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.
My second final piece on the theme Inside/Outside are two of my favourite digital drawings. Learning to use the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro has been a continuous personal project of mine throughout the year. My tablet became a lightweight portable sketchbook housing all my doodles and scribbles and able to produce giant drawings in vector form. The detail I was able to capture through my ability to zoom into to drawing was really amazing, it felt really freeing to be able to draw with those constraints lifted. Because I could pull my iPad out at a time and didn’t have to muddle about with pencils, sharpeners, rubbers finding a good bit of paper I could work more in the moment and begin drawing as soon s a moment or image struck me.
Inspired by David Hockney and the field theme of light I spent a lot of time producing a series of illustrations of women relaxing and sunbathing, I really wanted to capture moments of freedom and peace and give a viewer a look into like a private moment of peaceful solitude. I really liked them but I don’t really think it fit with what I wanted to explore thematically, the style was too illustrative and the thinking and research I was doing into sensory perception and my thought processes about masculinity werent really represented in them. Nevertheless they were fun and could potentially grow into something bigger around a different theme.