Since my last blog post, the May exhibition has been set up, open and taken down. There were so many strong pieces in the whole exhibition and I’m proud of the paintings I put up. It felt weird to take the work down last week, as the last exhibition I did in that room was the end of my course and I went home that same day. This year, I’m here for the Summer and working towards the September show. I’m getting research done for the next set of paintings, it’s a continuation from the last set but moving away from the postcards as a reference (more details to come as I begin painting).
In the last few days, I have been completing pieces of work for a module and working out finalising my presentation I will be making tomorrow (yikes!). I took photographs of my final exhibition pieces (you can now find these in Portfolio under the MA exhibition May section) and let me tell you, it is difficult to work out if the camera is in focus when the painting you’re trying to photograph isn’t. This involved a lot of zooming in to check and using a part on the easel as my focal point. But I managed it and I believe I got them at a fairly good quality and used a grey day for its neutral lighting.
This will be my last blog post for a little bit because this website is part of one of my modules and will be handed over for assessment today. If you wish to be kept updated with the rest of the exhibition set up and the event itself, I will keep my Facebook page updated throughout.
Just a quick post to say that my business cards and first order of postcards arrived yesterday. Very pleased with the quality of them and definitely where I will order future ones from. I did forget to give one design a white border, I was playing round with a few layouts and must of thought I selected the right one. But I still like that design so I’ll be keeping it in. I will hopefully be selling these in the upcoming exhibition, or at very least through my social medias/email. I will also be ordering more with other paintings soon (going to be a busy weekend before deadlines and a busier weekend at work due to a University sports event)
During the week I have completed the final painting for the May exhibition (minus a few minor touch up that are required). Also, in the last few days, the exhibition spaces have been set and released for all the exhibiting MA and BA final years. With this in mind, I have begun planning the order of the eight paintings I’ll be putting on the 3 walls I have been given. I still have paintings to name, 4 of which are final pieces, but the postcards in which I name them from will be complete within the next few days.
I have a presentation in about a week’s time that I’m working on too, it’s about my work so technically it shouldn’t be difficult but I’m not good at public speaking. However, if I plan to be an artist in any sense in my future (which I do), then this is practice and I’ll get better at it eventually.
I’ve designed and sorted my business cards ready for exhibition and trying to be more of a professional from now on because that’s what I am. Also going to try out selling postcards of my work (postcards are related to my actual paintings as well which makes it more of a good idea). Ordered 3 designs of them today so fingers crossed they look good.
This week has been a focus on the exhibition which is fast approaching. A frequent thing is that I’m not sure on a painting when I’ve finished it. I have to take that step back, which may be a couple of days, before either adjust parts, leave it and like it or completely scrap it. It’s happened a fair few times in the last couple of weeks mainly as my work slowly approaches the limit between de-figuration and pure abstraction. I don’t think myself as an abstract painter so I guess I still have some restraints over this natural progression.
I got back to Aberystwyth yesterday and had my first tutorial in a week weeks today. I hadn’t had one before the holidays so where I was panicking I haven’t got anything new to show, I actually had 4 paintings waiting. Spent the tutorial discussing what I want to say in the exhibition catalog statement, why the names are what they are and why I choose the image references (particular zoomed in bits). In all, it’s helping me prepare my artist statement and a presentation I have to make next month (I’m not a crowd speaker so I’m terrified). I have 5 more prepped boards waiting to be used and I’m going to get started on them this week.
During this Easter holiday, I have been travelling round a lot, currently I’m in Devon on my SO’s family holiday and I’m having a lovely time getting to know them more (and being the go to person to teach one of the kids origami because I’m arty). I’ve taken all this travel as an opportunity to find more postcards to use wherever I can. Trying to stick with low quality or at least ones with an interesting texture somewhere I’ll zoom in on. Still got a while before I can be back in the studio which is panicking me but I know I’m in a good place for the May exhibition. Just got to calm the anxiety and get to work other bits for uni but also enjoy my holiday (and the hot tub).
I have a busy holidays away from the studio, but I’m collecting inspirations on my travels. Having first travelled home and then to Belfast to visit my sister, we’ve gone down to Dublin to see Sam Smith in concert (absolutely amazing) and then attempted to spend the day as tourists. Trinity College architecture is gorgeous (well, a lot of Dublin is) and we managed to go to the National Gallery too. Definitely more my scene that my sister’s since she went straight for the Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh and then sat down because they were the only ones she knew. Unfortunately, I then got a bit ill so we just chilled a bit in the Temple Bar area before getting a coach back to Belfast. Didn’t stop me from collecting a few postcards to use in my work though.
This week I spent time prepping some more boards ready for when I come back from Easter holidays and wrapping up old and new work (dry of course) in bubble wrap to prevent damage and protect from dust. Issues of studio being in an old building (even though I spent my Undergrad dreaming of a studio space in it). I also managed to do two more paintings, even if one took me longer than I usually like and I’m still not sure if I like the outcome. However, working is productive even if it’s not my proudest work. With a few works completed I could start working out the names for the pieces which is a lot harder when the names and depicted images do not correlate.
Last week I have managed to produce three paintings and prepped a load of other boards, finally feeling confident again in the route I’m pursuing. Returning to step A of my project but now I actually have a fully realised intent for its purpose. Working from postcards (currently ones I wrote to myself) that are reproductions of old photographs, I then reproduce a zoomed in section of the image, abstracting what the image and the item is. I have reverted to my old way of painting, which as discussed with my tutor, adds a filter to it that brings the idea of it being a memory again. But this works for me, bringing my work together whilst they are separate bodies.
On Friday I held a tutorial with a lovely undergrad as part of one of my modules. I’ve been quite excited about this part of the course out of curiosity of other’s work and to see the how the teaching aspect works. I was really intrigued in her work and i could give some advice that I’ve learnt along the way in my own practice. Also quite flattering that she remembers my work from Undergrad.