Last Sunday my flatmates and I walked to Gylly beach to watch the sun set. Our intention was to have a BBQ too - but the shops were shut - so we just had a few drinks and sat on an old bedsheet watching the sun go down and the moon come up. It was quite lovely, albeit chilly, and made me realise how much I adore my new little life here in Fal. We went home and ate vegetarian sausage sandwiches and had a movie night in the hallway with all of our pillows and duvets. Cosy and a perfect end to our second week.
I had my first one on one tutorial session with my tutor Mark on Monday, which was really useful in giving my practice a sense of direction. Trying to find a catalyst for the development of my work in my surroundings without romanticising the landscape too much is tricky - there's a fine line between taking inspiration and making work all too similar to what has been done before. Turner, for example, is a genius, but there's more to the coast than Romanticism and trying to fit into a style that isn't my own will only end in work that doesn't feel genuine.
Speaking with my tutor helped refine that sense of direction for me. We spoke about the music ideas I explored last week and how the differing genres altered the colours and marks made. This synesthesia in art which explores the combination of the senses such as sight and sound is something that really interests me; how genres of music can create visual, musical paintings.
The tutorial also led me to turn to my sketchbook and start working small; combining ideas and colour combinations before rushing headfirst into a big piece and becoming frustrated when it doesn't quite sit right on the page. I'm going to use less colours in each piece, too, which was a challenge given to me by Mark. My work is so dependent on colour that using 3 - 6 colours only will push me to consider more about the form, shapes and structure of my pieces.
After a while, I reached the decision that these abstracts needed more structure. They just weren't working for me - so I decided to go back to what I know for a little while and enjoy making rather than becoming disheartened: just because I want to do something doesn't necessarily mean it will work. So I brought my cellulose thinners into the studio and did some printing with leftover photographs from my previous project. The familiar process felt refreshing and gave me a break to help my newer ideas make more sense in my head.
After time away, I did some colour combination trials in my sketchbook to try to figure out what palette to use in my primary trials and to discourage my colour obsessed self from going over-board.
I knew my pieces needed more structure and I have always enjoyed working geometrically in abstract paintings, so I made use of masking tape and my rollers to do some overlay work - experimenting with different levels of opacity to create transparent layers of paint, making a mess in the process...
The coastal town's architecture, highlighted in this photograph taken from my friend Megan's instagram who is on the Drawing course here at Falmouth, is geometric and the shapes angular. Using this as a starting point for the shapes I would create with the tape, the piece starting building up in elements inspired by the houses here in Falmouth.
Next week in the studio I'll be looking to further explore this idea of using the coastal architecture as inspiration for my work as opposed to the obvious source of creativity when leaving in a seaside town... the sea. I'm also interested in weaving other mediums into the work after a while - such as wool, embroidery and pastels. Week 3 here in Fal has been a week of self discovery. Attempting to find my style, figure out what I want and truly finding my feet here. I'm excited to see what week 4 brings.