We spent a Saturday in our studios making work, one person took photos another did some weaving and another painted a still life. For my making day project I made a collage using painted cardboard. Going on from my experience of cutting up my paintings in task 2 FFF and after seeing this work by Scott Latimore “Moths for trees”. I also started a larger painting. I really enjoyed the making day, I worked very quickly and the collage came together very spontaneously. It was great to be able to share progress with others and see how they spent their time in the studio.
As a result of this making day I spent more time working with cardboard, I got quite stuck with the idea of creating a collage again for some reason but then I just started to play with painting on cardboard and the freedom that that meant in terms of the shape of the images or putting together more simplistic compositions.
Another interesting thing to come out of working in this way was that it really influenced the way I worked with the large canvas I started painting during the making day. By placing pieces of painted cardboard up against the canvas, which actually I did by accident one day, I saw some interesting solutions for the painting.
Moreover, I began to work in another material too, which I had originally wanted to try out during the making day but didn’t. Plasticine. It’s more associated with play school, I know, but it gave me the chance to work with colour and pattern in a different, more sculptural way. I was worried about doing this actually and then I saw the plasticine work of Polly Apfelbaum and felt hugely inspired. I’ve really enjoyed this detour from painting and am interested to see where it takes my painting. Also regarding the work of Polly Apfelbaum, the way that she creates investigations of colour using different materials is very interesting, it gives me a sense of endless possibility and allows my mind to wander from painting.
‘Painting is an unspoken and largely uncognized dialogue, where paint speaks silently in masses and colors and the artist responds in moods’ James Elkins ‘what painting is’
I really enjoy this quote from James Elkins; painting is a silent moody wordless process that goes beyond the conscious into the primal part of the brain.
During some stuck time in the studio I thought about commitment in painting, committing to a color, a mark, a gesture. I am really inspired by the work of Gary Komarin. Also had this feeling when I went to the Tapies foundation before Christmas. I keep coming back to drawing, exploring lines.
Started reading the Stories of Art by James Elkins made my own art history diagram, very interesting exercise as it shows thought processes over years, over my life. It shows my tug of pull with drawing and painting, abstract and figurative. There’s a very clear path! I thought for years that I wasn’t really a painter, much less an abstract painter but through this diagram I can see that it was always with me.
The book ‘Stories of art’ reflects on the ways in which the history of art is told. What and how is our knowledge (individual and collective) shaped by art history books from the last few centuries? He argues that neutrality and attempted multiculturalism present in more contemporary art history texts doesn’t hold up, doesn’t create dialogue, merely apathy towards all art in general, producing a lack of criteria or direction in students. Moreover, all attempts at political correctness in these texts is futile as the narrative structure of the history of art is a fundamentally western invention and does not translate into other cultures without losing something of itself and taking something away from the culture in question. I thought these were some very interesting points, and fall into line with what I learnt about avant garde and feminist cinema during another course. It is important to be reminded that these dominant discourses on culture only represent one side of the story.