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Week one- A Fresh Start

A fresh start

This year i have big ambitions and little plan, I usually box myself in to a final outcome to early so I’m determined to enjoy and get the most out of this experience. In this weeks blog i will talk about my research, a lot of reflection on the semesters prior and show some of the work I’ve created so far. As part of my first individual tutorial this year I needed to set myself intentions based on my feedback and reflection of previous semesters. The first one being to expand the ways in which I research, I conduct a lot of visual analysis and often look at exhibitions or social media yet I don’t read more than I have to, maybe due to my dyslexia or possibily that I didn’t have much interest in reading, in response this I’m going to find books and reading material that I enjoy and use them to build my practice.

This first book I attempted to read was on our reading list for the summer, Wild Things The Material Culture of Everyday Life Materializing Culture written by Aleksi Knuutila. First published in the 2000s its interesting to see how the ideas and concerns of the author were materialised, even in the preface when the author discusses their realisations when teaching relates to some of the ideas I have been thinking recently.

“Except for the supremacy of innovation and originality, all the lessons of modernism with reference to ‘fitness for purpose’ and ‘form follows function’ etc., were lost on the generation of design students who I was addressing.”

Preface P.1 Aleksi Knuutila

I have chosen this quote because I see this as a student both in others and myself, it may be possible that this stems from what the author describes as narcissistic indulgence or, possibly its that people search and are interested by innovation and originality. To explore this theme more in depth I found another book called “your everyday art world” written by Lane Relyea which highlights the evaluation of how we respond to art. The book looks at the ever shifting media/global landscape and its effects of the world around it, in regards to art I certainly can see an influence which has only grown further since the books release in 2013. For example TIKTOK, instagram and Pinterest all have streams of endless material, the hyper-consumerism of information could desensitise us blurring everything we absorb together and making it hard to have distinct and personal relationships to information.

I try to describe an organisational shift in the art world, a whole new managerial imaginary, the effects of which are affecting not only material infrastructures and relations among people, objects, and institutions, but also conceptual categories and conventions, and ultimately the construction of meaning.- in political, economic, cultural, and social life, changes that have often been analysed under the general headings of globalisation, post-colonialism, and neoliberalism.

Lane Relyea


It’s incredibly import to myself as an artist to be ever evolving, to do this is to have reflection on my learning and on my creative process.

One specific part of my practice which I want to focus on this semester, is to have what I have dubbed “conversations with myself”. This means to be vulnerable and honest about how I feel regarding my work, asking myself questions such as “do enjoy this experience? why do I feel this way”. Though this could be interrupted as being over analytical I know that I experience intense waves of anxiety about my work and that its keeping my doubts hidden which has a negative impact on my practice, for example when I first started the course I was very unsure of myself and my inability to be truly vulnerable made it difficult for me to improve, my projects were more stunted and lacked professionalism. Therefore one of my intentions this semester is to acknowledge my emotions influence over my ability to create quality work, and use them to cultivate a superior practice.

The final of my three intentions for this semester isn’t one I can explain simply, but in the most direct way possible I would say I want to create. Though this sounds nonsensical as I am always creating in sense, I want to legitamatly absorb my feedback and attempt to make something everyday, not only will this improve my practical skills but I want to move past the anxiety of needing perfection Ive always craved a sense of pride in my work yet never really achieved this More than ever I acknowledge the importance of pride and vanity in art, I want to be proud of myself for simply just creating and be able to bare my soul to anyone no matter how imperfect my work may seem to me.

The Creating

Once I conducted some research and reflection, I have found myself wanting to take steps back and return to my painting roots. I feel in love with paint at a young age and its the medium that has gotten me to where I am today, as I discussed in my research paint feels to declining in admiration and its struggling to keep up with media consumption, especially subject matters such as still life.

I have been practicing digital still life paintings, this is because I’ve wanted to explore everyday objects in relation to our theme. Its interesting to think that I have followed the theme of the everyday previously when conducting our project on home, for that I installed objects of importance (or that represented important things to me) and a journal which I made daily drawings of where I had been. I am taking into consideration this previous project and I have a strong feeling it may influence my work at a later date.

Each of the above drawings are from different sources, though unfortunately I couldn’t find the true sources to reference I found creating transcriptions of external artists work to be helpful when developing my skills. In particular the use of colour became more clear to me, you can see how different hues act were manipulated to Create depth and a glow which I’m very drawn to.

In conclusion I’m optomistic about the weeks to come and I will continue to research and manoeuvre away from digital to painting my still life.

1 thought on “Week one- A Fresh Start”

  1. Brilliant reflection Amy, and excellent research, so great to see you weaving and embedding theory into your thinking and into your post. A very exciting, positive, realistic and honest beginning. You are welcome to borrow my books on Spanish Still Life and Looking at the Overlooked by Norman Bryson, if they are not in the library, both will give you an excellent theoretical overview of still life. I would recommend you spend a week trying to find as many historical and contemporary still life painters as you can, give yourself a huge scope of styles and approaches to draw from. A great start Amy. Try to be attentive to spelling and grammar so the posts read smoothly.

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