Its useful to hear someone else talk about the painting which has helped me reevaluate against the idea of fitting into a new culture.
The strong shadow suggests being unsettled which I was when I first arrived. The cultures are very different and this unsettled feeling is in response to the overwhelming differences to consider. There were differences in the environment as well as with people. I found the asian culture differences intense in each of the senses where when simply walking down the street you face strong smells and a overwhelming variety of signs and noises. Being unsettled also pushes you to try fitting in more to get more settled, this suggests I need to add marks to balance out the strong shadows. What would provide balance or a move towards balance and reduce the unsettled feeling?
Fork has a solid linear quality and allows the aluminium support to shine through and uses negative space well. The spoon is again a solid smooth quality which is more realistic despite my intention to reduce it down to some minimal marks and work more with negative space. Theres an intimate connection between fork and spoon reflecting the connection with the western culture more than the asian.
Chopstick is hammer like, painted in a more straight forward manor reflecting a basic connection and less expressive.
I like the idea of sensing the culture in different ways and reminds me of the blind portrait sketching I did in assignment 3. Would drawing and painting the chopstick, spoon and fork blind reflect an experience of sensing something new like the culture by translating the touch visually?
The chopstick felt light and smooth at one end moving to sharp pointy at the other. The chopstick rest felt mostly spiky and sharp with smooth bits in-between. The fork and spoon felt heavy, solid, curved and smooth. I liked the idea of moving oil paint around on the surface to create the rests spiky feeling or smooth curved parts to reflect more what I felt.
The environment is mostly colder inside than outside with extreme difference adding to the unsettled feeling. This could translate into a mix of warmer blurred areas and cold sharp areas. I could use the transparent gesso to create the blurred areas and leave the sharp cold areas or add some smooth flat areas.
I applied oil with liquin for the rest and moved it around with a knife and stick to create sharp points and lines. For the spoon I used oil and liquin again but used a brush to apply and attempted to push the paint down and outwards as I moved down the handle.
I applied transparent guesso on parts of the background and enamels to create smooth shiny flat areas. The result was more unbalanced with the chopstick shadow being too strong so I applied very thinned enamel over the fork shadow to balance.
I find this version more interesting with greater variety and in particular the chopstick rest feels very sharp. Interestingly whilst the sharpness reflects the physical cultural symbol it also suggests the asian culture is menacing or difficult to handle which is not really what I intended but can be true for some things. I felt I over did the gesso creating confusing marks in some places once it had dried. I feel I could swallow up lots of time trying out different ways to balance out the parts I don’t like and I’m not sure its worth me progressing further at this stage so I decided to stop.