Statue of Liberty
Execution by Cannon
The Great Depression
Annual midnight swearing-in of Nazi SS troops, Feldherrnhalle, Munich, 1938
Teacher called into court for wearing pants
One bike for the Whole Family
Light Baths Painting
Atomic Bomb Testing Site
Man and Kitten Korean War
Commander M48 Patton looks through his lens
Hangover Cure Mask
Marilyn Monroe mask, Beauty Contest
With this current proposal, I feel quite excited that I can further develop into found old photography. Yet at the same time I am concerned about the outcome of the final piece as this way of working is something I haven't done before, this is defiantly the deep end for me. Before I would always deal with a theme or topic and work around it, yet this time I am working without one plus also working with human figures which always daunt me and at times don't find as interesting as perhaps nature or animals.
I prefer my method of research in finding photographies to me solely and online thing. Emma has mentioned to look for them in a library, but that is something I strongly disagree on. Looking for photographs, especially quirky ones to be quite difficult as you’ll have to go through lots of material to perhaps find one. While if the photography found was of some interest perhaps it would have already been put online by someone else.
I’m planing on sticking to old photography and not anything recent or even with colours. I liked old quirkiness of how inventive olden day people dealt with problems or their view points on certain things.
I guess I mainly like working with old photography because of how the views have changed compared to then and now; how something was accepted before is unthinkable now.
I started to be more in-depth with my photo editing, before I would just simply remove an important aspect of the photograph instead of boldly changing aspects. I believe that I am being too precious with the photographs, each of them have such a story behind them that I feel like if I remove too much that photo no longer conveys that message. I do feel like I should explain photographies on what each represent, however, it might also clash with the editing that I have done, as editing removes the meaning from the context.
The one photograph of figure completion that I painted their bodies green, created an effect that I really like. Not to sure on what the effect is but the atmosphere of the photograph is something that I feel very strongly too.
I believe it worked due to the uniformity of covering their bodies much like how their faces are covered too. Also with the colour green which is also the colour of nature but also disgust, such as sickness, frogs or slim. I am not sure if I can recreate the same feel on a different photography, perhaps I’ll need to find some more photos.
I feel a bit stumped with what I should be doing next.
I felt like I found quite a number of photography online and have edited them. Either by removing or covering, I feel like the things that I create from the photos are repetitive, wether such repetition is good or bad is something I cannot decide upon. Where the repetition could be a series, or it could be me doing the same thing and not developing anything any further.
I found out that Jimmy was printing directly on astatate to be projected in the projector. Because of that I believe I should try more experimentation with printing on different paper for the photography, trying either acetate and/or tracing paper.
Working in class is challenging at the moment especially if I want to experiment with printing, or collaging with one photo as I will be needing a printer to scale up or down each photography per print to get different sizes.
For the next class I will pre-print photos to experiment with in class, I am also planing on bring a set of paints for a full set of proper materials I can use productively in class.
The talk that I had with Gary, gave me direction in the dilemma that was holding me back to taking the next step in producing more work. I was unsure of the final piece that is made from and individual photograph that works well as a painting or a combination of multiple simple photographies as a painting. Because of this I was constantly finding images online yet not really developing it in any direction.
The one point that Gay stated to me that impacted on how I further develop, was that each picture requires something new done to it and while one photo could have multiple different techniques applied to it to see how that effects the photography.
After the talk I tried different ways to incorporate techniques such as cropping, removing and blurring with just four photographies of light baths in Russia. I felt like the removal of the figures doesn't work as well as I thought. I didn't like how it doesn't create as much interest in the piece, as it just looks like four figures standing, with nothing for the audience to ponder on.
The blurring effect with the images printed on tracing paper (blurred with wet paint brush) was something that I found was more successful, as it added more depth and interest into the photo. However, I was every cautious around the figures, and would go around them and only blur the background, which ended up more like a cropped image instead of a blurred image. I do believe that I will need more experimenting with the blurring effect to varying degrees, perhaps printing multiple small images and applying more and more blurring effect as it progresses, maybe all the way till the image is unrecognisable.
Due to unable to print on tracing paper in class, I experimented with the pre-exiting blurred photographs.
I pushed myself to go out to the workshop to collect some panels and prime them ready for painting even though I am still unsure of what I should be painting.
I know I should be exploring and experimenting with my images and perhaps painting them could be used to develop into something new. Yet at the same time I don't feel as motivated in painting an image that I 'know' that might not be successful or something that might not be in the final outcome, I guess it is something along the line of not wasting energy on something that might not work, or perhaps laziness that I have put a pretty name to it.
I have copied the image almost directly from the photography to the panel which is something that I am not quite happy with, as I don't want to just 'paint' a photography. Perhaps once the painting process begins I can distort the images in ways that is less like the image.
I plan on finishing this piece over the weekend as it is mostly an experiment and something that I don't want to be spending lots of time on and creating lots of details.
I ended up not distorting the image at all. I left it almost exactly the way it was depicted. Perhaps the only distortion I have done was not painting the hands or the feet. I personally feel like I have distorted it quite a bit by not covering the entire painting surface and purposefully leaving parts out. After the completion, the teddy in the corner created at conflict within myself as, I do like having the teddy in there to compensate or incorporate ‘childhood/softness’, however, it doesn’t seem ‘necessary’. The teddy is overpowering the compression distracting the viewer from seeing the two figures. I don’t want to remove it as I sorta have an attachment to it, as it shows adults trying to consolidate scared children with a soft plushy, thinking that will make the ‘scariness’ go away or make it better.
Perhaps I would leave it, or dim it down for it to blur into the darker background.
I created a second version of the two boys painting, but using a vibrant colour pallet, however, I feel like it wasn’t working well so I moved on.
I decided to use paper for the big figure works mainly cause it was free and there was a large quantity ready at hand. The gesso made it wrinkly, plus the extra weight of the paint on top really rippled the paper almost into a ‘fabric’ like appearance. I have no thought of the wrinkles yet as I just want to quickly do a larger than life size experiment.
The texture of the paint by using a sponge and big paint brush was quite different to the small intricate paintings I have been doing so far, and I am not sure of my thoughts on it yet.
After the completion I released that the pose of the figure looks slightly leaning to the side, the painting is so big that while painting/drawing it I couldn’t work out the proportions and the anatomy correctly compared to a more manageable size.
After coming back the next day and seeing the figure, I do feel like the ripples are something that does not work with the piece. It distracted the view from appreciating the figure, as the ripples go right through the figure, it creates almost a textured background.
The heavier paper works a lot better that the thinner paper I used, mainly because it is water colour paper and not sketching paper.
I gessoed the thicker paper when starting out which made it wrinkly and it exactly the same as the first one. That figure painting failed mainly due to the proportion, because I lacked the motivation to paint it correctly as I knew it would turn out exactly the same as the first one (which it did).
I moved into the photography room, on the same level. I like it there a lot more as there is enough ground and wall space to be a studio. Except the room has no windows and is extremely stuffy, working in the space for long might not be ideal. However, with the size I’m doing this is the only place I’ve got.
Doing another figure on the heavy paper worked out well this time as I didn’t gesso it and it was wrinkle free. I was afraid that the parts especially the body would become wrinkly cause of the excess water and paint, but it held up fine.
This particular pose I liked the best out of all the other ones I have done. Funny enough it isn’t a very feminine, nor ‘figure contest’ pose. But a very strong and intimidating one, it is in this aspect that I like the most. Almost as if the pose is challenging the view that is judging it.
Because of the success of it on paper, I moved on to the next surface to experiment on which was board.
I have never made such a huge board before, creating it and carrying it back up was really daunting for me and if Emma didn’t push me into making one, I perhaps would have not made it at all.
The board being just a bit more smaller that the paper sizes I have been using, I feel the board has so much more of a daunting feeling compared to the paper. And I never knew just how time consuming and taxing priming the surface is.
I’m unsure if there is a need for this board, I’m worried that I am experimenting too much, almost like there is no end to all the different types of experiments that I can do.
I used the board for a different aspect of my ‘project experiment’ I believe that I have reached the end of what I can do with green figures on white background. That I decided to incorporate different aspects.
I didn’t want to talk to any of the teachers regarding my idea development as I felt like there was nothing else to do, as the previous figure was a success, I wanted to give my idea a run for its money.
The background is Mt Everest, which created a huge dilemma, as I wanted to depict the black soot/snow on the mountain from human carbon activity. Yet I discovered that Mt Everest looks just like a mountain, there isn’t anything that distinguishes it from any other mountain, for example Mt Fuji has an iconic look.
Each person I talked to all seem to not notice it was Mt Everest or don’t even know what Mt Everest looked like.
This is a major draw back to the composition, as Mt Everest is an importation aspect, showing that even a remote location as the Himalayan Mountains range and the highest mountain is still affected by human activity.
I decided to just finish the painting to see how successful it would turn out. The corns was something quite difficult as I was unsure of the size, placing and how numerous it should be. I wanted it to be ‘raining’ corn, yet at the same time I was also indecisive if I should do a limited amount or a ‘band’ of corn. Halfway though I’m starting to feel like this painting has failed and I’m not liking the outcome at all. Mt Everest looks like any old mountain and the corn isn’t turning out how I imagined it to be, mainly because I am working with acrylic and not oils, so I can’t get much detail or control over the paint as I want.
Yet at the same time I am having an internal battle with myself trying to let loose my painting style and letting the paint flow naturally yet instinctively I want to reign control over every pigment and placing on a painting. Especially with the corn, because detail is needed to let the view see it as a corn yet at the same time not overdoing the details that the corn is out of place from the painting.
i gave up on the corn and decided to duplicate one of the green figures. Even though the process is simple and something that I have done before, I feel like the difference between the two figures are drastically different. Throughout the process I was really stressed in recreating a similar looking/feeling green figure to be a twin. I finished the piece feeling not pleased with it, perhaps it is the amount of times that I have created a similar looking figure that I am oblivious to how it actually looks.
I was shocked to find that Emma didn’t want me to create a frame or displaying system. She didn’t mind the nails sticking out and the fact that the paper was curling at the bottom, which was an aspect that she liked. I personally know that creating a ‘proper’ frame or 'cleaning up’ would work negatively for this piece as the roughness, a ‘studio’ quality is what makes it so successful. With the roughness it almost breathes life into the work and the expression of paint is plain to see. I believe it is these aspects that make this work successful as a finer painting of the simple shaped figure would have been boring to see.
I feel like this painting has really pushed me into areas that I usually do not work in. I’m always use to working in fine detail and creating ‘proper’ clean painting surfaces for any work that I make. Having pencil marks plain to see, corrections with white paint over greens and the splatters on the bottom part of the paper is all something that I previously would have fixed immediately. I am enjoying working in this manner as it relieves the stresses of needing to create a ‘perfect’ piece of art.
It is very simple and easy for me to create this artwork, almost to the point that I feel like this shouldn’t be complete because I haven’t ‘suffered’ enough in the creation for it to be finished. Also due to the roughness and simple nature of this painting I feel like my painting skills wasn’t shown through this work, it feels like I have taken a step back on my painting technique.
With the rough quality, freedom in painting and surface is all something that I have yet to decide whether it is a quality that works with me.
I was still considering the display of the two piece, even though I have cleaned and prepared the area. There could be other possibilities to display them, perhaps the two facing inwards or taking them out from the corner and having them side by side. I really did consider having them side by side but with the limited amount of space I believe having them in the corner is better.
After making this decision I quite liked the closeness between them, the two facing outwards from each other reminds me of the mythical dogs that most Chinese places will have at the entrance as a form of spiritual protection.