The majority of the work that I produced for this module stemmed from a lecture I had as part of the lecture programme delivered by Brenda Hollweg. This and a chat I had with Davis Steans in the studio helped me to find an area that I was interested in, and David taught me to treat the lack of inspiration that I was feeling as part of my practice and that this happens to most artists. The European Baroque sculpture and paintings interested me because of the lighting techniques and qualities of the period such as the staged drama, ‘snapshot’ subject matter and inclusive compositions. Bernini’s sculpture portrayed a sense of honesty and reality that had been missed in the previous Renaissance art. The interceptions of conventional composition with layered aspects of the works gave them an edgy quality that caused the eye to wander over the piece rather than follow the stereotypical structures of previous work.
The work that I produced off of the back of this research initially involved a cast of my own hand and then this lead to strongly lighted photographs of the cast. It was only by chance and experimentation that I discovered the sculptural qualities of the dental alginate that I used as a casting material and the qualities of it when it had ‘gone off.’ I proceeded to take strongly lit photographs of the alginate trying various compositions and focal lengths to find what worked best for me. I made small studies in oil paint on board of the blocks of alginate while thinking about the qualities of the baroque paintings, their closeness, lighting techniques and compositions. The paintings developed into bigger works and eventually I started playing around with different mediums and application methods, the work then begun to be about this as much as the baroque.
All in all, in this module I started to increase my knowledge of oil paint and the other materials surrounding it, I learnt the best ways to prepare canvas and experimented with different grounds to paint onto. I tested different mediums such as liquin original, linseed oil, turpentine and liquin light and then made mixtures of these to create mediums that were more suitable for the process I was carrying out such as glazing. throughout the module I made drawings of the blocks and took over 100 photos of different compositions and continually evaluated their strengths and weaknesses, selecting only the best ones for painting.
Throughout this module I believe that I have experimented with material a lot and in the end I settled with paint, however I continued to explore its properties and continuously tried to learn about it, developing my skills throughout the module. I followed the advice that I was given by both my tutors and my peers and learnt a lot from them. I also researched quite heavily into the techniques that I was experimenting with and this is something I hope to continue through my practice.
I feel as though I could have tried painting different subject matters and I also could have tried different lighting techniques as well as the ones I used for my photographs, although I feel that this worked well. I am also disappointed that I didn’t manage to make more paintings or any more paintings on a larger scale, although this is something that I hope to do in my next ‘project.’ Although I settled on painting, I should have experimented with other types of paint as well as oil paint, again this is something that i hope to do in my practice as I develop.