Thursday, 29 July 2010

Alex's Interpretation

This is the first image out of our three swaps that Alex sent to me to either work from or with. Alex has dupilcated Craig-Martin's image to create some more and weird shapes. My initial reaction was to add colour to it but after trying it and some consideration, I think that a better way forward would be to try and work in this same way myself but with one of the images that I have created previously. I did try to add colour to this image but it became very pixelated. I will create some more images utilising the same method that I have been using in the previous images I uploaded and try to adopt Alex's twist. His image reminds me of one of the sections you can see looking through a klaidescope and I think that it will be much harder to imitate than what I first thought.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Complete Drawing no.4

In this image I have tried to incorporate more information. Looking at Craig-Martin's image against my previous attempt, there was too much spare background. His image is brimming with information and there are no blank spaces.
Although a better attempt I still think that this one needs more elements so that there is no background colour and instead more objects. Using his palette is definitely working however and am enjoying the process of scanning in my images and editing them on Photoshop - for a change! Also, I need to find objects that do not use the colour white as the two white areas here are too distracting from the overall image.
I will need to sit in the kitchen and raid my cupboards for more interesting shapes. One idea that I had was to scan individual elements in and make a whole image by adding lots together. With the amount of layering that would need to be done I think that I would make this too confusing for myself.
The process that I have developed seems to be getting the desired results and I will continue to utilise it until it runs out of steam.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Complete Drawing no.3

Here the piece is utilising the same palette as Craig-Martin. I think that the colours do work much better than the random one's which I picked first time around. The colours are a lot more subdued than the one's I chose, mine seem to be a lot more primary - although he has utilised a very bright palette the colours are not primary.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Complete Drawing no.2

This was a really quick attempt at trying to add some colour to the piece. I'm actually quite please with the results for something that only took 3 minutes! AND I've mastered Photoshop!!
More colour coordination needs to be used and I think it would look quite neat done in the exact same colours used in Craig-Martin's image. Also, I have noticed that Michael does not use white, every last details is in colour - another point which I need to condiser when colouring my pieces.
I think that the addition of the montage coat works really well as it too is bold in shape and in a bright colour to blend with the piece well. However, I will try and be more subtle with the next images, so that the montage elements don't have so much clout.

Complete Drawing no.1

After my first couple of preliminary sketches, this is the first complete one that I am happy with. Here I was just playing around with the idea of drawing what is in front of me and adding snippets of montage. I drew in pencil first and went over the lines in black fine liner.
I like the idea of playing with scale although at first it was hard to grasp as everything I was drawing came out naturally in normal proportions. I will edit this drawing in Photoshop to add some colour, I don't want to destroy my first image that I like by rushing in with paint etc. I think that it is very in keeping with Craig-Martin's style and I am proud of my first finished attempt.
My next mission is to sit in every room in the house and draw what I can see in front of me... maybe even at work to add another dimension! I like working in this way as it brings a personal element into it.
I will continue to bring in elements of montage to follow on in the style that I am starting to carve for myself.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I met Angelo at the beginning of our holidays. He played and sang in the Cuban restaurant on the resort. By 'played', I mean he strummed on his guitar and blew on a leaf to produce a sound ... yes, your read right, a LEAF!! This man is a musical master.
He had loads of stickers on his guitar from around the world including Czech republic. For a communist this is considered a huge achievement. He had such a charm and oozed charisma. It made me wish I could speak Spanish, apart from the odd 'por favour' I'm pretty terrible. He was a walking treasure trove just waiting to tell a story. For a 72 year old man he still runs 5 miles a day and like Nancy is a complete inspiration.
The Cuban heritage completly captivates me. They all walk around with smiles plastered on their faces, waitresses included! The shifts they work are 3pm to 7am the following morning and it does not phase them one bit. The people cannot do enough for anyone, everything that is theirs is yours too, even though they have next to nothing they have such a sense of selflessness; such a quality that is very hard come by in England...

Monday, 19 July 2010

Meet Nancy!
Nancy hates mosquitoes, they feed off her constantly!
I took this photograph in the local village close to our resort in Playa Pesquero, Cuba. Nancy inspires me with her vivacious love of life, her outgoing character and friendly nature. Whenever I passed her corrugated tin hut on my brake-less (eek!) bicycle she would leap up out of her rocking chair, zoom outside and wave her bingo wings off at me with the most genuine grin on her face I have seen in a long time.
To say that these people have nothing would be an understatement but they have everything in terms of their happiness.
In her house she has a small tv and a chair, there is a bed at the back sectioned off with a curtain and she had a tube of toothpaste that a fellow tourist had left her above her sink - she was unsure of how to use it. We brought her some mangoes from the buffect breakfast which she was delighted to receive and on our penultimate day we dropped by with our clothes that we wouldn't be bringing back with us. She was delighted - I am positive I have made a friend for life.
She has changed my outlook on life for the better. These people know no better so they are unaware that they are a lot worse off. But then who am I to judge who is better and worse off? They have a fab quality of life in other aspects, there is no processed food and everything is fresh and organic. There is no competition with designer labels, everybody is an equal. They have fabulous weather year round, even during the rainy season. Children can run around freely with no shoes on and the elders kick back with a bottle of rum sipping in the amazing sunsets. I dream to move there one lucky day.
Her bright dress and wide toothless smile depicts everything Cuba has to offer!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Distorted Proportions

The piece that we have decided to work on is themed around distorted proprtions and scale. For example the light bulb is much larger than the chair. This work has a surrealist feel as it does contain elements of suprise and unexpected juxtapositions. I decided to look at other artists who work in a similar way.
This image by Tim Burton has ethereal, matchstick legs compared to the heaviness of his body which is a definite distortion in proportion, I don't think anyone could walk on those! Although it differs in style in comparison to Michael Craig Martin the objective appears to be the same. The elements that have more importance have more focus and stress.
And the image by Quentin Blake has a cute innocene about it. The young boy has been drawn as small as possible to emphasise the pelican's beak. The general rule seems to be that elements that are out of the ordinary need to be overly emphasised for example the pelican's beak, an elephants trunk or a cat's tail.
Another deatil I have noticed in Martin's work is that all of his elements have a black outline - a detail which I am not completely 'into' myself. The two examples above also follow this trend and all three have a cartoon quality too. The key techniques then have been highlighted, black outlines, cartoon feel and a distortion in proportion. (To follow Martin's lead I will not be able to hold back on the colour front either!)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Pop Daddy

Whilst we're on the subject of Pop Art, how can I not include some Andy Warhol? The legend that is... for me he is the epitomy of the movement. He is the only artist I have come across that could turn something so banal as a tin of condensed soup into an artistic icon!

There was a freshness in his work by playing with colour but leaving the image solo. He took things which were 'popular' of the era (early 50's in Britain) and gave them icon status.

Marilyn Monroe is another fine example of his pop work. Repitition plays a large role in his work and seems to develop a theme, making an example of the items we take for granted each and every day.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Michael Craig Martin

After visiting Manchester City Gallery, me, Becca and Alex have chosen to do our summer project on Michael Craig Martin's Inhale (yellow). Medium is acryllic on canvas 243.8 x 182.8 cm.
This image stood out to our group for its attention grabbing colour. I like the distortion of scale, it reminds me of a fantasy land or something you would dream up as a child and this sems to be the recurring theme in this piece. It has a simplicity about it where Martin has recreated a scene he probably has sat out in front of him. It amazes me how so many colours can still have a strong relationship without being over crowded.
It reminds me of the Pop Art era but much later, his collection from 2000 onwards ( is very bold and has a graphical edge. I like the idea of making larger works and more public displays, however I imagine that they would be very time consuming and require a huge amount of patience.
This particular image was created in 2002. I don't believe that it is actually painted. He clearly manipulates his tools well, the lines are so definitive and strong. Craig-Martin poduced this as part of his conceptual art collection where the idea (concept) over rules the traditional aesthetic and a lot of conceptual art appears as installations, which looking at his website, he is involved in quite a bit.
For my personal sketchbook part of this project I would like to do some photography work incoroprating installations. I will continue with my collage/montage technique which I was developing at the end of the last acadmic year and will do some preliminary sketches to work from. Making some stencils to create a more graphic effect will probably give a similar finish. I would like to work in the same media as Craig-Martin (acryllic) but do not feel overly confident in my abilty to work it as well.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Cuban Charm

During my stay in Cuba, I had the opportunity to look at some charming Cuban art work. I was particularly drawn to the vibrancy of the colours used, they are just not something I am used to seeing in typical European art. The photographs that I have uploaded are of prints that were hung in our room. The attention to detail in these works is immacluate and is further highlighted by the intricacy of the lines.

Typically, the artwork in Cuba focuses on animals and nature orientated subjects. The typical media of choice and the one which is most widely available is oil paint on very thick paper made from banana leaves. If the artist is wealthier they will have access to thin fabrics. I think that this gives the art work more authenticity and makes it more genuine.