Whilst I seem to have been busy since my last blog, my actual creative output seems to have been pretty scant. I do seem to have been involved in an awful lot of art admin– entering competitions, preparing for a couple of exhibitions and working on a couple of electronic book covers for clients, but nevertheless the painting and digital art I have been doing have produced rather disappointing results.

I continue on with my exploration of the digital mark and paint in combination with surface. ‘Scar’ started off as a transferred collage of a digital montage of mine that went incredibly wrong in the process. I suppose another person might have ripped the canvas off and started again, but I can be particularly stubborn at times and so didn’t want to give up on it. Much of my work stems from the process of just looking and imagining, so whilst working on other things I let ‘Scar’ rest against the wall, so that occasionally certain things would appear to me and give me some sort of idea as to what else I could do with it. I wanted to be true to my playing with surface, paint and digital mark, so it was important I didn’t obliterate the whole thing with paint. So in some parts I tore elements of paper off, so that instead of a digital or painted layering effect, it was in fact a paper layer effect – appearing like strata of rock. It is important to me that the digital image sits along-side with equal importance as the paint, but at the same time, a manifestation of form begin to appear as opposed to be just a sea of colour and pattern.

In addition to these I have played around with some digital drawings (using a tablet and pen) and transferred these to canvases as small collages. Within these I have combined both drawing of ink and paint. The digital images didn’t transfer as well they normally do and I am not quite sure why. The final effect is that they are rather faint on the surface and fade into obscurity compared to the ink and painted marks. I strongly suspect that the colour of the base of the surface didn’t help and also I needed to be bolder and more obvious with my digital drawings in the first instance. However these were good exercises to do and have taught me a thing or two to take forward.

This is the beauty of not having to focus on actual university course-work. At uni, whilst one is definitely encouraged to experiment, make mistakes etc, the reality is that when you are in your final year, you really have to focus on your degree show from quite an early stage. It may not be the same for everyone, but in my case, it certainly minimised my experimentation as I simply didn’t have the time to do this. So whilst creatively I sit within a kind of an abyss, it is a nice place to be currently and allows me to play, explore and critically evaluate my art in a less pressurised way.

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