Material exploration and process development played a large part of my practice, right from the start I have been keen to learn new processes and to try and involve these in my work. I wanted o make paintings that would convey their subject matter using whatever techniques, whether this be with a brush and differing strokes or other applicators. I chose to paint in oil paint as I was able to keep the paintings wetter for longer enabling me to work on them for longer periods of time. It also gave me the ability to remove paint after it had been applied without it drying. I’ve experimented with different gesso’s and different methods of applying these to a surface. I have learnt about glazing and how this can be achieved in oil paint, and through practicing this I have learnt its importance.
This module focussed on the actual substance of our work, the methods and components that made it possible. For OUFA 404 I made a set of documents that I presented in a file, these are simple step by step instructions on how each process is achieved. Information on different materials is also in the file and I used the file to document my research into the materials that I used and what I learnt about each, their characteristics as well as more factual information.
In addition to documenting the materials and processes that made up my practice, I included materials that I had tried through interest such as learning how to throw on the potters wheel and making pots. This was something that I did mainly in my spare time and time around my practice, it enabled me to make work continually and improved my productivity. The workshops also gave me opportunities to write about the processes that I learnt such as making plaster impressions in the plaster workshop and mono-printing in print.
In doing this module I found myself experimenting with different materials and learning what I could do with them. I learnt new techniques such as priming, sizing and glazing and became more informed about painting through research and writing technical files to conclude my research and consolidate what I had learnt. Although the development of my own knowledge about mediums and their uses became part of my practice I found that this module forced my to pay more attention to the qualities of material.
This module has helped me to realise the true importance of understanding the material that I am working with and actually has taught me that there is so much to learn about each and every one. The things that we learn about a material may not be able to be written down or explained, they may just come with feel, practice and experience.
I have been considering the materials and processes that I use in a more positive and way than before and I have been successful in conducting tests with these materials. In the future I will hopefully continue to do this. However I am yet to try many materials and this has been one of my main weaknesses in this module, I would like to try acrylic paints and even watercolour as they each have their benefits.
The accompanying rationale can be found here – Materials & Processes Rationale