I feel incredibly happy about my experience in Painting Performance. It proved to be a necessary reminder of what art could do for me, for my mind, body and soul. It felt incredible to release all the emotions embodied in the paint, right there in front of everyone, and the most beautiful part of it was how incredibly exhilarating and FUN!
As an illustration student I felt strange, almost overwhelmed, but I soon realised that that kind of performance art was just a way to illustrate pure emotion and the power of influence (of any kind) on the grand scale that they deserve.
And as an artist, it was release. It was like my mind was singing ‘yes! finally! god f-ing damn it!’. I was in my element, in my Zone. I felt no pressure, and no boundaries, even though I was in a group with 3 other people. It felt great to be surrounded by so many fine artist friends.
In the end we were each asked to produce a short film based on our experience.
Space sounds from NASA – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MmWeZHsQzs
(we used it for our final performance)
all these were done for no specific reason other than I felt like it and in a way they helped me put things in order… visually. I found myself in a sort of art block (you know how it is when the inspiration and the motivation just leave you for a while) and this was the only way to still stay on track and think about my work even though I couldn’t engage with it.
They’re all a bit smaller than the standard A4 size, acrylic on paper. At first (“I”) I was mainly trying to see how much I can simplify the painting process and still come up with a recogniseable outcome. It kind of set the grounds for all the rest of them. I saw the experimentation with colour combinations as vital and one peculiarity was that I painted the pills first and then filled up the background later. It seems like a trend for all of my work and a sort of template for my thinking as well. The initial idea is always the central bit, the one thing that I want the attention to fall on, the rest comes later to fill in the blank space.
on a more extensive personal note: It’s like I’m obsessed with getting straight to the point – if I could get rid of the background altogether I probably would. I try not to think too much about my own process because that’s just way too confusing – not because I don’t know what’s going on but precisely the opposite, I do know and if I choose to describe it I will, only it will take me ages and I’d have to get into weird philosophical and psychological specificities which, again, are way too complicated to spend so much time on. I’d rather just do the actual work.
Anyway, I really, REALLY, enjoyed working on these and I will try and do some more in the near future, perhaps more to the subject. I will be busy making the installation’s descriptive illustrations/maquet.
Once again, I was so happy I went to life drawing. I am very happy with these and my slowly growing collection of sketches.
I started off with the charcoal as I feel it works best with large quick sketches but then I found some leftover orange chalk on one of the empty easels. I was a bit uneasy at first as I wouldnt usually use this colour, but then it felt like that specific orange fit perfectly. It got too strenuous for my eyes though so at the start of the first 20-minute pose (at the front) I went to the box of scraps and found a beautiful whole crimson chalk and right next to it was this pale cold violet, same as the drapes, same as the time when I was sketching that skeleton… so I just took them instinctively and that was that.
For some reason I feel like the female body is much easier to draw than the male. I will be focusing on it more closely from now on, to get that line flowing.
One day in December Derry (Beck) and I went to the studio for a life drawing session but found it empty. Apparently the model was ill and couldn’t make it so the class was canceled. We were surprised and a bit disappointed but Derry instantly had a solution. He took a model of a skeleton from its hanger and put it in a life drawing model pose on the little stage with the drapes and all.
I am very pleased with the two pieces, as simple as they are.
Wow, I haven’t done this in ages… It felt so good to let loose and just concentrate on this one thing alone…
With stress levels rising again it has become really hard to really focus on something for a prolonged amount of time, so this session came as a gift – I was doing something without having to worry about the time (well, I did but in a different way) or what you have to do next. I was relaxed and completely at ease. It was like my own personal natural form of meditation.
Someone mentioned last week or so that the life drawing sessions were getting cancelled and that this session would be the deciding one. Whether or not that was the issue, there were quite a few people in the life drawing room which inspired me even more – I haven’t been in a room full of so many people doing art at the same time since… probably the beginning of this year.
Well, I just hope that we keep on having life drawing sessions.
That day, everyone had an A4 sheetup on the wall in front of them. This was more of a personal exploration, unlike other times, when we shared a surface or worked as a group. We were supposed to bring in any non-art materials of our choosing, to use in our artwork instead of paint. Some people brought Gravy granules, teabags, cleaning products, flour, toothpaste, clay, tomato soup and so much more. I brought a bucket of leaves from the park and I got scared I wouldnt be able to make them stick. Fortunately, with the help of some water (cloudy with washed off acrylic paint), I managed to turn them into a more volatile substance.
We were doing slow movements at first, concentrating on muscle use and breathing and connecting with the material, exploring its flow and consistency and learning to work with it. Then we switched to a faster pace, an angry approach with violent outcomes.
It was an interesting exercise for lots of reasons – seeing what everyone else had done with their materials, both as interesting mixtures of substances and interesting outcomes. By the end though, the mixed smell of all those mixtures became so potent, we had a hard time trying to focus and discuss the work.
These two bits of acrylic paint stuck together in something like a plastic sheet of colour and textures interested me a lot and I decided to keep a few of them, which I stuck in my sketchbook. They were bits of splashed paint, left to dry down in the corners of the areas we used for our performance art.
I find it really interesting how something so unimportant, even in Painting Performance, such as the very final residual leftovers of chucked paint, which gather up secretly and unnoticed in unpredictable new patterns, producing colour combinations both unexpected and captivating.
“Caress the detail, the divine detail.”
– Vladimir Nabokov
I have been particularly interested in testing out people’s perceptions and this simple art-making technique helped out a lot. Not only did I get to test out how the paint acts with different marks, thickness, shape and colour. Afterwards I asked some people what they saw (with experiment 1) and each time I got a different answer. I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised! out of the 10 people that I asked, only two saw the same thing.
Since I’m not a psychology student and I haven’t reasearched into it, I still don’t fully know what to do with all the information yet, but I can feel that it will definitely come in handy in the future.