Elements Old, Fire, Earth, Air, Water, old Clouds
Elements New, Atomic structures, Particle Physics, Spacetime, Gravitational Geometry, new Clouds
Elements Old, Fire, Earth, Air, Water, old Clouds
Elements New, Atomic structures, Particle Physics, Spacetime, Gravitational Geometry, new Clouds
New frontiers the digital Realm/ Philosophy and science nothing really is...
I have made an application to join The Alpine Fellowship for their conference in Venice. I met one of the founders, Alan Lawson at TRAC ( The Representational Art Conference) in California two years earlier and have been following the development of the fellowship since. They hold an annual conference, and request a 3 minute video as application to join them. Below is my slightly longer version:
Unfortunately the conference times clashed with the MA final weeks, so I need to apply again next year. They produce a series of videos of conversations and texts which explore the critical themes surrounding representational work in our current times. It has served me as a point of departure for my research, and offered access and links to philosophers and thinkers that I may not have known about otherwise. The theme of this years conference "Chora" with a special focus on the landscape gave me great food for thought and reflection. As a painter of the landscape, and as a plein air painter i enjoy a special relationship with the process of painting within the outdoor environment. The painting produced during the filming of this video was accepted to the Royal Society of Marine Artists and is being exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London during their Annual Show in October 2017
A pictorial essay through my visit to TRAC (The Representational Art Conference) in California. Showing the works of Brad Kunkle which has influenced me to use gold leaf, and the works of Odd Nerdrum which has inspired me to work on the texture and colour vibrance of my paint.
Other artist who have influenced me: Dino Valls, Clive Head, Michael Borremans, Will Teather
Start East Launch
Making funding applications
The following text consists of my write up of notes and lift of material from their website, from a presentation made by the Arts Council England to Start East participants. I think what struck me is that, in the final analysis, funding in this area is one of the least competitive, and consistent application and attention to detail should reap rewards. Grantium is clearly a difficult and inflexible process, so the reading of the small print and full use of guides is essential. As is actually making the requests in a timely manner as well as the required financial accounting and feedback. Although Start East is focussed in the performing arts and supporting creative endeavours this clearly applies across the board to the visual arts as well.
Grants for the Arts
31st July 2017
Lisa Elmer, Relationship Manager Children, Young People & Learning
Rebekah Jones, Relationship Manager Theatre
Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.
Between 2015 and 2018, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create arts and culture experiences for everyone, everywhere.
Our mission and goals #culturematters
Our mission is Great Art and Culture for Everyone
Excellence is thriving and celebrated in the arts, museums and libraries
National Portfolio Funding 2015-18
What is Grants for the Arts?
A key feature of how Arts Council England delivers our mission, ‘Great art and culture for everyone’
Grants for the Arts distributes awards of between
£1000 and usually £100,000 from the National Lottery to:
For time limited arts-related activities that:
Whatkind of activity do we fund?
productions / exhibitions / participatory projects / events / festivals / carnivals / workshops / digital projects / artistic research and development / commissions/ participation / asset purchase / building renovation / making work / touring / residencies / professional development / international partnerships
/ organisation and business development / audience development
Who can apply?
arts organisations / artists / researchers / local authorities / commissioners / festivals writers / musicians / museums / libraries / performers / directors/ promoters presenters / curators / designer makers / producers / universities / voluntary groups consortiums of schools / choreographers / community groups / composers / experimental artists /
Whatkind of activity do wenot fund?
What don’t we fund?
Before you apply
Check the project you want to apply for is eligible for Grants for the Arts
Are you ready to apply? Is the timing right, is your activity well planned, do you have finance and partners in place?
Our Grant management system
•managing your profile
•making a funding application
•receiving your decision
•uploading monitoring information
The application form
Finance • A balanced budget (income equals expenditure)
Management • Brief summary of your and your partners' recent experience
in managing similar types of activity
What informs our appraisal
The Appraisals Process:
Eligibility check Risk Check
Appraisal against criteria
Over £15k only
Decisions • Six weeks for applications for £15k or under
I first came across the term Metamodernism when reading about The V&A's exhibition in 2011, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990. It seems that this retrospective style exhibition is one of the many markers of the end of an era. Postmodernism, it seems, is either out, or on the way out. Metamodernism is not the only contender for the new throne of "what comes next". Tom Turner, in 1995, called for a post post-modernist turn in urban planning, which was to bring a more organic and timeless quality to urban design. Eric Gans, an American cultural theorist put forward the name "post millennialism" with it's primary thrust being the rejection of victimary thinking and dialogue. Alan Kirby's rather more bleak "digimodernism" regards a trance-like media induced shallowness. Nicholas Bourriaud's term altermodern, was coined by him at the Tate's Triennial in 2009, and encompasses the end of postmodernism, cultural hybridisation, travelling as a new art form, as well as expanding formats of art, particularly with reference to the new global consciousness that mass communication has facilitated.
Having repeatedly fallen over the term as I was reading critically engaged material, particularly when looking at artists whose work resonated with my sensibilities, I dug further. Despite having a rather non-metamodernist thing as a manifesto, the meaning of metamodernism appears to be an evolving and organic thing. Rather than being a dogma it attempts to reflect the realities of our era, yet in a way that re-engages hope. After the deconstruction of Post Modernism, metamodernism attempts to reform, and reconstruct, but not in the utopian inflexible manner of the modernists but in a new, flexible and positive yet pragmatic way. Metamodernism can encompass many of the aspects of the other "isms".
Metamodernism is variously called a cultural paradigm, a cultural philosophy, a structure of feeling, and a system of logic. All these phrases really mean is that, like its predecessors modernism and postmodernism, metamodernism is a particular lens for thinking about the self, language, culture, and meaning — really, about everything.
While metamodernism is not a movement or a manifesto for living, it is nevertheless possible for individuals, groups, and even social and political structures to come to be informed by metamodern principles. Metamodernists believe that this increasingly happens whether we will it or not; such philosophers and theorists consider metamodernism to be the “dominant” paradigm in many places, which simply means that events and structures in those places naturally gravitate toward a metamodern state.
None of the above suggests that modernism and postmodernism have disappeared as culturally operative concepts. It simply means that, in the view of metamodernists, modernism and postmodernism are not currently many cultures’ most active cultural philosophy.
Metamodernism as a negotiation between modernism and postmodernism. Because postmodernism was a direct response to modernism, these two cultural philosophies include a number of diametrically opposed first principles. For instance, modernism posited at least the possibility of universal truth, while postmodernism rejected that possibility in favour of a belief that meaning and truth are subjective values that are always “contingent” (that is, in a state of constant movement or flux). Metamodernism negotiates between modernism and postmodernism by submitting that the first principles of modernism and postmodernism need not be seen as being in opposition to one another, but in fact can both be operative simultaneously within a single individual or group of individuals.
Dialogue over dialectics. Postmodernism favoured “dialectics” over dialogue, whereas metamodernism explicitly advances the cause of dialogue. Where the “dialectical” thinking of the postmodernists assumed that every situation involves just two primary opposing forces — which do battle until one emerges victorious and the other is destroyed — dialogic thinking rejects the idea that there is no middle ground or means of negotiation between different positions. For instance, while neo-Marxism, an important postmodern worldview, presumes an eternal socioeconomic battle between the “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat” economic classes, at the end of which only one remains intact, metamodernism holds that dialectical struggles tend to destroy all parties that participate in them and enact no abiding change whatsoever.
Metamodern dialogue does not pave over differences between parties and positions, it simply emphasises areas of overlap between contesting opinions that could lead to effective collective action on a slate of issues.
The theory here is that, in a postmodern scenario, nothing ever gets solved because the contending forces angrily oppose and caricature one another until both are degraded or destroyed. In a metamodern scenario, at least something gets achieved, even if it doesn’t resolve all disputes between two groups or ensure that they’ll be able to work together on other issues.
Metamodernism embraces the paradoxical. For instance, in negotiating between modernism’s belief in universality and postmodernism’s belief in contingency, metamodernism posits that certain ideas can be “objectively” true for an individual even though the individual also understands that they are not universally true. The paradox of something being “objectively true for me” simply means that each of us does, in fact, respond to guiding “metanarratives” (the stories we tell ourselves about our lives and what they mean) which operate as absolutely true to us even as we recognise they are not shared — or even necessarily understood — by others.
Juxtaposition occurs when one thing is abutted to another thing from which it would normally be deemed entirely separate. A good example of a metamodern juxtaposition is the juxtaposition of sincerity and irony that we often find in metamodern literature.
Metamodernism collapses distances. The distance between the self and others, and between the self and society, is one that postmodernism celebrates by finding myriad ways to put the self (or groups of selves) in a dialectic with opposing selves or groups. Postmodernism is therefore likely to emphasise how meaning degenerates as it moves across the vast expanse of space between selves and groups of selves. Metamodernism, like Bourriaud's altermodernism, which came of age in the Digital Age, recognises that we feel at once distant from others — because on the Internet almost everyone is a stranger, so we are daily surrounded by more strangers than at any other point in human history — but also incredibly close to others, as the Internet allows us to create connections more quickly than ever before. This makes it harder to pretend that we are in a dialectical relationship with other people or ideas — rather we are in the midst of a swirl of identity and belief. Multiple subjectivities.
Postmodernism required the “Balkanization” of self-identity — the partitioning of the self and groups of selves into clear boxes of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and so on — in order to establish its dialectics. Metamodernism embraces, instead, the notion of multiple subjectivities: the idea that not only do we all find ourselves in numberless subjective categories all at once, but that we even temporarily occupy and share subjectivities with others who might seem very different from us. It recognises a fluidity in our relationships both within and without ourselves. Through our digital identities we can feel as though we share a subjectivity with other people who, if we knew them in real-time.
Metamodernism encourages not only dialogue but collaboration. In a world in which we are constantly being influenced by innumerable forces metamodernism encourages us to consciously join our efforts and perspectives with those of others. Metamodern learning models, for instance, are likely to emphasise students working together to create projects that are simultaneously self-expressive for each individual member and also an adequate self-expression of the group, however diverse its viewpoints and subjectivities may be. In the political sphere, metamodernism encourages individuals and interest groups to find areas of generative overlap so that they can work together on one-off projects that advance the values of all involved. The idea here is that even if you disagree with someone else on 99 things out of 100, if that hundredth thing matters a great deal to you and another person you can work fruitfully together on that topic.
Originally metamodernism made much of the idea of oscillation. More recent understandings of metamodernism instead emphasise simultaneity — the idea that the metamodern self does not move between differing positions but in fact inhabits all of them at once. An optimistic response to tragedy by returning, albeit cautiously, to metanarratives. Since the term “metamodernism” was coined in 1975, metamodern theorists have all agreed that metamodernism is used by individuals and societies as a generative response to tragedy; indeed, the phrase “a romantic response to crisis” is often used to describe metamodernism.
Metamodernists are as aware of political, economic, climatological, and other forms of chaos as is anyone else, but they choose to remain optimistic and to engage their communities proactively even when and where they believe a cause has been lost. Theorists describe this way of thinking as an “as if” philosophical mode; that is, the metamodernist chooses to live “as if” positive change is possible even when we are daily given reminders that human culture is in fact in a state of disarray and likely even decline. Metamodernism permits us to selectively, and with eyes wide open, return to such metanarratives when they help save us from ennui, despair, or moral laziness.
Metamodernism embraces interdisciplinarity. The reason metamodernism is so oriented toward crisis-response is because its tendency to dismantle and rearrange structures is a tacit acknowledgment that those structures — as they were previously arranged — are what likely caused the crisis in the first place. The metamodernist is therefore likely to support the dismantling, realignment, and rearrangement (or even the exclusion altogether) of received terms like “genre,” “party,” “department,” “discipline,” “institution,” and other similar demarcations of difference and segregation. This is not an anarchic opposition to structure, but rather a thoughtful and civic-minded interest in the radical reevaluation of structures with an eye toward progressive change. Reconstruction instead of deconstruction.
If postmodern deconstruction encouraged us to use “dialectics” — a zero-sum tug-of-war between opposing principles — as a way of understanding how meaning is constructed differently depending upon where one is standing, metamodern reconstruction attempts to unite opposing principles even if the result is a paradox. For instance, metamodernism asks us, “What would the notion of ‘public intimacy’ look like? Or ‘controlled freedom’?”
Metamodernism doesn’t prescribe such reconstructions as specific political solutions, but rather thought-experiments that aim to push us away from entrenched ideologies. An example of 'public intimacy' might well be the 'social discovery application' Tinder; a good example of 'controlled freedom' is the 140-character free-for-all that is Twitter. It is in this sense that “metamodernism” uses the prefix “meta-“, meaning “between and beyond.” (Note that earlier conceptions of metamodernism used “meta-“ as a reference to Plato’s “metaxis,” which signals an oscillatory movement between poles. Moving “between and beyond” currently entrenched positions offers us the hope of novel solutions to longstanding crises like global warming, police brutality, and gender inequality. These solutions will often be imperfect, but they will be a progressive and generative evolution away from the status quo.
Engagement instead of exhibitionism. The metamodern politician might be a member of very different coalitions on different issues, but what will remain a constant in such an individual’s policy practice will be an emphasis on progress over preening. Too often, contemporary politics is defined by a) modernist dogmatists who wish to impose their rigid world views on the masses, or b) postmodern cynics whose beliefs run only as deep as the latest polling cycle. The role of the metamodern politician is more to create an environment in which ideologues and cynics struggle to practice their politics — and to cause sufficient disruption to business-as-usual that all stakeholders are forced to innovate new ways of doing business.
Effect as well as affect. In the arts, we often look for evidence of poststructuralist principles in either the absence or dominance of affect The “uncreative writing” promoted by late postmodernist poets lacks any affect at all because it merely bulk-appropriates an existing text not written by the uncreative “author”; the detached critique of language and meaning it offers is performed by its very detachment from affect. On the other side of the coin, music informed by postmodernism (think Lady Gaga) often performs its critiques using a highly exaggerated affect or even a series of clearly “put on” (as opposed to “authentic”) affects.
In each case, the emphasis is on the “exhibition” of affect rather than its production. Metamodern art is as or more focused on the effect it generates in the reader or observer as it is on the affect(s) its author is able to perform or negate. The theory behind “effect-oriented” art is that if an artist calibrates the effect of a work as or more carefully than its technical composition or “craft,” the work is more likely to engage and therefore move to action its audience. We can see in this ethos of “effect” an attempt to tear down the wall between Art and Life and the distance between the two that postmodernism fetishizes. Metamodern “effect” is a reorganisation of the arts on the basis not of how an artwork performs the affects associated with its “genre” but on how the work is calibrated to provoke an emotional and intellectual response.
Again like Bourriaud's altermodern, metamodernism recognises borderlessness. Metamodernism eliminates the walls and boundaries between literal and abstract structures, and is an important facet of the paradigm. For instance, the phenomenon of “cross-over” episodes on television is a metamodern one; it pierces the fantasy that a single fictional world (or even a seemingly “realistic” world) is self-contained by permitting what is clearly another discrete world to flood into the first. Once that breaking down of barriers has occurred, such barriers can never be fully reinstated; that is, once characters from your least favourite television program have suddenly appeared in the world of your favourite program, that sort of “cross-over” is now officially a possibility at all future moments in either small-screen world.
Flexible intertextuality. “Intertextuality” refers to the presence of relationships between individual texts. Traditionally, when we find intertextuality in artwork it’s intentional — a clearly “authored” effect that’s achieved through conspicuous devices like allusion and quotation.
In modernist literature, allusions were common, and served to entrench a universal “canon” of references and also sought to infuse common points of reference with metanarratives about how and why we should consider these references abidingly significant. In postmodern literature, we more commonly saw intertextuality in the form of parody or pastiche — the referencing of another text in order to, through the distance between the two texts, insert a social critique or ironic commentary. In metamodernism, the uses of intertextuality are much more flexible: often brief intended as an idiosyncratic expression of the author’s network of associations rather than the establishment of a broader canon of associations.
Metamodernism approaches intertextuality as one means of idiosyncratically processing both public and private data. It’s for this reason that metamodern artists use re-mixing, mash-ups, obscure citation, and fluid weavings of discrete realities.
Because metamodernism is a cultural paradigm — both a system of logic and a structure of feeling — art and cultural artefacts that are produced “under its sign” are often recognisable as metamodern through their philosophy and ethos more so than their technical components.
In true metamodern style, this blog post is a mash up of text from Seth Abrahams, Timothy Vermeulen and various other writers as well as interpolations, edits and understandings of my own. It is not the source that matters here but that my understanding and view, my truth has been represented. You are invited to see how well it may suit you!
As such, I choose to label myself a metamodernist. My understanding of metamodernism suits my ideas and hopes for both my personal world, and the world at large. Whether or not this is finally recognised or accepted by people in general doesn't really matter. The terminology does not matter. It suits my purpose, it reflects what is actually happening in the world at large, and at the same time offers us solution-focussed and hopeful yet pragmatic strategies.
Evidence based techniques.Materials. Better Painting Practice Blog, take it to a-n?
Here are two experimental pieces of work I did with paintings that already existed. Cinemagraphs and ideas about fusing painting and digital projection, I have come up with what I call Paintographs. A painting that then has a Cinemagraph element projected onto the paintings surface.
I've tried filming the effect but it does not readily translate, light level and moire effect all get in the way, so I have created digital versions.
The first one is a still life, that then ends up not completely still.
Next one is a view of St Peter's Cathedral In Amsterdam
Techniques and Technologies:
iphone capture and maniplualtions
New clever and quirky...consider the value.
So....inspired by all that's exciting in the digital art world I want to see what I can do to fuse or inform my painting practice with digital production methods. I want to see what I can do between the two mediums and what compatibility or incompatibilities I find. Perhaps my analogue painting practice will be informed by my discoveries, or I will change my workflows.
I do know that, historically, using photographs has had a detrimental effect on my work. The distortions, the paucity of colour information and lack of temporal information seems to create a barrier to work that has fully engaged with the subject. David Hockney, in Secret Knowledge, rediscovering the secret techniques of the Old Masters may be right that some artists used visual aids in their workflow. However his explanation that high levels of realism were only achievable because of optical aids is not founded upon sound reasoning. Classical sculpture, with superb realism certainly predates optical aids which Hockney asserts appeared within a decade in the 1430's. One only needs to visit any one of the top figurative private ateliers or art school to see teenagers producing highly accurate paintings and drawings without a camera in sight.
Having said that there are many fine representational artists of my acquaintance who, having initially learned how to paint from life, seem to be able to use photography without deleterious effect. Perhaps the key is that you must have the experience from life in order to know what and how to replace what may be missing from your photographic reference.
A friend of mine, Marc Dalessio, (he has a great painting blog here) finding portrait subjects unwilling to sit for the length of time he would prefer, and the static nature of photographs too restricting, trialled working from a loop of video on a screen. This had two advantages over a photograph: one still working from light, two the value of life and movement on catching the personality.
My challenge is to use and integrate digital technology in a manner that enhances and supports my analogue aesthetic, without flattening or suppressing artistry. Whether I can be successful with take some time to decide.
The sequences at the beginning and end of films or TV shows offers a special creative opportunity. Often stripped of linear narrative, there is an opportunity for atmospheric and impressionist play on themes, The artists get to play!
The title sequence of True Detective ( HBO) was highly acclaimed. For me it was inspiring, as I watch it the complex layering of the characters, their broken personas echoed and reflected in the polluted landscape, I wish I had been on the team that made it.
The work behind creating these images is far more complex and sophisticated than you would imagine. The spiky heels shot, for example, was created in 3D software and built up in layers and virtual projections.
Thanks to the site "Art of the Title" for the review of design, concept and screenshots ( http://www.artofthetitle.com/)
I look at the work here and realise what a wonderful visualisation and construction tools we have with modern digital software packages. I ponder on how I can use these tools to illustrate and manipulate those images I have in my imagination and produce them as "sketches" in my painting compositional studies. Can I reach new levels of painting, without photorealistic copying ( which in my books I just cant see the point of.
I write elsewhere on the blog about how I want to make "good" art, and I am wrestling with what that actually is. The thing is....I actually like quite a lot of dark and gritty film, so what's going on?
I have an idea, somewhat unformed....about meshing landscapes with the personalities that live and work in them. Portrait/landscape fusion paintings.
I was sharing my ideas with my brother, Jonathon Sendall, a cinematographer, about fusing projection and paintings and he suggested I looked at a form called cinemagraph, which he said sounded a lot like what I was trying to achieve with my painting. A bit of research revealed some disagreement here as to whether a cinemagraph is a new form or not. They are technically very similar to animated gifs that have been around for a while, in fact many are saved in the gif format. The difference that I see with a cinemagraph seems to be one of technical quality and artistic intention.
“A Cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly.
Visual Graphics Artist Kevin Burg began experimenting with the .gif format in this style in 2009 but it wasn’t until he partnered with photographer Jamie Beck to cover NYFW that Cinemagraphs were born. Marrying original content photography with the desire to communicate more to the viewer birthed the cinemagraph process. Starting in-camera, the artists take a traditional photograph and combine a living moment into the image through the isolated animation of multiple frames. To quote supermodel Coco Rocha “it’s more than a photo but not quite a video”.
Beck and Burg named the process “Cinemagraphs” for their cinematic quality while maintaining at its soul the principles of traditional photography. Launched virally through social media platforms Twitter and Tumblr, both the style of imagery and terminology has become a class of its own.”
I disagree with Coco Rocha, I think it is more than both a photograph and a video
These works sit firmly in the classification of new media as outlined by Prof. Lev Manovich in his book "the Language of New Media" and works within the digital, non-linear realm, the work can be shared and enjoyed ad-infinitum (unless of course Digital Rights Management, DRM for short, is applied).
Taking my personal experience as a figurative painter, these cinemagraphs resonate more with my practice than stills. The process of painting from life requires observation and experience of the scene and the painting over a period of time. The painting is not a snapshot like a photo, but is an a fusion of the human observation and understanding being recorded into paint in a manner that another human perception will find a resonance. This visual truth that exceeds that which can be caught by a still camera. I have often argued that my practice, like all that of representational and semi representational artists, has more common ground with film than it does with photography.
In the cinemagraph the conscious mind can isolate and animate that which can add meaning, focus, narrative or atmosphere to an otherwise static image.
Of course there is both photography and paintings that make full use of "The beholder's share" as explained by Ernst Gombrich. This is where the viewer decodes the missing information in visual images. This engagement is the interactivity that Lev Manovich states " All classical, and even more so modern, art is "interactive" in a number of ways"
In Impressionist and Pointillist paintings the eyes and the brain construct the colours in such a way they read as shimmering light, when we view the line drawing of head, our brain understands that head is separate from the background, although the marks sit equally upon the plane of the paper. When I work on piece I am constantly looking the the relationships between elements in order to communicate an image "shorthand" that another consciousness will comprehend.
Manovich is further concerned that in the digital realm we may lose sight of the richness of interactivity available to us:
“When we use the concept of interactive media exclusively in relation to computer-based media, there is a danger we will interpret “interaction”literally, equating it with physical interaction between a user and an object (pressing a button, choosing a link, moving the body), at the expense of psychological interaction. The psychological processes of filling in, hypothesis formation, recall, and identification, which are required for us to comprehend any text or image at all, are mistakenly identified with an objectively existing structure of interactive links.”
— Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media
I suspect it is this very interactivity that can make viewing works of art so very thrilling. The viewer is in communion with the artist and the image. This may also explain that whilst true photorealism can be much admired for the technical control of the paint it is generally not found to be satisfying. In contrast a highly realist piece, which may superficially hold a similar amount of detail but has been painted with a knowledge and understanding of human perception and sensibilities will prove far more arresting.
Here a photomontage called "Into the Void" creates a strong psychological response......we ask ourselves questions, we interpolate and query, we look forward in time .......just from a single image
Yves Klein, Into the Void
The Japanese photographer, Natsumi Hayashi, also creates tension and psychological interactivity with her "Levitation" series of photographs:
And now a similar idea taken (albeit a little roughly) into the cinemagraph format.
I now need to consider the implications of these discoveries with my work. I already understand the value of the interaction with my viewer, both optically and psychologically. I try to juggle eye path, chroma, value, texture, along with meaning or narrative. I can see that cinemagraphs can create another layer of interest without going into the complexity, noise and linear nature of film.
Here also is the opportunity to integrate movement into a painting without getting into the tedious and restrictive practice of animation. I can see two ways in which to achieve this: firstly to create a painting using a brief shot of film as it's basis, then use a portion of the film to project onto the painting to create the dynamic areas: secondly, paint in traditional media, and then digitise it and integrate the filmed portion digitally. Experimentation to come!
In Western society we think nothing of hearing a poem read by different readers, theatre, dance and song performed by different performers, and appreciate anew the origins of the work, in conjunction with the re-performence and reinterpretation. With visual and fine art so much less, and so much less attainable and accessible to the ordinary person. A few performance artists may reimagine and develop work, possibly with interaction with an audience, but, as far as I know, the work has a short lifespan. Some Westerners have acquired the practice of Eastern Ink painting, where a motif may be learned in a fixed form and pattern before the artist makes their own interpretation. Outside of performance where are our patterning aesthetic artforms? I suppose Carnival and Maypole dancing, in addition the their performance aspect have an aesthetic. Bonfire Night and Halloween contain aspects but all are lacking the degree of pattern and gravitas the Eastern cultures have enjoyed.
It would seem that societies flourish when they have a shared cultural heritage, and ceremony appears to be a unifying practice. In the West, becoming ever more secular, we are losing our religious ceremonial bonds. It seems that the artworld may have a place to fill a need.
It is interesting that, as I described in an earlier post, I used, enjoyed and shared one of the few aesthetic modern art "patterns" in the Sumi Ink club before I actually became aware of the notion of a re-iterating visual art form.
“The philosophies of the Cartesian era carried us away from a sense of wholeness by focusing only on individual experience. Ultimately this individualistic focus narrows our aesthetic perspectives as well, due to it’s non-interactive, non-relational and non-participatory orientation. Most artists still see art as an arena in which to pursue individual freedom and expression. Under modernism this often meant freedom from community, freedom from obligation to the world and freedom from relatedness.
The emerging new paradigm reflects a will to participate socially: a central aspect of new paradigm thinking involves a significant shift from objects to relationships.”
— Suzi Gablik, The Reenchantment of Art
Here recurring themes of ovals and circles, discs, portals view through and skies and reflections seem to pervade all I look at record and notice. It is not even through any conscious effort, it seems to happen naturally. My film and the notion of freedom and the metaphor of sky for freedom is something that re-occurs in my later work. I re-use and recycle images, themes and ideas again and again in new ways as my work develops.
There seems to be a lot of artists out there not making enough to live on, let alone a good living. Most artists will either have another job, or will work for a funding or educational institution. Of course there are a few very well paid artists, I was reading recently (I lost the link) that a study had shown that most of the money in the high end art market was being earned by a tiny minority of about 100 artists. Artist's Network (a-n) commissioned a study and initiated the "Paying Artists" campaign, which has made welcome and significant inroads into the bad practice of using artists for free and "great exposure". Fee structures and guidelines on pricing art has also been useful. I now always use their calculators for pricing my time and justification for the fees quoted.
Without getting into the political problems too much, it seems there is a negative reflexive process going on within the education of artists. Conceptual art, for all that it had offered to the Artworld, is notoriously difficult to sell at anything but the higher end of the market. Therefore, those that have not been particularly successful must find a living elsewhere or go into education. In education these same artist will tend to educate and reproduce other artists of the same ilk. During the process of the MA we students are clearly dissuaded from any sort of commercially oriented work. Although it is good to explore and free the creative mind from the distractions of the marketplace, I'm not sure it has been beneficial to rule it out or ignore it. I'm not sure that there is any other area of academia that is so divorced from the financial practicalities of their subject.
As I've gone around visiting artists studios, I have noticed that the British studios are pokey, low-ceiling ill-lit and cold. They could not be better designed to prevent the artist from producing good work.
In the US and in Southern Europe I have seen large, well designed facilities. All of these were run by representational artists who are selling work on a consistent basis to ordinary people. Who do I mean when I say "ordinary" people? I mean those who are not buying art as a hedge fund would, as an investment. They are not being led by critics and salesmen. They are buying for their own pleasure.
Obviously I am only sharing my personal experience, I'm quite sure there are many exceptions to what I have observed.
It was clear to me that a study of the business side of art needed my attention if I was to become successful. I need to make money in sufficient quantities to enable making more art. Otherwise I am going to have to use my precious time doing something else to make money, and squeezing art into hobby time. It's simple economics.
In becoming commercial of course there is a great danger, see this blurb from the rapidly expanding Whitewall Galleries. It sells art produced in a production-like manner, by accomplished craft painters, which is, in my opinion, absolutely dire. It mimics the terminology and rationales of the high end marketplace, but in a dumbed down, cheaper version for the socially anxious upper middle class pay-packet. I suppose this is probably my target market, except that I can sell them real art, and create an authentic art practice that I can then build towards the higher end.
As part of membership of "Start East" I have been learning how to put together better business cases and how to structure projects, cash flows and funding. This is no different from what I need to do in my visual arts practice.
I started reading business guides, and looking at my practice from a financial point of view.
A Dutch landscape painter, Roos Shuring, was making 100,000 euro per annum selling to "ordinary people" and she has produced a course on how it can be achieved and the strategies she used to do so. I followed the course and my notes are in a notebook "Art Business Success" Much of my design and decision making process have resulted in this website, which is still being refined as I understand my market better. One thing is clear, for any type of art, you need to get seen to sell. Getting seen, by the right people, is the first priority.
To this end I have booked a fairly large set of panels for Art Fair East in November 2017. I am now making decsions about the best type of work to show at this event.
Below is a copy of work in progress on the my website presence, things outstanding to do include creating a more critically engaged tone, without alienating the "ordinary" buyer. I think I will drop the postcard section for something easier, or leave it as an occasional, non promised "gift" rather than tie myself into a commitment. The other to do is to really get to work on the "Better Painting Practice Blog".
Website Plan Worksheet for: JenniferSendall.com
Prepared by: Jennifer Sendall
Last updated: 2nd Feb 2017
About the Business
Business Overview / Elevator Pitch
Jennifer is an internationally recognised Contemporary Realist oil painter working in Suffolk, England. She specialises depicting the life and landscapes of East Anglia, and is gaining increasing respect for her painting “en plein air” landscapes, particularly her small “postcard” paintings. She sells her smaller works directly from her website.
As a traditionally-trained painter she has a deep technical knowledge of the application of the historical craft of painting, and runs workshops and webinars, and shares her knowledge through her website and newsletters “The Artists Cheat Sheet”
Slogan (a.k.a. tagline or strapline)
A Leading Painter of East Anglian Life
Original and Aspirational Art, Luxury yet affordable. Charming. Unusual Expertise, Keeper of secrets.
About the Audience
Customers / Target Audience
Art Buyers: Aspirational,over 40, Country-lifers, East Anglians interested in the environs, international buyers looking for tradition and nostalgia. Interior decorators looking for original artworks. Weekenders to East Anglia, well off retirees.
Artists: Artists looking to improve their techniques and understanding. Beginners through to Professionals. Aspirations to realism. Disappointed by non-trad training. Looking for trade “secrets” recipes old master tricks. Web-savvy researchers. Looking to improve and develop their business models, desiring to make more profitable relationships with buying public, web and social techniques.
Customer’s Primary Purpose on the Site
About the Website
Example: Generate leads email and position my business at a high end upmarket position.
Create trust and professionalism
Example: Link to Facebook & Twitter, for pushing blog posts. Twitter feed would be nice to include. Pinterest: Pin It button and link to our profile. MailChimp newsletter.
All posting must be calendarised. Twice weekly blog post. Rotation of subjects. Monthly postcard and text. Extra posts for events and news. Cycle multi media content, video, podcast. Involve guest artists. Material pushed to social media, Facebook Twitter Pinterest and Instagram. RSS feed and email every two weeks?
Launch by30th October (in time for ArtFairEast )
Example: £ (includes approx 30% contingency just in case)
I went to Madrid on the heels of several painters I admire very much. The top of the list was Joaquin Sorolla, who kept a house and studio in Madrid. A special exhibition was on that brought together an unusually large collection of his works. He is listed as an Impressionist, but I feel that, along with John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn, his work went well beyond the colour play that the impressionists excelled at. These three artists took the techniques of the impressionists and reintroduced notan, value patterns and structures that were not seen in the populist "mainstream" impressionists. The Prado on the list, with plans for the Velasquez particularly. I have a couple of painter friends in the Madrid area, and the Black paintings of Goya were also highly recommended to me.
I was greatly affected by the work I saw in Madrid. From the fabulous Velasquez and Goya in the Prado, the wonderful American colourists (which was totally unexpected) of Innes and others. The quality of the surfaces must be what most impressed me. The textural layering and washes on tone, the masterful handling make so much modern work look so thin and meagre, or the opposite so thick and clumsy. It is the interplay between texture that describes and adds richness, the variety and interplay on the edges. The glazes and thin overlays that add depth and brilliance and a unifying look. These thing are impossible to see on a reproduction, and not easily noticed even in real life unless as a painter you know what you are looking for.
I plan to produce a major set of paintings that will embody a culmination of my research into the vitality of painting as an expression of my will and consciousness. I wish to understand and highlight the non-verbal communication between one human consciousness and another through the medium of visual perception. This will have a particular focus on temporal qualities of the painting process. Inspired by the eclectic output of Gerhart Richter I plan to explore traditional genres (still life, landscape, the figure etc.) whilst avoiding imposing any “style”. I hope that by striving for personal authenticity style or method will develop naturally. I will examine my ontological relationships with the motifs and the materials and investigate more fully whether the phenomenology of Husserl and Heidegger would answer my investigations and temperament.
I plan to finish my book of jug studies with accompanying text which will expound my critical development alongside the images.
As part of my painting process, I will use and repurpose and develop the ”Time Travelling Tea Hut” caravan/studio/relational space (built as part of last year’s work and put to multiples uses) to immerse myself in the Anglian rural environment, in order to deeply engage with landscape painting, and in particular with the free form skies, using Hubert Damisch’s “Theory of Cloud” as a guide. I will explore painters who have lived and worked in East Anglia in order to help inform my work and enquiry.
How can I produce work that has both meaning and has visual impact, without being too dictatorial to my audience? Work that communicates clearly between mine and another human consciousness? By gauging feedback I can assess how my work is perceived, and decide how much ambiguity is desirable. I want to discover what elements the human perception finds most engaging. My reading and research into Neuroaesthetics has suggestedthat representational and figural work supplies more information triggering higher level of brain activity. However why do so many ( including myself) find photorealism unsatisfying, yet paradoxically enjoy high realism when it has been worked from observation. How much further can I take the representation away from literality before I lose the viewer to their own constructions and the need to read the text alongside? How can I make it span the chasm between my intent and the construction of the viewer? How can this work be ethical, in terms of materiality, of construction, of meaning? How can it be for the benefit of society? How can I use all that I have discovered with my last projects, with the Jug Series of studies, and the storyboard/mood board painting series be taken further?
Using the springboard of my Jug Series, I now have a better set of material tools and techniques to approach my final work. Technically my practice framework is taken from the Venetian school of painting up until the late 18th Century, with some colour influence from the French and American Impressionists, the Italian Divisionists and Post Impressionists and Salvador Dali. My technical expertise is informed by the research of conservationists and art historians ( in particular the National Gallery’s annual technical bulletin, Ralph Mayer’s “The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Technoques”, Tad Spurgeon's “Living Craft” painting materials research website and book, and the paint producer and technologist George O’Hanlon of Natural Pigments).
Having visited “Beyond Caravaggio” at the National Gallery, the recent Vermeer show, and the Francis Bacon retrospective at the Sainsbury’s Centre and find myself firmly committed and inspired to follow the painting muse the immense flexibility and range of expression it offers me. I am particularly interested in the depiction of light, and am going to Madrid to see the Sorolla show and intend to visit the Prado and particularly the work of Velasquez.
Having attended TRAC2015 (The Representation Artist Conference) in Ventura, California, I am very aware of a global resurgence in humanist representational painting. There are several contemporary artists whose work I admire who were in attendance or were discussed in the proceeding, the Spanish painter Dino Valls, Odd Nerdrum, Brad Kunkle, Conor Walton and academic thinkers such as Michael Pierce, Alan Lawson and Roger Scruton. I plan to explore and expand on the information and individuals I met whilst there. I was particularly impressed with the keynote speaker Prof Semir Zeki, whose book “Splendours and Miseries of the Brain” looks into human brain reactions to aesthetic stimuli. As a counter to Seki’s work Prof. Roger Scruton spoke the year earlier and posited that the attempt to answer all questions with science leads “too frequently to caricature and even nonsense”. From the point of view of a rationalist and an atheist I would like to explore these boundaries.
Alongside my development as a painter I want to expand my art beyond making and into the “being” of an artist. Joseph Beuys responded to the post-holocaust world in which he existed and the history he inherited, I want to explore what my cultural contextual “being” is. Do I really live in a post-truth world? A digital age? Do I merely passively reflect or can I be reflexive and proactively affect? What does this mean? How can creative living be embodied in my life, or in anyone’s life? In how many ways can I be an artist? Can I make my practice meaningful in an ecological way?
During my research I came across artists practices which caused me to question the ethical frameworks employed. What has relativistic thinking done to the Art-world? Borrowing the ethical core principles set out by the Economic and Social Science Research council I will review praxis and theory in order to address these concerns. How is this going to affect my work?
Critical theory is becoming increasingly important to me with regard to my practice,
but I find the dualism in dialectic argument at times irrational, and rather than achieve a synthesis it too often it merely self negates. I hope to navigate this thinking and come to some personal resolution. I have been attracted to the ideas of Transdiscliplinarianism and the new treatise of Metamodernism and plan to fully investigate these over this period of time.
Output will be a series of paintings, a book on Jugs, The Time Travelling Tea-Hut. Supplementary Performance and Relational events may occur. All will be recorded in a blog format.
I will engage wth the academic community with my critical enquiry. I may write papers or articles, and attempt to exchange correspondence with leading thinkers. I would like to get some educational teaching/lecturing/speaking experience.
I will need the use of the wood workshop for making of frames and easels to support large format work. I will need to resubmit Health and Safety for the placement of the Caravan.