Symbols and Symbolism

‘Symbols and Symbolism’ is an exhibition currently in the Lower Foyer Gallery of the art college. It’s on until the 28th of March and is worth a look at. Yes, my work is in it, hence my promotion but theres also variety of other work there, from tutors and students in a variety of disciplines.

The exhibition focuses on ‘an exploration into the use of objects and images in art and the everyday, as a means of communication’. I think my art fits this concept quite well. I use objects a lot and my work usually has a heavier idea behind it. I try to communicate these ideas without throwing it in the face of the viewer. I want them to be interested and get a ‘feeling’ from my work. But I don’t necessarily want them to know what it’s about. My work is often personal, but rarely confessional.

I submitted a taster of my binoculars for this exhibition. Its a little assemblage of four of the replicas, the empty binocular case and a framed text piece.

It’s great seeing your own work presented in an exhibition as opposed to piled in the studio. I always try and keep my space kind of clear and formal so I can see my work in context.

So yeah, check it out!


Here Comes the Sun

Yay 🙂 Its sunny and its also rainy and I’m feeling painty… overall this leads to happy times. This also means that my first year of art college is nearly over. Thats right, this two week block is my last project for first year at DOJ. Scary how fast it goes. Its not over yet though, the folios still to be put together and handed in. Theres a lot of work to be done for it, paintings to be redone and retouched, we get three weeks for an easter break before we have to hand them in though so I should manage.

The Seeing Body project from a few weeks ago is a piece I’m actually looking forward to going back to. I was never really happy with the final outcome and ended up liking the development work more than the final, so it’ll be good to work into the final some more and get it how I wanted it.

This is a sheet of initial colour studies for the project. The piece was based on some pictures I took on a daytrip to Loch Lomand. The outcome after three weeks of work is shown below, but like I said I’m not yet happy with it.

Semester two has been up and down for me. Overall I think I’ve done alright though and I’ve decided to pursue fine art next year. Painting is the only thing that really feels right and I think I’ve been putting myself at a disadvantage by trying to get away from it a bit this semester. I tried Illustration last block and although I don’t regret trying it, I just don’t think its for me. So I’ll try for fine art and see if they take me. 🙂

Myth is a Female Moth

Ye so this project brief was very ‘wordy’ which didn’t go well with my paranoia that I’ve been losing brain cells lately. Thats a story for another day though. Overall I found this project really enjoyable, often challenging but also thought provoking. I’m actually not disgusted with the results, bonus.

So, quick explanation of the concept. Myth is a female moth – taking something huge and important and making it tiny, is a very basic way of explaining what I got from that brief. I wanted to look at the idea of miniature paintings. When you go into the National Gallery on Princes Street there are huge monumental paintings of important people, but does the scale of these paintings make them better, more significant?

Even in the studio, sometimes its an automatic thought that a large scale painting will draw the most attention and therefore the most credit. So I wanted to look at miniatures to challenge this. The idea of lockets came to mind. Up until around the 18th century lockets with portraits of loved ones would be given as a token of affection. These were sentimental and important, yet tiny. The modern equivalent would be carrying around a photo of something in a wallet.

I wanted to take lockets and fill them with images and tokens to represent things that were important to me. After much stress with ebay and a lot of ‘hair pulling moment’s at lunch, it came together.

I don’t know if that explanation is very clear. Its just my head.

You really have to see it and handle the lockets to see the detail. There are mini paintings of friends and family in lockets and tiny frames, also clippings of train/cinema tickets and stamps etc. In a couple of compartments are miniature envelopes, each is addressed to a specific memory and inside is something to signify that memory. Its all very personal.

I’m quite chuffed with the mini paintings, they were painted small with a magnifying glass and a tiny brush and then shrunk down even smaller using Photoshop.

I seem to have a lot of text in this post so I’ll stop before I completely over do it. But I would like to thank my dad for delivering the display case for this project to Dundee, and to Kirsty for staying up and helping me make the frames when I was freaking out.

I’d appreciate some opinions…?

Sightedness and Drawing

I’m now on Week 6 of art school and still loving it. I feel like I’ve done so much work in such a small space of time, every week is a new project, so theres always new challenges.

I finally took pictures of some of the work I’ve been doing. The images bellow are from week 1, ‘Sightedness and Drawing’. The first day was a bit intimidating, I found myself standing at an easel having not really drawn in four months, so it took a day to get back into it. It was life drawing but without the use of tone. I’m used to doing quick tonal sketches of life models so this was different but actually very helpful in getting back to basics with accurate drawing.

Drawing has been described as being “the education of attention” – this project is intended to introduce you to core means of expanding your visual attentiveness through the medium of drawing.

We were given a lot of time for each drawing which forced me to pay more attention to the lines of the model and therefore allowed me to measure carefully and create a properly proportioned figure drawing. The drawing still appears to be 3-dimensional even without the use of heavy tone. By the end of the week when we were told we could add tone to the figure, I actually found it quite challenging to move away from the simple line drawing technique. Overall I enjoyed week 1, it was something different and was helpful in getting back into drawing after a lazy summer.

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