Exercise 1.3 Experimenting with dynamic gesture

All notes in hand written journal (pics below)

Following on from contextual research point: Franz Kline…

Photos below show an idea I had to imitate Franz Kline’s idea of projection. My idea was to draw the shadow created by this shape. I decided to move on from this as I the exercise was based on creating gestural marks, experimenting with action painting. It was an idea that I wanted to demonstrate my creative thinking and where I could possibly take the exercise. Moving forward my aim was to create some work that was more about the action of movement and having that reflected in my physical marks.

I also had another idea of projecting images. In my journal I have mentioned that Kline’s work reminded me slightly of a photogram that I have experimented with before in dark room photography. I also completed a drawing on my sculpture course (which I swapped from to this course) using spray paint and objects. So I experimented with this idea for this exercise. I really like the possibilities and options that this way of painting could offer, so I may come back to it within the course at some point.

I chose to use electric pylons as my subject matter for this exercise as I am really interested in the angles they contain and physical presence that they hold. I live near Crystal Palace in London, where there is a transmitting station (a very tall electric pylon) so I conducted some on site drawings of the object, studying the angles and lines, trying to create depth and get my perspective right.

I really struggled with getting a lot of the angles right. I changed my position to get a different view of the pylon but this created even more of a challenge for me as I was now facing the pylon face on so it was difficult to get depth. I really tried to study the angles of where everything was but I was definitely more successful with my initial charcoal sketched than my biro ones.

I then came back to the ‘studio’ (my flat) to begin my ‘action painting’ Franz Kline style!

I found these paintings a real challenge to complete for various reasons but I think the man issue was that I was too controlled. I think maybe having such a rigid structure as my subject I felt like I had to convey that in my painting and I felt less keen to lose that rigid structure. I didn’t feel that I could be gestural with it… maybe if it was on a bigger scale?!?!

Reflection for this exercise:

At first I used the paint straight from the tube which meant that the material was harder to manipulate to create a more abstract, expressionist feel, as it had little movement. I then watered it down to see if the material would be easier to manipulate and create a stronger rhythm. I enjoyed this more as I felt that all my movements effected how the paint dripped, even though I had no control what dripped where. I think the main obstacle I noticed was that I needed to work much larger. I wanted to use a thick brush, like Franz did to create a more dynamic fuelled mark, however due to the size I was working on it was hard to create the shapes with such a large brush. I changed to a smaller brush but it just didn’t have the same expression as the larger brush did. I wanted to create this piece as a type of performance and start to feel the movement from my body into the piece but I sadly was restricted by my movements as I rent a flat, so I cannot throw paint everywhere. I feel this restricts my expression as an artist as well as when I conduct work. I really like the idea of ‘constructing a drawing’ and building various amounts of line to create shapes. I would like to experiment with the mark making and the dry brush strokes with the wet on wet combination. I felt almost ‘clumsy’ conducting this piece when working with the larger brush as I had less control over how neat it should be. I wonder if I should complete a larger piece being even more free to be more expressive and have more of a physical influence in the making and action of the painting?

I think I would like to work more into the surface of the painting. Making a textural surface and layering the paint, like in the video of Willem De Kooning style work. Maybe if I had worked on cardboard I could have created this textural surface? I think im going to give this exercise one last try – a larger piece with more layers, more texture with the larger brush.

So I did a bigger one… I’m not sure that its any better than the others. Again I just wanted to go crazy with paint but the flat restricts that physical movement in a way. However I am getting a studio in July so I cant WAIT to get all crazy there! I found the thicker brush much harder to use to create shapes and the white paint to fill in the negative space was a bit of challenge. I worked wet on wet and found this hard to control and whether to let the two colours drip into one another. I think I need a few days to reflect upon it fully and return back to it. For now, I’m going to leave this exercise. Onto the next…



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