Assignment 1: Reflection following Tutor Report

Feedback based on Learning Outcomes.

  • Deploy, with minimal guidance, accomplished technical and practical skills in painting.
  • Select and combine appropriate methods and materials to carry complex ideas through into practice.
  • Demonstrate a clear visual language with a high level of individuality and inventiveness.
  • Produce an ambitious and focused body of work at an accomplished standard
  • Demonstrate complex knowledge and a wide-ranging understanding of a range of painting and its contemporary cultural context.

Whilst reading though my report when I came to the image of the large version of the Kokkinoxorion Building on page 4, I realised that I had mistakenly added the photograph which I had worked from instead of my actual water colour painting which I have added here.  Unfortunately, you will see that I am not able to paint realistically to that degree of excellence.  I am very sorry for this mistake and hope you will accept my apology.

On Page 2 of my report I wrote: –

“Peter Wohlleben (2017) ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ describes what trees feel, how they communicate by using the secret world underground created by their roots and with the help of fungi.  They also create toxic chemicals to keep predators at bay.”

I have extended the text with the following paragraphs: –

For my work depicting my local area and the trees in it this makes me feel that it will be important to consider what is happening underground and how the tree roots are able to pass messages on. I need to show, in my work, my awareness of trees as dynamic live things and their relationship with fungi in more depth.   

I am more aware of the magical effect and calming influence the trees have on me.  The atmosphere is clean and has a healing quality to it.  What attracts me to trees is the textures and the twisted way they grow and how desperate they are to reach up to the light.  I also love deep shadows and the way light sparkles on the leaves and pathways through the trees.   

Unfortunately, my painting of the birch trees and the reflections they produced did not have enough tonal depth and it was disappointing.  I think it should have been simplified to create a more dramatic effect and with much darker tones, especially in the water.  It was a striking scene on a beautiful crisp sunny day and worth trying again.

Notes from My Tutor

“Can you give me a bit more detail as it unfurls for you as to why you want to abstract and how?

For many years I have been painting and drawing in a representational way and throughout my courses with the OCA, I have been encouraged to be more experimental and more open to contemporary painting.  I have interpreted this as needing to be more experimental and move to a more abstract and looser style of painting.  I do enjoy abstract paintings for their colour and the freedom of expression, moods, texture, gestural marks, and unusual compositions.  I am afraid I do not yet understand how to produce abstract work.

“I need to put more work into articulating my thinking and explain what my motivations are and what I want to achieve.”

I have always had a passion for drawing from a very early age, painting came much later after seeing the water colour paintings of JMW Turner.  My motivation is to improve my technical skills and to produce work to a professional quality.  I intend to become a professional artist, sell my work, and enjoy painting for the rest of my life.   

Include analysis in your log about your reading, connect it to your own studio enquiry.”

I am now reading ‘Entangled Life’ by Melvin Sheldrake as suggested and have a couple more books in my collection which identify many of the different species of fungi. 

“How do people record? They collect.  They create a taxonomy.  They measure?  Continue to think about what you mean by recording.  What are you recording? 

I take photographs of anything that excites me, it could be something I have not noticed before.  I have a collection of photographs of fungi with amazing colours and patterns found in chopped down logs.

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