Blog

Frames 

So I have moved forwards with the frame idea. I located 14 different frames from local charity shops,varying in size and shape, collected found/ready made mounts and had to recreate my previous paintings, to suit these frames. I have tried to include multiple plants in as many of these paintings as possible as this was something people liked in my gap crit. Some of the frames are so small however that I have only been able to include one flower study in them. I have also added annotations to each painting, such as the time of year and location,to make them more personal and give them more of a botanical study feel about them. Above is an image of me planning the composition for how they will be hung on the wall. This structure has developed from drawing plans and from talks with peers and tutors. I wanted to use a cluster style plan as it would display the randomness of nature as well as displaying the images at a lower height than usual, to pull viewers in closer, to really observe the plants. As well as the cluster style, I wanted to ensure that the frames spanned most on the length of the wall, to provide sufficient interest and impact.

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Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

I was advised to look at the ‘Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’, as some felt that my work somewhat resembled it. Her first book  was released in 1906 and her second in 1977 after her death and both were hugely successful. People were entranced by her beautiful, delicate painting style, an elegant and gentle take on the nature around her. She opened up an opportunity for others to observe the beauty of nature through her work. If others are able to feel transported by my paintings in some way, to an outside space or feel closer to nature, I am flatted.

I particually like how most of the pages in her books contain descriptions, making the images more personal. I will be sure to include this in my degree show pieces as it was something people liked in my gap crit. I also feel that these paintings are very reminiscent of the Victorian botanical paintings, which have heavily influenced me.

Frame Progression 

Today I managed to move my frame forward, slowly building the seat up from the ground. I am very happy with the way it is progressing. My only slight concern is how large it is becoming as I had origionally invisioned that it would fit closely and be tucked into, the boxes. I felt that part of the aesthetic problem was due to the voluptuous shape of the chair and promptly sawed off excess wood and sanded down sharp corners, making me feel much happier. The only remaining issue now is all these worm -like holes in the wood from the nails. I am happy to have a few nails as I feel that they are in keeping with the found materials look and emphasise the idea of the wood being bent to mans’ design and will. I feel that the holes though are not so aesthetically pleasing and at least some if not all need to go. Whilst talking to one of my peers about this problem, I started to wonder whether an easy solution would be to cover these areas of the wood in gold leaf. This could cover holes and make the frame in keeping with the boxes. I will consider this option for a while (and also consider the cost implications). But at the end of the day it is not the end of the world if there are a few holes as this is reclaimed wood and contributes well, maybe even better, to my themes in this state of disrepair.

Watercolours Composition

After numerous discussions with tutors and multiple peers, I decided, on advice, to include my watercolour paintings in the show. So now, I have begun to think about how they would be best displayed. My initial idea is to display them in a rough book on the floor to encourage viewers to maybe sit or crouch beside them and flick through the pages. This would entice viewers to interact more with my piece and would have the advantage of drawing them towards my work. Next I thought about how I want the piece to be presented. I feel  that I want my paintings to be exhibited in an informal and random style,  but also be contained and confined within a space, in keeping with my piece. I know that I want to tie the book with some found material, in keeping with the reclaimed theme and have taken the decision to hole punch the paper to allow the pages to run smoothly as they are turned. So, to make this exhibit, I am going to try removing the paintings from their origional books (with a clean cut), hole punch each page and then assemble the sheets together. I will do this all in an ad hoc fashion, in keeping with the natural environment which first inspired the paintings.

I felt quite pleased with the end result but felt that I would benefit from some second opinions from my  peers. The general feedback I received was that the edges and hole punched areas were possibly too cleanly cut and as a result out of keeping. They understood the concept of trying to encourage people to sit by my piece and turn the pages, but they pointed out that this might not be accessible to everyone. They also were concerned that this  work could go unnoticed by being displayed on the floor and that people may feel uncomfortable about touching it.

Some people also commented that my wall space looked very  bare and that it would be more effective to hang my paintings to be more accessible and more obviously displayed, to all. I feel that these discussions raised some valid points, leading me to the conclusion that I will display my paintings at varying heights. I have now decided to collect as many frames (all different shapes and sizes) from charity shops (reclaimed) to see how I can fit my work into them. This would give each painting its own space and would make them more readily available for everyone to view. I feel that with a bit of clever composition planning and by setting the frames below eye level, this would require viewers to peer closely and bend down, to fully appreciate the art. This may entice people to draw closer to my work and observe it in more detail. Some may then realise, that this piece is one of the ‘studies’, in my title, as they study the flowers in close proximity.

As the paintings are an important part of my work, I feel very comfortable with my decision to move them off the floor and give them a whole wall!

Website

As you can see, my wordpress is now a super professional website! My blog has been sub categorised into the ‘blog’ section of my menu and visitors can now choose to specifically see images of my sculptures, paintings and photographs. This makes my website more user friendly and my work more easily accessible. I feel that I will continue to casually blog once i have left university, to keep my work and ideas out in the big wide world. I will also continue to add new images and descriptions of work and publicise my website as much as possible.

Silk Scarf 

I have been thinking for a while about how best to hang my branch arm.I know that the material I select to hold the work in place is significant as it will become an important part of the piece and therefore must be chosen carefully. I thought about ‘found’ materials for a while, but everntually settled on silk. It feels to me that it is both a delicate and precious material that also is the product of nature. This seems very relevant to my work.

silk (dictionary definition) noun

1. the soft, lustrous fibre obtained as a filament from the cocoon of the silkworm.
I feel that silk portrays the precious and delicate qualities of nature which I am trying to demonstrate in my work and seems relevant as it is a material produced by nature and fashioned by man.  The soft, slippery nature of the material makes it an unusual and risky choice as a rope, but this serves to emphasise my theme of balance and how precarious this is.
I visited some charity shops in the search for silk and came up with this. I felt reasonably happy with the colour, but wanted something a little more earthy so decided to die it with tumeric, which can be used as a natural dye t create yellow. after one dye session the scarf came out quite a light bright green and i feel will need a few more dyes to become more yellow. i have also heard that gram masala can be used to create yellow browns, i may also try this to get an earthy ombre effect.
The scarf also contains some small areas of gold, which i find complement the areas on the hand painted with gold.