Monday, 10 June 2013

Excersises - Abstract Expressionism

Applying marks through Physical Actions
I enjoyed this exercise but would have liked the process even more if I had been able to use a really large canvas like Pollock, the flicks, and splatters would have used the whole arm which would have been liberating. Despite trying several concotions with the Acrylic paint I could not get the degree of "thread" that I wanted.  I knew that Pollock used household paint which is referred to as enamel paint.  I think the nearest we would have today would be gloss (not the non-drip).  I did have some emulsion paint and that did have the effect I wanted.  If I were going to use this technique I would invest in sample pots of different colours as I think it would work better than acrylic.  Exactly what the life expectancy would be I have no idea but it last on a wall well enough so I can't see there would be a problem.  Incidentally the colour in question is the almost beige colour.  It was very satisfying when the skein of paint lasted well so that I could do different things with it.  I would rather not have been confined to primary colours though. It has to be remembered that Pollock put holes in tins and poured the paint that way as well as pouring the paint down a stick. Working on a larger scale would afford this method.

Aplying Gestural marks with a variety of tools
The semi figurative element was what interested me here.  It was going to be a challenge to do that using a fairly uncontrollable technique so it was going to be informing as to how it would work.  I decided to use drafting tape as it appeared Richard Liley's example used it so I guessed it was acceptable.  I decided to outline stick figures and the title of the picture is "Hello".  The large figure in the foreground is waving to the one appproaching.  I echoed this with blue figures more or less doing the same thing.  It seemed reasonably dynamic and I used a comb as the final tool to give a feeling of movement. It was a very useful exercise in the erradication of detail which has always been something I want to aspire to. 
Taking Out
I have "taken out" but have also covered up by using the previous two techniques i.e. to include something figurative.  I have called it "Circus".  I could have developed it even more but one is wary of making a mess. To destroy and re-work a picture is always a possibility but one hopes to avoid it if possible.  The colours I used were not my usual pallet so I found that in itself, different.  I think the painting has an explosive glittering feel of a circus, but I could have scraped some more vertical in the top right.  I like the patina of this technique, it would be good for old walls and the like.
Textural Marks
This exercise didn't feel so proscriptive so I felt able to experiment much more.  I used a plaster of paris bandage, sand and cardboard, as well as bits of plaster.  I have called it Homage to Hokusai and am reasonably happpy with the result.  It was fun to do and enabled me to use some of the techniques I have learned in the previous exercises.

Colour Fields
I didn't enjoy this exercise, mainly because despite using the flow enhancer the acrylics didn't seem to be brush free.  Also I felt it was something elementary that might have been tackled in year one.

Adding Collage

I decided to stick to the red and green and leave a reasonable amount of suface area green and relatively untouched with just a few newspaper cuttings.  Then did some scrapes and drips in contrasting red and feel the result is quite satisfying.

Encaustic wax over Collage

This technique could definitely become addictive!  'Experiment and have fun', the exercise said, which I did and I could have gone on discovering new things for some time.  I was not sure if though about the fumes and didn't have a mask, but the door was wide open.  I used textured paper of different kinds as well as tissue paper.  I feel I would like to go out and buy lots more colours as I only had a box of about 10 colours, but it was enough for the picture I ended up with. I think with this sort of picture is as well to leave it untitled so that people viewing it can make of it what they will.

Transferring Images from Newspaper

I decided to use a rough watercolour paper as I didn't want the image to be strong.  I chose a nightclub photograph and am pleased with the result as I have emphasized one window and some doors which gives it a slightly chilling look.  I reminded me for some reason of Peter Doig's work, of the building through the trees. I was pleased with the way I made the cutting part of the building itself.

Transferring photos on to board


This didn't work well.  I ironed on max heat for quite a long time but the image didn't transfer properly.  Nonetheless I feel it has created something a bit different, even with a partial transfer, so I am submitting it as my attempt.  This was done on a canvasboard I tried another on cartridge paper which worked well enough but only by transferring the ink not the whole vinyl image. The image I used for the transfer was a black and white of an old abstract drawing I did several years ago.

After Jasper Johns

I based this picture on the French road symbol to give way to traffic at a junction.  I enjoyed the exercise as it took me to another style and another place.  I painted it on hard board which had score marks in it which I was able to use with the hot wax, and scraping method to add texture. I decided to do try to introduce something of the Franz Kline bridge pictures by accentuating the top right border. The use of tissue ppaper with the black hot wax made flowery shapes for the feminine La Belle France. Using texture in paintings is very particularly interesting.  I wanted to add the sign to a white background so I added a little yellow ochre to the white of the symbol which made the white ground appear slightly blueish. 

After Rauschenberg (Combining Transfer processes with gestural painting)

Transferring using T-shirt paper didn't work at all well.  If the original type of transfers were available (i.e. not vinyl) it would have worked better, I think.  which I suspect  is what Rauschenberg would have used.  I managed to do two but the others are pasted newspaper cuttings. I don't know if it is the type of transfer paper I used, but it was almost impossible to transfer, as can be seen in the earlier exercise. In terms of the picture and the design I enjoyed creating a "Rauschenberg" and must confess he is not an artist I would have taken very seriously before.  However, I find there is a lot more in his work than a cursory glance might suggest. The influence of Duchamp's Readymades become Rauschenberg's Collectables. 

The board was textured from a previous painting and I applied gesso over it, creating a textured surface.  I like working on that sort of board as it offers opportunities to create textures with the paint applied later.  I used Acrylics.  I stuck some blobs which collect round the lids of acrylics for the coloured dots. The square format seemed ideal because I didn't want to copy "Manuscript", but came near to it. I really enjoyed this exercise. The reversal of images between black and white or white and black has also taken place, which has the effect of disorientating the spectator for a split second.


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