So over the last couple of months, I’ve been slowly working on my final essay (It’s a mini dissertation but no as high a word count). I have been pretty much locked in my room for the last few days getting the last chunks done and checked over, I’m a slow writer and kept having panics over things. It’s about my project, the work produced, the processes and the influences. Very hard to keep in third person but I tried and (hopefully) kept first person to a minimum. After all the final checks, I went to have it bound in a local shop, couldn’t say no to the black hardcover. It’s nice to have it all ready and out of the way a fair few days before the deadline. Can relax a bit and focus on other things, like getting things ready for preparing my exhibition space, which we got the plans for about 1/2 hour ago. I definitely need to get more paint as I’m having my space in a greyish colour- Cloudburst – as my paintings look better on a grey background than the usual white of the exhibition spaces. My space is 20ft long so yeah, one tub won’t cover it. That all starts next week though. Terrifying and exciting in one.
After celebrating my mum’s birthday earlier this week, I’ve returned to Aberystwyth with my sister before she continues her journey back to Belfast. It’s scary to think I pretty much only have a month left here. Well, not exactly, I have chosen to do a Masters here so I’m not leaving but its the end of my degree, many friends will be leaving. I still remember vividly my first day moving into Aber. Time flies when you’re having fun but hopefully this last month won’t go too fast.
I have finally decided on titles for my paintings (captions have been added to past posts), as quotes from friends in conversation on/near the seafront. They are odd and not related to the picture they are titling but that’s part of the point. The landscapes represent memories of the place, the titles are the people I’ve met here. So these are the possible exhibition pieces;
Learn to Hop
They Make Everything Better
I Have a New Escape Plan
Don’t Kill My Vibe
She Laughed First
So whilst home for the Easter break, I sorted out my business cards. Took a while to sort out what I actually want them to look like, got many people’s opinions on fonts and stuff. I even had a home friend offer to help me with them but this came after I placed the order. Luckily I was happy with the design anyway. So whilst I’ve gone to visit my SO for a couple of days, the cards arrived. You can tell my mum is excited by the prospect of me getting commissions as she straight away opened the box and gave one to the post lady and herself. Apparently if I can do dogs, I already have a commission so it’s something I will look into after the exhibition and assessment. A summer task.
This week has been a mix between playing with the order of my paintings and which of those will go into the exhibition and editing photographs I have taken over the last few weeks to look like my paintings. A kind of stylised filter effect. I edited 11 photos in total and had them printed on a decent printer and photo paper ready for portfolio or exhibition (I don’t think they will work in it), it’s part of an extra 10 credits for the module. I think they work well. I don’t want to display them with the paintings though because the idea of these is to make photos look like my paintings not that my paintings are to look like these photos and I feel people will get the wrong message. We’ll see though, it’s all up for debate.
“Okay, I’m going to fix the painting started last week.”
Well, it was a nice idea as I walked into the studios at the beginning of the week. I kind of forgot that having left it for just under a week, thin layer of oil paint and an absorbent surface meant it was completely dry when I got to it. I didn’t have the energy to repaint the whole scene nor an image I really wanted to do for a complete paint over. Can’t say I didn’t stare at it for a while like it would change on its own. I actually tried using dish soap on a section to see if that had any affect on the paint. I don’t know why I thought it would work. It didn’t.
I decided to do a light grey/purple coloured wash over the entire painting to try to get the misty effect another way than blending. I then dribbled turpentine down the board before repeating the wash, just to see what it looked like when using an old technique of mine.
I have definitely stepped back from trying to make it work since knowing it’s not necessary for me to have an extra painting. It’ll be a board for another project I guess.
My final two boards arrived earlier in the week so I prepped them and began one on Tuesday. I wanted to try and include another Aberystwyth landmark in this painting. However, my composition was off from the beginning. Firstly, I had centralised the land and sky meeting point. It put me in a bad mood staring at the beginnings of this painting and not knowing how to fix it before blending. So, I followed the advice of my tutor to ignore it and start the other board, otherwise I will not be in the right frame of mind to make it good if I waited till I finished this one. Go back to it if I needed to.
This plan did work, I got a good composition going, working with aspects from previous paintings like the railings, the buildings going into the distance and the little details, I completed a painting I was happy to add the suite I have going. There was some colour adjustment needed on the sandy area when after I took a break from it but easily fixable. I can at least say I have enough paintings to choose from for the exhibition, even I can’t fix the first one from this week.
I know, this seems unheard of from me. I had managed to half prep one of the boards last week and then finished preparing it on Monday and began prepping the next. I can do it when I know what I’m doing and work with less of my procrastinating breaks. Got my motivation roll going.
The first was a play with compositional aspects with the pole creating a cross with the horizon as well as going up and out of the composition. The railing as a difficult one, had to be careful with angles and the blending. Also had to change the tone of the pole because it was originally white and that wasn’t what it was in the photo and didn’t work in the painting. The second was one I’ve been wanting to do for a while because it’s from around where I lived in first year, and where I met some of my closest friends. I’ve decided to play with the titles and name them from quotes of conversations with my university friends, happening on or near the seafront. Still working on them but you’ll notice soon enough that all these pictures will finally have captions.