This is inspired by more than one trip I had been on. It began based on my visit to Snowdonia where I spent a night sleeping on a park bench and woke up to a beautiful sunset while surrounded by mountains. This was another key moment where I felt small when compared to the rest of the world and wanted to show this in a painting. However, shortly after this trip, I was on a plane to Luxembourg as the sun was setting and from my window I could see a whole range of colours, changing drastically from each direction. I wanted to try and portray the colour changes in this painting, where it goes from blue to pink to yellow very quickly. Again, at this point, I felt tiny compared to my surroundings and completely in awe at the sight in front of me. Using these two trips, I wanted to portray my emotions in one painting, so that when the viewer looks at it, they too feel tiny and in awe at the surroundings and the colours around them.
Using techniques picked up from creating my other paintings, such as wide brush strokes with full arm movements, and splashes of colour to represent the mismatch of memories rather than a photographic painting, I feel as though I have captured the emotion of being completely immersed in a sky of colour, similar to the feelings I had over the course of these trips, sharing with the viewer what it feels like to be spatially aware of the surroundings and the small space we occupy in this world.
I have painted this purely based on memory with no photo reference, because of this, I cannot be certain of the placement of mountains or where they meet the sky. (This, and I wasn’t wearing my glasses at the time). With this factor, and the feeling of the sky washing over me, I feel that having the colours within the painting blur in together diagonally, is a more accurate presentation of my experience on this particular trip.
I took a canvas board into the woods with me along with some oil paints and a pallet knife. The aim of this was so to be completely immersed in the landscape and to paint while I had the feeling of being small and part of the landscape. However, painting on such as large scale outdoors and with oil paint has many disadvantages such as transporting the painting. I struggled to manoeuvre the canvas board, and consequently dropped the painting into a pile of leaves. I also struggled with the strong wind blowing the board, and people passing by, particularly with dogs (not on a leash) that would interrupt me. Although, there are a number of benefits to painting outside, I do not feel as though this was successful and I would like to look at ways that I can portray how I feel while travelling, without bringing my oil paints outside.
I first came across Katherina Grosse in the Venice Bienalle 2015. She is a painter who uses bright, electrifying colours to create large sculptures.
She’s interested in the shifts of scale between ‘imagining big’ while being compared to the surroundings. She explores the dynamic interplay between observing the world and simply being in it.
This is exactly what I have been trying to get across, but put in a more eloquent way. I do not want my painting to be put on a wall in a white room attatched to a frame. I want it to be outside, surrounded by nature.
My paintings are meant to make people feel how small I feel when travelling, that compared to a large landscape, we’re miniscule. I feel that the only way to do that is to put my work outside so that when they look away from my painting, they still feel like the small person within the image, surrounded by a vast landscape.
I began by painting the rain forest in detail, each tree and rock clearly distinguishable against one another.
However, after my collage that I made with the photocopier within the Zine project, I wanted to break it up to represent my memory of the landscape, so I began applying the paint with a pallet knife, making certain areas a singular block colour and blurring out edges so it becomes difficult to tell where the trees/rocks begin and where they end. The bridge remains clear as it is one of my strongest memories in this place, and he splashes of blue across dotted around the whole canvas represent the blue Morpho Peleides butterfly that I fell in love with as I watched them fly around the trees and waterfalls.
To keep with the theme of my previous paintings, I have painted a small figure on the bridge, which is a strong memory I have, yet the features, sex, or height of the person is forgotten.
I particularly like the close ups of this image, the oil paint is applied on thickly and in a way, each close up seems like a mini abstract landscape all in itself.
Continuing the Zine Project with James, we began looking at the photocopier and how we can use it in creating art work. Since I’m working on a large scale within my subject work, I was particularly interested in the poster option on the photocopier, able to turn an A4 painting into a large image using 16 A4 sheets.
I chose an A4 painting I made based on the rainforest in Brazil, however, I struggled with the photocopier commands to begin with and printed out 5 sheets of parts of my painting, just slightly bigger, which is not what I intended so I tried again, and succeeded in creating a 16 A4 sheets poster.
When back in my studio, I began laying it out to create the image, but I was fascinated with my failed first attempts and started to mess around with trying to fit them into the larger image, thus creating a slightly collaged and broken up landscape which I found to be more suited to my memory of the rain forest.
This has impacted my subject work as I now want to begin looking at breaking up my paintings of landscapes to represent my memory of places I have visited, where some parts are broken up and blurry because I don’t remember them very well, or maybe not at all, and other parts completely clear as they stood out to me more.
In todays key concept lecture we spoke about portable artwork
loved the idea of art work in boxes
carrying around artwork
no longer in portfolios
Relate back to my work – cant put a landscape in a box
a landscape isn’t portable
portable landscape and what it would mean
calm tranquillity in the middle of a city
distraction from everyday life
people don’t go out to explore landscapes anymore, bring the landscape to them
a tale of my travels – painting in a suitcase – transport issues – can paint on the go