Assignment 5: Reflection on tutors’ feedback – skype tutorial

Based on draft report provided by my tutor and our video tutorial from 22nd March 2017.

The full tutor report is available at: (need permission to access)


I had a very pleasant and positive feedback on my assignment piece and a very fruitful discussion on the way forward. We discussed topics related to my assessment portfolio that were most relevant to me at this stage. Overall, I was and still am very satisfied with at times challenging feedbacks and often provided with an outlook towards the next level.


My tutor recognised that overall I do ‘excel when exploring a more personal expressive and gestural language in painting, but … seem stifled when having to submit academic exercises of a more representational and more conventional nature.’ This is something I was facing also during previous parts. For me it seems a mental argumentation with myself rather than a skill question. I find personal interactive and gestural approaches much more appealing.

In this context my works on collage/assemblage (incl Triptych) and impasto/embedded materials turned out very strong. My tutor commented on those:

  • #1-2: show ‘assimilation of key aspects, both conceptually and through process’.
  • #3-5: The rather abstract ‘reductive quite minimal yet gestural application of paint’ paintings  work very well.
  • #6-7 (Triptych): A very strong work with a very useful  work in progress documentation. She suggested that those progress documentation could be printed out and submitted physical pieces for the assessors.

Stefan513593 - Assignment 5 - reflection

Stefan513593 – Assignment 5 – reflection

I was very pleased that my sub-project of overpainted photographs were well perceived as very successful by my tutor. As I made them mostly in my sketchbook the format as book acts as a time-based (timeline) narrative for the observer/reader. She commented that the ‘integration of colour and collaged elements works better in the sketchbook material. Collaged material suggests a narrative’. Her comment supported my previous research on narrative and that the material by itself can enhance resp create a narrative. That sketchbook will definitely go for assessment.

In context of abstraction – an aspect on which I need to be clearer for my future work –  my tutor gave me good insight on my overpainted photographs:  she commented that they are not really abstract as there is ‘reference to representation’. Perhaps a poetic way rather than a descriptive or mimetic way?  My tutor linked this to ‘Brecht’s alienation effect, collage, assemblage and the associated fracturing of these processes [that] disrupt an illusionistic representation of an event or a place/ environment’. According to Brecht the audience should be aware of watching a play, not be carried away by the play and therefore be detached. She also suggested to discuss this further in context of the modernist legacy – as I did with Newman and Rothko. Both very relevant in the scope of my current course unit Understanding Visual Culture.


As commented before my tutor regarded my sketchbook works as very successful. Fortunately I have the freedom to discern the best sketchbooks for assessment submission and demonstrating a focus on ‘where texture and surface of paint or the layering of collage’ is more prominent.

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis: 

I was very satisfied with my tutor’s comment on my contextualisation and reflection. Something I was more or less struggling in previous parts: to make it most relevant. This time my context research was fully comprehensive and relevant, ‘I nailed it in making it more selective and really just writing about artists of direct relevance to my project and assignment development’ and

My self-evaluation was ‘to the point’ and my chosen theme of building memory and the uncanny connected well with my own profession as an art therapist and with my art making activity (reference to Freud’s writing on the uncanny/un-homely). My tutor gave my feedback that here I am building a more personal voice So for me to be more confident in the criterion of creativity (compared to my self-evaluation of my assignment)

At the end of my assignment I raised the question “how to address painting as process respectively painting as documentation in a more successful approach.” My tutor gave valuable feedback that this takes my interest in painting to a higher level. Eventually to move to level 2 painting/ drawing courses where I can explore aspects of this further.

Actions taken from the tutorial:


  • To ensure that my assessment portfolio demonstrates my painting skills of traditional (colour theory, still life, human figure, perspective) and more exploratory textural and semi-abstract paintings (including satisfactory examples of projects 1,2, 3 and 4). Convey a good balance e.g landscapes studies that explored texture and semi abstraction very well.
  • Upload documentation on preparation on collage/assemblage (PDF document) to assessment G drive folder or to present as part of my blog.
  • Considering my monoprint experiments to reflect and argue how I challenge the boundaries of painting and explored print and paint as extended forms of painting.
  • To submit Sketchbooks with Overpainted photographs as good evidence as (timeline) narrative in book format
  • To reflect on whether to submit the Triptych for assessment (all three or one only). Perhaps instead of one of the ‘cat litter’ embedded paintings. As the work in progress documentation for this triptych is useful the relevant documentation to be printed out for assessment submission alongside the physical pieces.
  • Submit sketchbooks also from other parts that include real sketchbooks where texture and surface of paint or the layering of collage is more prominent.

Context and reflection:

  • Further context impasto and texture: Robert Ryman and Antoni Tapies
  • Further context on my chosen theme of building memory and the uncanny: Rachel Whiteread House
  • Further context on alienation-effect: B. Brecht and of modernist legacy in the scope of my current course UVC.

Other topics:

  • Exploring aspects of painting as process respectively painting as documentation at level 2 (painting, drawing course units)


A substantial amount of time of the tutorial discussion was spent on clarifying further the degree course structure, levels and how BA Fine Art differs from BA Painting.

I agreed with my tutor during the tutorial to write down a mini statement of my progression through the course. This document summarises my objectives and motivations for doing Fine Art Degree and also retrospective reflection and analysis on motivations and objectives for doing Painting level 1 course. I was quite happy to see that my tutor included this in the formative report. A recognition by my tutor on ‘my mature approach that exceeds level 1 expectation’ and that ‘eases … into the co-ownership of report feedback expected at level 2’.  I will submit this alongside with my final selection of work for assessment.

Mini-Statement: My narrative through the course

My painting approach reflects my visual end embodied journey of interacting with my subject matter. Through my practice in art therapy I became continuously interested in exploring different ways to express and present embodied mental images and  sensations of personal encounters.

From illusionary rather observational painting (step 1) through experiencing an embodied and tactile painting sensation (step 2 – 5) towards painting as presentation of different realities (step 6 – 7)

My step-by-step painting journey leading to my personal painting approach:

  1. Illusionary representational painting in still life (‘Pebbles‘) and (‘Still life‘)
  2. Painting as tactile experience in paint (‘Interior Illumination‘) or (‘Painting evoking mood‘)
  3. My personal encounter of myself through self portraits (‘Self Portrait‘ and ‘in Pastel’ and ‘Split portait‘)
  4. My personal encounter as interface with my environment (‘Portrait partials‘ )
  5. My environment as a reflective landscape (‘InsideOut‘) and sign of human presence/absence (‘My absence‘)
  6. Painting as textural expression of my mental images in my encounter with the world (‘Memories‘ and ‘Triptych‘)
  7. Exploration of realities of paint (‘Aerial Perspective’) and other pictorial realities through painting (‘A remove from the familiar and ‘Corroding away at the facade of the smile )
  8. Abstraction as narrative and evoking mental images  (‘Not wanting to go near it and  ‘How little we need to build worlds‘ )


Pre-selection of assessment portfolio (23 March 2017): 

In total a portfolio of 17 paintings from all 5 parts of the course => will be cut by half after discerning decisions after my final evaluation.

Objective: To demonstrate my painting skills of traditional representational aspects (colour theory, still life, human figure, perspective) and my personal development as a painter. Selected examples should provide a good balance between e.g. exploration of texture and semi abstraction. (ex: landscapes studies)




  2 comments for “Assignment 5: Reflection on tutors’ feedback – skype tutorial

  1. April 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had a really valuable discussion that honours your development and helps with the technicalities of the portfolio construction. Looking forward to seeing your next steps. (Particularly enjoyed your indexing your journey of development.)

    • Stefan
      April 18, 2017 at 6:50 am

      thanks for our comment, Lottie. Yes, good chat with my tutor. Found it a good balance between support and giving enough freedom to develop my own way. One more month to go before shipping for assessment. More to write and reflect before that. Hope you are fine.

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