Friday, 30 December 2011


Continuing tenuously from believability of art - I was wondering around a shopping centre today. I knew full well that brands tried every trick in the book to entice people to buy into their identity but it only struck me today how potent the use of music was. Each shop clearly creating their own Eco system of energy and tone!

Believing Art

Realism, according to Collin Renfrew, is dead yet the human draw to so called figurative portrayals of life seem a constant draw.

This will be a second short post sadly but this idea appeared walking through the asmolians new Egyptian rooms. To many; to consider just the aesthetic of a Egyptian wall tablet may exert a very dry and lifeless impression due to the un-natralistic distortion of the body. The egyptian viewer believed that images,however had the power to preserve the soul and that by displaying the human form in its utter most entirety by distorting the pose was adequate to illustrate what was known to be there instead of a need to depict a truly foreshortened representative form. In short realism was un-nessisary for the function they played, and maintaining the belief within them through assumption and greater social constructs. Constructs which are far different today, my extreme comparison being a occasional general attitude that photography has made painting today somewhat redundant. As an artist this I know not to be the case but nonetheless I have been approached by these questions and ideas. There's nothing wrong with this, it is merely an observation that I will continue to turn over until a lot more refined!

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Ok, so it took me longer than I thought to actually get round to this new post. However I am back now! The long post still not quite there but I’m aiming to finish is now I have motivation for the blog again. I discovered I need to rant about something... frames. 

I never like framing my own work, it seems to smother it somehow, but my work isn’t important in the grand scheme of things. My outrage is an internal one that bugs me pretty much every time I walk in a gallery.
Frames are greatly useful, and the effect of them can be beneficial to the composition. But recently I keep finding paintings completely dwarfed by the ostentations decoration of some half a foot thick wooden mass restricting it.

I discovered this annoyance when walking through a Lowry exhibition and I realised that this has actually bugged me for years. I have started to discover that the white box, idea of galley space doesn’t appeal to me and always feels so sterile. I could walk around galleries for hours but feel shattered by the end as it’s a methodical journey from one picture plane to the next; yet walking through Klaus Webbers spectacle of an exhibition in Nottingham Contemporary I could spend hours and only feel more energetic after.
I think what I'm getting at here is why does the work have to stop several centimetres before the edge of the canvas to allow for a frame. I feel that occasionally this really disrupts the feel of the painting.

There are times when frames are majorly beneficial though; I have recently been studying Hogarth’s 4th print of his series An Election, and the frame does wonders for creating a sense of wonder and discovery within the chaos of the celebratory parade. It entices you into the foreground space and makes you ask que4stions about the displayed characters and their personalities.

My opinion will change painting to painting, but I know I never want to frame my work. Though in fairness my work seems to only last a few months before it is whitewashed anyway! =)
I just feel sorry for artist’s ad paintings which have been oppressed by their frames!

Anyway this is my short rant to get back into Blogging, I’ll be back very soon!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Where am I?

It’s been a while since I posted but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of posts. In fact I have been working on a very large post which draws together a lot of ideas but this is sort of the prelude. Wherever I go I have my journal so I can right down or sketch ideas. I have decided that although I have this connection with landscape and mostly landscape with an absence of humanity within them physically I try to make my work relevant to people. I was sat in a fast food restaurant on my own when I watched the cleaner come and move some chips that had fallen on the floor, and no one noticed it. I’m not going to go on some sweeping monologue about how this is wrong, because that’s actually how society is built. The complex is that the cleaner probably felt some sense of self-worth because she had made a difference which is overlooked and as individuals are ethos seems to be to not connect on that level with others that we might not necessarily know. I partly realized this through my own work also but I do realize this is only an opinion. I find that people who have studied some creative subject seem to observe the world a little differently. The ramble above, of course, is just my observation. But the long post that I have been planning encompasses the topic of observation.

You may be looking, but are you really?

Friday, 17 June 2011


Finally I’m getting back in to an art mindset!

I was just walking to the Co-Op yesterday and there was this magnificent tree I had never really acknowledged before. It’s huge and really majestic against the sky. Something I really did not expect on the little oasis of rat homes between hundreds of almost identical houses. Shortly after we were driving to see my grandparents who live in town and they day prior had been horrible; it had been raining quite heavily. Yet the warm light just reminded me of Ash Wednesday by George Shaw. For me it has confirmed that art truly is everywhere, and got me really looking forward to getting my paint out again!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Landscape; A Picture of Nothing

Landscape. Isn’t it all just nothing?

Although I’m moving away from focusing my work on Landscape, I still have a very emotive connection to it. But isn’t it all about nothing? The absence of anything?
I realised that my outcome was disappointing because it really was a picture of nothing. The space had depth but lacked any sort of atmosphere and the foreground objects seemed to create a boarder for an otherwise flat plane; too disjointed.

(Chichester Canal – JMW Turner)

Here is a great example, physically the focus point it in an area of comparative nothing, although there is the ship the main image is just open water. The surroundings have more in the name of ‘features’, but through clever techniques  make them dissolve out of view at first. However despite the lack of a physical object to ground the competition, it appears that there’s something completely different hold it all together.
For some reason It seems to be a lack of constraints, the colours fade into the background creating an almost eternal spectrum. In short it makes me feel free and alive.

I could quite happily spend a warm evening outside staring at the stars, and I do. Because there’s something highly therapeutic about these gripping atmospheres. It is transporting you to that place, in essence its very escapist.

Space is a very powerful force. I remember a member of my art history class had designed a piece of modernist architecture, and there was a space on the second story that resembled a balcony. When my lecturer asked the student what the space was for the student said that evidently he would use it to place a BBQ and reclining chair to relax in the evenings. When my lecturer then followed up his question with why is that your instinct with this space the student could not really answer but could provide the practical reasons associated like, being outside. However our understanding of space seems to be something very emotive. When you walk into a high ceilinged building there is usually some sense of a presence. It is possibly why this format of space has been adopted by religious institutions, to command a feeling of heavy air or awe. The same thing for me happens in this painting the space makes me feel in a certain way that a more claustrophobic environment would not. I believe this abstracted emotive connection is partly why I have been drawn to landscape. But I’m not going to make any general claims for the entire reason, I think that’s a little bit more complex for a blog post, mid revision anyway ;) 

Is art important to you?

I have been doing a lot of philosophical thinking lately I suppose. I have started many blog posts and they will be published after my exams (ending Wednesday wooo!) but I was revising and thought about how all my posts so far have been about art in its conventional forms; Painting, Photography, sculpture, film etc.
My last exam is on epic literature and I discovered that we need art. Although I have previously talked about why humanity decided to pick up two rocks and bang them together to make an interesting patter 40,000 years; I only described the effect of that action. It simply gave us the ability to think and challenge the world around us as we realized we can affect it.

But why??

I would consider epic literature as art, I would consider all literature as art; I would eve n consider games as art. All employ creative license and all have an intentional effect on an audience by one; or in some cases collective body of mindsets.

Today we would not function without art. Advertisement drives our increasingly globalized culture but it also drives us as individuals. How many people would say they could not cope without their gaming console? How many people look forward to going to the theatre? And how many people watch television?
The epic literature I have been reading has a diversity of aims, objectives and outcomes but one general theme is religion and the role of the mortals and the immortals. Humanity understood that they would one day die; but they aspired to immortality. However the immortality they aspired to is a abstracted immortality, such as being remembered by your descendants or your countrymen through statues, stories or rumor. Ancient Philosophy states that it is in fact in some instances preferable to be mortal than immortal. This is because with being immortal, those things that the mortals strive for become pointless. They lack the need for selflessness and rationality. As well as relationships and securing your legacy in your children; Cultural values so close to these people. They helped them secure their position in this world. Much how other religious imagery has impacted on cultures and people. But religion to many isn’t as important as it once was to ancestors.
Asserting cultural values still occurs today. The Film Milk illustrates this demonstrating the struggle many had to go through to be accepted as gay members of society. This type is designed to inspire us to think and challenge how we think. Or be a memorial for past views that now are alien and decadent. Fundamentally art can be entertaining and educative simultaneously. If these films weren't entertaining, would anyone watch them? Would anyone remember them?  appearing; reminding us of a social position. 

Despite this much art is there for entertainment or aesthetic. Many strive for a deeper statement to be resident but equally many do not. The power of art could be purely to allow us a release from the normal lives we need. Kick back and enjoy your evening. If you’re watching tv, a film, playing a game, reading a book, looking at a painting or through a magazine – Art is important to you.