As soon as I received an email with my Part 5 Tutor Feedback report, my heart started pounding? Was I good enough? Did I improve and mature in some way? I took a deep breath and started reading carefully trying to take in how my tutor was communicating with me. I was very content with her comments as she was spot on and by reading through her comments and every comment I would have that “Eureka” (aha!) moment of more self-awareness and understanding the importance of these crucial comments that could appear in the form of harsh critique but also as praising at the same time. I will comment on the main points of critique as I find it important to express this more understanding phase of my art journey.
Your previous assignments have been loaded with technical ability, experimentation and workload and I know this submission has challenged you to channel all of your choices into one succinct subject and line of enquiry. You have self-reflected and reviewed this. You make a plausible claim about why and what your subject matter is and can be and have contested the obvious stereotypes. You have managed to hone in your technical strengths to support this personal project. However, there is still the issue of over-working and being too sugary with initial drawing investigations.
Although I had an idea of what I wanted to explore and develop for my Part 5 personal project, I guess the beginning of my sketchbook being picturesque and too sugary with m initial drawing investigation was me kind of floating trying to find that specific point and direction; something tangible and stable to hold onto. It is like a child learning to ride a bicycle and at the beginning the attempt to cycle becomes wobbly and unstable but then something happens along the way and things start to become more clear and direct. As for overworking the final I was very aware of this but still took the risk and I actually knew from which point the final could have stopped. I think that had I been attending art school where the student and mentor are there in the same room it would have been a different story; definitely the part with “that’s enough, no more”. I will elaborate on this further on.
In the series of A2 works you have realized that a central composition and including a face does not quite work. Thus in the no.2 A2 drawing, you have done a piece where less is more and start to focus in on the mark making and playing with the potential of the media. You then go onto be more selective with the monochromatic palette and mark making to give a narrative to the work rather than being so obvious. However, when you add the red and blue, the work becomes too heavy handed and bold. No. 6 works well with the combination of the monochromatic underlay as opposed to no. 7 where the colours are too faded and not distinctive enough to make a statement. You manage to bring back the energy with no.8 with the considered layering of finer medium but in no. 9 you have become too heavy handed where the work is overloaded with thick marks and colours. The final colour scheme in no.10 works well as it shows a journey of layering, a suggestion of a figure and expressive investigation of mark making.
I took my time reading through this while looking at the specific work in relation to the comment which actually made me reconsider which preliminary work I should consider sending for assessment.
Prep studies for final- you have documented a detailed visual journey of the stages of the final and this is very interesting to see as it shows your progression, decision making and self-reflectiveness. It is also engaging to see how the work has come alive. The studies before your ‘pause’ showed layers that were mystifying and intricate but afterwards, there is the danger that you use too many thick strokes which hid some of that intricacy (oil transparencies and dilute acrylic paint). You then realized that the work needed more focus so it was a good decision to use charcoal and pastel outlines. However, this is the crucial point where the work could have stopped. You continued to hide the finer details with the bold medium of paint and rushed the final stages too much or with the emotional involvement you became too carried away.
I do not want to sound too sure of myself but I knew from that specific work progression point where I felt I should have stopped but still made the decision to take the risk and carry on which worked against the final outcome.
I am glad that the documentation became part of my personal project documenting each stage of work progression. Had I not done this, this valuable insight would not have been there. And as I over worked; one of my unfortunate flaws at least I am able to go back and see exactly that point where I should have considered stopping. This is something that I really need to work on. I have this great drive and determination to create art and learn but I need to tame this and sustain self-control. I did get emotionally carried way!
The video is a great way to show the work and this is a more successful piece in its own right. Although, quite jittery (a fade of the images would have worked better), the music accompaniment and the conception from the initial marks, to a group of angels, to the strangling of them through lashes and marks and the finally to their disappearance speaks volumes about your concept. It holds the spirituality you discuss, the meaning of the subjects and your vigorous approach to create works. It is worth considering this for submission.
I was aware from the start and I did mention this in my blog that from the beginning there was an issue of the studio space where I was working; common working studio space, which forced me to pack up and set up every time. This created a rough jittery result. Definitely for the next level 2 I would consider a strict no trespassing working space where I could set up and keep the documenting equipment fixed there. I am also considering attending video editing classes as this will enhance my work in the future; definitely contribute towards more mature successful results. I knew my limitations from a technical point of view with doing a video but this was more about mentioning my idea. I actually had an offer for it to be done professionally but kindly declined it as I wanted to do it myself and keep it honest!!!
It is clear your sketchbook has been your partner in crime to explore, experiment and investigate your skills and techniques. There are some twee and unmanaged drawings of ‘typical’ angels in there but you veer away from the obvious with looser, fluid and aggressive mark making. The sketchbook shows a story from your conception to realisation with creative thought processes in-between. Your sketchbook continues to be a playground where you investigate, test and delve into any techniques that comes to mind.
Going back I realize that producing some of the unmanaged “typical” angel drawing were a result of me feeling stiffness and in a way in secureness that I guess goes with this level 2. At this early stage I will be making a lot of the not so successful attempts.
Research- you have convincing in-depth research from historical, biblical times to contemporary interpretations of the subject matter. You have researched an array of disciplines from ancient symbols, religion to contemporary installations. However, start thinking about where you would place your work in historical and contemporary times (if you wish to pursue to Level 2). This is not a requirement at level 1 but sometimes your research has a tension between the historical themes and the contemporary times thus why your work reverts back to pictorial representation.
I will concentrate more on the last sentence of this comment. Producing pictorial work was an issue I encountered from day 1 of Drawing 1 to overcome this I really need to visit contemporary art exhibitions and read more contemporary art books that will hopefully help me break through this self-inflicted obstacle.
When it came to deciding about what work to include for my drawing 1 assessment it came to my attention unfortunately rather late as I was in a previous comfort zone where I thought I had read the instructions and specification and did not consider that they were subject to change. Having worked at a large goliath scale I was informed by OCA that due to currier issues I would not be able to send the actual artwork rolled up in a tube (exceeding 2 meters in length). I was advised that I should have the work professionally printed onto A2-A1 scale, which I did only to discover to my disappointment in the quality of the prints. Actually they are nowhere near the digital images taken and I understand the problem lies in the resolution of the photos taken. Had I known of this I would have addressed this issue prior to the documentation of my final large scale artwork. I have currently asked for my tutor advice on how to handle this obstacle where I should just exclude the bad quality prints and just request for the digital submission of the work. But even so there is still a gap from viewing the artwork in flesh to seeing a photo representation. I hope this does not work against me.