Plant Portraits

This semester I have done a Lifelong Learning course called Plant Portraits, at Aberystwyth University (along with my Fine Art BA and another course in French). The tutor was Tereska Shepherd, a great teacher. She was good at demonstrating different techniques, giving advice and feedback, and really making the sessions interesting and educational!

“This inspiring, practical painting course is an opportunity to experiment with a variety of drawing, watercolour and mixed media techniques to capture the changes throughout spring as bulbs and seeds sprout, plants develop and flowers bloom. Throughout the course you will develop specialised techniques for depicting plants whilst enhancing observational, recording, colour mixing and compositional skills through the exploration of technique and study of historical and contemporary artists.” 

A few of the studies I made:

The course was very inspiring and definitely helpful for my project! Not only did I learn a lot more about watercolour techniques than ever before, I also gained further interest in, and knowledge of the subject – plants.

I think Lifelong Learning courses are a great oppurtunity to learn about something outside of your degree. This is the sixth course I have been taking, and I have really enjoyed them all.

Advertisements

Work in Progress

Since last time I updated my blog, I have finished a few more flowers paintings. In this blog post, I am going to show you my technique and progress so far. My initial plan was to complete 12 of them, and they were supposed to hang next to each other on the wall (I was also going to paint the string you can see in the photograph I posted earlier and some of the studies). After my last tutorial before Easter, my plan has now changed and my new goal is to paint 64 (!) of them for the exhibition – filling a whole wall with dried flowers.

This is the process for most of my paintings; I start off studying the dried flower before I make a quick sketch of it in charcoal. After making the sketch (normally on the board already gessoed and painted), I fill in the big areas with a light background colour, to build up the layers in the painting. None of these flowers are finished yet, so I do have to work some more on them when I get back to the School of Art after Easter, but I do think they demonstrate how I normally work.

Here is one of my paintings which is basically finished and ready for the exhibition:

Careers Fair

Today I spent the early afternoon in Aberystwyth Arts Centre, at a careers fair arranged to help students gain more insight into the different job markets.

Aber Careers

I went to two talks aimed at students studying Arts and Humanities, Working in Arts & Curation and Working in Creative Writing, Journalism & Publishing. The former was held by Carrie Canham, curator at the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth. It was a great talk about her personal journey, how she has been working on various projects in several different museums, and eventually ended up in the job she has today.

Canham also mentioned the restoration of the Ceredigion Museum, a truly great museum telling the history of the county, and how she and her team approached the task. The new renovation has been amazing and a great improvement. Another great thing about the museum is that it is completely free of charge to enter (and they do have great coffee in the new café).

Ceredigion Museum

The Ceredigion Museum’s web page: http://www.medwynsmuseums.co.uk/ceredigion

At the end of her talk, she mentioned a few advice for everyone seeking a job as a curator:

  • Think about your specialism, what YOU can give to the museum.
  • Think about skills you can develop: fundraising, writing, communication and IT.
  • Think about doing some volunteering or get work experience in the field.
  • Think about networking, get contacts and friends.

I really enjoy events like this! By listening to other peoples experiences you can truly learn a lot. If there is something I have learned today; if you wish to get your dream job, do not to let the opportunities slip by but grab them when you have a chance, and never ever give up on yourself (even if it seems hard, there is a lot of competition or people give you bad reviews).

New project!

Today I spent an afternoon in the School of Art, working on my new project for the exhibition. The exhibition is going to be shown in May, and thinking about it is both scary and exciting at the same time!

Here are two photos from the project:

Dried flowers

Flower studies

The project involves a lot of dried flowers, hung all over my studio space. These three paintings are just some quick studies I made to have an idea of the best background colour. The plan is to paint around 12 of these boards, including different flowers in each painting. They are painted with acrylic paint on gessoed cardboard (around 15 x 20 cm).

I will update more on my blog shortly, but for now, have a great evening!

Painting Studio

This week, I started my second semester of the third year, the scariest of them all – in May we are having our final exhibition! In the last semester, I did not use my studio space in the School of Art at all, but that is going to change this semester. Now, I have got a new space, and I have even got some furniture AND a sink today. I had a lot of fun hunting down different taps and in the end, I actually found a not-to-expensive sink that I just had to buy. Found it in the secondhand shop, Craft. One thing that I love about Aberystwyth is that there are so many secondhand shops here, for being such a small town.

Luckily I got some help with the transportation. Thank you, Luciana!

My plan is to focus on still life painting this semester and not paint from photographs. I am going to continue painting sinks (hence my new sink), but draw and paint from real life and objects I can see in front of me. Some pictures from my studio:

Looking forward to working much more in my new space the following weeks.

Sink Paintings

Just a little upgrade on my blog – some photos of my (almost) finished paintings I have made this semester. These four, in acrylic, are the first ones I painted and should be seen more as sketches for my work to follow, that finished works:

Here are some pictures from my sketchbook for this project and two painting studies I made before I started my first painting, the first one is in acrylic and the second one painted in oil paint:

And at last, my three paintings, the first two are basically finished, but the last one I still have to work on a little bit:

Tomorrow I am presenting my work to my teachers and fellow students for a module called Research and Process in Practice. It is a bit scary but it should be fine. I have my powerpoint presentation ready, so now the only thing that remains is to practice until I know it by heart!

Dirty Sinks

Since the beginning of the autumn and my third year at uni, I have worked on a project for my painting module – painting dirty and neglected sinks. The project started in my first year at uni when I had to walk around the School of Art, drawing and painting scenes of the building that inspired me. I had to fill a sketchbook with artworks, seen from a specific perspective, as a type of persona. As a result of this project, I chose to find and study the different and interesting sinks in the building.

 

Drawing as Documentation
Sketchbooks can be used in many different ways: to record information, as a personal visual diary, as a visual library of motifs or ideas, as a means of preparation for painting. Sketchbooks often reveal much about the way that an artist sees the world. This week’s project, which you will finish off next week (Week 9) in between your tutorial times, is to fill a sketchbook with drawings, studies and/or paintings of some aspect of the School of Art. Begin by exploring the inside and outside of the building. The object is to communicate, through the things you depict and the ways in which you make your images, a way of seeing the world. Working from observation is a requirement but idiosyncratic, obsessive and subjective approaches are all welcomed.’ 

– Simon Pierse
(Lecturer in my module at Aberystwyth University, School of Art, Art Practice A, 2015)

 

I do not remember exactly what I wanted to achieve at the time I was drawing the sinks, but I do remember there was something that attracted me to the sinks in the building. They were left to themselves as they were, used for different art practices like painting, printmaking, and photography, and as all other sinks, to fetch water from and wash hands. Most of them were not cleaned after every use and left dirty with paint, spoons and even cobweb.

After finishing my second year at uni, having had painting and printmaking as my main modules for a year, I decided to continue with painting for my third-year module. As I had found it interesting to paint my living room left by itself, focusing on the light, atmosphere, and mood, I decided to go back to my sink-project, not only to draw the sinks but now also to paint them.

Here are some of the sketches I made in 2015 that inspired me for my painting project this year:

 

I am not only painting the sinks in the School of Art anymore, I walk around with my camera collecting images of any sink that I find interesting and worthy of study. Sinks that are dirty, neglected and maybe even forgotten. My aim is to make these sinks come alive, by creating an eerie and gloomy mood.

Painting Projects

Today, I have been to the School of Art taking photos of my works from the second year. It is more difficult to get a great photo of a painting than I thought it would be!

_MG_0573.JPG

These three paintings are the result of my project aiming to paint the living room, focusing on the different moods and changes in the atmosphere:

Here is an extract from my artist statement regarding these paintings; ‘I would say that my art is about feelings and connection. Feelings of subtle changes and feelings about space and light. I make art about whatever speaks to me, whatever I can connect with. (…).
In painting this semester, I have tried to capture the essence of my living room in the changing environment. As I started off painting my pictures in the winter, they became very dark and mysterious, a place you would not feel comfortable staying in by yourself. From then on, I have tried to create more light in my paintings as the seasons’ change and result are a much happier and cozier living room that is portrayed. The subject is still the same, a sofa, chairs and a table, I have only added a few details and focused on the differences in the light and darkness’.

I made these four paintings in the first semester last year. The first painting is an abstract representation of the back of the School of Art and the other three are flower studies.

I will shortly update you on my painting project that I am working on this semester.

Sketchbook Practice

It is (almost) a week ago since I started my third year at Aberystwyth University, it is a bit scary to be in my final year knowing I have an exhibition coming up in May, but it is also really exciting. I feel like I have to do my absolute best and enjoy my last year as a student in this town.

In this post, I am going to show you some of my sketches from this summer. I bought a really nice and small sketchbook in Lisbon that I can bring with me anywhere, it definitely makes it easier to draw when I am out. At the moment I am practicing to draw with pen and paint with watercolours, both are techniques I am not very good at yet, but I would love to be!

Later I will write a bit about the museums I have been to this summer, in US, Lisbon, and France.

From Aberystwyth to Borth

It has been a while since my last blog post, so now I am finally doing something about that. Since the last time I wrote here, I finished my second year at Aberystwyth University, visited my grandparents in Denmark, travelled home to Norway, went on a coast to coast roadtrip in USA with two of my best friends and visited Luciana and her family in Portugal. Now I am back in Aberystwyth and are staying here until I am officially a third year student at the School of Art and probably until Christmas.

This summer, and all my adventures, have given me a lot of inspiration that I will use in my future artworks – I can’t wait to get started (the only problem is that I have no idea where to begin). My plan is to write some posts about some of my experiences later in the summer, hopefully along with some finished paintings.

Today I did something I had been dreaming of doing for so long – I went walking from Aberystwyth to Borth. The walk is about 6 miles long and took me around two and a half hour. Luckily for me there was no rainy clouds today – the weather was behaving really well for once. You meet a lot of friendly people here in Wales and walking on this costal path there is no exception (I also got to see a lot of cute dogs). I had a really great experience and I am so happy for finally doing this. I am also really tired – even though the walk is not that far there are more hills to walk up and down than I am comfortable with. Here are some pictures from the walk:

I strongly recommend everyone that lives in Aberystwyth (and have not done it before) to go on a walk to Borth.