I want to show my ink drawings in my exhibition as they show the journey as to how I came to the final pieces and I think the drawings strengthen my ideas and capture an element of fluidity and ambiguity that aren’t as obvious in my oil paintings. I will place them on a wall as you enter the gallery space therefore it will be the first thing the viewers see and it will naturally lead them to the oil paintings, showing a chronological journey. I feel as though displaying them in a grid like format would be appropriate as it will allow the viewer to experience them all at once or they can move in closer to appreciate them as individuals. This will also be a strong contrast to the way in which the paintings will be displayed (with plenty of space between them). I also feel that a grid like format would be effective as it will have more of a feel of a study, like pages ripped out of a sketchbook, something slightly less precious that inform my oil paintings (not that I think the drawings are less effective than the impact of the oil paintings). I would like the grid format to begin from quite high up so that the viewer is confronted at eye level with the confrontational composition of the figures in the drawings.
Although originally my intention was to create final pieces over 6ft like the canvases i have been working with throughout the year, i still feel i have made the right decision in scaling down. Not only was there the obvious problem of having to create four high standard paintings within the time that i had left, but also working on a scaled down canvas allowed me better access to the central area of the canvas whilst working on the floor. Working on the floor was something that became imperative to my practice and larger canvases wouldn’t of allowed my to reach the middle of the painting. This would have meant that my movements and brush marks would have been radically different and not for the better. I have also decided that i would like to have the paintings placed quite high on the wall, just enough so that the central area of the figures reaches the viewer at eye level. This will add the confrontational posture of the figures with the viewer, therefore although the canvases are smaller there will still be an dominant presence.
Since developing my last final piece further, working only with lighter tones, it has made me reconsider the colours on my other paintings. I feel as though the lighter tones add a freshness to my over-all colour pallet and therefore i have decided to work into my other three paintings. My intention is to work into the orange and blue painting with some lighter peach tones and breakup the figures further with objects of this hue as well. In my warm reds and orange and yellow piece i would like to lighten up the purple colours with a paler, more lilac tone. I would also like to work into large areas of the background with this same block colour to give the viewer more breathing space in the painting and allow for more expressive marks to contrast the intense area of interacting shapes and colours. Overall creating a better balance across the surface of the canvas. I don’t feel that i need to change the last piece (purple and yellow) too much, however i will work into the piece with a lighter tone of yellow to make certain areas come forward more and to brighten up the entire canvas.
Unfortunately i feel as though i have now worked into the figures with too much detail and there is now a greater separation between figure and ground and i feel as though this has happened due to the bright shocking tones of pink that I’ve added to create an outline. I feel as though i should work into the background with lighter tones to create less separation between the figure and ground. I also feel as though i should create more confusion to the relationship of space between objects in the foreground and background by maybe placing an object that intercepts the figures joining them together but also creating an uncertainty as to wether the object is in front or behind the figures, this will be done by subtly changing the tones of the object (most likely a branch), as it passes over the different tones of the figure. I feel i should refer back to my latest ink drawing to influence my piece. It was also suggested that i drastically change the hue of the arm that comes across the central figure in the front so that it is clear that it is an arm from a different figure rather than just the badly painted arm of the figure in front.
With all of my final pieces i have been spending a large amount of time working with the canvas flat on the floor. Like we can see in marlene Dumas’ work, this method of working allows for accidental mark making which creates movement and looseness in the painting but also in the way i work. Im constantly moving around the canvas and i become less precious about my application of paint and in effect my marks become more expressive and gestural. It feels as though my whole body is involved in the act of painting, it feels much more like action painting. i feel much more connected to the act of painting itself.
Im excited by how this piece will turn out. In contrast to the other three i am trying to keep the tonal gradation of the composition on a much lighter spectrum and focus as much as i can on keeping everything very subtle. Keeping the tonal changes subtle and the change from figure to background as subtle as possible. Working so lightly does feel as though i am working against every bone in my body as i am so used to painting with much darker tones, however since this piece began as a complete experiment since i had to start all over again, i feel as though i have nothing to loose and i need to push this notion to feel as though i have explored fully the distortion that can be created with the interaction of colours. I also feel that the soft pink and acidic lime work well against each other as they don’t sit comfortably on the painting in some parts but instead seem to float on the surface of the canvas.
There is a strong image of interaction between these figures which is strengthened again by the tree branches intertwining between all the figures and connecting them together as it moves through and around their bodies. This, i believe, will influence my final oil painting.