Sketching and rethinking assignment 1

Sketching is something I said I needed to do more of and based on feedback I’ve decided to sketch some the same found images from assignment 1 up to 6 times each.   My view is sketching is about composition so I was looking to find the most appropriate composition from 6 different sketches.   Each sketch was quick so that I would pick out the key elements of the composition.    I found by doing this that I may be able to take a more consistent composition for the series by using the portrait view.   I found the consistent portrait view of the lion could still give the different movements with different painting techniques and mediums whilst creating more of a series.  The size of the paper also lends to a closer crop than with the whole body. Similarly for the umbrella man I could focus on his face and still show the presence of the bright umbrella reflecting off his body.   The cityscape is less clear but my instinct suggests the close crop on the side of the building focusing on the details like Windows and aircon would be like looking at the face of the building.  I could experiment with blurring the windows and focusing on the aircon when painting.   The flamingoes sketches suggested either focusing on one flamingo and its reflection or more likely to focus on the reflection only and see the flamingoes distorted.   To focus on one would mean altering the image.



Putting together items into interesting collections proved difficult either because the focus was not clear or the setup for the camera wasn’t good.   I decided to try to use contrasting themes like Fred Wilson did in his curation of objects in the museum.    For example his and hers perfume, asian and western utensils, photos of England and China, Clothes for the hot sunny outdoors and cold indoors, old and new shoes, safe toys and dangerous cleaning bottles, useful tools and playful tools.   Sometimes there was too many items in the collection to photo.   For example we have far too many shoes to display effectively so I selected shoes I found interesting and included some which had hardly been worn and some well used.



Research point 2

Fred Wilson – mining the museum was about changing a museums exhibit to highlight the history of african americans.   He highlighting issues by displaying contrasting items together often challenging the viewer to think about issues of racism.


Lisa Milroy – Life on the line 2009 Installation of various canvases in oil.

34_1_lFeels strange because its like I’m observing someones life in their home.   Each painting hangs down like a blind covering part of what’s behind.   The armchair makes it feel homely and everything being life-size makes it more real.   The subjects show that fashion and image is important and a beautiful relaxing place.   It could be the artists life hanging on the line.   The way the paintings are arranged encourages you to look at them and move around to see them.  I reminds me of a large noticeboard of pinned photos.

Painting a picture, 2000, oil on canvas 152 x 223 cm

536_1_lThis is a fun painting with bright simple paintings of various objects.   It reminds me of the first assignment and the idea of creating a series of paintings with some way to link them together.  The use of colour livens the everyday objects and the colour for each square is obviously chosen to relate to the object as well as the colours used.  The composition follows a consistent full frame without cropping and no background detail.

Earlier collections look at repeated patterns and carefully arrangements of objects such as shoes, lightbulbs plates and melons.  Melons 1986 oil on canvas 70×86″.


Paul Westcombe – creates very detailed drawings on objects such as coffee cups of cartoons inspired by someone bored and wanting to draw.

You’re hardly ever here and when you’re here you’re bored.  2008 coffee cup 13.5 x9cm


Lee Edwards – Fades to memory, oil on oak, 2011, 18x15x2cm


Reminds me of a sticker which didn’t fully come off when removed.  The way the artist has made use of the natural grain in the oak to support the idea of the portrait fading away.   The rings also draw the eye in to the face.

David Dipre.  Paints portraits in oils.   The Fresh Face is painted on an a used plastic bottle.  The fresh green colour may have inspired the work and the title.   Often he paints on objects as well as canvas, each time painting thick impasto style.


Reading Freud’s Family Romances (1909) looks at how children create dreams about what they would like their parents to be based on a comparison with others around.   They are critical of their own family and fantasise about a better life based on what they see in the society around them.     I guess you could look at these dreams and ask what is real and what is not in relation to their parents or how society has changed their view on their family.

Walter Benjamin’s Philosophy of History is difficult to comprehend but my understanding is that there are opposing views on history.  One which looks at objects at face value in terms of what it means relative to the present.   The other looks deeper at what it was like at that time, the feelings and emotions of those creating the object.


Explored some painting from my line sketches at the top of a hill near home.    I was interested in painting the lines from my sketch using the pouring method used by Lisa kranichfeld.  However i couldn’t get the consistency of the acrylic paint right for pouring.  It ended up dripping from the spoon on blobs.   I had to add more water and use a bigger spoon to get a steady flow.  The water reflection was using water colour.

acrylic on watercolour

Later I attempted a painting using acrylic with a raw Siena ground.  The sky worked well with the strong warm colours, not so happy with the foreground, maybe not enough detail or texture.

line sketch

Artists from Art Fair

Shirt and Sweater 18×24″ Ink and acylic on paper covered in resin 2015 by Lisa Kranichfeld

This caught my eye because of the use of ink and distorted face.   The way the ink bleeds in wet and also remains sharpe in places creates interesting distortions and natural mixes of ink. This contrasted with the carefully painted shirt enhances the portrait’s character.  The resin makes it feel like a photo, captured.   She paints with water fist then adds the colour on top, moving it around with the loaded brush.

Her earlier nude paintings have a fluid animated feel created by pouring paint from a spoon.

Vanessa Whitehouse Glimmer 89x89cm 

The extra depth this painting gave caught my interest.  The surface is plexiglass and this gave the brush work a streaky effect because it didn’t absorb into the surface.  The tree is painted bold and dark on the surface whilst the background is painted faintly on the back of the glass.   The layering does add to the depth of field.   I found some rather thick plexiglass in the rubbish near home so I tried painting a tree out of my window.

I found once the paint was applied for the background you couldn’t paint over it and expect to see it.  Also it was easy to muddy the colours.   The background needed to be viewable in reverse so with less features helps keep it simple and bring focus on the foreground.

Alicia dubnyckyj’s Victoria peak 1 at night uses household gloss paint on board.  I liked the painting, the city was on fire reflecting the vibrant city life.

This version of umbrellas seems digitised and not so fluid as my ink work on a similar image.  The colours are more vivid and stand out more but overall it lacks movement and feels lifeless.  

Stiliana alexieva childhood memories 102×51 cm oil on aluminium allowed the aluminium to shine for the reflection in the sea in contrast to the painted clouds and sea.  The effect is very realistic with the light from the display lights being reflected back at you.  Also the aluminium was etched to reflect the rain.  

The clouds looked odd against the sky, maybe a combination of the hard edge and colour made them feel disjoint.

Kwang-bum jang Fruit 4 2015 acrylic on canvas.  97x130cm

The combination of patterns was interesting.  Clearly the sharper circular patterns jump forward over the blurred darker shapes.   The process used by the artist is also very interesting where he spends a long time painting layers of paint before sanding them down to reveal different layers of paint.  This removing of layers reminded me of another artist vhils who removed the surface of walls to reveal portraits.   The doors below had their paint removed by scratching the surface.  With a light shining on the wood underneath gave a dazzling reflection compared with the red paint.   It’s interesting to see how making use of the different properties of materials by removing the surface can create interesting art.

The portrait below was created by cutting away polystyrene to create different reliefs for the light to reveal the portrait.

 Philip raskin ‘my blue heaven’ acrylic.  Very dramatic sky and sea.  The use of dry and wet watercolour techniques in the sky created drama.  This along side the thickly painted sea was interesting.    The sky being the the focus taking up most of the frame.