I’m very happy with the outcome of my final major project . I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to produce a final piece that I was really thrilled with and was a successful outcome to the project but I really think what I’ve created is my best work.
Through this project I wanted to further explore the theme of Western American Landscapes, which I’ve been working on for most of the college year. I felt that in my final project I needed to focus on an aspect of it that could produce exciting and different work. I am happy with the direction I took the project, studying rock formations, shapes in the land and patterns in rock. I think I explored these aspects of the landscape thoroughly and used a wide range of techniques.
I wanted to have a go at printing and see if that could produce some effective pieces. I was looking at rock formations, in particular in the Utah Desert, and painted a study in ink. To get the excess of I dabbed it with another piece of paper which created a really nice print. The shapes that came off gave it a rocky, scruffy look which I thought could be brilliant to convey the surface of rocks. I experimented with etchings, painting on surfaces and printing them onto paper, and there were some great results and a few mishaps. Overall I felt that to create something really successful I would have to produce some larger, more considered pieces. I was 7/8 weeks into the project at this stage and knew it would take up a lot of time. I decided to move on from this idea because I has my heart set on producing a painting as my final piece and because of the time constraints. However, I did love some of the prints and they inspired me to paint more simply which created some expressive paintings, different from my usual style. I also wanted to introduce some unique and exciting surfaces into my project. Robert Rauschenberg was the original inspiration for this and I started to create collages to work on top of. It was mentioned at a 21 Painting discussion that I should try working on top of the rock itself and from here I knew I’d found the key to creating a memorable, inspiring and successful solution to the project. Working on small and large pieces of slate was brilliant as it’s far more interesting to work on and the colours came out brilliantly!
Setting up the exhibition was fun! I was overjoyed that the stress was over and this was the last stage. It took a lot of sketching compositions, placing pieces on the wall and stepping back, but after some advice and consideration I decided on the final presentation and I really think my exhibition space shows off my work at it’s best. My original idea was to hang it on the wall but with the extreme weight of the piece it was difficult. I considered designing and building a contraption to present it on but in the time I had it wasn’t realistic. Amazingly, I feel that the piece looks better resting on the radiator with development pieces above it which is a brilliant feeling. To know you had a problem, fixed it and actually came out with a better solution than you could’ve hoped is great!
What would I have changed? Hmm. I think if i were to go back, I’d put more time into the research aspect of the project. I feel I could’ve expanded my theme by investigating the history of America including colonization and foundation of the states and Native American Tribes. This could’ve brought a deeper interest into my project but in the end I decided to keep the theme more concentrated and simpler. With more time I would’ve definitely done two things. One is download and master photoshop and the other, create some large developed prints. I know that some brilliant photoshopped pieces would have complemented my handmade photomontages nicely, but I couldn’t get my head around the software to do what I wanted to in the time I had which is really unfortunate. I now know for next time, to make a list of things you want to try out and set time aside to do so.
Printing was a great medium to work in I just wish I’d developed and refined the prints I have because it could’ve produced some great, interesting pieces
Overall, I feel happy with the way everything worked out. I’m not great at time planning and I didn’t produce enough work in the first half of the project, but as stressful as it is, I love the last 2 week push because I think I produce my best work in an intense short space of time. Time-keeping is something I definitely need to work on and I will strive to in future. My final piece is something I’m very proud of and I feel it’s an successful piece and completes the project!
Fellow Tumblrruurs! Please take 2 secs to have a look at my final painting piece. Any advice, comments or thoughts, good or bad, will really help me to evaluate my final project. Doesn’t have to be much, I just want to know if there’s anything else I can add or just how you perceive my work? :) Ta very much
Just had a rummage through all my development work. Trying to organise all of it into sections and annotate everything for the hand in. Found some development images of Utah. Mostly acrylics and watercolours they’re just a few paintings to get ideas for creating a final piece. Although I ended up going in a different direction, I thought I’d share them anyway :)
Today I started my final piece in college. So glad I decided to work on slate! It’s the perfect texture and I like the way the paint lies on it as I was worried the colours wouldn’t be as vivid, but they look great.
The slate is reeeaally heavy so don’t think I’ll be moving it at all until I have to hang it. I started the painting by sketching out an outline in grey paint. I was worried about getting the scale and proportions wrong and it’s stressful working on something big! I blocked in the colours with acrylic paint and sketched out a few details in graphite, then blocked in the rest. I think it’s looking pretty good for a first layer. I plan on building up the layers of paint to make it a really bold piece. I also want to make sure it doesn’t look like an average landscape, but a landscape that I’ve created through photomontage. I think this will be the hardest obstacle but I’m going to make sure I overcome it. This is the image I’m working from, a photomontage of Yosemite.
These are some of the prints I made this weekend while experimenting with techniques to use in my final piece. I used printing ink, acrylic paint and drawing ink to print with and found drawing ink the most troublesome. It worked nicely for a couple pieces but in general It was hard finding a surface to print from because papers soak up the ink too quickly and it runs off plastic/shiny surfaces. I thought it worked quite nicely here though
The painted mountain is on the right and the print is on the left.
The acrylic paint worked amazingly and I loved the results. I painted a scene on printed cardboard which had a shiny surface. Took me a while to perfect painting the scene backwards so that the print looked like the photo but I got it!
So the original plan was to collect all the slate I have in my gardens/neighbouring gardens etc and bring them in to start painting my new photomontages scenes onto…however as it’s bank holiday Monday my family have taken the car out and I’m stuck with some laaaarge pieces of slate that I can’t carry to the bus stop ha! So will be working on them at home and bringing them in tomorrow :)
Very excited to see how it works out. Going to start by using acrylic and pastilles to see what’s working best and I’m starting on small pieces of slate. We have a very large piece in the front garden, which belonged to my Auntie and Uncle’s roof, and if all goes to plan it will have to be dug up!
So it’s literally about 12 minutes since I downloaded photoshop and posted about it. I am already positive it is not for me. There is no programme manual or instructions and because it’s not adobe there are virtually no forums or online help! I didn’t mind giving it a go but it’s got me so irritated and stressed I don’t see the point in struggling on. I enjoy trying things I’ve not done before and getting out of my comfort zone, but I don’t want to spend the whole weekend on my laptop like a nerd trying to master something that I will probably never use again after this project. AAAARGHHHH PHOTOSHOP I HATE YOU.
So just downloaded The Gimp for my mac so that I can experiment with photoshopping some of my images together. I think it’s best I try every method of creating photomontages so I know what will work best if I choose to use the idea in my final piece. Also going home today and we’ve got a big garden full of rocks, wood and slates, so my plan is to collect some small and large pieces to work on. The idea of painting straight onto slate and including little flints in my work to create a semi-3D piece was suggested to me in class and I think, if it works, could be the surface I work on for my final piece.
Found this link really interesting and gives a great list of landscape artists to look at. Strangely the article features a photograph by Ansel Adams I have worked from in this project as well as links to Gurskey’s work, which I have been looking at today…
Got a lot of ideas forming about how I’ll present my work. Going to collect some large pieces of slate and rock to work on top of, and some smaller pieces to test including them in the painting. Been looking at some of Jasper Johns’ work who creates loads of great textures in his work.
I also have an email from artist Mike Bell who I emailed a few months ago regarding my painting project and how he creates such amazing surfaces. Will definitely need to go back to that email and experiment with his techniques.