Final Piece In Situ
Shown in this picture is my final piece in situ in a white walled gallery space. I think it’s large size is something that makes this piece really successful as it looks suitably placed next to the other works in this picture. I think the colours also complement each other, even from a view this far away.
Shown above is my final painting in response to my visit to Hampstead in North London. As I explained in the writing attached to my final piece page, the abstract shapes, lines and marks came from drawings and developments of a model I made. The model was made up up of wooden panels cut into the shapes I saw in my photographs; for example a church spire, trees and the negative space between some houses. I covered sections of these wooden panels in plaster to add texture and a more interesting 3D texture to draw from. I also included materials that I saw on my visit such as aged wooden strips and a plastic circle. After lots of observational drawing of my model I came up with composition ideas which eventually led to this arrangement.
Artist research was a key part to this project, probably more so that any previous project I have done before. Both Hepworth and Nicholson were really good artists to look into initially and researching their style really helped me to form a technique throughout. Rocio Rodriguez however provided me with most of my inspiration; this was an artist that I found on pinterest and had never come across before. His expressive mark making and block colours and shapes influenced me to look at my model in a different way and see it as forms and patterns. Combining elements from these three artists meant I felt confident in developing my own style which I used to create composition arrangements and ultimately this piece.
I’m happy with my final piece and think that I have successfully answered my brief in producing a painting suitable for a local Hampstead gallery conveying the areas artistic history. I think it’s size and soft colour palette would mean it would suit a white walled gallery space, and be interesting enough for people to wonder what the meaning is behind it.
I have really enjoyed this project; I would say perhaps that its been my favourite one in the A2 year. I really liked the freedom of devising my own brief and using a location as inspiration. I feel I developed my ideas well in this project which was something that I struggled with in previous projects.
Producing the final piece
The pictures above show the development of my final piece. I started by placing my 1m x 1.5m piece of paper on the floor in my house; it stayed here over the couple of days that I worked on it. I put a grey wash on the background. In the second picture you can see the first bits of paint that I applied. I started with the brown strip on the left so that I knew whether to place the other shapes. The blue square I did next; it took me while to mix the right colour as a wanted it to be a sort of duck egg blue, the colour I saw on many of the front doors in Hampstead. I then did the white circle which I swirled black ink in to to try and re-create the texture that the plaster made on the wooden pieces of my model.I next did the black square in the middle. I had to be really careful when applying and removing the masking tape and make sure each section was carefully put down. This part took quite a while to dry also so I had to leave it overnight. At this point I also drew the lines onto my brown strip with a black pen. I also decided that the blue square was too boring on its own so with a pencil sketched three horizontal lines across it; I had done this in an idea a while back. I then started with the charcoal applying the lines first in the top right hand corner. I then did the bits above and below the black square.
At this point I had completed my final idea however I didn’t feel that it was finished yet. I felt the bottom left hand corner looked a little empty so I decided to fill another abstract shape with colour (I had also used this section before in a previous composition experiment).
After the interim review I decided that I wanted to use composition three however on a portrait page instead of landscape. I thought that using the same components this way round would make the page appear more complete. I tried it first on an A1 sheet, the photograph which you can see above. I think that it worked quite well and would look good at an even larger size when I start my final piece.
On the page opposite you can see my final idea. The idea came mainly from the model which I built earlier in the project. The model was made up up of wooden panels cut into the shapes I saw in my photographs; for example a church spire, trees and the negative space between some houses. I covered sections of these wooden panels in plaster to add texture and a more interesting 3D texture to draw from. I also included materials that I saw on my visit such as aged wooden strips and a plastic circle. In response to my model I drew the shapes and colours I saw; I tried some collage in the style of Ben Nicholson but preferred doing this method using paint. Through working out various compositions I reached a bit of a dead end. However discovering artist Rocio Rodriguez made me see my model in a whole new light by instead looking at the shapes the parts created and focusing on the application of my materials. In his style I tried a few more composition ideas which eventually led me to this idea here.
I feel that the meanings behind the shapes and where I got them from means that I am answering the brief I set in producing a painting representing Hampstead. Perhaps I have not particularly showed its history in this idea but I still think influences of Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson can be seen.
I have decided to do my final piece on paper and not board or canvas because I like the crinkled, imperfect created when water and paint are applied. As I am producing an abstract painting this too will not be perfect so I don’t want the base to be either. I have already cut my paper and it measures around 1m by 1.5m - I now need to apply the grey wash background so that I can start painting.
Interim Review Feedback
At the beginning of April I presented my three A1 prototype sheets to rest of my class for feedback and ideas of where to go next. I found presenting a very useful task as it allowed me to narrow down and explain my ideas precisely so that I myself was clear what I was doing. I got positive points on each piece and things to improve on but it seems that prototype three was the most aesthetically pleasing to the group; this is also my favourite composition layout. I was told that the arrangement showed my best the practice and development done throughout my project including inspiration from artist research. I told them also that I was thinking about changing it’s aspect from landscape to portrait which they agreed could work well.
The interim view has been a really valuable experience to learn what others thought about my work. With the comments I received I will now proceed to try composition three on a portrait page in preparation for using this idea as for my final piece.
On from my initial ideas I moved out of my sketchbook and made these three prototypes. They all contain different features from all three different ideas and show different composition experiments. After doing these I have decided to have my final piece portrait as I think it’ll look better on a larger scale. I will use these 3 sheets for my the class interim review.
Initial Idea 3
Shown on this double page spread is my third initial idea into what style I want to use for my final piece. This style is inspired by my artist research into Rocio Rodriguez; I tried to use the same colour combinations and mark making as he does. The composition for the two squares above came from the model I made, the photograph on the insert shows how it was laid out when I was working from it. Both are fairly similar and use similar colours, however I have used different shapes. I like the block shapes in the composition below as this contrasts well with the expressive charcoal marks. The page to the right shows a larger composition idea. I took the shapes of each bit from objects in my photographs, similar to as I did in idea 2. I used oil pasted as well in this piece to draw the outline of the houses in the blue section. I really like this composition and think the colour palette would work well on a larger scale as the colours are stronger than the other two arrangements. I now need to try some on a larger scale to see if the composition layouts will have the same effect.
RESEARCH: Rocio Rodriguez
I found this artist on pinterest and was instantly drawn by his unique compositions and surface qualities. I like the way that it is not clear what any of his pieces represent; it is up to the viewer to interpret their meanings. His colour combinations are also a feature that work really successfully. His use of one colour each time alongside grey or black make each painting differentiable which is hard in a more abstract style of art.
Initial Idea 2
(writing on insert in book)
These two drawings show my experimentation with using lines to make the shape of an object. I used the image of a victorian house (I drew the same image in ink a few pages back) I made this pattern. I used charcoal and pen to show a varying line thickness and tried to keep the lines curved as Winters did. I then drew the same pattern on a page that I covered in oil paint and ink to make a textured background. The contrast between the defined pattern and the random imperfect background makes a really interesting composition.
I like the idea of making a shape in this way however I would need to develop it further to make it more refined, detailed and relevant in representing Hampstead.