Thursday, 16 October 2014

Those who paint together, stay together.

There is nothing more daunting than been given a blank sheet of paper, and some materials and told to express yourself, and show you personality through your art. Imagine how scary it is being faced with four 10ft long rolls of blank paper and being asked to do the exact same thing.

To begin with drawing felt like a task; and what I was drawing didn't feel natural, it felt false or staged. But as time went on; the task became easier. Ideas flowed freely, and small patterns and sketches soon covered the sheets. As a group we managed to cover all the canvas we were supplied with. The result was an explosion of colour, different techniques and different artistic

We then had to learn to control this raw artwork into something cleaner, more precise and following some rules of composition. To do this, as a group, we got our heads together and chose the elements we found most interesting as individuals. We then took these elements and fitted them together into a composition we all agreed on. 
Using our terrible preliminary sketch as our basis, we set to work. Creating the background using pastel shades of blue, green and purple, giving an almost oriental feel to the piece to begin with. 

Soon large doses of black and orange were added to create contrasts between the background and the foreground.
This began to bring the piece to life. Although the piece was supposed to be abstract, the majority of the group agreed that the canvas needed to be b
based on something real and not be pure abstract. This lead us to look at work
by John Martin as his work shared many characteristics of ours such as the 
use of deep reds and oranges which 
were contrasted with the dark browns 
and blacks in the piece.

We liked the direction the work had taken and realise the piece resembled a forrest fire and so began to paint silhouetted trees on the skyline. The only issue we were having was that the work seemed to have lost its liveliness. There was no energy left in the painting, it felt flat. 
We injected some life back into it with the use of inks to lift the black colour and make it bolder, we also used white to create highlights on the trees, and splatters of yellow and red paint in the centre of the fire to give the feeling of loss of control over the blaze. The final touch was the use of a resist to place a moon in the top right hand corner of the piece, which brought the work together and balanced the composition perfectly. 
 The finished product was something to be proud of, and we all were. Although I found controlling the piece from the first sketches was a tough task, but one that was defiantly worth while.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Turning a negative into a positive

There are many ways of exploring the use of negative space. We did it, with string. Taking something small which takes up very little space in a composition and making it take up a large area. After an hour or so of stapling to walls and tying round hooks, we'd managed to turn a whole lot of negative space into a whole lot of positive space with relative ease.

We then had to gain even more positive space, we did this by attaching tissue paper to the areas where the twine crossed over each other. This added pockets of colour to the considerably bland piece. 

I couldn't think of a better way to experiment with the use of negative and positive space; This gave me a whole new perspective on how much effect spacing may have on the composition of a piece. definitely a useful experience!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The creation of Frank-zilla!

After being told we could create a form of our choosing using mainly clay, as well as any other materials we could lay our hand on, the obvious choice was to construct an enormous blood thirsty rabbit by the name of Frank-zilla. 

Frank caused us multiple problems from the outset. Having to find a way to support his head in the structure without complete collapse of the body was the first issue. The crisis was averted with the used of a cardboard box placed inside the packing of his body for the head to sit on.

The next problem was how to keep his ears completely upright despite
them being made out of heavy clay. This was also swiftly resolved by threading wire though franks ears, into his head and down into the cardboard box. After all this, Frank finally began to take shape.

Frank then got given some texture by using a bent piece of wire to create the look of fur in the clay.

After getting his fur, and a quick lick of paint to give him those sinister reptile eyes all great movie monsters need; all that was left was to build him a city to destroy.
The finished product really was something to be proud of, and even better than that we'd all built it as a group. Including building Frank, making buildings, painting the back drop and arranging the composition until we were all happy with the finished piece. 

My favorite thing about this piece is that the idea behind came without any influence from any other artists or artwork, just pure imagination. If i were to do this again, I would first look into structural techniques when using clay to try and avoid the issues we encountered with keeping Frank-zilla n one piece.

The Frank Bobbins Institute Exhibition

Worksop is not a place I would consider as being over run with artistic influence. So finding so much expressive work in one tiny renovated stable block lead to an overwhelming experience to say the least. The first thing that caught my eye was the abundance of colour, drawing my eye to an elongated piece of work across the back wall. The painting was of a woman, which not clear to me at first glance; although on further inspection the form of the woman became so apparent I couldn't understand how I had managed to overlook it in the first place. However; the artwork that really captured my imagination was in the upstairs section of the Exhibition. 

"After a while," They'll change your style" By Rosie B

The remnants of the performance from the previous Saturday was still obvious to see. The performance was around an hour long and consisted of the performance artist covering herself in poppy seeds. This was a statement of our use and abuse of prescription drugs, and posed the question of where general use of drugs ends and dependence begins. I liked this piece as a thought the symbolism of poppys for opium or heroin clearly linked to the intention of the piece.

If there is one thing that I love to see in a piece of artwork, its an abundance of colour. That is what I really crave. I was not disappointed with the artwork that was displayed on the mezzanine level in the centre of the building. Abstract figures with garish colours which created stark contrasts with the thick black outlines. I believe the intention of the piece was to question celebrity influence; whether this was correct or not i'm not sure, but that's how I interpreted it at least. 

The figure in the painting above bears quite a lot of resemblance to Miley Cyrus in my opinion. Whether that is intentional or not is unclear, if not I see it as quite a coincidence that the piece just happens to look like what would be considered a 'controversial pop star' at present. Although this is besides the point. This piece was centre of the wall as you reached the top of the stairs and really drew attention. I would consider it my favorite of all the artwork on display. I especially like the feet, the contrast between the skin colour and the blue painted toe nails really gains focus. As well as the dashes of red throughout the work which keep your eyes moving over the piece.

All in all, I think the visit to the Frank Bobbins institute was a real success. The artwork was like nothing I have ever seen whilst studying art and design at A-level; and really opened my eyes to all the different kinds of art there can be. Would definitely  recommend to anyone wanting to see something with a little more 'oomph' that your bog standard exhibition.