My reflection on part 4 ‘Looking Out‘
- Which have been the most engaging exercises?
=> The most physical engaging exercise for me was Project 4 ‘outdoor painting exercise‘ and as a kind of continuation Project 5 Ex3 ‘Working from photograph (Cloud Sublime)’. The most mentally engaging exercise with surpisingly outcome was P5Ex2 ‘Squaring up (Memories)’. Besides those exercises I find my sketchbook explorations of my working environment Bernese Oberland (sketchbook #8) and my living environment Aare River (sketchbook #11) in Switzerland most engaging, alongside some more elaborated sketchbook paintings based on some of those smaller sketchbooks images (e.g. ‘The Mountain Cries‘). I was intrigued with finding new and fluid approach to water based paint: watercolor and ink. (sketchbooks and Project 2 Ex2 ‘Aerial Perspective‘)
- Which landscapes have the most appeal for you?
=> Most appealing to me are the two paintings from Project 5 Ex2 ‘Squaring up (Memories)’ as I was able leverage more successfully my sketchbook approach onto a larger oil painting. I combined elements of chance and elements of thought and conscious paint application. Another very appealing exercise was Project 2 Ex1 ‘Linear Perspective’ (InsideOut) as I was able to translate landscape as an inner landscape and to combine this with some automatic technique from Surrealism (delcalcomania) and perspective. Overall and contextually I found it most intriguing to look at landscape from a wider perspective and – as indicated by my tutor after assignment 3 and my self portraits – to see the world around me as a mirror of myself and painting as a way to visualise that relationship.
- Why are certain paintings more successful than others?
=> I find those paintings more successful when I was emotionally more connected and found a different creative approach. Less successful were those paintings were I tried to follow the scope of the exercise too literally and just made ‘nice’ representative paintings that I find deprived. e.g. Project 1 Ex1 ‘View from a window’ and partly Project 5 Ex1 ‘Working from preparatory drawing‘
Working at times more at small scale but more in number seems rather more successful. During this part of the course I became more aware of the term ‘being too self-conscious‘ – my tutor gave me some hints after assignment 3. I think I didn’t quite understand it at that time. However I can now truly embrace my tutor’s advice and how I can translate this into my way of working.
- Which approaches and styles have worked best for you?
=> I found those approaches best where I combined elements of chance with more controlled strokes. Those were more successful where I worked with a certain creative freedom on a theme without too much advance planning, and not on a task. Project 2 Ex1 ‘Linear Perspective’ (InsideOut) and Project 5 Ex2 ‘Squaring up (Memories)’ are two great examples for me where I actually didn’t know beforehand how the final painting would look like. To work on s prepared support with at times abstract patterns supported me in working on subsequent layers more freely.