November 2016 – Assessment submission
Contents and organisation.
- The learning log, including my overall evaluation of my submission (below) is in my blog at the address above. Please use the top menu for navigation, or the links below for direct access to learning log entries for the selected paintings.
- The physical submission includes 11 paintings and 6 sketchbooks (containing supporting work, sketches, studies and tryouts).
- The paintings are labelled on the reverse, cross referenced to the blog and to support work (it was suggested by my tutor that rather than mount supporting work i could send it loose, however I decided to keep it within the sketchbooks for security).
- The sketchbooks are labelled on the front cover with a letter identifying each book, and the key to the colours of the page tags. Page tags are coloured according to the Part of the course, and also show the numbering system used in the blog. For example, 1.2.3 stands for Part 1, Project 2 (Transparent and opaque), Exercise 3 (Opaque colour mixing).
- Tutor reports can be accessed on the Google drive associated with my OCA email address here.
Selection and presentation
I’ve been selective and picked out what I believe are my highest quality paintings, based on my own judgement and my tutor’s feedback. I’ve chosen assignment pieces and other project pieces from Parts 2,3 and 4, and some open, daring and experimental work from Part 5. I laid everything out on the floor and looked at my submission objectively. I could now see the paintings selected form a cohesive group; I can see an artistic voice expressed in the group as a whole. The paintings are bold and fresh in their use of colour and the handling of paint.
In terms of presentation for assessment, the paintings should be laid out horizontally, side by side in number sequence. The 4 works on canvas are mounted on supporting boards, 2 with card frames, and the 2 larger ones without frames, so that they would fit into the A1 portfolio. The works on paper are unmounted (the paper is generally a robust quality), instead they’ve been framed with uniformly coloured, strong card surrounds. This gives all a similar appearance, with mounts appropriate to the size of the individual pieces.
Links to learning log (blog)
Overall evaluation of my submission
My learning journey as a whole in Painting 1 has been thoroughly enjoyable, and a natural development on from Drawing 1. Looking back at the very first paintings made for Part 1 exercises I have come a long way. Below I talk about where my strengths lie and reflect on my best work and why I have chosen it for submission, picking up on my tutor’s feedback and taking that on to form my own independent judgements.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
- The portfolio shows that I’ve really developed my technical skills as I’ve progressed through the course, experimenting and taking risks from the beginning; starting with my assignment 1 piece where I developed new resist techniques, through assignment 2 where I experimented with collage, assignment 3 using fluid runs to create atmosphere, assignment 4 adding texture paste, and assignment 5 where I added other materials to paint, created textured surfaces, and used impasto and sgraffito. My paintings are underpinned by sketches, studies, trials and drawings, used to sharpen visual understanding and hone technical skills so that my responses to the subject can be expressed well in the outcome.
- What might strike the viewer most looking at my portfolio as a group is the visual impact of my colours. All the portfolio pieces are ‘colourful’ and this is partly what makes them a cohesive group – the colours are clean, fresh, bright, and inventive.
- The compositions of the selection work well; for example Still Life on a Chair, is inventive and unusual (tutor feedback); the negative spaces add impact in Boy and Baby; Archway frames the garden and leads the eye to the distance; Swimming Pool works well with the layout of the garden, roofs and pool, and the effective depiction of the far away hills.
- I’ve tried to use consistent judgement and discernment and a professional approach to the selection and presentation of my portfolio. I’ve selected only the highest quality outcomes to include in my submission.
- Starting with Assignment 2 I made a practise of working in series. Making several paintings at the same time helped me develop concepts and ideas and try different approaches. In Assignment 2, by making a group of four still life paintings on the theme of the breakfast table, I made the subject my own, playing with ellipses and perspective, taking risks with colour and composition, and developing it beyond a realistic depiction towards an imaginary world. The 3 paintings for Assignment 3 developed from a simple illustration of a sea-rescue, to atmospheric paintings referring to death, desperation, tenderness, spirituality. Assignment 4 as a whole was very successful with a qualitative consistency, from the exuberance of Swimming Pool, to the successful depiction of the River landscape as a primeval ‘Eden’ (these are the words of my tutor!).
- In addition to those mentioned above I included my Self Portrait because it is alive and full of character; the brushwork is open, the diagonal composition and colours work well, and the coloured ground and unfinished areas allow it to breathe. I also chose Fireplace because of its complex, beautiful composition and the way the colours and brushwork contribute to a cohesive whole, and Garden Archway because of its open, bright and breezy atmosphere.
- In Assignment 5, although there were good aspects in the final series, I made the decision to submit much more open and creative work from the part 5 exercises instead. The impasto painting on foam board Two Seated Figures (after Gaugin’s ‘When Will You Marry’) is open and vibrant with some great sgraffito work based on sketchbook experiments. In Sewing Box the use of pattern, colour and the collaged figure, work together as a whole to produce a dynamic painting. Kitchen Scales is also a very successful painting together with the series of studies and abstractions in Sketchbook showing the development.
- I missed the opportunity of developing some very good sketchbook and exercise work into the assignment 5 pieces and my concept of expressing the closeness of family and community ties wasn’t realised in the final series. I need to let what I make lead me as to where I go next, rather than trying to impose new ideas, which has led to poorer results. This is a very important point for me to take forward into my next Level 1 course.
Demonstration of creativity
- Imagination and invention have been my guiding principles in Painting 1. In my Assignment 1 piece I used the patterns, shapes and colours of the leaves to move the painting to an imaginative, exotic realm, building on previous experimental work in the exercises. In Part 2, inventive and unusual still life compositions, and in the assignment piece, the way I’ve altered gravity and reality to create a new world, demonstrate a growing personal voice.
- By Assignment 4 my voice was emerging more strongly, and my creative understanding and output increasing, as I assimilated what I was learning from other artists and my tutor’s advice. My creativity and invention continued to grow throughout the exercises in part 5. I made lots of inventive and meaningful sketchbook experiments, mixing texture into paint and creating sgraffito abstractions, then went on to use bold colour and textural work to create some dynamic, imaginative paintings. I made Kitchen Scales in an inventive, analytical and professional way, identifying creative links with earlier sketchbook work, and developing the painting via a series of smaller abstract paintings.
- Looking at the portfolio of work laid out in front of me there is a developing, personal creative voice clearly presented. The voice, I hope, is direct and open and unpretentious.
- My learning log remains a bit too descriptive of methods, and needs more reflection on the outcomes that emerge from the work, including discussion about their relative successes.
- I’ve established several links between my research and my practise; my personal artistic voice has developed in the context of my research into Paul Gaugin, Emile Nolde and Peter Doig in particular. Matisse has also been a strong influence, seen in my assignment 1 piece and my Self Portrait, and Bonnard in the use of colour in Fireplace. Looking at Raoul Dufy in the exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, led directly to my approach to Swimming Pool, and the German Expressionists Kirchner and Gabriella Münter strongly influenced a large landscape painting I made for exercise 4.5.2. Richard Diebenkorn and William Scott Hunter were an integral part of my development of still life for assignment 2.