Assignment 4


All of the images for this module are in front of me and it is interesting to see where I have got to. I feel that there has been a lot of experimenting again in this work and I am wondering where this has led me.  Before starting a final assignment painting I want to try to establish some point of reference to work from.

The last entry in my journal was

How do you know what is your voice? …..I seem to be always experimenting!!!!!

I wonder if experimentation has to come from a deeper place than just trying out new tools, new marks, different colour combinations etc all of which are necessary to give a wider creative ‘vocabulary’ but in themselves are just tools.  All of the work in this module have been about that and I don’t feel to have reached a place with any of the pieces where I have felt to express myself.  The ‘tools’ have got in the way!

In the final assignment I want to try to work out from an idea and simply use the tools in this process.

I have looked at the work of several artists during this module and noted some of these in the sketchbook. Perhaps in the struggle to find one’s own individuality in the creative process, it is important to note the artists which meet a personal response in you as indicators for understanding this. Two artists in particular have made a deep impression on me ….

Kurt Jackson – I’m very grateful to have been introduced to this artist and have taken some time to get to know his work.  I love the freedom of his interpretation of  the subject and his use of materials.  The other artist is David Tress – I came across his work in an advertisement for his latest exhibition in London in the RA magazine.  His paintings are amazing – I love the wonderful freedom of colour and the energy and power of his images.  On his website there is the text of interviews where he has tried to explain his thinking and motivation for his work. One point stood out to me when he made the connection to the Romantic movement when explaining early influences and continuing parallels with his work.  Although I know very little about the Romantic movement in art, it stuck a cord with me – I love the feel of the paint, I am excited by the effect of colour and want to explore the use of it and above all, my motivation in painting is to touch another dimension in how I see the world. All of these initial forces in my work are ones which I want to explore and so I want to study this period of art as I think it will provide a foundation…ongoing……

Preparation for assignment 4 painting

Landscape image will be the special part of the garden outside my studio.  I’ve drawn and painted it many times but it still draws me to go further.  In the initial studies I intended to include a figure – this idea came from watching the wonder and delight which my grand-daughter finds in wandering about the garden.  I  explored this idea a little but then decided to abandon it as it was getting in the way of finding the image I wanted to express. It was fun to start using my Ipad to sketch immediate images – very different kind of markmaking……

Concentrating on the landscape image for the painting I wanted to eliminate the focus on experimentation, tools, mark making, colour etc which had dominated my other pieces and simply express my feelings about the view. I decided that I would work quickly and instinctively and not get bogged down in thinking through etc…..(This is a huge departure for me….)  This first study in the sketchbook was exciting to do and I really loved using the paint in this way…

SO…… for the final painting I took a A1 sheet of paper, piled my desk with different colours and textures of paper and began to build up a collage of the darks and light areas of the view.  Where I didn’t have a colour I wanted for this, I covered pieces of paper with colour using a palette knife and then tore it up and pasted it onto the sheet…..all the greatest of fun, I have to say!!  I then began to apply the paint over the collage with my hands and a palette knife only using a brush when I needed to.  I was working at great speed with long times in between for standing back and looking.  These times are vital – my eye and my instinct tell me where to go next.


I felt to be working in the true ‘romantic’ spirit – loving the paint, applying it freely in response to my feelings about the subject.  I have to hold myself back from endlessly playing with it now, adding bits here and there which would be very easy to do – but I don’t want to lose the immediacy of the response! This is a real ‘first’ for me but as I look at all of the images now in this section of the course I can see where I have got to.  I still need to be able to combine a much stronger sense of composition with the energy and joy of using the paint but I know that will come in time.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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