FINAL PIECE: Based on the Fine Art Painting Project

I have decided to submit my monochrome shaped painting that I started within the last fine art project session as a final piece. It communicates all of the material skills that I have learnt throughout the painting project and accurately consolidates my body of work surrounding the hidden loneliness of life in the City. Participating in the project has taught me a wide variety of skills, I had never explored the technique of underpainting before and I learnt how much an underpainting really can inform a final piece. I also acquired a knowledge of dry brushing and allowing an underpainting to come through the top layer of paint. Creating a shaped painting was a new and interesting concept for me as well as like many other painters, I tend to traditionally paint on square or rectangular surfaces. I wanted my final piece to convey all of the skills and knowledge that I have gained from attending these sessions and I feel that this monochrome shaped piece with a green sort of under glow definitely does.

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Previously, I experimented with making the people the focus in my work  rather than the architecture and making the buildings more gestural. Like I said, I do think that this was highly successful, but in this piece, I think the buildings really add to the feeling of loneliness within the work because of the eery and sort of uneasy green underglow that is coming through the monochrome overlay. I employed the technique of dry brushing within this piece so that the green underpainting is really a valued part of this final outcome. I feel this piece really consolidates my city project. It portrays everything I have learnt, the things I have progressed with, the things I have not taken any further but learnt from and the meaning and concept behind my take on the city itself. I have included a coloured figure surrounded by white silhouettes within this piece because it has been my most successful portrayal of being surrounded by others in the city but alone. You might as well be alone in the city because no one interacts with you or notices your existence. You may as well be surrounded by bodies with no defining features – white silhouettes. I definitely feel that it is worse being around people and being made to feel alone in the city than actually being around no one. This piece represents how you are alone in the city regardless of being surrounded by others and that if the only people you see all day are the passers-by of the city, then your time in the urban environment can be an incredibly lonely, with no interaction or conversation with others.

As this is a final piece, I thought about the fact that it should be able to be presented and hung on the wall as a final outcome and so fixed a block of wood to the back of the board so that it can be hung upon nails or screws.

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I definitely would not have made this piece without attending the painting project sessions, they have been extremely valuable to me and even though I have had to create a final piece based on what I have learnt in these sessions, I think I would have made a piece inspired by them anyway because of how many new techniques and methods  I have worked with. Underpainting is definitely something I am going to be considering in the future as I feel it has really informed and added to the outcome created here. I think this piece is highly successful in portraying what I have learnt in the sessions as well as highlighting the hidden loneliness of City life and how you are alone and a singular figure in the city even when you are surrounded by others. I am incredibly happy with and proud of this final piece. It is definitely not something I would have usually created but that has taught me that experimenting with new styles and techniques can make for highly successful outcomes.

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PAINT WORKSHOP: Shaped Painting Exhibition

In the first hour, we were given the task of putting the final touches to our shaped paintings in preparation to informally exhibit what we have created within these sessions to our peers that have been working in other discipline sessions within fine art.

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I am incredibly pleased with my shaped painting, so much so that I am thinking of presenting it as one of my final pieces. I think the green glow coming through the monochrome is quite eery and heightens the feeling of loneliness within the painting. I have spent a lot of time working on this and I feel it definitely shows, I was really excited to exhibit this piece along side the shaped paintings of the other members of my painting group.

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It was really interesting to see how each of us had approached the task of creating a shaped painting very differently. All of the pieces had our own stamp on them and were painted in completely different techniques. Some people had completely covered the green underlay, some had let it show through as I have. It was fascinating to me that we had all been given the same brief and interpreted in very varied ways. I think presenting all our work as a mini exhibition was a great way of consolidating all that we have learnt the past weeks and the perfect opportunity for each one of us to take a step back and look at what we have achieved. I have really enjoyed attending these painting sessions on a monday and I have learnt a massive amount. I had never experimented with green underpainting or dry brushing or creating a shaped painting before and I have acquired valuable skills that will continue to influence my work and that will stay with me through the rest of my artistic life.


Experimenting: Loneliness: Wearing Headphones in the City

After undertaking the still life painting workshop, I was forced to think about an object that linked to my theme of the city. It took me a while, but I suddenly thought about how many people wear headphones when walking through the city. I started thinking about how if everyone around you in the city was wearing headphones to avoid its loneliness and to avoid facing the fact that you will interact with no one, then the people who don’t wear them must feel even more isolated.

I wanted to portray these ideas and experiment with firstly showing how common it is to see people wearing headphones in the city, and secondly how alone someone would feel in a city surrounded by “headphone beings”. I started sketching.

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I was really happy with these quick sketches and felt as if they accurately portrayed a body wearing headphones that you do not interact with and just passes you by in the city. I wanted to work these beings into a piece and decided that using actual headphones within the work could be interesting

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As an experiment, I think I have successfully explored the idea of being surrounded by people wearing headphones in the city. However, I think the concept of being surrounded by others but never conversing with them and the thought that they may as well just be silhouettes is more successful.  I do not think this is a particularly successful piece and to me it looks quite amateur. I feel this might be too literal and is not an area that I am going to continue to experiment with. I am glad I experimented here however, I learnt that thinking about how people avoid loneliness makes others lonely is not a route that I want to take my project down. I will now start thinking about finalising final pieces and consolidating my project as a whole.


PAINTING: Working with Monochrome and Being More Gestural

After attending a tutorial on Monday, I was glad that the tutor gave me some direction and new ideas and techniques to work with. After looking at my work, she suggested that I work with Monochrome and use the tones of grey to enhance the feeling of loneliness and make the individual coloured figure appear even more singled out and alone.

She also felt that my work was not really gelling as a whole and that I was working with three different realities and had to express the relationship between the figures, the single figure and the architecture. She said she thought the detailed buildings that were included in my work detracted from the figures and from the message within the pieces. She suggested that I experiment with contrasting colours, monochrome and full colour as well as contrasting languages, the gestural and the more realistic. I was encouraged to make marks and shapes that represent the buildings and to make them more gestural rather than focusing on every detail, window or door etc. I have experimented with making less detailed marks to create the city landscape with both brush and palette knife.

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I feel that working with a palette knife definitely helped me be less controlled and more gestural but doesn’t really gel with the figures painted with a brush and therefore is unsuccessful so I have experimented with more gestural brush work.

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I think this is far more successful and the monochrome definitely heightens the feeling of loneliness and the colours of the lone figure. After producing this piece, I decided to experiment with how much of the surrounding is seen within the painting, because even though the technique is successful, I feel that the buildings still are overwhelming the figures here.

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This definitely puts emphasis on the lone figure and draws the viewer to wonder why they are the only one not painted as a white silhouette and consider their loneliness rather than being distracted by the buildings in the piece.  These are highly valid experiments and have inspired me to create a final piece working with monochrome rather than the sepia alternative I have worked with previously. I feel this colour palette and deeper contrast portrays a more negative vibe and adds to the feeling of loneliness within the work.


PAINT WORKSHOP: Working on top of Green Underpainting

Today, I attended the paint workshop, where I started working on top of the Green underpainting that I have been working on this week. Prior to this workshop, I had a tutorial with one of our tutors – Susan Adams, who suggested that I worked in monochrome to highlight the one person that is in colour within my work. I think this is a great suggestion and I will experiment with this technique throughout the further stages of my project. In this session, based on the feedback I have been given, I decided to work with a monochrome layer on top of the Green underpainting, and I was interested to see how the green would shine through the greys.

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I started to realise that I had already done a lot of the work by putting detail into the underpainting and that I could use it as a guide to work on top of.  I focused on creating dimension and tone in the underlay and this definitely helped the success of the paint I was applying on top because I could follow the tones I have considered and thought out previously. I have employed dry brushing techniques here so that the glow of the green underlay is allowed to come through. I have been researching artists that use these techniques within their work and I came across the YouTube video’s of George Ayers, who incorporates much of the detail into a green underpainting and like me uses it more as a guide to work on top of.

I am really pleased with how this piece is turning out. Before these sessions, I never realised quite how useful an underpainting could be and how it really does inform the outcome. It is definitely something I will be condsidering a lot more in my future as an art student and an artist.

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I will continue to work on this piece this week and finish it ready for next monday’s session where we will be exhibiting what we have created and presenting what we have learnt.


INSPIRATION: Artists that influence my ideas to create artwork highlighting the loneliness of city life

This artists work grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I love the scratchy line work and limited dull colour palette. I am highly influenced by how the use of dark line and monochrome and sepia tones are heightening the loneliness of the single figure in the foreground of the piece. The figure looks overwhelmed by the city and alone, emotions I would like to capture within my work.

The piece below “Alone in the City” is a combination of hands on drawing and digital editing. Unfortunately I am unsure of the name of the talent that produced this piece, but they show their work under the username shoe18.

http://shoe18.deviantart.com/art/Alone-in-the-City-170647391

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This colour palette and the idea of mixing media’s is something I am keen to start working with. The varied tone within each colour gives the piece a lot of mood and draws me to think about the use of black and brown drawing inks to capture similar effects. Maybe I could use the ink as a ground and then paint and draw into it. This style really jumps out at me and reminds me of a piece I saw in Berlin in the Urban Spree Gallery shown below.

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Again in this piece, even though there is a hint of blue coming through, the colour palette is based around blacks browns and white. I am definitely going to be heavily inspired by the works of both these artists and experiment with showing how you can be lonely even when you are around many people whilst employing inspirations from their style and limited colours. Unfortunately, again I’m not sure of the name of this artist’s work, it was tucked away on the floor in the gallery in Berlin but instantly grabbed me as a useful influence to my art work. The uncontrolled drips within this work are something that I would like to experiment with too. Already cannot wait to get stuck in.