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.

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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).

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.

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.

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.

Inspiration in Welshpool

Yesterday, Luciana and I had to take the train to Welshpool to get our National Insurance Numbers. While we were there we decided that we might as well to do some sightseeing so we went to see the Powis Castle – a medieval castle build around 1200. Since it was such a lovely and nice day (rain) we only went to see the inside of the castle, but it is supposed to be an amazing garden there with plants from all over the world.

Both of us got a National Trust membership, so now we can visit as many places as possible within a year – I will try to do my best!

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Except the weather (I have almost got used to it by now) it was a really great and interesting day – I got lots of inspiration for my paintings and even did a few sketches.