My Beaches and Boobs illustrations from last year were nominated for an Adobe Design Achievement award in the Fine Art – Illustration category over the summer. While they only made the semi finals and didn’t go on to win I received some valuable criticism and support from Adobe in developing my work and improving my portfolio to a more professional standard.
This year I’ll be featured in the Rat Trap showcase, an independent collective of artists and musicians. My piece ‘The Haircut’ will be on display there so I’ve been thinking about the different ways I can exhibit it. I’ll be meeting up with the other artists exhibiting to discuss. I’m thinking of constructing a tiered display and decorating it to further illustrate the narrative of the triptych. Also with the remaining hair I have, I’ve been looking at artists that turn animal hair into felt tiles and how I could apply those techniques to my own hair to make perhaps a partial backdrop for one of my pieces.
Southerndown was so beautiful, it was amazing to discover more of the Welsh landscape. It was so chalky and white and pristine. The rockpools were perfect for watercolour painting, little pockets of water you could wet your brush in. I used the salt water in the rock pools, water colour and the rocks to create these blue/green abstractions contrasting the vibrancy of the paint with he chalky white/grey of the rocks.
Seeing David Hockney’s iconic ‘A Bigger Splash’ in person at his major Tate retrospective was a really lovely moment. I think because it’s been a work I’ve loved for a while before seeing it in person it had a lot of gravitas. The vividness of the blues and the clean cut graphic like composition was really striking and impressive. It really re-energised my excitement for painting after it had lagged for a bit.
Hope Gangloff’s work has greatly influenced my approach to colouration and composition when producing ‘Lazy Sunday’ the gangly elongated limbs, the blueish/green tinges, the vibrancy. I was really drawn to her modern and honest painting style, her images are really raw and real and I think that really spoke to what I was trying to create in my approach to the male figure. I wanted to get across a sense of calm, peace and distance, I wanted to show contemporary living and a contemporary man. Gangloff’s imagery really captures that.
Seeing first hand at the Tate Britain Hockney’s work with the iPad really informed my final piece. I think it was hard for me initially to see a place in Fine Art for work created on a tablet, I think it can be quite easy to pigeonhole work made digitally into illustration or graphic design. Seeing Hockney’s work really reassured me that this was something I could develop and persue within Fine Art.
My first final piece is a 6ftx4ft acrylic on canvas painting. My concept for this in relation to the Inside/Outside theme was capturing an outside look in on an intimate/candid scene. I’ve been very interested in producing intimate/vulnerable images of men and how that could contribute towards a more healthy approach to masculinity. I utilised the painting techniques I’d developed from the Material Projects at the start of the year and I also developed a new skill in constructing a canvas from scratch. The canvas itself was an incredible feat, it was huge and the first one I’d made so it came with a lot of challenges, there were a lot of obstacles to overcome but after taking my time learning and constructing this one I’m confident I could repeat the process.
I primed the canvas with an acrylic gesso then set to work. I thought hard about my choice of colour and tried to stay with a blue/green palette picking out the sofa with accents of red to compliment the green.