Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Inspiration from scraps of newsprint ?!

So whilst I was producing all of my prints I had this obsession with removing the newsprint people had left behind on the printing press. This scrap news print however consisted of many sections of other peoples prints all layered on top of each other. As well as sections transferred from other peoples prints there were also marks created by the undersides of printing plates. Really random and obviously not put together with any thought due to the nature of the scraps but they were so beautiful and screaming with potential ! Each time I returned to use the printmaking studios I came across these left behind scraps of newsprint just left on the printing press. I had to salvage them !

Every time I obtained a new piece I took it home, trimmed it down a bit to enhance the quality of it and then stuck it up on my wall. There are quite a few of them there now. I’m currently at home in Liverpool – there still in Dundee so I can’t really admire them at the moment ! Plus I haven’t even took any pictures (stupidly) so you shall have to wait until I get back up there before I can post some up !

Just looking back at that paragraph…..what can I call these things?! These bits of scrap newsprint I have just rescued from being thrown away and never looked upon in the same way again ! They need a title ! But what? I’m sure something will come to me in time haha !

Anyway ! These little beauties really got me thinking about my next project and what I could do for it. It’s a self directed one so I was really chuffed I managed to get some inspiration quite early on !

I started to think along the lines of using unwanted items and giving them a chance to show off their beauty….rather than them just being dismissed for what they are. I could work into these items – make them into real pieces of art….or I could simply enhance the way in which they are displayed ? At this point I don’t want to pinpoint anything – I want to leave things open. I seem to close in on things way to early and this is something I definitely do not want to do for this project !

After having a good think about potential ideas I began having a little research into existing art out there which related to that of what I was thinking ! (This was before we broke up for Christmas) I amazingly found out about an exhibition that was currently on show in the Novas CUC in Liverpool. “Salvage” – an exhibition by Flintshire artist Tony Roberts. It sounded so ideal for what I was currently thinking about !

I really should blog in the present ! I always seem to leave things so late and go back to it ! This will be my new years resolution ! To write about things not so long after ! Anyway I went to see this exhibition and it was superb – this is what my next post will be about haha !

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

“Final Outcome” for Print-making Project


I ended up using this print for my “final outcome” I do like the print however I just don’t really like having to call something a “final” piece. Nothing is ever complete in my eyes. So much more could be developed from this project however I am happy with what I have achieved in the time. During this project I have been thinking about what I could do for my next project. A lot of ideas have sprung to mind and there has been a lot of influence from the visuals I have been exposed to in the print room. I shall speak about these thoughts and ideas more in my next post.

Print Experimentation

Below are some of the experimental pieces I produced whilst trying to get to grips with the lithography print-making process and developing some ideas for a final print.


These are some of the prints I made using a plate developed from the sound drawings I initially created in the drawing project for the background and then printing a photograph I took of an iris in the botanic gardens (with the petals taken out) over the top of it.

I wasn’t really thinking about colour at this point so I just used whatever inks were out which other people were using.

I thought these prints would turn out better than they have. It may be the colour that is putting me off them but I think its more the boldness of the background appearing through the overprint.


These prints appealed to me a lot more. There’s something subtle about the print underneath but also the strong contrast between the man made rails and the floral image. The railings almost become part of the flower providing a pattern for its petals. Even though this appears as something visually appealing; the fact that the railings are providing  some visual “beauty” to the flower is quite sinister seen as though man is ultimately destroying nature all of the time !

PC047073PC037072In my very first experiments with lithography I used the original Iris photograph. I decided on these developmental prints to use the  original photo plate again to produce some backgrounds to print onto.  The second floral photo plate I created was ideal to do this as I had cut some sections out on Photoshop meaning when I printed a different colour over the top of the full original print the original colour and detail from it would show through the sections I had cut out. I think these have worked really well, however it doesn’t really convey the contrast between man and nature I have been looking at. I therefore decided to continue producing some prints using the railings photograph and the Iris photograph (with sections cut out). Because there wasn’t really much time left after I had produced a lot of these experimental prints I needed to really come up with what I could produce as a “final outcome.” I never like the idea of final outcomes however I needed one so I then decided to produce some more thought out prints using specific colours.


I decided to use an orange rusty colour for the railings and then a more natural colour ( blue/green) for the overprint. The print above was produced on newsprint so appears a lot bolder than it does on paper. This was another thing I had to think of ! Paper ! I started experimenting with a few different ones and came to the decision that the thinner paper worked best (even though the quality of the paper wasn’t so great !). I really liked the prints I produced on a sort of grid like texture – I’m unsure whether you can see this on the image below but it gives quite a nice feel to the print. 


PC037036 ^ Grid-like texture this paper seems to give. 

I also started thinking “why can I not print onto a more textured surface?!” and therefore looked at printing onto pieces of paper I had collaged with advertisements – resembling a surface covered in torn posters etc (a well known man made image!) . I wish I had more time to experiment with this idea however I only produced a couple of these last minute and I never really had time to develop them further.


Apologies for the wonky photographs ! Lol !

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Waterless Lithography

OK so I’ve never really done any printmaking before which is why I chose to do this project ! I decided to carry on with my theme of Man / Nature and the contrasts etc.

I have managed to do some test prints using this method of lithography which have come out quite successful and I can really see the potential in using this method !

I have carried on with the idea of drawing sound but also how to combine this with natural elements. Below are some experimental pieces I’ve been playing around with on Photoshop. I first scanned in one of my “sound drawings” which I have also worked into. Then I overlaid a floral image on top in which I had cut the petal sections out ….revealing the drawing underneath.

I plan to use this same method in producing my next series of prints. Firstly by printing a drawn onto lithographic plate and then printing a photographic one over it with the floral image (and sections cut out) on top of it - hopefully this will work but lets just wait and see ! Printmaking can be so unpredictable !

Sketchbook scan One of the Sound Drawings I worked into in my sketchbook

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Floral image (with petal sections cut out) overlaid on top of sound drawing using Photoshop.

Print mock upSame image but smaller Photo – giving a border of the sound drawing.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

David Byrne


Drawing Drawing

So this week I’ve been getting on with a drawing project. In this project we have literally been asked to question “what is drawing?” and think a lot deeper into why we draw and the ways in which we draw certain things. Like the previous project - so far this has been a real eye opener ! We were told to go on an hour long walk and basically think of how we would draw things and what especially stood out and appealed to us and yet again what was it for me – the contrasts between man and nature !

I don’t know why but this thought / notion of the strong contrast between man and nature just keeps coming back and back into everything I do. It’s not necessarily what I want to do….it’s something which I always just become so inspired by and pick up on all the time. I try to get out of my comfort zone by trying not to go back to it but it doesn’t work. However this is not necessarily a bad thing as there are always new techniques and ways of working in which I can challenge myself whilst working on this theme. For instance at the moment I have been producing quite detailed drawings / paintings of natural objects whilst creating free “blind” drawing-esque drawings of sound (in particular the noises of cars passing by / the constant noise of the roads) around these detailed natural visuals.

I’m really enjoying this way of working at the moment. The control of producing detailed natural visuals – which seems to be some-what relaxing and therapeutic. But also the freedom of producing “sound” drawings in quite a loose way. It seems ironic that the more free / organic drawings are actually of something created by man whilst the more controlled and restricted way of working is of something organic and natural. It almost flips the idea on it’s head however the contrasts do still exist – even if in the opposite way to normal !

Although the drawings of sound I have produced so far have been quite successful I plan to experiment more with this idea as I think a lot can be achieved from it. I’ve been looking around the web and have come across some pretty interesting stuff about “visualising sounds” something which particularly interested me was this TED talk by Evan Grant on “cymatics”

Unfortunately this is only a one week project. I would’ve loved to carry this on and explore even further however I can always use what I have learnt again in future projects as I’m sure I will return to this theme once more and also use the technical skills I have gained during the time working on this topic.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Ron Mueck

Ok so I’ve now finished my digital project. Although I’m not entirely impressed with my final outcome I’ve learnt so so much from creating the film so this is more than enough for me !

A few days ago I visited Aberdeen…mainly to go out with one of my flat mates who lives there, however I had the next day to look around the city. As I was walking around I came across Aberdeen Art Gallery and obviously had to go and have a look inside. I was expecting all the usual traditional artworks, however on entering the pieces on display were a lot more contemporary than I expected !

Tracey Emin’s neon text pieces , Alison Watt’s beautiful realist paintings of draped fabric which I have always wanted to see in the flesh and most impressive and astounded of all: Ron Mueck’s hyper realist sculptures.

Ron Mueck had a variety of his sculptures on display however most breathtaking was his sculpture of a new born baby. However it was no regular sculpture…the baby was of much larger scale and very intimidating to look at for a long period of time, but also beautiful in a way ! It was extremely realistic and had the umbilical cord still attached. I’ve never seen anything like it and was completely blown away and inspired.


Obviously I’m very glad I decided to nip inside of the gallery. Although there was not tons of stuff to see, from what I did see I was very inspired by. It was my kind of artwork which I was not expecting on first entering the space !

Next week I think were doing some sort of drawing project….not to sure what this is yet as were on reading week atm but hopefully it should be good ! I’ll be glad to get back into some drawing !

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Man-made Disaster

Film I made for Uni project "From Still to Life". First film I've ever made and first time I've ever used Final Cut / Soundtrack Pro ! Such complicated programmes but such amazing ones at the same time.......being introduced to these programmes / way or working has opened up so many possibilities for future work it's actually mind boggling !!

The film is pretty self explanatory so I'm not going to go on explaining what its about...I'll leave it up to you =)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

2nd Year Begins !

Ok so I've jsut started 2nd year Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone after doing my foundation year back home in Liverpool. It's pretty crazy because at my first meeting I found out there was only 2 other direct entry students....meaning all the rest had come up from DoJ's general foundation last year ! Obviously it's going to take a bit of getting into (Getting to know everyone etc) but everyone seems so friendly so I think it'l be fine !

Yesterday we got given project briefs to choose from. To be honest there was quite a few good ones but I had to go for the digital one ! It looked pretty amazing. Shown below.......

DIGITAL IMAGE - from still to life

Tutors: Norman Shaw (Mon & Tues) and Mark Wallace (Tues)

This project will explore the use of digital technology for manipulating and transforming images, through the re-appropriation of pre-existing images.
You will create a one-minute video collage with sound using Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.
You will learn basic image manipulation using layers etc. with Photoshop, basic sound recording and editing, and image sequencing using Final Cut Pro.

1 st Week
Monday & Tuesday: Introduction to the project; sourcing and gathering images; introduction to Photoshop; scanning and manipulation of your images.
Wednesday & Thursday: Continuing to develop and manipulate images on Photoshop.

2 nd Week
Monday & Tuesday: Introduction to sound. Sourcing, gathering and creating the sounds that will complement your images and form the soundtrack.
Wednesday & Thursday: Developing sound piece, and continuing to develop images on Photoshop.

3 rd Week
Monday & Tuesday: Introduction to Final Cut Pro.
This will integrate your images and sounds into a single narrative.
Wednesday & Thursday: Developing final video on Final Cut Pro.

4 th Week
Working towards completion of project.
Group crit and discussion of final works.

You will produce a final video collage on DVD (duration one minute), plus supporting material (images/sounds/sketchbooks/notebooks/research references etc).
You will have gained a basic knowledge of digital image manipulation and video collage.

Location: Studio 4 and digital suites.

Project begins on Monday 21 st September at 9.30am in studio 4

I really think the title appealed to me a great deal "From Still to Life" ! Just that notion of bringing something to life that's not nesscessarily meant to even move let alone do anything else ! This along with the addition of music / film is what really grabbed me ... I've always wanted to be able to create a film / animation in some way and I've never been able to do so so know's my chance !!

Im off for two days now (Today and Thursday) then i'm back in for a history and theory lecture on Friday. So I'm thinking to go out and take some photo's over today and tomorrow of things I may like to animate or bring to life. At the moment i'm thinking natural things eg...plants, small animals etc however these already move and it may be itneresting to animate objects which arent meant to ! We'll see anyway... I'm yet to fine a great deal of inspiration ! Project starts on Monday...and I start trainign at the Orange shop Saturday and Sunday...so I need to get my skates on !

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Friday, 19 June 2009

Finished !!

I'm now basically done with my FMP ! I knowww I knowww - I haven't been updating this atall and I never do. I think it's best for me just to accept that I will add to this now and again ! Possbily when I start degree I will try and make better use of this space ! Anywho the exhibition starts on Monday !! I'll try and get some pics up when I can ! I'm really pleased with how it's all went and cannot wait for the show !! =)

Monday, 4 May 2009

"Out of the Box"

Thats what I've decided to call my project ! I NOW NEED SOME MOTIVATION !!!! I don't know whats wrong with me lately ! I know this is what I want to do but I just need something to really get me going !!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Havn't done this in ages but I now feel the need to ! So i'm about to start my final major project at college ! This is the only thing that actually gets a mark so it's a pretty big thing ! We had to write a statement of intent on what our project will be about / what we are going to do in it which i've included below.....

Final Major Project – Statement of Intent

Section 1
Is it the amount of control involved when taking a picture that stops people from being particularly creative when it comes to photography, and thinking literally “outside of the box”? What would the effects be if this control was to be somewhat broken? I plan to explore these effects by investigating different ways of producing a photographic image. This exploration will include producing a series of pinhole cameras in a variety of different ways and observing the effects which they give. I also plan to introduce new aspects into what is considered a “normal” camera such as experimenting with the effects of mirrors and different materials. Experimentation into different developing options and materials which I can record the photographic images onto will also be carried out within the project. (129 words)

Section 2
The starting point for this project spanned from a college project on “Light” explored earlier on in the course. Artists researched within the project such as James Loftus have been very influential to my initial ideas and in particular how he records multiple images at one time using a self made pinhole camera. Further research and experimentation using this idea will be carried out along with researching other artists who use pinhole photography in their work such as Thomas Hudson Reeve’s “PaperCams” and Steve Pippin’s “Laundromat” series. The idea of introducing mirrors into this project came from ideas I had during a “Site Specific” project I also carried out earlier in the course. I’m interested in the different effects they can create such as the kaleidoscope and never ending effect. Artists I will research in relation to this idea will include Yoyoi Kusama, Mike Nelson and Olafur Eliasson and how they explore mirrors within their works. (156 words)

Section 3
A large part of this project will include pinhole photography and I will therefore need to construct the different pinhole cameras in the relevant way. As I will be using light sensitive materials to record the images onto I will need to have access to a dark room and the relevant chemicals needed to process photographic images. I intend on making positives from the negatives produced by the pinhole cameras and will therefore require an enlarger for this process. Ilford black and white photographic paper will be used to develop the images onto as colour processing is a much more technical process which I haven’t yet explored. Digital photography will also be used to explore similar techniques and processes however different developing and colour options will be explored through the use of Photoshop. The images I produce digitally will be printed out professionally by an online printing company. (148 words)

Section 4
I plan to produce ongoing evaluation of my project within my sketchbook as well as producing a general weekly evaluation. I will also produce a questionnaire which will be handed out fortnightly to my college colleagues and tutors so I can gain their opinions on my work so far. (49 words)

(488 words)

There was different sections to this and alltogether it couldn't be over 500 words ! I felt this very restrictive and to be honest I don't think this is the way a project should start ! You never know where it's going to take you ! However all this said it doesn't really matter if your ideas change slightly (apparently!)

I got really into pinhole photography when I was doing a project on "Light" so I thought i'd return to it for my FMP ! I'm quite excited although i've got "artists block" atm and don't know how to get into my sketchbook / start any work etc !

To add to the stress of this i'm waiting to here back from Dundee ! My portfolio had to be there last Monday and thankfully it did get there (by post!!), i'm jsut waiting now to see whether I have got into the art college there ! I really hope I have because it looks amazing and I could so see myself there !

Anyway, i'll hopefully keep the blog updated on this project as I think it will help me aswell !

Friday, 16 January 2009

Life Drawing

A life drawing I'm actually quite satisfied with ! I'm normally never happy at the end of a life drawing session but I came out of this one feeling all positive ! Because I'm now doing a short project on "Time" at college, in the life room everyone had to do some quick drawings and I think they relly loostened me up ! For the drawing above the whole page was sprayed with water and then the charcoal applied. It made the charcoal really glide over the page and in places gave a really nice dripping effect. Once the page got dry more water was applied causing more drips - but I used this to my advantage and I think the end result is possibly one of my best life drawings to date !