Friday, 22 February 2013


Recently we had workshops at Uni! Hurray! For those who aren’t on an art course, being an art student means we are paying a huge amount of money for really not that much; a bit of wall space and the occasional tutorial, so when we have the opportunity to ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING we get all excitable and irrationally secretive to guarantee we get a limited place on the workshop we wanted.  Being so ‘chilled and whatever’  I wasn’t too fussed about which workshop I got, after having experimented with painting a bit, I thought ‘big painting’ would be an appropriate one and I luckily got on it (crazy-fast drop-boxing)

Anyway, BIG PAINTING! It was taken by Derek Sprawson, a fine art tutor who has his own really beautiful painting style.



We were each given a 9 by 5ft piece of canvas to work with. Obviously this was ridiculously daunting, but a challenge and who doesn’t like challenges. The workshop was first contextualised with work from other ‘big painters’ such as Tauba Auerbach, Caroline von Heyl and Katie Pratt as a starting point.

Untitled Fold Painting 60 x 45 inches 2010

Untitled Fold Painting 60 x 48 inches 2010

Auerbach’s work is incredible; she creates the illusion of folds and depth on a flat surface by folding the canvas and spray painting from an angle, a really simple but ridiculously effective way of working. The outcome is so beautiful and hypnotic. Having been made flat and then stretched, the illusion of ridges and folds is so remarkable. So we began with this process ourselves, as a quick and simple method to get colour onto the canvas.
I folded up my canvas to create this almost sculptural shape, curious as to what effects would come from it once sprayed.

 After spray painting, I laid out the canvas out, to see what effect i had, not exactly Auerbach, but interesting enough to expand upon. 

laid out in the Conservatory of the Waverly Building

Hung in the studio space with initial paint additions

I began to just paint within the areas but it looked a bit dull and mundane. I wanted to make piece of work that was interesting. I began to impose structure within the piece by marking off areas.

Derek wanted to impose on us that it didn’t have to solely brush paint on nicely, we could scratch into the paint, scrape it on, layer it, many different techniques to create interesting effects, and it was an experiment after all (just a pretty massive one)

This is the final piece, exhibited in the Bonington Atrium

'Untitled, Tessellated' 2013

detail of  'Untitled, Tessellated' 2013

Although I’m not massively in love with it, there wasn’t a huge amount of paint to go around so there are some areas where the paint is quite thin, but overall I think it is a pretty successful experiment and I really enjoyed making it. I had imposed a short time limit on myself and working within that constraint had enforced in me a real urgency that I’m sure would have only been detrimental to any of my previous practises.

Sunday, 17 February 2013


I have been painting

I haven’t really painted that much since school, which is kind of embarrassing, but I’m going to excuse myself this time and blame that on foolishly specialising in 3D instead of Fine Art during my Foundation at Leeds College of Art. While fun it sidetracked me a little so that I was on a Film and TV Design course for 6 months until I had a massive freak out and realised I was definitely on THE WRONG COURSE. 

But now, right course, just a little inexperienced, but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere.

Having only briefly had a go at working with oils when I was collaging onto wood, I realised that I really loved it and I knew I wanted to develop it further.

So here are a few initial experiments, using oil paint, white spirit and glaze.

I was painting from these photos of my mother that my father too back in the 70’s; really beautiful photographs of her, rich in colour and emotion. I wanted to take elements from these photographs, focusing on rich vibrant colour and using the techniques of washing with colour and glaze to give shine. These are quick experimental pieces, i made to remind myself of that way of working, plus after watching people paint around me, I had this overwhelming desire to put down the scalpel and whip out a brush, so i did..