Degree Show

Now, it is two days since the opening of the Degree Show at the School of Art, but it will stay open until the end of the month. This is one of my first exhibitions, and the opening of it was truly a great experience which went better than I expected.

Exhibition WallFlowersDegree Show 2018Exhibition

I am actually really pleased with how my exhibition space ended up looking like, and with my artwork as well. Please come along for the exhibition if you are interested – there are a lot of great artists and some amazing artwork!

Flower Paintings

Just a short post about how my work is coming along. I am aiming to have 32 paintings in the exhibition, but there is still a bit of work to be done before I can hang them in my studio space next week. At this moment I have completely finished 12 of them and still have 2 paintings I did not even start yet, I am a little bit (a lot) stressed since I also have a 4000-word essay to deliver on Tuesday.

Anyways, here are some of the paintings I am completely done with:

Now I just really hope I have enough time so I can manage to get all of them done to the state I want them to be!

Preparing for the Exhibition

The last three days I have been working in room 301 (the life drawing studio) in the School of Art to prepare my space for the Degree Show. The opening is on the 19th of May – in only 9 days! I still have quite a lot of work that needs to be finished before the exhibition, but at least my studio space is looking good now.

Here is the design of the studio spaces, drawn by our technician and curator at the SoA Phil Garratt:

I was a part of the last group to help with the building of the walls in the studios (301 and 306). That was Tuesday afternoon, and yesterday I stayed for more than five hours in the school preparing the walls for painting and giving them the first layer of white paint. Earlier today I returned to finish my space with the last coat of paint.

How to prepare the studio space:

  1. Cover the floor with newsprint or plastic etc.
  2. Look for nails, screws or staples and remove them from the walls.
  3. Make sure to rub out any pencil marks on the wall since they will shine through the paint if they are left on the wall.
  4. Fill in holes in the wall with a filler.
  5. Cover the corners and gaps between the plates of the wall with tape (good quality masking tape 2 or 4 inches) and make sure it is very well glued to the wall.
  6. Paint as many layers of white paint as necessary.

I am really looking forward to the exhibition (which is really getting scarily close). Now, I only have to finish my work so I can hang it in my space early next week.

The Takeover

Yesterday, 8th May, I went to see an exhibition at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, The Takeover. A self-curated exhibition by students of the module Interdisciplinary Practice held by Miranda Whall. This is the third year this exhibition is running, but last year I did not get a chance to see it so I am really happy I had time this year since it was only showing for one afternoon (12pm – 3pm).

The Takeover 2018

The exhibition has got its name from the concept – the students are taking over the Arts Centre and transforming parts of the public space. They were showing work and installations of different kinds of art practices, based on their own perception of the Centre. Amongst the work were short films, sound installations, projections, and performances.

I really think exhibitions like this are great! It is a good opportunity for the public to gain insight into the practices at the School of Art, and it is fascinating to see all the different connections, ideas and creativity coming together in a completely unique experience.

The Takeover

Thanks to everyone involved in the Takeover for making such an amazing exhibition!

Art Internship

I am really excited! Starting on Monday and throughout the summer, I will be working as an intern at Mid Wales Arts Centre.

The Mid Wales Arts Centre came into being on the initiative of Cathy Knapp, after she spotted the main house Maesmawr (which dates all the way back to 1526) and saw its potential. She spent years restoring it before it became what it is today – a great gallery, a sculpture trail, and a centre for workshops, talks, poetry events, art clubs and an education program. The centre is run by a group of volunteers, called Mid Art Wales, and is constantly growing and expanding. At the moment there are new studio spaces being built for a future artist in residence program.

Stefan Knapp’s unique collection is on display in the gallery and on the site. Stefan Knapp, Cathy’s late husband, was a Polish-born sculptor and painter who worked in the UK. He is best known for his big vibrant murals painted with enamel paint on steel.

The Mid Wales Arts Centre is located only a few minutes from Caersws station, and close to the main road. On the site, there is also a Bed & Breakfast welcoming guests that want to explore the nicely located arts centre and the beautiful area. The gallery is open from 11am – 4pm, Thursday – Sunday, and is completely free of charge.

I am really looking forward to working with Cathy and the team for the next few months.

Plant Portraits

This semester I have done a Lifelong Learning course called Plant Portraits, at Aberystwyth University (along with my Fine Art BA and another course in French). The tutor was Tereska Shepherd, a great teacher. She was good at demonstrating different techniques, giving advice and feedback, and really making the sessions interesting and educational!

“This inspiring, practical painting course is an opportunity to experiment with a variety of drawing, watercolour and mixed media techniques to capture the changes throughout spring as bulbs and seeds sprout, plants develop and flowers bloom. Throughout the course you will develop specialised techniques for depicting plants whilst enhancing observational, recording, colour mixing and compositional skills through the exploration of technique and study of historical and contemporary artists.” 

A few of the studies I made:

The course was very inspiring and definitely helpful for my project! Not only did I learn a lot more about watercolour techniques than ever before, I also gained further interest in, and knowledge of the subject – plants.

I think Lifelong Learning courses are a great oppurtunity to learn about something outside of your degree. This is the sixth course I have been taking, and I have really enjoyed them all.

Work in Progress

Since last time I updated my blog, I have finished a few more flowers paintings. In this blog post, I am going to show you my technique and progress so far. My initial plan was to complete 12 of them, and they were supposed to hang next to each other on the wall (I was also going to paint the string you can see in the photograph I posted earlier and some of the studies). After my last tutorial before Easter, my plan has now changed and my new goal is to paint 64 (!) of them for the exhibition – filling a whole wall with dried flowers.

This is the process for most of my paintings; I start off studying the dried flower before I make a quick sketch of it in charcoal. After making the sketch (normally on the board already gessoed and painted), I fill in the big areas with a light background colour, to build up the layers in the painting. None of these flowers are finished yet, so I do have to work some more on them when I get back to the School of Art after Easter, but I do think they demonstrate how I normally work.

Here is one of my paintings which is basically finished and ready for the exhibition:

Careers Fair

Today I spent the early afternoon in Aberystwyth Arts Centre, at a careers fair arranged to help students gain more insight into the different job markets.

Aber Careers

I went to two talks aimed at students studying Arts and Humanities, Working in Arts & Curation and Working in Creative Writing, Journalism & Publishing. The former was held by Carrie Canham, curator at the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth. It was a great talk about her personal journey, how she has been working on various projects in several different museums, and eventually ended up in the job she has today.

Canham also mentioned the restoration of the Ceredigion Museum, a truly great museum telling the history of the county, and how she and her team approached the task. The new renovation has been amazing and a great improvement. Another great thing about the museum is that it is completely free of charge to enter (and they do have great coffee in the new café).

Ceredigion Museum

The Ceredigion Museum’s web page: http://www.medwynsmuseums.co.uk/ceredigion

At the end of her talk, she mentioned a few advice for everyone seeking a job as a curator:

  • Think about your specialism, what YOU can give to the museum.
  • Think about skills you can develop: fundraising, writing, communication and IT.
  • Think about doing some volunteering or get work experience in the field.
  • Think about networking, get contacts and friends.

I really enjoy events like this! By listening to other peoples experiences you can truly learn a lot. If there is something I have learned today; if you wish to get your dream job, do not to let the opportunities slip by but grab them when you have a chance, and never ever give up on yourself (even if it seems hard, there is a lot of competition or people give you bad reviews).

New project!

Today I spent an afternoon in the School of Art, working on my new project for the exhibition. The exhibition is going to be shown in May, and thinking about it is both scary and exciting at the same time!

Here are two photos from the project:

Dried flowers

Flower studies

The project involves a lot of dried flowers, hung all over my studio space. These three paintings are just some quick studies I made to have an idea of the best background colour. The plan is to paint around 12 of these boards, including different flowers in each painting. They are painted with acrylic paint on gessoed cardboard (around 15 x 20 cm).

I will update more on my blog shortly, but for now, have a great evening!