A young man walks into a bar and pauses as he realises to his horror that he is the only man not wearing white. As he continues on his path through the room he can feel the eyes of the other me watching him intently. The bar has gone silent and the only sound is his footsteps echoing in the room.
He walks to the bar and sits, he looks around and all he can see are men in white suits looking back at him. He orders a drink and awkwardly stays at the bar, determined not to be made to walk out but very uncomfortable.
A car pulls up outside the bar and a man gets out and walks in. he is also dressed differently than the men in white suits, the man at the bar and the newcomer make eye contact and after a pause in the silent room the newcomer approaches the outside at the bar. All the eyes follow his progress through the room. They meet and pause again, after a small moment of silence they hug and act like they have just reunited after a long time apart. All the men in white turn to observe this moment. They embrace each others differences and leave the bar together to go enjoy their day, while they leave behind all the people who are to afraid to be different.
These works were the ending of the shift in how I was thinking about the project. I made the top work using a palette knife and differently mixed paint colours. i swiped the paint onto the canvas instead of pouring. I found that this worked well because it allowed some of the colours to recede and some to advance in the frame. I found that the way the paint spread over the canvas also appealed to me. It was a more abstracted version of the feeling of the tides and I found that quite an intriguing concept.
The middle work is the last poured work I have created. I used a method of a flip cup and adding normal paint on top. I then tilted and helped mix some of the paint with my palette knife. I then continued repeating these steps until I was happy with how the pour was sitting. In my opinion this is my most successful pour out of all of the poured canvases I have created. It was not enough to keep me convinced on continuing in that direction but I was very pleased that the amount of practice I had enabled me to create a fairly successful pour that communicated the emotions and patterns I had been trying to create. These are some process photos:
I created the last canvas work by collecting the leftover paint from the last three paintings and dripping it onto the canvas while the canvas was upright. This work didn’t turn out as I expected, however, I am happy I tried the technique so that I knew that it was not a work that I was interested in creating more of.
For the second series of work I decided to change my approach and try some different techniques. The first blue work is a dirty cup flip pour (when all the colours are in one cup, then the cup gets left upside down on the canvas for a few seconds before being lifted off.) I found this technique much more successful as it produced a very fluid and tranquil work. I discovered that a lot of the colours had mixed in the cup, resulting in the work being mostly one colour instead of blue and green. I didn’t have a big issue with this and decided to take note of what had happened for the future paintings.
The green work was another dirty pour flip cup with more colour then poured over the top and tilted. I found this work to be one of the most successful paintings I had created so far as it had a consistent colour palette and flowing patterns that resembled tides.
After creating the first five canvases I felt like this method of acrylic pouring, no matter how much I modified it, wasn’t quite conveying the impressions of the flowing, natural and tidal flows I was aiming toward.
After having a discussion with the lecturers about the feeling of the work and what I wanted to achieve I decided to approach a different method while still on a similar track. The next work I have created here is the start of the jump I made in a change of direction.
I decided that instead of pouring the paint I would drip/roll it across the canvas. This worked well because not only did the end version mimic water but in making it the process resembled natural waterways.
I found this work successful and decided to continue trying different methods and different colours and variations of paint.
Research on Acrylic and Resin Pouring.
I looked and researched different techniques used to create acrylic pours. How thick your paint is can factor in hugely to how the works emerge. I found this mix quite hard to achieve and am not sure I have been close to the desired consistency throughout my work. I chose to use a Liquitex pouring medium to thin my paint as that is what the best option seemed to be when I completed my research. This resulted in quite thick paint and I ended up using a combination of Liquitex and water. I am happy with most of the outcomes of the paint and have appreciated the challenge of learning how to mix the paints to the desired state and learning more about the effects of good quality paints and pigments when thinning paint.
One of the most popular techniques for creating an acrylic pour is pouring mixed paints straight from different cups and tilting the canvas to blend the paints together. You can then use a palette knife or popsicle sticks to help create patterns in your work. Another technique, called a dirty pour, involves putting all the thinned paint you are using for that canvas into one cup before upending the cup on the canvas. This method can help to create more cells in you work. Cells are little circle outlines of another colour that emerge over the base coat of paint. I wanted to try creating some of these as I found them ascetically pleasing and I had read that they are difficult and take time and practice to get right. To improve your chances of making cells and to help your paint settle well on the canvas it is also advised that you use a small blowtorch to torch any air bubbles underneath the paint. When these bubbles pop they can create cells. There are a few more methods I tried exploring, one of these methods is a variation of a dirty pour and is called a flip cup, where you let the cup sit on the canvas upside down before letting the paint out. One of the last methods used that I was interested in was swiping. the paint is poured onto the canvas and then swiped over with a palette knife, creating a more spread mix of colour and often producing cells and new patterns of overlaying and emerging colours.
These are some of the websites I used to help gain an understanding of the topic:
Sequence and process of first work series.
These are my first three paintings in order of creation. I had never attempted pouring paint and was new to working with canvas so through creating these first works I learnt a lot. My first work did not turn out as I thought it would. My colours mixed and became muddied where I had tried to swipe the paint at the top and bottom of the painting and the rest of the colours did not sit well with each other. The rest of the paint was too thick and wouldn’t spread to the edges of the canvas and I ended up with no patterns that made any sense to me in a compositional and aesthetic state. After I had poured the first work I attempted to torch it to remove the air bubbles. I was aware that the best technique to do this was difficult so was very cautious but ended up creating crazes throughout some of the paint. Crazes are a term used for when the top surfaces of paint dry faster than the underneath layer, then the dried layer moves and results in rips and tears in the paint, creating an unwanted and messy looking texture.
My next pours were a slight improvement, each work still dried with air bubbles and indented pockets. I was also still becoming accustomed on how to create patterns and which colours worked with each other. However, I was making small improvements. At this point I was feeling like these works were not what I had intended and that they weren’t conveying the ideas I had been aiming to create. They were very noisy feeling paintings. I felt as though the works were very messy and not coordinated. In my opinion they did not convey the feeling of the flow of the river or the pattern created from an aerial perspective. I was trying to create something that had a tranquil flow to it and felt as though I had failed.
I decided to take what I had learned and continue creating more works and trying different techniques to see if I could achieve what I was aiming for.
The Artists that I have taken the most inspiration from at this initial stage of the project are Emma Lindstrom, Jasper Hills and Mitch Gobel. All of these artists create poured work of acrylic paint, mixed media or resin in flowing patterns with abstracted subjects.
Emma Lindstrom: http://emmalindstrom.com/
Lindstrom uses resin to create poured abstract drawings. Her main goal in her work is to evoke emotion in the viewer. Lindstrom creates large scale paintings with a high focus on the process of her work. I have found her work so influential because of the techniques and processes she uses to create the work. When I was thinking about how best to illustrate my ideas Lindstrom was the first artist that came to mind because her work was aesthetically similar to what I was looking at creating. I found the flowing patterns that move through her compositions resembled how I thought of the tidal flow through the river. Majority of Lindstroms’ paintings are created from an aerial perspective, the same way that I plan to create my works. This connects to the Scape well as I was interested in the satellite imagery of the river more than what I saw in person.
Mitch Gobel: http://www.mitchgobelresinart.com/#blaire
Gobel is a self-taught resin artist. He feels as though his work is an expression of himself and his energy. I found Gobles’ work compelling because when I viewed the works I saw rivers and land masses in abstracted forms. I also found the compositions to be mesmerizing. The painting leads the viewers eye around the work and eventually off the canvas. The trails of paint that Gobel leads through the work in twists and turns are the elements I find relate to rivers and one of the components that drew me to his work at the start. I feel that his drawings have an ebb and flow to the similar to tides.
Gobel makes all his work from scratch, creating the frames for canvas before he begins and spending 12-15 days on each painting depending on how fast his process, ideas and emotions and translating into the work.
Not very much information exists about Hills online. There are photos of his work and a few short films, apart from that a lot about his process and views on his creations are very hard to find.
Hills works in acrylic, Creating the fine details of his paintings by hand. He i very interested in the use of colour, and using shapes from the natural environment. Hills has created a good majority of his work on circular boards. This allows the shapes and patterns he creates to have a dynamic flow and relationship to each other in the composition. I’m interested in how he relates colours to one another and the flowing, liquid seeming patterns he creates.
I hope to combine different parts of the inspiration these artists have given me and incorporate it into my work in a unique way.
I used this mood board as a way to conduct fairly broad visual research over the course of the brief. I then further researched specific sites as well as making another mood board on designspiration which is attached below.
I have chosen to reflect on Shape of Things as part of my integrated project as I felt that this had the most impact and relevance on the work I was creating, it has taught me new skills that I have in turn applied to the Integrated project in different elements.
We learnt about the creative process and the iterative nature of creating artwork, this is fundamentally a flowing process that is changeable depending on the work you are creating and the nature of the medium you are using. I found this the most applicable and relevant to me when we were making castings as well as how the whole series was about different iteration sequences and processes of one object. This helped me to realise how versatile one specific subject can be if you start to look at it from a different angle and incorporate those ideas into your practice as experimentation and then a potential further line of enquiry or a final piece. I also found that the 3D element of Shape of Things was incredibly helpful in terms of expanding my view point. I had never really attempted to make 3D elements in an art sense before so this experience helped to open my understanding of the approach and prompted me to be not as wary about approaching art in a 3D sense. I found the tactile sensibilities of the work to be one of the most satisfying parts of being able to make something that was tangible.
These ideas helped me in Creativity and Design because I took the knowledge of this iterative process and applied It to my own process of paintings. My paintings became more about how I was creating them and what methods I was using or changing slightly with each work to create a different effect and see if that helped to communicate my view of the Whau river and the abstracted environment and tidal flows. My work also started becoming more about what painting would lead on from the current work to make an improvement or even to slightly change the direction I was heading based on how I felt all the previous works were communicating the idea I had in mind. I started looking at my works as a whole piece rather than separate individual works. Certain families or series started to be able to be seen and I started to prefer to look at them in relation to each other rather than individually.
I started to look at how to work with my mediums in a more tactile way than I had done with any work previously. I began pouring and splashing paint, using more than just the movement of my hand to create my work and having the medium be the changeable and most fluid part of my iterations. I found this a new experience as it was a complete change to how I usually create my work and the methods I use.
I found that Shape of Things helped to influence my Storyworlds part of the integrated project in the ways that I was looking at my research. Because I was using a lot of process orientated work flows in Creativity and Design I found that in turn I was researching and discovering a lot more process driven artists and becoming a lot more heavily influenced by their workings. I found their processes to be the most informative part of my research and was able to explore artists more deeply than usual because I found a couple that had processes that ran parallel to my own.
In terms of the Enterprising Professional part of the Integrated project I feel as though Shape of Things has only had a slight influence in this aspect. I could discover how some artists, collectives, and students had created certain installations or made different 3D works into a publicity attracter or a business. However, I found that this information has not hugely helped to influence my Enterprising Professional part of the brief. I feel that this is mostly because this part of my integrated project has taken a different direction to my artworks, which is something I welcome as it enables me to expand my thinking into multiple directions more easily. I have not found it a problem that these two courses did not fully integrate for me and think it helps to keep my project having some elements that are different and separate from each other.
I found that even though the work I created in the Shape of Things brief was not directly applicable to my work, all the processes and methodologies were very applicable. This brief helped to expand my practice to a new direction that I believe I would not have accessed had I not been through the process of learning all the techniques that I had previously never explored.
I enjoyed the process of learning how to make a rotoscope. I accidentally made a four second video instead of five but to move it i would have had to start again from scratch. I found the process long but entertaining and think it will be a skill that will be useful to me in the future.
We created a movable plastic sculpture using plastic bags and balloons. we attached the plastic bags to a big screen and put the balloons inside. We then fanned the screen from underneath to raise the plastic and make the balloons move around inside. This helped us to explore fluidity of a shape and all the elements in which we could interact with it. I found that the sound of the plastic rustling created an immersive experience, even more so when paired with lying underneath the screen and watching the balloons move. I didn’t expect it to be as tranquil as it turned out to be.
We then waited till it was dark and turned the sculpture on and projected images on to it. This wan’t quite as successful as we thought and it looked quite alien and different from how we expected it to turn out. I thought it would be much more noisy and overwhelming than it was.
I made some bowl like shapes with the help of balloons which I found to have a nice flow and shape to them. I also made some more squiggly shapes using the inside of balloons which I found gave a good physical meaning to quiver. I then tried casting in sand, I created a shape using a paintbrush and then cast into it. I found the result successful and interesting and made me think of tangible ways to create my ideas in a physical sense.
I chose to create a dodecahedron because I found it related to my verb ‘quiver’ well. I created four of these and joined them together as an experiment to see if they looked more like a quiver but decided I liked them better separate.