Derek McCrea

December 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Eerie tree


For my final painter, I decided to investigate the work of Derek McCrea, a contemporary American painter, who, as I have done in many of my small postcard sized paintings, uses ink, pen, and many other media as well as paint. Although he is now most famed for his delicate watercolours.

In this watercolour, entitled “Eerie” the artist has applied what I believe to be a fantastic use of negative space for this imposing and crisp white tree. The colours in the sky are absolutely beautiful and very emotive. I love the blotched technique and the control the artist has over what colours run and by how much, (something I myself could only hope to achieve with watercolour!) I presume McCrea layered the sky, first applying the orange, then blue, then purple, and letting the paint dry between each layer. I find the composition with the three stripes of colour and the white leading your eye towards the trunk of the tree really effective.

After looking at this working process, I feel I would quite like to experiment using watercolour, and creatuing a line in a different way than I have before, like maybe using masking tape to create this white space. Perhaps then the end result would be less of a watery mess..

But hey, I’d need to actually get some watercolours first. ….Santa?


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Journey; Video Project

December 15, 2008 at 10:42 am (Uncategorized)


So, I thought it was important to write about what I have done so far, and what I hope to finally achieve, as at the moment it’s all a bit of a jumble both in my head and on screen.

Basically my initial idea was to portray a period of time in someones life in a visually pleasing way. The various pieces of footage I had were so-so in their own ways, but did not mould well together, or make any sort of impact or hint at any kind of narrative. Really I wanted the viewer to make up their own story or conception and this would differ from person to person.

I realised when viewing everything on my camera I was flicking through my photo’s at great speed and they appeared to tell a story, sort of like a flipbook, quickly jumping from event to event, I liked this effect and decided to prodominantly use photo’s within my video. My next issue was which to use, and why. I thought it would be a good idea to dismember these events and splice them back together, distorting and changing the happenings for people to put back together in their own ways. And so, still following through with my idea of this video being a bold and colourful piece of footage to observe, the obvious thing to do appeared to be to colour co-ordinate all of my photographs and categorise these colours in the order of the rainbow. After that I wanted to speed it up so that no one photograph stood out and resulted in a blurred vision of colour, a smudge of a weeks activity presented in a few seconds.

I suppose it’s from here on that I started to get confusused. I tryed slowing bits down, mirroring the images, adding bits of video footage and playing with the sound levels. But really, I made no further progress.

I think, after writing this, I see where my intentions lie. I want people to bring their own perceptions to this video and therefore I don’t have to make an obvious attempt at a narrative. However I would like to have several subtle narratives in place, to observe how people react and which they choose to follow, if any.  In order to apply this I will change the order in which the photo’s appear in the flipbook to display certain periods of time and certain events midway through my video. It will be interesting to see if anyone picks up on this with everything moving so fast. I suppose this is also some sort of experiment with the subconcious of my peers, as i find this part of the brain interesting to engage with.

I also want there to be an obvious theme throughout the video, which shall be the rainbow theme. I shall capture footage of rain and play this at the beginning (following a brief epilepsy warning!) Then count in the fast flipbook with  block colour (7-red, 6-yellow, 5-pink etc.) It will be interesting to see if people only follow this theme or pick up on anything else. I also need to add sound to my video, so I thought I would (reluctantly) sing the rainbow song. To tie in with this almost silly theme I’d quite like to add a pot of gold at the end.

So there we have it Beck, conjure up, chop it up, splice it up, and work on a head f*ck.

Simple! 😉

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Gerhard Richter

December 9, 2008 at 12:03 pm (Uncategorized)

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Gerhard Richter exhibition at the National Gallery.

I found it difficult to appreciate some of Richter’s work painted from photographs, the slightly blurred, blown up images, with deliberately thick and vulgar brush strokes did not appeal to me and I found the subject matter (family portraits and newspaper cut-outs) a little dull. However there were defiantly exceptions in my mind, the ‘Death’ painting with the man crushed by a huge rock was a very strong image to paint, and I love the way Richter has painted photo imperfections such as the ghostly movement of ‘Ema Nude on the Stair’ or the speeding cars travelling so fast that they were almost unrecognisable abstract blurs. I find this way of painting a photograph really refreshing as he is not painting the subject in the photo, but the photo itself and I feel he deliberately chose uncrisp and hazy images to distinguish them as paintings of photographs.

For my digital image journey project I have developed the concept of displaying two weeks in my life through a series of colour coded still images. The images are flicked through really fast, sort of like a flick book with snippets of film included. The idea was that the eye would only be able to pick out the colour and the images would all blur and blend into one moving image. Many of the photographs are taken in low light without flash, and contain so much movement that they verge on obscurity. I think it would be extremely interesting to paint from these images as Richter has done, however I have taken a different path with my painting project so it will have to wait until later in the year.

I was definitely most impressed with Richter’s abstract paintings. His technique being very controlled and planned for something that appears to be very irregular. The differing layers of paint appear to jump out at you, almost 3D, and within the bright colours you can take something very different away from each painting if you gaze at it very close up or from some distance. Not sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me but at a distance I kept seeing pattern or figures within the abstraction, and closer bottom layers of paint appeared to lie on top. This could be a topic for endless discussion, and I could have stared at them for hours, which is why I see it fair to rate them so highly.

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