In my workbook I have started to look at the everyday working man, and how character can be found in the most ordinary places. I have decided to keep the drawings simple and characateured, as this allows the viewer to become more engaged with the characters as it is more inviting, and how the cartoonised appearances allow for more personality to shine through. I have started to look at everyday places such as at the pub or at work, such as the stereotypical hardened, bbut gossipy women nattering in the corner, or the roughened builder on the job. I have taken inspiration from the television programme Modern Toss’s simplistic style on everyday situations, and the working-class newspaper comics of Andy Capp
Over the past few weeks I have been struggling to further my mass sculptures due to the fact I haven’t been considering the wholes surrounding as the artwork itself, and not just the clay blobs. When I approach these works, I have to consider that when tying a sculpture to a piece of string then that string itself becomes a part of the artwork, which in turn allows what its suspended to, to become part of the art itself.
Also, where I am using this solid, cold clay material to portray warm, sagging mounds of flesh, Choy is using solid materials such as Crystal Lamina, Steel and Plaster to create the drooping mounds of fluid. I am interested in creating wooden plinths, similar to how Choy has these staggering foundations of scaffolding in her work, which also adds to the gravitational aspect of it all looking like its going to topple over – another feature I am looking to approach in these sculptures.
Over the coming weeks I am going to play with the ideas of suspending and displaying my work with these structural layouts, and possibly look at how holding them upon almost ‘crutch’ like manners could replicate skeletal forms in the work and heighten the figurative feel to my work. I find that I am not only inspired by Choy’s use of “Plinths” when approaching this, but also Salvador Dali’s paintings of crutches to hold up these melting, sagging heaps of fat in his surrealist dream paintings
Kasper Kovitz is a Viennese contemporary artist who’s work has recently influenced how I am going to approach my own work over the next coming weeks. His sculptures “Carnalitos” are a political series suggesting the two sides of Modernism and Nationalism. The usage of meat in the two sculptures unites the two opposing figures and suggests that they are of the same blood.
Another series of works in which Kovitz uses animal parts is a series of paintings called “Oxblood”, in which Kovitz uses this oxblood as his material to paint conquistadors invading against natives, which were in turn painted in ‘exotic fruit juice’. This is a reflection on how Bilbao settlers would paint their houses in Oxblood, a colour that would be coined as ‘rouge Basque’.
I think I am attracted to the way he has used the meat to suggest more figurative connotations as opposed to the political and historical references in his work. With only the suggestion of the head the leg of ham becomes very suggestive, and this mound of fat and tissue becomes very tactile and voluptuous. I would like to approach my own work in this way, but want to highlight these rounded, softer textures seen as opposed to the rougher carvings seen in the face and shoulders, which will be difficult to achieve
After going back to the lesson with Amelia, I started to look back at old losing betting slips I had accumulated and reflected on the first lesson about everday object, looking at how my choices of betting could reflect different personalities or characters depending on my choice of bet, for example:
The Calculator: The person who looks at all the statistics, looking at how each horse has raced in the last 5 races and uses the info to calculate his bet through research.
The Gut Instinct: When you just have that feeling that that horse is going to come through, and you put lucrative amounts of money on it because it “came in a dream” or “something just feels right”
The Long-Odds: The person who loves a flutter on a horse way out of its league, but because there is a big payout its worth a quid. “The Royal Baby to be named Zlatan at 250/1? Worth a shot” He’s rarely seen winning, but when he does there’s a round on him.
I think these personalities would fit well in a story, or possibly having mock-up losing bets accompanied with them to show the understandings of their judgements
When producing my Deirdre portrait, I am also working on two paintings simultaneously as it is an efficient way of working in order to keep my mind fresh, and is a beneficial practice because I think still lifes are a influential way of learning to draw and paint. In these pieces I have used the techniques of Cezanne and Morandi in order to compliment my own work.
Lillies in water still life:
In this piece I have tried to work the colours as very simple contrasting tones, but haven’t put enough thought into how other artists used colour in their own compositions. I think the dark umber background, washed lightly in order to bring out the wooden background compliments the white lilies, but similar to my portraits I don’t think there is enough going on in the study to keep the viewer’s eye intrigued. I think there is potential with regards to the mark making techniques, such as the light dabbing which gives the petals a fluffy and light, almost cotton like texture.
With regards to the composition I think the narrow boards helps the viewer’s eye look as if it’s looking in depth at the study, and I also think it is quite similar to Japanese floral paintings in use of this narrow composition and broad brushstrokes.
Study of Roses and Onions:
Taking on board what worked in the previous study and what needed refining, I decided to continue upon another still life. This time I wanted to incorporate other objects which interested me and how I would challenge myself to produce a textural quality, such as with the onions and the indents of a hand made pottery vase.
I decided upon sticking to a composition under the line of the thirds, using the branches of the roses, the pottery, and the table to highlight these lines. After the lilies study did not do much for me in terms of colour, I have decided upon sticking to a chalky, dull palette, similar to that used by Morandi which in turn brings depth and tonal value in to the onions and roses. In the original study, the roses were red, however I felt that the deep red tones took away from the rest of the study and was too overpowering so I settled with a chalky pink. Even though I think there is better tonal and colour work in this study, I think there may be a lack of depth with regards to the branches and rose petals themselves, but this could be argued that it is not necessarily needed as this isn’t as apparent in that of Morandi’s work either.
With it being close to Christmas and the 100th anniversary of the Second World War, I have been compelled with the idea of bringing those two subjects in a painting performance of my own illustrating the soldiers that came together to play football on Christmas morning in 1914 in Flanders’ Fields. In this Idea, I was intending on creating a small football pitch with large rolls of paper, and having 2 teams of 5 players dipping themselves in red and black paint. I am intrigued to see how these marks and passages of paint flow on the floor. I have chosen upon red as the primary colour as it resembles the poppies grown on Flanders’ Field as a result of the war, and these red swooshes of paint, harmonised with the black footprints dabbed along the pitch will reflect these poppies.
Performance painting has never really correlated in my work, however, with this being a great opportunity to do something different in my own work, and the fact I have a keen interest in the world of football; this is a very good method of bringing the world of football into the art scene – something which isn’t often brought forward into the world of art.
I have been speaking to other tutors and staff at the university who are in charge of planning permission, and it seems that to do such a feat would take a lot more time and planning in order to get around the safety regulations of the university, so I will keep refining the idea and possibly give it some thought for next year.