Regrouping, rethinking, restarting

I understand why Emma had said that having my tutorial yesterday might have been too late – but I wasn’t in the right place to be able to think about art before that. But, having spoken to her, I now have a clearer idea of where I should be going and experimenting. She’s suggested that I look at Rothko (among many others) as background. So I have decided to use him as the other of my influences – which I was really struggling with.

We’ve established that my work isn’t really about landscape – it is just the medium in which I find the point of interest – which is really COLOUR. Colour is why I like all of my photos. And when I re-read my submission for the MA course I mention colour a lot.

We discussed ensuring that my felting doesn’t become too ‘crafty’ and needs to remain art rather than craft. Perhaps moving away from very literal representations and more to the abstract would be good. I found this really interesting as that is what I have been doing with the waterlilies abstracts I worked on earlier. We discussed that I had been stretching myself too thin, and that focussing on 2 mediums would be better for me.

Emma was also really complimentary about my painting. I have done so few canvases in 20 years (I can count them on one hand) that I was really flattered. I hated the painting group at Bretton as I didn’t fit their ethos – they were quite bullying and snobbish and I couldn’t bear to be part of that for the next 3 years, so I opted for ceramics! Hence, my painting experience is limited. But I feel I shouldn’t overlook it as a medium. I need to keep up the photography (and image manipulation – as I do that in my day-job and it seems ridiculous not to use it) and particularly as it’s the medium I use for source material. So having limited my work more to those 3 mediums it makes it easier to explore ideas and progress.

I already really like abstracting crops out of my photos that are interesting and colourful. This seems like an interesting progression. I had already tried doing some abstractions out of my photo of Brighton – so I will have a look at some more of these that can lead into abstract work.

I think the test piece I did of the sky from Monets’s London in the fog is still relevant. It is a good way to look at abstraction in felting. Today I am going to find an abstraction from one of my photos of Skye (probably from the water) and do a small painting of it. This is a good way for me to explore technique as well as testing out abstractism. This means that once I have introduced this into my work, I can push the felting to include other materials and make them more rounded and whole pieces.

I’m really happy with this, having reflected on the above.

Monet is the more literal of the two – expressing what he saw as a feeling of colour and form more than abstracting it – and Rothko is more about colour than literal form.

So I’m off to rummage through my photos of Skye and the water. I will probably move on to look at my photos of Venice again further down the line.

Here are a couple of Rothko images I will be using as influences.

Title: Central Green, 1949 (oil on canvas)
Artist: Rothko, Mark (1903-70)
Location: Private Collection
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 171×137

Title: Multiform, 1948 (oil on canvas)
Artist: Rothko, Mark (1903-70)
Location: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 144×118.7


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