It's the end of my first 3 months as a first year Fine Art BA(Hons) student here at Falmouth University. I've spent my days wearing mainly dungarees and my tattiest of jumpers, walking up numerous hills and unintentionally improving my cardiovascular fitness (or so I tell myself), drinking enough - perhaps too much - gin and wine for one eighteen year old to handle, spilling coffee and paint down all my clothes, shelling out a small fortune on art supplies, using my camera again every day and making work I'm confident with for the first time in a long time. I love my life and the people I've met here.
At the beginning of this week, I had my final one on one with my tutor Mark before the Christmas break. We spoke about artists he thought I may be interested in researching such as Falmouth graduate Meg O'Doherty who Mark himself tutored when she was in her final year 2 years ago. Her work titled 'The Lights Are On But No One's Home' is something that caught my eye when looking up her practice. The piece, made up of acrylic, glue, various papers and other mixed media on board, which measures 122 x 244cm, is incredibly striking even just from photographs.
The subject matter stems from her interest in maps. Her pieces reflect the belief that mapping mirrors the curiosity and exploration human nature embodies - "seeking to discover where we are and where we come from in the hope this will give us an insight into who we are". The links between Meg's work and the aims of my own are evident; an exploration the connections between people and the places they affix themselves to.
Mark also introduced me to the book 'Mapping the Earth in Works of Art' by Edward Casey, a writer who explores artists who use the world and it's landscapes as subject matters or fundamental issues in their practice. Quite a heavy read, I'm currently only dipping in and out of the chapters, but once I have a better understanding of the writing I'll be collecting my thoughts about Casey's writing in one single journal update.
Finally, I told him about my plans for future works; to trial a painting of an aerial view over Falmouth in my current painting style and to try working away from the roller and incorporate brush strokes into some pieces - combining more natural, organic, painterly landscapes with the existing controlled, geometric shapes of the architectural landscape.
Another plan was to start a piece of work in a more refined colour palette: greys, blues, subtle oranges and tiny hints of pink. I began this work in the studio - starting off with the blues and greys as the primary layer before moving forward to the secondary and tertiary layers of colour.
Steph and I took a studio break this week. It was lovely to get back down to the beach to do some more sketching. The sea side is strange in December, off-season. I actually think it’s more beautiful; less busy, more dog walkers wrapped up in coats and scarves, the odd mental Cornish native who goes in the water for a quick swim without a wetsuit… The sand is wetter, the air is more misty, the rocks are more slippy but shine in the muggier Wintry light. And it’s the perfect excuse to sit underneath the heaters on Gylly beach cafe balcony and do some sketching with a soy hot chocolate or two.
After spending over an hour sketching and sipping on hot chocolate, we braved the cold and wandered down to the rock pools. A short while away from the studio space was the perfect reminder of how wonderful the place I live is.
I'm bringing my paints back to Bedford with me so that I can continue working over the holidays. I'm looking forward to trying out all of my ideas and to put together a nice little collection of pieces for my first marked hand-in of work in January.