscape. Seeing these pieces in a natural setting creates an obvious connection between art and nature. So I feel that seeing my work in a studio or gallery with natural material incorporated into it could also create a connection between art and nature and when incorporated into a landscape painting, give a more real sense of the place as it has natural materials from the place embedded within it. I want my work to help people realise the potential of nature as I feel Andy Goldsworthy’s does! It is such a shame that natural world is overlooked by many today and incorporating it into art might prevent it being overlooked so much.


A Connection to Nature: Painting Landscapes onto Leaves

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.


Terry Setch: Mixed Media Works: Estuary Paintings

Many of Terry Setch’s works are themed around the coast near Penarth in Wales, where Setch is based. These works act as a witness to his surroundings, in the literal sense via the materials he uses and the layers he creates within them, but also in the wider issues his art works often raise.

“Setch is well-known for utilizing varying materials in his analysis and interpretation of the conflict between nature and society. His huge painted canvases are often augmented with materials and debris found on the beach, a combination of both man-made and natural matter. This contrast in itself creates a tension, raising questions on pollution, mankind’s apathy, the forces of nature in the weathered objects, inadvertently representative of demise. This juxtaposes the notion that there is new life in the objects used to create such histrionic representations of the world around us.”

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Setch’s work is highly relevant to the ideas that I am looking at within my own work at the moment. His concepts include an approach to nature and he uses found objects within his work like Debris from the beach and natural matter. I have experimented with including natural matter within paint and I am going to embark on producing an abstracted Landscape painting containing natural elements within the paint and on the surface. Terry Setch’s work will be an interesting reference to refer to when producing work within the areas I am currently interested in.

Setch’s subject matter enables the onlooker to fully experience the world created within it, via the use of textured materials; such as encaustic wax, melted plastic and polypropylene, however it is not through realism, as his works require the viewer to suspend disbelief in order to fully experience what each piece evokes for them.

the artist; (c) Terry Setch RA; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Similar to the work of John Piper, Setch’s Landscapes capture a sense of the place. They are highly interesting in texture and evoke the mood and atmosphere of the surroundings, to the point where you could imagine yourself being there. It is interesting to come across an artist where their abstract and less abstract works are relevant to the ideas I am working with and I am sure his work will influence my project highly.


Colour Experimentation: Moving forward with Initial Influence

So far, I have been experimenting with the colour palette that is evident with John Piper’s work. Moving forward with his influence, I have decided to create a piece with a completely different colour scheme from his work. I chose to use brighter colours to give the impression of his work being modernized. I also wanted to kind of consolidate the techniques that I have been working with up until now.
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Within this mixed media piece, I have included collage, tissue paper, rough paper and acrylic paint and have painted in abstract marks, shapes and line work to show a loose connection to John Piper’s work. Thinking about the photographs that I scratched into under the influence of Dryden Goodwin, I scratched marks into the surface of the paint within this piece as well. I think this is definitely a worth while experiment and it interesting to see how well you can see connections to John Piper’s work without their being a relationship with the colours. I am now going to be thinking about the connection to nature and incorporating natural objects and found things into the paint or on the surface of board.


Trip to London: Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Tracey Emin, Tate Britain and The Turner Prize

Whilst in London, I went to quite a few art venues and saw really great art and some not so great.

Anselm Kiefer – The Royal Academy

Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition at the Royal Academy was definitely the highlight of my visit. Not only was it visually incredible but it was relevant to the work that I have been producing too. The sheer scale of the pieces that I viewed in this exhibition was highly impressive. I have always been a fan of Kiefers work and I have never managed to see an exhibition of his until now. What I find most interesting about his w0rk is the wide range of media he uses and the unconventional mixed media that he mixed into the paint or adds to the surface of the work.

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There are so many different textures and surfaces within his work and seeing it in person has really inspired me to be more experimental with mixed media and to maybe play with mixing unconventional materials into my work. I am highly inspired by the confidence of his work and I am hopeful that one day people could view my work and think it was bold and confident. Also, I am looking at nature and a connection to place and landscape surroundings and nature is a recurring theme in Kiefer’s work. I will definitely be revisiting Kiefer’s work in relation to my own.

Gerhard Richter Exhibition – The Marian Goodman Gallery

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I went to view Richter’s work because of how much I am interested in it, more than for my project work. However, upon visiting the gallery I came across some photographs that Richter had taken and had painted on top off. This strongly links to the pieces that I have made where I have added abstract shapes on top of my own photos. I had no Idea that Gerhard Richter was interested in Photo Manipulation and so this was a valuable reference to my work.

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Richter’s abstracts as always were visually interesting but I was very disappointed that there were no large works where he had dragged the paint across the canvas with a squeegee. I thought the glass effect with the paint behind definitely brought his work up to date and gave me a modernist feel.

Tracey Emin – The White Cube Gallery

I must admit that everytime I have been to see Tracey Emin’s work in the past, I haven’t been that impressed but this exhibition was completely different, I felt like she showed her true self, her experimentation and the things that she really enjoys doing and making. It was like looking into her artistic life and her drawings were incredibly gestural and influential.

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What impressed me the most were her large scale nude embroideries. Mostly because I don’t really enjoy textile work or sewing, nor do I consider myself to be very good at it. However, Tracey Emin had used the thread to make marks to make up the body like a fine art ink drawing.

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The Turner Prize 2014

In my honest opinion, considering that the turner prize is one of the most prestigious art awards around at the moment, it didn’t do the art world justice at all. If I was not a creative individual or studying art at all, I would have walked in there and thought the current art climate was very pretencious and have maybe considered the fact that art is no longer a skill that not everyone could do. I thought the variety of work was incredibly disappointing and definitely not explained well enough. After walking around the exhibit, I looked at the comments board regarding the turner prize and it was very difficult to find positive feedback which makes it clear to me that I am not the only one highly disappointed by the prize.

Visiting London was definitely incredibly worthwhile, I have never felt so inspired as I did walking out of Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition in the Royal Academy and linking Richter’s work to my ideas is incredibly encouraging. Undoubtedly, This trip will have an impact on my work.


Artists Research: Paul Schick: Organic Twig Line Sculpture

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.

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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.

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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.