Open College of the Arts
Student name Susan Gilmore Student number 301644
Course/Module Painting3 Assignment number Additional tutorial
Overall Comments from Tutor
These works begin to show a viable way forward for the course. You have good exploratory processes already in place that you can strengthen.
• The mark making potential is considerable and needs focused time in order for it to develop.
• Begin to think about forming a visual language of marks that you can work with as you go forwards.
• Take some time now to explore your mediums and processes, investigate supports, scale, size etc. Then you can take these visual findings into a larger work, thinking about filling the peripheral vision of the viewer.
Student notes from Sue Gilmore
Notes for Assignment 1
Michelle asked me to describe where I was and what I was doing in my work. I described how given my current circumstances, following the loss of my son, I had felt drawn to be outside and working with willow provided a very physically engaging activity that allowed some distraction from the difficult emotions I had to deal with. The willow work is something I have engaged with over many years, working with both living and basket makers prepared willow. As I thought about where to pitch my work as I tried to return to course work I decided this willow would make a good focus for my drawing/painting. I started out making small drawings in a sketch book and have experimented with these to make bigger drawings. Through this process I found myself thinking about the very physical activity of the willow work and the sense of being transported to a different place, and how I might translate this into my drawings/paintings. I felt drawn to work bigger, and found that even with A1 sized paper I felt limited, so moved to working on two A1 pieces of paper together.
Michelle described a project she had worked on in a derelict garden where she started out collecting cuttings, making drawings and recording, but found herself assuming physical postures/actions associated with gardening and using this physical action in her drawing. Eventually making drawings by consciously adopting 5 different physical stances that she had discovered associated to the garden and being in it. She described how her drawings had moved from quite a tight botanical style to a more loose style in tune with the senses.
She suggested this might be an area for further exploration. An opportunity to lose myself in the physicality of the willow work and associated drawing, exploring different aspects of it, testing out mark making and different materials, and then moving to test out some of these ideas.
She suggested it might be worth trying to get paper on a roll to accommodate working on a larger scale.
Looking at Drawings
Drawing 1- Michele seemed to quite like the mark making and fluidity within this work. She suggested working to develop the mark making and extend it with experimentation, and also to experiment with other materials and staining.
Drawing 2- I described to Michelle the processes I had used to explore this drawing further- drawing, photoshop manipulation, making stencils in acetate to exlpore the shapes within the drawing and the potential of the shapes and their repetition. We talked about how it could be developed into a painting, but also how elements might be incorporated into a larger work.
Drawing 3- Michele again commented on the range of mark making and also that it had a real sense of depth. She likened it to ‘almost a landscape’. She added a caution about how to take a very expressive work like this into paint, stressing the importance of testing out all aspects, how and what way you paint, materials, colours, size, what you work on. She suggested trying out various fabrics like linen and organdie, and making test samples with these materials. She stressed the importance of testing in order to build a strong vocabulary to work with.
Drawing 4- This drawing prompted Michele to talk about the physical aspects of the mark making, to think about the thickness and thinness of the marks, and how your physical attitude might effect the resulting marks. She suggested exploring this work by adopting different physical attitudes- up high, down low etc.
Other possibilities to explore-
Use of oil sticks, possibly black and white to start with, and turps.
Think about the possibilities of willow as a whole- sap, leaves, bark, possibilities of extracting colour/staining, etc.
Use of different galleries on blog to record different aspects.
Suggested reading/areas for research.
Michele agreed that Ellen Gallagher was a good artist to be looking at, along with Graham Sutherland and David Nash.
She also suggested Terry Rose, Michele Brody and Maurice Pero.
To add depth in terms of research she suggested it might be of interest to look at issues around growth, regeneration and ecology, and possibly Sustainable art.
I got the impression that Michele felt the work I have been doing does have the potential for making a coherent body of work, and the way I have been working on a more intuitive level has the potential to make some interesting work
Further to our discussion see below.
Sketchbooks Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Continue to explore and develop ideas within your sketchbook, you use your sketchbooks well, so carry on as you are but get to a greater depth of exploration if you can.
• No need to be ‘tidy’ with the sketchbook rather use it as a repository for visual try outs, information and so on
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context
We talked about context and this is just beginning for this project, however you understand what you have to do. For this level make sure that you write objectively and critically about the work, if in doubt ask and I will guide you.
• Remember to think about the viewers perspective to the work.
Suggested reading/viewing Context
Have a look at other artists who use or work with living nature in their practice. Damien Hirsts butterfly filled rooms come to mind or Marc Quinns blood filled head but you could look at The Mother nature network as a kickstarter.
• Try looking on-line in places such as the Tate archive to see more drawing or for contemporary work: http://www.drawingroom.org.uk/ and also http://www.axisweb.org
http://www.balticmill.com/links for contemporary works.
Esteves de Cooman
Terry Rose- Mira
May be inspirational
Chromophobia – David Batchelor
Continue your explorations of other artists work- looking and writing- particularly in relation to the assignment. I have made suggestions as a means to help you progress this aspect of your research.
Pointers for the next assignment
Keep working the way you are, aim to make a number of explorations before making a larger work. Try to take your visual findings into the larger work.
• Remember to record your works progressively as well as recording the experiments. This documentation will be useful as you proceed towards assessment.
• Take into the next assignment any explorations with colour carefully, and most particularly the more spontaneous, descriptive mark making, introduce colour judiciously and don’t get carried away with it, as it can be very seductive.
• Explore more, develop ways forwards in your sketchbook, this is critical to your advancement. Pay attention to the tonal values within your work, you can afford to be more rigorous with the tonal scale.
Assessment potential (after Assignment 1)
You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.”
Tutor name: Michele Whiting
Date 27th April 2014
Next assignment due 25th June 2014