My tutor was pleased with my overall progress and suggested ways to move forward:
“There is an interesting relationship in your work between realism and your use of colour, which I think you could explore with more gestural mark-making, where the image is less reliant on realism and embraces the materiality of your medium. Try letting the paint drip and run for example, using paint in fluid ways to build depth and layers onto your surface.”
Getting the balance between realism and making it my own is certainly an area I struggle with. I may start a painting being loose and making gestural marks but as I refine the painting I always seem to return to a small brush and aim for precism. During Part 4 I have really tried to move away from this. A useful way of doing this with landscape painting has been to put away the photos and sketches once the initial drawing is done and rely on memory and imagination to continue. For the final exercise “Working from a Photograph” I went a step further and let the paint do the work with runs and drips in multiple layers – very satisfying.
Sketchbook: He encourages me to continue sketching which is a skill I really struggle with although I appreciate its value. During Part 4 I have found it hard to get out and about to sketch, firstly due to the wet weather and then the lockdown but have tried my best.
Research: “some of your analysis is a little brief and would benefit from more critical reflection of your ideas, explaining in more detail why you like or are inspired by a particular work, technique or idea and how this supports your own practice”. He suggested I read a couple of OCA links and I especially found the one on ‘so what is research’ interesting and useful. I understand that I need to look at artists and their painting with an ever increasing analysis of their methods, reasoning and how I can use this. I am certainly now finding that research forms a vital part of any piece of work and enjoy looking for new ways to tackle a piece. I’m beginning to find it easier to understand ‘why’ I like/dislike a work and to be able to study a composition and ask myself what makes it work or not.
He suggests I begin to think about the types of subject matter and themes that interest me for incorporating into future paintings. Both Part 3 and Part 4 have made me realise that an important part of this has to be colour. It’s becoming more apparent that I’m always drawn to vibrant palettes of (usually unrealistic) colours. Artists such are Scott Naismith, Lorna Holdcroft-Kirin, Fred Hatt, Francoise Nielly, Picasso, Gustav Klimt, Raoul Dufy and Van Gogh to name but a few. I loved doing the portraits in Part 3 and finding a way to make them my own with colour. In Part 4 its the big landscapes I’ve enjoyed most but I need lots more practice at these as I don’t feel I’ve really touched the surface with them yet.