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City Lit Fine Art, Painting 2 - several sessions!

Naughty, naughty - neglected this blog for at least 4 weeks. Probably because I was so uncomfortable and unsure about my direction temporarily. Mustn't get into the habit it of it (the blog post-missing not the self-doubt, will never avoid that! ) . So, we did animation, (another post here) and now we're on the 4th session of Painting 2, which is painting again but this time it's about the development of our own process and finding a way to work that will lead to a painting that is not just a still life - and has meaning to it.

We were also encouraged to develop our ideas using Photoshop, which was clumsily introduced by the digital imaging teacher. There's no way anyone can learn Photoshop in an afternoon so you tell him what you want - eg collage this or blend that - and he'll do it for you, and you paint from that. Luckily, I know Photoshop pretty well. So I was determined to use that knowledge. But I think it's a bit of a distraction and maybe we shouldn't use it at this stage.

Also, rather to my distraction, I became obsessed with integrating image transfer techniques into my painting so spent the first 2 weeks trying techniques to successfully transfer photos to paper / wood panel / mdf etc - NOT with great success technically, - I contacted the artist Jon Measures who was helpful but it's such a skill to do what he does - which is collage digitally as well as on the surface of his wooden panels. I also met the artist Dan Parry-Jones at the Battersea Affordable Art Fair, he screen-prints his photography to mix with paint too. I've now got a special lamp to burn my own screens with. Both techniques are something I really want to master - but I felt I was being a bit too ambitious for this particular project, so am keeping to painting for now.

I had 1970's Kentish Town / Gospel Oak in mind (where I did some of my growing up) - railway lines, shabby buildings, electrical bits and pieces, windows. And cranes. I love cranes and windows. In a nutshell my process has evolved to taking photos and then blending them with eachother, then exaggerating or heightening colours and shapes, then possibly painting them on paper, then scanning again and repeating parts of the image or colouring them or blending them in a new way., then printing. Maybe painting them again in future if I have time! Hints of layering, fragmentation come to mind. Memory and nostalgia are definitely feelings I'm interested in but hey let's not get too carried away too quickly on the meaning side of things?... For now I'm interested in shapes and colour - hopefully meaning will come soon!

yuk, what was I thinking (above). Here is the inspiration collage below.

As always, I'm very interested in colour but feel I always get it wrong. I need to choose palettes more carefully. The garish stuff is so exciting to create but I wouldn't have it on my wall! Need to resolve this conflict....

I have loads of the following sort of thing so won't put too many here. The first one below might become a painting.

At the moment, I feel the collaging process is just too random and I would like it to be more meaningful. But the above is really just stuff I do on my Iphone (not photoshop) when I'm out and about on a tube etc, and usually working in a hurry.

The disadvantage of these is that they end up being very low-resolution because I've fiddled so much. So I can't then print it large. Must do more on my mac.

So - what's my main piece? Well, I've ended up painting a street scene at Gospel Oak, which shows the shop where my parents bought my dolls' house which is still there. The shop owners are in their late 80's now and still don't let any children in ! It's painted pink.

I was interested in making the mundane look more interesting.

Here's where I'm at right now:

(I've been painting onto stretch canvas which is LOVELY! far nicer than paper.

Then in photoshop - on the doctored photo I'd played with - I overlaid some windows, as if inside a dolls' house looking out onto the street, so that is going to be my process for now - paint the street, wash in white acrylic, masking out the window areas, then repaint those areas on top, then scratch any detail into the white.

In photoshop I quite liked the colours:

Back next week .. wonder if I will like or hate the results!


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