Regarding my connection to my surroundings when it comes to appreciating my circumstances, I’ve found that while the sound and people are clear and influential to my emotional state, the actual setting, I often have a disconnect preventing a clear image. Whether this is reflective of the location lacking in importance to me or perhaps showing my mental state causing a disconnect to my surroundings, I can’t say, but either way, it is something I want to reflect on in my work.
To do so, I want to remove the realism from the settings, which will provide a stark contrast with the planned photos of people in the collage, to work on block colours with black line work to add some definition and detail
These intentions led me to discover Joan Gillespie:
A Scottish artist, heavily inspired by Impressionists such as ‘the Nabis, the Newlyn School, the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists’, along with ‘modern masters of Fauvism – Derain, Matisse and Cezanne.’ (J. Schmitz)
There’s a simplicity within her work that presents a calming, carefree and youthful nature supported through her usage of bright colours and bold outlines that assist in grounding the images and defining the figures and particular objects to mimic a depth through the separation of components.
It is this simplicity of work paired with skill and intent that encouraged the artistic direction within the paintings of my chosen settings:
Creating these three paintings was a “trust the process” exercise as I actively combated my natural inclination towards realism and embraced the simplicity in what I was making without the need for perfection, removing finite details I would often focus on and pouring time into and instead work on displaying a broad idea and feeling associated with the setting.
This was especially prevalent with the beach painting in which, in certain lights, the image may appear utterly black. However, there is a noticeable satisfying tonal difference when further examined in person (although I may only believe that cause I created it). Furthermore, instead of using a pen to outline the railings as I did with the previous paintings, I chose to forgo it entirely due to the darkness of the rest of the painting. The bold white line in a white 2.5 pen created a stark contrast and definition that the line work would dampen if included.
Class this week proved incredibly helpful in envisioning a base concept for how my collage will look, as our beginning activity involved creating collages influenced by our project out of the contents of various magazines and newspapers.
I was lucky to find this base image of a simplistic room in a magazine that allowed me to replicate the general idea of my work’s direction and view how real photos of people may appear in the setting.
The words hold revelance, associated with my current mindset that has spurred on my work based on a struggle to settle, a desire for change alongside a desire to exist comfortably within a space without that itching thought of what could be somewhere else. This is where the word Atlantis stems from, with the idea that this place I desire could be a myth, and instead, I must look within myself to become settled despite outside circumstances.
I don’t know if I will choose to include words in my final product or if this was simply for this activity as a form of assistance in organising; it’s something I’ll revisit further into my project once my initial idea is completed.
J. Schmitz, P. C. L. (n.d.). Scottish art gallery of contemporary Scottish paintings and art by Modern Scottish Artists – Red Rag Modern Art Gallery. Joan GILLESPIE artist, paintings and art at the Red Rag Scottish Art Gallery. https://www.scottishartpaintings.co.uk/artist-Joan-GILLESPIE.asp?gId=18