The compositions I selected were firstly about including what I felt essential for the viewer to see which also meant deciding what not to include from the found images. To build confidence I used my sketchbook for new images or ones I felt I needed to change from the earlier exercises. My decision to use a composition was usually what felt right and because of time pressure I usually didn’t explore or push the composition on paper other than one or two comparisons. In other words I thought about many more compositions and discarded them without exploring on paper. E.g. should lion 2 include the whole body, just the head or maybe just the ripples in the body fabric. I quickly dismissed some of the ideas and decided the head and legs and part of the body were essential to see the movement. I always have time pressures so I feel I need to remind myself not take the obvious choice without some quick sketches. I found continuous line drawing liberating and interesting to see the result but I’ve not yet made a link with the painting.
My experimentation with the mediums so far has been positive and is one of the main reasons for taking this course. I’ve enjoyed seeing how the paints dry on another medium and surface and look forward to trying others. When painting the lion, I quickly found ink on gouache absorbed too much to be able to express movement compared with watercolour on varnish. I did several quick works before starting on the final set.
Emerging drama is a term I find appropriate to use as a description of what I’m interested in communicating. For landscapes its often the feeling or atmosphere I felt being there whereas for portraits its their character and how they are feeling. The quality of outcome is difficult to reflect on partly because I’m not sure I know clearly what this actually means and partly because its my work and I’ve just painted it. Taking each individual painting and finding out what people see and comparing against my focus is one way to tell. Each painting had something different to say which often linked to the story of another painting and sometimes it was about what looked good.
The influence from other artists is often small such as using expressive strokes against a wash for the paintblowers face. However this in itself feels a big revelation and gives me more confidence about using it again. I do need to keep experimenting and thinking more about the key concept I want to get across and then how it can be achieved. My voice maybe something to do with the medium combinations I’ve gravitated towards because often its been an instinctive choice where I’ve dismissed some over others. This appears to be about enabling expressive work with an element of chance. This maybe because my work prior this course has been highly controlled and detailed and I’m looking to move on.
I’ve looked at a diverse range of artists helped by the initial set provided in the brief. Ali Sharma lead me to make my brush work evident and I’ve done this in both wet and dry brushwork. Peter Doig has been an influence for his approach to painting thin layers over extended time which I applied in the flamingos. I’ve also visited exhibitions which exposed me to other artists such as Lisa Kranichfeld who prompted me to try mixing the paint on the paper with water in unpredictable ways. Being located in Asia means a lot of the newspapers, magazines and photos relate to this part of the world and will continue to do so for this course. I therefore expect it will be an Asian drama emerging.