I have made some real progress today. I set up a video recording session of the washing of the Three Burmese Monks piece. Everything was arranged in the print room. As the DLSR run out of power, I had to result to using my iPhone XSMax with a tripod.
Following a discussion of details included in my storyboard, Georgie, our technician, agreed to help with the washing performance.
My picture frame was purposely wanky and crocked. I wanted to include a glimpse of a fire extinguisher and PVC pipes in the view. I also thought that bleeding stains on dirty floor make a valuable contribution to the overall impact of captured images, their meaning and the recording.
The raw footage is relatively long and full of accidental disruptions. They will all need to be edited out in order to create a cohesive video piece. The details of my plan will emerge soon, and continue to evolve and grow.
I enclose the final washed up image of the Three Burmese Monks piece and some raw and culminate footage below:
Following a long period of consideration and reflection, I have restarted work today on the Thai Masseur piece.
The main issue was to complete painting the face. On the one hand, I wanted for the portrait to be recognisable, on the other, I have struggled with solving a number of ethical issues regarding a possible reaction and rejection of my work by the model. I experienced this kind of a situation with one of the former pieces. Subsequently, this unpleasant episode had let to the destruction of my own work and several alterations to other experiments.
My new idea is inspired by deeply glazed and moody flemish paintings. I am especially inspired by Metsu and his self portrait. He positioned himself inside a window arch. This implies a composition within a composition. I am also using a double rectangular. My creative intention is to achieve a sense of ambiguity while drawing all attention to the centre – on the masseur. I want to rely on a visual suggestion of portraiture rather than a descriptive portrayal of a woman. The plan is to leave her facial features undefined, like a ghostly outline of what is really there.
GABRIEL METSU (LEIDEN 1629-AMSTERDAM 1667)
A Self-Portrait c.1655-8 Oil on panel | 37.7 x 31.4 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405943
To give the surface more vibrancy, I used water solvable oil pastels. ‘Dancing’ with a crayon on top of the painting allows me to achieve a sense of mystery – secret light, which brings out parts of the skull and the jaw – all in the dusk of the space portrayed.
The next stage of the painting process will be to glaze the overall piece with a variety of transparent layers of an acrylic medium, perhaps combined with some watered down PVA glue. This is to prepare the surface for the overprinting stage using the silk screen technique and enhance a feeling of unity between the different formal elements and parts of the composition.
I have already prepared a new pattern based on decorative elements, which I have isolated from the interior of the massage salon. I will use this design to create a random over-image. This, in turn, will have a dual function. The first is to help to engage the centre in the overall painterly illusion. The second aim is to increase the amount of detail and enhance holistic and expressive qualities of my piece.
At this stage, I am considering using a range of gold and crimson tones. This initial plan might be subsequently altered in favour of a more spontaneous and instinctive decisions and reflections in action.
I am enclosing photographs of the final stages of work today and a close up of the ‘New Face’
Following a discussion of available spaces for the summer exhibition, we were introduced to the details of an experimental group tutorial. The idea was to identify a conceptual problem for discussion with two partners. The participants were only allowed to use open questions to force the presenting person to reflect on own practice. This was an excellent opportunity to use the Socratic Approach. My group was very helpful and simply superb. I was able to benefit from both Jonathan’s and Donald’s input and feedback.
I questioned a conceptual cohesion between the painting process and the subsequent washing and erasing of the painterly surface.
This has been a very intensive and exciting day. Matt Edwards, who run this workshop is an expert with a fast knowledge in this area. The purpose was to initiate experimentation with filming and editing footage in an intentional and meaningful way. A strong focus on the overall idea is very important in order to develop a holistic and professional piece.
In order to ensure consistency between individual workshops and experimentation, I have decided to create and record a mini pop-up show of my screen prints.
I used a Nikon D90 camera and a tripod. The idea was to capture a broad view of an art studio. All work in progress provides the frame with detail and sets the seen, while contextualising the video. I practiced with recording myself, while continuously displaying prints on a white wall to form a large rectangular composition. Subsequently, the pieces were removed one by one. White wall as a start and the same white wall as the end. This concept has provided my with the boundaries for my action and narrative.
I have experimented with a range of possibilities and considered a number of unassuming angles for shooting. My creative intention was to ‘go’ beyond a simple use of a documentary or media approach. I wanted to create a short art film.
Simultaneously, this provided me with an excellent opportunity to photograph my prints using a digital SLR.
As soon as all images and video footage are processed, I will include them and other visual material in this post.
Premier Pro is an advanced piece of sophisticated video editing software, which allows for a superb level of control, manipulation and intervention.
To aid my memory, I made a number of notes. I hope to use them as guidance in further experimentation. I am excited about taking my current ideas further and this process will begin shortly.
I feel that I have learned a lot about the impact of colour changes on video and the way in which it is perceived and understood by an audience.
Surprisingly, there is a similarity to how this applies to traditionally developed imagery.
I created a number of clips and sequences and experimented with additional effects including the use of alteration layers.
All in all, the day was very successful and demanding. I have benefitted from being challenged, especially in the context of experimentation and risk-taking leading to the development of new ideas and discussions of alternatives.
I am looking forward to the next stage of refinement of the work, which I have started to produce today.
To diversify my experiences from last year with mono-printing and etching, I opted for screen-printing.
Following an excellent presentation of technical possibilities, we reviewed an extensive range of examples of prints, covering numerous pieces produced by both, staff and students.
Tony Lee delivered a detailed demonstration of a variety of processes, while discussing alternatives to the time-typical practice. To my surprise, he also gave me all of my prints from last year’s workshop. I was astonished by this amazing surprise! Thank you Tony.
Brian Whitewick introduces us to the technical aspects of coating and developing screens. His knowledge and experience were excellent.
With his help, I was able able to achieve a crisp transfer of my images onto a silk screen.
Initially, I taped a screen and established a form of registration. I used a number of experimental techniques including masking, drizzling and flicking. I dragged the squeegee across and continuously overprinted my under-images with countless layers of harmonious colour transparencies. My creative intention was to achieve a sense of depth of colour and sensitivities of related textures. Subsequently, I used the same images as for the cyanotype workshop and developed both of the on the same screen.
This year’s Low Res programme started with a cyanotype workshop run by Matt from the British Library.
Following an introduction to the process and a range of discussions of possibilities, we proceeded with practical experimentation. Most participants collaged photocopies on acetate of sources from the British Library. With Jonathan’s help, I managed to download and print two copies of my paintings.
During the coating stage, my intention was to contradict smoothness and eve was of the chemical film on the surface. I wanted to achieve a more uncertain and unpredictable effect. I used sponge brushes in a spontaneous and dynamic way, trying to create a layered and broken effect.
Unfortunately, the light from the strip lights was powerful enough to begin exposing the paper before it had a chance to dry. I resulted to aiding this process with a hair dryer and protected the pieces from further damage by storing them in a black plastic bag.
I have made some progress with my recent piece. The key focus was to start gradually building up a range of colour layers with sensitivity. I tried to avoid loosing a diversity of previously created marks and accidental stains. However, due to the fact that my spin paintings were executed using diluted gloss paints, the saturation of the background composition was very low. I did not have enough paint to achieve a deeper and richer colour compositions on the circular patches. Subsequently, I have created a distinct rectangular window within my canvas. This is an obvious problem and I am faced with a disjointed and incohesive piece.
In order to solve this, I have identified a dynamic part of the background composition and isolated a section from the bottom, right hand corner. The idea was to open this image in Photoshop and manipulate it sufficiently to develop a strong and contrasting idea for a new silk screen. This pattern like ‘splash’ will be used for partial overprinting of the background painting , hopefully achieving a greater sense of a holistic flow. I will also try to pick up vibrant crimsons and Prussian blues to increase the overall energy of the piece and, therefore, its impact.
Additionally, I will need to work much more carefully and precisely on the painting itself to bring out more detail to the hands of the masseur and the feet of the model. They too flat and appear to have lost some of their form.
The Thai masseur would also benefit from a more pictorial description of her face. However, this will happen at a later stage.
I am considering glazing the piece with a diluted solution of a medium and allowing it to dry before returning to the printing process next week. I also need more time to develop my ideas for the screen further.
Black and white proposal for a transfer onto screen.
In result of reviewing sign paintings by Hirst, I have experimented with a range of simple spin paintings. I attached circles of unprimed canvas to an electric wheel in ceramics. I immersed myself in a child-like play pouring diluted gloss paints onto the spinning surface, regulating the speed with a foot pedal.
The next stage was concerned with arranging a suitable composition using a variety circular spin paintings. I thought that the circular motion resembled a rotating image in a bull-eye window of a washing machine. When I achieved an appropriate layout, I pasted the entire thing together using a solution of diluted PVA glue.
The underage was dramatic, dynamic and vibrant. Simultaneously, it contained a diverse range of colours, textures and expressive smudges. This created a perfect environment for the painting stage. I focused an an ambiguous portrayal of a foot masseur from Pattaya, entrapped in a repetitive routine and bored with the activity.
There is a number of holes in the painted surface, through which, the background is visible. I felt that this blending and effect of superimposure, enhanced an overwhelming character and feel of the composition.
The next stage of work will include bringing the image out by very gradual process of building colour on top of the surface with water soluble pastels. Hopefully, the impasto will become sufficiently thick to increase a sensation of weight in this piece.
Although, I would like to achieve a sense of openness to interpretation, I would like create more focus on the hands and their smoothing function and symbolic meaning of, which is associated with a touch.
I am really excited to have started to explore a new possibility while extending on my current development of both: conceptual thinking and technical methodology.
Additionally, this painting is on a very large scale stretched canvas, perhaps the biggest piece I have approached since starting this project.