Studio: January 1st-5th

It is so great for me to have some actual time to spend in the studio – I feel like I’ve been neglecting it recently with trying to balance work and everything else. A resolution is to document my MA time actively in a diary as I feel I need to acknowledge when I am doing MA related activities – this was prompted by my final exhibition proposal where Angela said I needed to include time for writing and editing. It takes me so long to read anything that I almost don’t acknowledge that this is valuable time committed to moving my ideas forwards. So I have managed 18 hours of making this week:)! 

My investigation explores pairs – pairing, reflection, repetition, spiting, merging, doppelganger, double take, stock characters so far. This first pair of paintings has been lurking for a while but I have managed to work into them alternately – an have obliterated much of the original green.

Left hand figure was drawn from right – a mirror and copy. Parallels of diagonals and shadows to introduce multiple figures. Have reduced the setting to simple diagonals to create some context but not too pictorial.

Thought I would try a darker, denser background for the right to reduce the amount of green again. Allowing some of the under painting to come through but just a suggestion or trace.

More of the grey – not sure whether to bring it down on the left fully, to fade out or just stop – perhaps unfinished is better to imply a further sense of instability.

Pairs of figures entwined, a mirror image or hybrid twin. A struggle and merge/split as the tangled limbs wrap around each other. My second piece so far…

Made a decision to add mix of Prussian blue and brown together  for white area – quite a contrast to before – not quite as dark as it appears due to thunderstorm outside. Worked around dripples with chisel brush to preserve some of the marks without layering – not sure if this works yet…Added quick crimson line for shadow – gestural rather than blended.

Starting to think about addressing the bodies – want to loose some of the individual definition as though they are merging together. I love the leg drawing – might leave it like this, very free and spontaneous.

Detail of background showing layering – still trying to keep sense of block colour. Not sure about the blue over the yellow – this seems to be too much of a contrast…this may just be out of my comfort zone of course;)

I love the line of leg and the deft definition of the muscle. Drawingness is starting to come through and strangely I think the white works with the grey and yellow.

I have introduced some additional lines on the bodies/clothing but haven’t yet made a decision abut how much to add. I like that the faces are more defined as your eye goes straight to them, although I am anxious to not over work them. Think the overall colour balance is good so far as it is reiterated throughout the painting. I have painted out quite a large section of the hair (bottom left) with original background colour, leaving a strange residue of the shape that was there – now just a series of marks and stains.

A repetition of a previous image or figure, one who has been seen before and may live in the memory of the viewer or artist. A pair interacting in a seemingly non threatening manner which implies something more sinister. A line of narrative weaving them together but as yet intangible. A new painting…

So I know I intended to banish green but this felt appropriate as an under painting – very inspired by Simon Ling’s work (see a different post). The right hand figure is a reincarnation of a girl from breaking your boundaries, the left a photo from the previous unit. I wasn’t sure they would work together until I added the background colour and suddenly I felt them bound together, one dwarfing the other reaching down to take her hand. But this could imply an act of kindness, or snatching and leading away. I like how the standing figure has folded herself into the picture space and contorts her body. Again I’m aware that working in this way could create a static body but by integrating some background into the figure and by working gesturally I hope that the bodies can move and resettle on the surface if needed.

The manifestation of ‘pairs’ is emerging as a double layered enquiry, conceptually and physically, in work construction and making. I need to work in a way that I don’t pre-empt or envisage what the work will eventually look like, instead getting more involved in the process and making active decisions. I feel really liberated by the larger surfaces – there are smaller ones as well although not documented yet – and feel a sense of urgency with my making enquiry. I need to make sure when I go back to work that I still have my 8 hours of making each week in addition to the reading, documenting, writing etc. as this is what drives my practice forwards. Key points to take from the last few days are…

  • Pairs of paintings.
  • Left hand figure was drawn from right – a mirror and copy. 
  • Parallels of diagonals and shadows to introduce multiple figures. 
  • Pairs of figures entwined, a mirror image or hybrid twin. 
  • A struggle and merge/split as the tangled limbs wrap around each other.
  • A repetition of a previous image or figure, one who has been seen before and may live in the memory of the viewer or artist. 
  • Drawing and line making into the surface of a painting after conception.

One Month Reflection
I am really building on this idea of the two stranded enquiry – this is going to underpin the structure of my essay for the 50/50 option. I have tried to actively document my MA time which is helping me to organize my time and acknowledge when I am spending time on relevant tasks. The bullet points are still key to how my investigation is unfolding, I am going to use imagery like this for the next month or so, so that I am able to sustain the ideas and then edit and refine my outcomes as starting points for the final stage.

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