Sample of practical artist research (part 3)

One of the pointers from my previous tutor feedback was,

“Select a few pertinent artists to more deeply analyse and reflect upon – how do their aesthetics, handlng and content connect with your’s? Then set yourself some specific tasks to explore the connections.”

Despite this pointer being in relation to my inquiry into the ‘uncanny’ I felt I could apply this to the alternative route I had started to follow.  It was an incredibly helpful exercise in terms of experiential learning and one I will repeat with my research when I continue.

The artists I looked into were:-

Kim Baker, Emma Talbot, Steve Moberly, Karl Bielik and Sarah Dwyer.

Kim Baker – I am really interested in the colour effects Baker creates from what seems to be one brush stroke.  Her process appears to be pared down to a few gestural brush marks but the preparation that must go into each brush load of paint must take much time and care.  It was the sweeping multi-coloured single strokes that I was looking to recreate with my experiments.

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After a few attempts I began to understand how to load the brush with paint and it is this sort of exercise that is invaluable to me as it introduces me to new methods of working that I am unaccustomed to.  I now need to think further about colour theory and colour mixing and try different combinations to find which I particularly like. (note to self – this simple presentation of marks would be a way of presenting a still life when doing POP1).

Emma Talbot – It is the tapestry like quality of the backgrounds of Talbot’s work that interests me.  Having begun working in this way I found it quite meticulous and I, therefore, question whether I would lose spontaneity within this sort of process given its almost illustrative presentation.  I think I would get a lot from working in this way if I had a specific plan for the elaborate background rather than doing it from my imagination.  It is definitely something i will experiment with further.

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Steve Moberly

Undoubtedly my most enjoyed process.  I loved creating these works – there was a freedom to them, building up layers and shapes – it was a really inspirational process and one I will take forward into part 4.

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I began these paintings using very faint ink drawings done at the very start of part 3 – they gave the paintings a starting point and some base colour for me to build on. I also very much enjoyed the spontaneity of colour choice with these. It felt that any colour combination would be fresh with this kind of approach.  When painting I also felt a connection with Eleanor Moreton’s methods of working – the thinned down paint and areas of colour – an interesting connection to make despite the artists’ different subject matters.

Karl Bielik

This was the other process that I particularly enjoyed – again, the freedom to create abstract shapes and images was quite liberating.  I also liked his use of bright colours and different mark making which I tried to recreate.

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I tried hard to utilise different methods of mark making with these images, painting with my fingers, scratching into the paint with the end of the brush, using a sponge etc.  I also noted at the end of the process that each image had quite a different energy to it depending on which way it was presented. I like the idea of turning a painting round as it leaves an ambiguity to the way the marks are presented and read.

Sarah Dwyer

Whilst Dwyer’s work is largely abstract like Bielik’s, it was the layers in her work that I was interested in and I tried to incorporate figures into the images once the background and been painted.  I also like her use of drawing processes and, therefore, experimented using indian ink along with the paint to produce charcoal-like marks.

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This entire exercise has been incredibly potent for me – I am amazed at how much I have gained from this time of research and now feel it is crucial to my learning to continue in this way.

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