Ok….I’m going to take my blog more seriously now

March 31, 2010

I’m back at a place that I used to call home, well half the time anyway; old swan in Liverpool. Just got back from a really inspiring two weeks, first in Rome then in the newly emerging arty trendy parts of London with my dear friend Louise Lynn. I’ve been using my film camera and I’m really excited about developing the films that a took in the two completely different capital cities. I learnt a lot about the renaissance and classical sculptures in rome, and began to notice my drawings of anatomy improving when drawing  these traditional gallery collections. My visual diary was almost finished, the small Moleskine sketchbook packed with all the things I learnt in my second term at the school of art in Aberystwyth. Colour theory, life class, reflective notes, this book was worthless to everyone else but the evidence of my thought processes, and i lost it. The irony was the book was just finished, and ready for who ever found it to look through and catch a glimpse, although it would probably have no meaning to them.

Nevermind, life goes on, if my carelessness taught me anything it was that i needed to get with the times more. I tried some blogging before christmas as you can see, but didn’t quite get the idea of a new post for each new idea. Now i will be using this blog as a second sketchbook, it is a form of procrastination but a much more useful form. Now my ideas will not be lost, no matter how stupid and careless i am.

Rome- beautiful architecture, insane drivers, street artists, ancient art, futurism, facism, amazing food that we can’t afford, a creative atmosphere.

The Colossuem at night was an entirely diferent experience, when visiting capital cities i find i can become a little intolerant to people and large crowds. All that was left at this time of night were a few determined italian salesmen…selling tacky glass sculptures. I wanted to return to the collosseum in the day and do some painted studies, but time was not in great supply.

We really enjoyed this piece of street art near the colosseum, it reminded me a little of the work of Banksy although im not quite sure who did it. Street art is often a huge part of creative culture in cities today. It’s interesting to see the work change through weathering and urban decay.

One of the amazing things about italian art as a whole is the variety in art works. We once had a lecture last term about the nature of art history and specific art movements that we associate with specific countries. The lecture mainly focussed on the western view of art history, and how many of us are clueless to art on a global scale. None of us for example could really name any chinese, indian, polish or australian artists from a hundred years ago, we could all however name the italian high renaissance artists, and the futurists. Italy doesn’t do so badly in western art history it seems.

The image above is of the beautiful and at the same time horrifying sculpture ; Michelangelo’s Pieta. This image was in our current issues lectures very often last term. The striking thing about it is the sense of weight we can see created by christ’s dead body. As a true renaissance man Michelangelo believed in working from life and creating extremely realistic representations in his work. It has been said to create this work he worked from real corpses to make the dead christ’s body entirely believable. My reaction to the sculpture was partly dissapointment. Not because the sculpture wasn’t beautiful, but because of huge glass barriers and crowds of people around me. The sculpture was also smaller than i imagined. I really wanted to get up close, to see the emotion in Mary’s eyes, not as a religious onlooker, but as someone who could relate to loss and grieving on some level. I felt like they were missing the point somehow, as surely to appreciate the work properly a closer look would be nesasary.

On my visit to rome i was also amazed by the works of italian sculptor Berini, in the same way as Michelangelo his sculptures showed tenderness and amazing observation of weight and gravity. I spent an afternoon in the Borgese Gallery drawing these representations of the form, and felt frustrated. A friend said to me ‘look at how they can capture the movement through marble and stone, while we can’t even draw it. Life class is a very important part of our course at Aberystwyth, but anatomy is something we no longer study, i think perhaps over the summer i will be practicing drawing the form in the same way as the more classic artists.

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna

Although Italy is perhaps best known for its Classical, Renaissance and Baroque art, the national modern gallery was well worth a visit. As well as works by monet, cezanne, and van gogh, i saw some more contemporary video and film art, and work from the avant garde feminist movement that helped my research for my self directed film project.

Edward Hopper and Carravaggio

After visiting the amazing exhibitions of these artists that lived and worked centuries apart i saw a general theme in thier work, and that was the theme of light. The theme that played a huge part in Baroque and Impressionism, light has been something artists have almost always studied. Before visiting these exhibitions at the start of the spring term i noticed a problem in my painting, that everything always seemed to become muddy coloured, not like the beautiful viberant hues that i wanted. The truth is that in painting creating light is about use of colour, Claude Monet worked in all seasons recording different lights through different colour schemes. I needed to make sure i was applying the bright and dark colours i the right order, depending on the kind of paint (oils or acrylics). My painting has improved, but i still have a lot to learn as far at light and colour are concerned.

Edward Hopper Morning Sun

This exhibition at the Fondazione Roma Museo was truly inspirational. I saw how Edward Hopper was inspired by the impressionists, by artists that inspire me like Monet and Van Gogh, and how he took these ideas and made something of his own. His use of colour and mark making creates light, in his painting’s and etchings. If you look at the painting above (Morning Sun, 1952) you can see the contrast in deep dark colours and bright pastel colours. These colours placed together create light illusions. The body of his wife in the painting is bright red in places, like her ears and fingertips, as my life class teacher would say, they are filled with blood. Her legs have a blueish hue as they are pale , and slightly relfect from the greeny colour on the window frame. The building outside is illuminated by the sun so glows a bright orange.

In the same way as Hopper, Carravagio used bright and dark colours together in a way that looks very modern. I’m sure in fact that some paintings from both artists would not look out of place together.

Hopper, Edward

From Rome to London…

After a long journey back to England after a 2 hour flight delay i found myself in London staying with a friend who studies graphic design at Camberwell college. It was nice to visit some places in london i had never seen before, Louise said she knew I’d love these places but I’m sure was still a little surprised at my excited attitude and eagerness at phototaking. I had visited the Saatchi Gallery once so in a way knew what to expect. Some of the pieces i loved, some i wern’t exactly taken with. I always find it interesting when me and Louise visit galleries together because as different kinds of artists we approach the work differently. In each room we would both pick an entirely different piece for a different reason and call it our favourite. Below are the pieces that i liked the best, the painting is by Michael Vasquez, and is called ‘How to Stand for Something’. I loved the painterly way of painting that still looked very realistic, it reminded me of the work of Jenny Saville and how she deals with flesh. The composition is also very interesting, we recognise the subject as a human figure, but we can not look to the figure’s face for any clues, as he does not have one. This leaves us to look at the figure’s posture and hands. In contemporary painting an interesting compostion is crucial. Before we broke up for easter at uni we started a long pose portrait, it took us a whole afternoon to get an interesting pose. We knew that if the composition didn’t work it didn’t matter about the quality of the painting, we knew that it just wouldnt work in general.

Some of the more abstract sculptural works/ ready mades. After seeing Damien Hirst’s ‘Mother and Child Divided’ a few years back at the turner prize retrospective, this folded camel didn’t freak me out too much, although it was a strange image.

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One Response to “Ok….I’m going to take my blog more seriously now”

  1. Polina Says:

    Added your blog to my favourites! That was intresting and even educating! Jen,I keep on saying you deffinetely have the right personality to be an amazing artist! xxx love you!


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