Post cataract surgery – 5 February 2020

It is now a week after I had cataract surgery and I am now getting used to the difference in vision in my right eye, however, I am still not used to how blurred my vision is whichever pair of glasses I use. This is down to the new lens and the fact that my lenses are for much more severe shortsightedness.
Having been so shortsighted for years I am very used to wearing glasses so was pleased when my optician suggest that I go for a lens that would mean I did not need reading glasses any longer but the downside to that is, for the short-term, none of my glasses are suitable for reading, VDU work or distance vision for that one eye.
What I have been doing is closing my right eye and just looking with the left so that I can see more clearly until I have an eye test and receive my new glasses in a few weeks time.
For now my art work is taking a back seat and I have abandoned my written work as it is so difficult to cope just now. I was behind with it as before the operation my vision was blurred in one eye and this had an adverse effect on my speed of reading and taking in what I read.
I need to take another five weeks off before I get my new glasses and then I will work hard to catch up. At least I have my new computer and once I have received some training I will be able to dictate whatever I decide to write, it also has the capacity to read scanned books and can read back what I have written which will indeed be a great help but I might have to wait quite a few weeks before I receive any tuition.
At first after surgery the sky was ultramarine blue and as it was very grey on the Thursday that was rather a difficult thing to get used to. Everything is much brighter and the whites (I must sound like an advert for soap powder) were whiter even though some of them are rather yellowed with age but is is something that I am adjusting to.
I have not yet tried to drive as I do not believe my vision is good enough for that but I think a short-term inconvenience is worth the long-term one, i.e. that I should not need reading glasses any longer.
All this has put me in mind of the work of Claude Monet before he had cataract surgery and after when his paintings changed from being dull and rather brown to much brighter and bluer. Once I get back to college I will be able to check to see if my paintings have been affected by my cataract or not.

Skyscape – Petworth House 19 January 2020

This was the second exhibition that I visited this weekend and focused on the sky as opposed to the sea. It contains work by Durer, Rembrandt and Nash so covers a period of five hundred years.

The Three Trees Rembrandt

This image of The Three Trees by Rembrandt (1643)may be quite small but I found the way the sky has been created in this etching quite fascinating despite being in black and white it is still very atmospheric.

I had not realised that any work by Rembrandt would include etchings although I am aware that both JMW Turner and John Constable had etchings made of their work, I should, therefore, have not been surprised that there were some of Rembrandt’s.

This detail from Summer Sunset, attributed to John Constable (c 1820-25) caught my attention having recently read a book about the life of John Constable. He moved to Hampstead Heath to live and painted many sky scenes whilst living there so to actually see one of those paintings helped me to understand just what it was that attracted him to painting the sky.

Another artist who painted the sky was John Ruskin, I knew nothing of his paintings but this Study of Clouds, Norwood (1865) capturing the dawn using watercolours creates quite a contrast to Constable’s study of the sky.

The final painting that I really noticed was by Paul Nash, The Sun Descending – Study 3 (1945), a detail of it is below shows a completely different way of capturing the sky.

I am more familiar with his work having looked into it and to his life for an essay I wrote a couple of years ago. (I was comparing his life and work as a war artist with that of David Bomberg.)

This is the finished painting of The Sun Descending it is not a very good image but it does give some idea of the work of Nash.

There are many other paintings, as well as a watch and porcelain plates. A very varied exhibition for those interested in art and the way artists have captured and portrayed the sky.

Worthing Museum and Art Gallery 18 January 2020

This weekend I visited the latest exhibition at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery – Seascapes. It is quite interesting to see how different the seafront looks when photographed in black and white with views through s seafront shelter.

I recognised The Street which is off the Kent coast at Whitstable. I remember a programme which investigated this unusal spit. The remainder of the images and the video where shot in Worthing.

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I have to admit to rarely going any where near the beach despite living so close to it, I usually go inland to the Downs rather than down to the coast but these images have made me think about the importance of the sea. I might even go for a walk along the promenade just to see if I can capture the same view of the sea.

 

 

Seven days to assessment day – 13 January 2019

It does not seem possible that there are only seven days to go until our work will be assessed for Studio Practice 8.

I have completed more paintings and put them up on the wall as two paintings are now hanging in the Corridor Exhibition leave my space looking rather dull.

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These represent Spring, Summer and Autumn at Nymans and are in addition to to the other three works on canvas and the one on paper that is already on the wall.

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They are on A3 paper but do seem so small in comparison with the other exploratory paintings that are on the wall.

I have played around with so many different ideas in the past that this time there does not seem to be quite so much exploratory work but then, on this occasion, I had been considering what I would create so did not need to spend quite so much time before choosing the way the paintings would look. I also have some A4 experimental work which has lead to the resolved outcomes.

Come next week I will have to start working on Studio Practice 9 which is the final one of this degree and will be the work that is included in the degree show at the end of this year.

Which of the paintings I have completed for Studio Practice 8 will be included in an exhibition at Colonnade House I have yet to decide but this is in March so I have time to think about it. I suspect that I will not include any of my works on paper although I do like them as they would not be quite so easy to display on the wall.

I still have plenty of work to do for my essay and I have started to write it but I am not sure how many words I need so I will have to check so that I end up with the correct number. I am not sure which is worse, having too many and having to reduce them or not having enough and having to find a way to increase the word count.

My Professional Practice Folder One is coming along quite nicely, I do not have too much more to do to complete it but I have much to do for Folder Two as I need to print off numerous photographs. I have to use Photoshop to make them look better as some of them are quite dark but last Thursday I had a training session and now have an idea of how to do this. Quite amazing what a difference it can make to my photographs.

Now I must get on with working on these photographs. Until next time – good bye.

 

Corridor Exhibition – 7 January 2019

No sooner than I get all my paintings up on the studio wall than I have had to take one down for the corridor exhibition. As there are so many students to display work this time, there is only space for one painting.

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I had to think long and hard for a name and came up with Autumn, Nymans, inspired by one of the visits I made to Nymans last year.

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This is one of the paintings that I will be displaying from 9 March, for one week, at Colonnade House. I have to send in photographs of my work and a three hundred word but of blurb so that they can start advertising the exhibition.

I am quite pleased with these paintings, they work quite well together but whether or not I will be able to sell any of them, I do not know but it will look good on my CV.

Until next time – good bye.

 

The end of 2019 – 31 December 2019

It seems strange to be adding to my blog on this the last day of December 2019, where has the year gone? It seems to have flown by and the next studio practice assessment is only a couple of weeks away.

I have been using, my so called, Christmas holidays to increase the number of both experimental as well as resolved outcomes.

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This is the second resolved outcome that I have finished, based on my visits to Nymans this past year. I went in late spring, summer and autumn. It now hangs on the wall next to the first one I finished.

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They are both in oils so I have left them to dry, however, as I used liquin to spead up the drying process so hopefully, this will make them safer to move, if necessary.

As I have been working at home, I did not bring my oil paints home, also I did not have another canvas ready to work on. For this reason I have been working solely with acrylics but I have to admit that I do not like using them as I cannot achieve the result I want to but there is nothing I can do about this. I did go and buy a smaller canvas from The Range so I could do some more painting as well as using A3 paper that is specially prepared for using with oils or acylics.

I have taken a quick photograph of each of them without using photoshop to staighten up the images and the colour might not be that good. I would add that none of them have any names as yet, just Nymans 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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I based this one on the rose garden where lavender and roses were planted together. I have spent a great many hours on this one, at least seven to get it to this state where I consider it to be finished but the one below took me less time, apart from being smaller, as I knew exactly what I was trying to achieve, not only that, I knew how to achieve the required result.

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The only thing I now have to do is to decide which is the correct way up and I will do that once I know it is dry enough for me to touch it, once I have made that decision, I will write on the back so that it can always be displayed the correct way up. I might decide that this is upside down!

All I need to do, (all!!) is finish my sketchbook which I need to stick a few things in and ensure that I have finished all my experimental works on paper as I do not want to have incomplete works assessed. It is tempting to start a piece and decide it is going in the wrong direction and then abandon it but I must make sure that they are all sufficiently completed for assessment day.

This could be as early as next Friday as I might be having my cataract operation on the Saturday, I am still waiting to hear but once I know then I can plan to finish my draft essay.

Until the next time – good bye, and a Happy New Year.

 

Christmas Holidays – 16 December 2019

It might be the Christmas Holidays but I have been in college today working on my paintings and moving in the studio.

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All my experimental works are now on the wall, not necessarily in the correct order, but at least they are up and out of my way.

The one that is bottom right is still very wet as I added some more colour to it today because I had some paint mixed up and did not need it on the one I was working on. There is now very little of the green visible although I started off with nothing but shades of green on it. I think it would be best left as it is, it is, after all, an experimental piece but it has led to the resolved pieces.

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My desk is now opposite the door to the courtyard and so has more light on it which is a good thing and on the desk is the painting I have been working on. Tomorrow I hope to add more green to it and then it can hang up on the wall to dry whilst I turn my attention to the other one which is on the other desk.

After Christmas when they are both dry I will take a step back and look at them to see if they need anything else done to complete them. I will also have another six canvases to work on but how many of them I actually complete, I do not know. They are the size of the one that is on my desk.

Yes, I know, it appears that I have three of them to work on and I do admit to spreading about a bit but then, whilst a part-time student, I had a whole studio to myself on many occasions so I have rather got used to using other tables.

I have been working on my Practice Based Research Project but only very slowly as I have found the reading rather difficult due to a cataract that requires surgery. My vision is blurred in one eye which results in me finding that I need to take regular breaks just to get through the required reading. I have started to work on my draft submission but this is progressing very slowly. Painting on the other hand is not a problem so far.

How long I have to wait for surgery I cannot tell but in the meantime I am trying to get as much done as I can. At least I have been given an extension for my written research work.

Until next time – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.