Exhibiting Paintings that you have created takes a lot of courage. To some, it may seem like ‘just an image,’ to me, it exposes everything. My thoughts, passions, fears and hopes are somehow translated onto a canvas, for the Public to judge and criticise. What if they don’t like something you’ve created? Something so personal. Or worse still, what if they are indifferent to something you have poured hours into.
My work is very much a personal language, and is based heavily on instinct and intuition, so I often find myself very nervous when it goes on display at an Exhibition. However, there is a thrill that can be achieved in no other way when your work is on the wall. It teeters precariously somewhere between anticipation and excitement, as passers by buzz around your work, talking about technique, subject etc.
I allow and invite viewers to react to my work in whatever way they please. It’s refreshing, and keeps me motivated to create more.
With my final Exhibition approaching in less than two weeks at Abersytwyth School of Art, I am mulling over these pre-exhibition nerves once more.
It’s a thrill only an Artist can experience.
I am heavily inspired by the work of Josh Dorman who creates beautiful works on maps and old paper…..I intend to create works this Summer based on this kind of theme after collecting over 200 maps I could use for future paintings.
Check out his work…http://www.joshdorman.net/
Observation of the Welsh Landscape begins to take form into a Painting that balances somewhere between the realms of figuration and abstraction.
I start off with small thumbnail sketches through direct observation and then work them into a composition. What happens from there is a response process. I begin to layer paint and just respond to the colours, marks and forms that have went before. The way I paint relies heavily on intuition, and there are times that I have to just trust in my process. This then creates a kind of constructed experimental landscape, that’s organic and natural. I try to keep things gestural and expressive, to convey and essence of the landscape as well as translate the transient, fleeting nature of creation.
(see Paintings section for more info as well as other works)
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” -Vincent Van Gogh
When Painting doesn’t come so easily, and you feel that you’ve really hit a block with it, something that always frees me up again is changing my colour palette. With less than a month to my first Postgraduate Exhibition at Aberystwyth School of Art, this is exactly what I had to do. I introduced a darker colour palette, and eliminated most blues, purples and greens that I usually rely heavily on.
This is my take on some snowy hills that I have witnessed while travelling in a bus from Wales. They fly by in a short, transient moment and appear insignificant. Truth is, it’s these small moments that have a way of unravelling from my sub-conscious and find themselves compositions or themes of my paintings. It’s not until I’ve almost finished works, or see a photograph, or have a distinct memory that I recall where I’ve seen it. To me, that’s amazing. One small snapshot you took with your eyes, reveals itself in such a powerful way years later.
The power of observation has never been so tangible.
I feel so blessed that us artists can work in this way, it’s a great and underestimated gift.
Some Paintings together that I have created since the beginning of My Master’s degree in September 2013. The exciting thing about painting, although the uncertain nature of it is really daunting, when I see all my work together in one place, it’s exciting. I’m not sure of the direction my work is taking, but it doesn’t really matter. I trust in my Process of painting, so I know the product will follow.
The more I trust my own instinct, the less I am able to articulate what I do. < This seems more relevant than ever.
When I come to a block in my current painting progress, I always look back at the old to try and use it as a way to free up some ideas. I decided to look back at some of the old aerial views that I was creating in 2012-late 2013. Although in this period of time there were inevitable stumbling blocks and problems I encountered, I found that it was a very encouraging and promising time for my painting progress. I developed so much as an artist and learned a lot about paint in a relatively short amount of time. Two of my favourite studies were two of the first small Aerial Views paintings I created. At this time, I was heavily inspired by Artist Anna Warsop and used her work as a foundation for my own. Her work is so beautiful and subtle, as well as painting she creates some striking prints too.
Check them out @ http://www.annawarsop.com/index.html
Aerial View l was a response to a flight experience of my own, memory, intuition and being inspired by the work of Warsop. This is a monumental piece in my practice, as it really marked the first move away from painting into maps, to creating direct aerial views.
Aerial View ll was a piece I created soon after, and was very much based on a flight from Ireland- Wales, hence all the more local colours. I learned to use accents of colours to represent buildings, structures etc. The idea is that the landscape was transient and fleeting worked very well. I tried to incorporate clouds to give a tangible sense of depth and add movement to the painting. I used layers of acrylic canvas with a glazing agent and worked quite slowly. I painted onto to the canvas in some areas, and in others I painted directly onto old maps I had torn up and glued on, furthering and adding an extra dimension to the ‘aerial view’ concept.
During the Winter Months, my colour palette began to naturally change to more Winter-esque colours and this was a reaction to a trip to Snowdon that I encountered. I was really happy with this painting as it was very quick, gestural and expressive. I used thin layers of acrylic paint and then use a spray gun to spray it off in certain areas which allows the ‘dripping’ effect of the paint.
Although this is quite a time consuming and laborious process, I have found this way of painting really enjoyable. I then worked in on some areas with a glazing agent, pearl spray paint (isn’t visible in photographs) to give a different kind of finish. I used a palette knife to apply the orange accents of paint, which I feel finishes the painting.
The rugged nature of the Welsh Landscape I feel is adequately achieved!