So far, my practice has helped me explore many different subjects. My practice is forever revolving around painting, using it in different ways to express what I want to communicate.
Currently I have been working on a series of landscape and seascape paintings. I began with some smaller scale pieces and then moved on to working with larger scale pieces of fabric. The fabric and materiality are important for me as this changes the feeling of the piece and how I see to approach it. I mainly use oil paints to build layers of colour varying in opacity and texture, and various mark making to suggest at figurative shapes and scenery. Brightly coloured, striking fabrics are painted onto in a way to quieten the original colour and make it appear less invasive. The intention of this is to bring the painted parts of the piece forward, playing around with perspective and what’s real and what isn’t.
I want the landscapes I am painting to evoke a dream like quality. I describe them this way because they are not true to something we would see in real life, they are imagined, something that is made up, yet we still recognize it as something familiar- a landscape.
Through these works I have been experimenting with perception, and how much of the painting has to be painted in to reveal a recognizable or interpretable image. The colour of the fabric that I’m using, especially the orange canvas that I exhibited in week 5, evoke a sci-fi vibe that’s “trippy” and clearly something that you wouldn’t find if you looked outside.
This wasn’t my intention when I set out, however found that the more I painted, the more relevant the idea of it holding sci-fi quality become. This then led me to question what exists within these imagined places- is it something from our dreams, nightmares, is it futuristic, an alternate world? Which is ultimately left up to the viewer to decided what they see when they look at the painting. I chose to paint a landscape rather than present a photograph of a scene, as painting allows me to express my interpretation of that space/ place.
The work of Sigmar Polke, particularly his paintings Triptych 2002, has inspired me to think more about the surfaces and structures to a painting when I approach it. It’s strange to think that when we look at a painting our instant attention is usually to the image it depicts and not to think of it as a whole, as its own object. For me and my work, this concept is quite relevant, as a found surface that makes up part of the structure, is also part of the landscape being represented in the painting.
Moving forward, I am now thinking about the relationship of painting onto synthetic materials and the nature/seascape subject matter. When I first started with these pieces last term, I was just experimenting with ideas and practicing with oil paints. The fabrics were second hand and free to use, however now I have a more concrete idea surrounding my concepts and what I want my art to do, I am selecting fabrics with more intention and a consideration for the environment.