Glazing my sculpted head

The head has gone through the firing process and come out in one piece. I looked at the choices of finishes and wanted a colourful glaze. The choice was limited and I chose a green that should come out shiny after a further firing.

If time allows me I still want to use this head as a maquette for creating a fabric version of me. I will have to work extremely fast on the 3 pieces, to give myself enough time to spend on the maquette.


After firing due to the higher temperatures required for glazing the head has ended up with some serious cracks. I could have used bronze oxide and rubbed it in and that wouldn’t have required firing. I like the glossy green glaze but it is essential that if producing a sculpture again I am aware of the risk of repeat firing.

David Hockney portraits



David Hockney is princeply known for his paintings of swimming pools and take’s inspiration from the California sunshine. His paintings are distinct to him and the blue paint he uses is characteristic to him.

There is a mill in Yorkshire Saltaire mill which I will try and visit that has several of his portraits displayed on the walls of the restaurant. What intrigues me about these is his trademark use of bold colours.

What inpresses  me about his paintings is how he captures light and expertly shows expression in the portraits of his mother, such as the one pictured above. The image of his mother was constructed with several photos to recreate his version of her face I find this work inspired and creative.

Other painters who paint distorted image portraits such as Francis Bacon creates paintings that are often alarming or disturbing to the viewer. In contrast Hockney’s image is calmer and less disconcerting. I think this may be to many factors such as the choice of the selected images, the colour  and positioning of the face, the subject matter and time and place where the artist is at in their life. The images that Francis Bacon paints create a sense of the macabre and uncomfortableness for the viewer, where as Hockney’s  portraits create a sense of calm and serene feeling allowing the viewer to appreciate the beauty of his work.

I am attracted to both styles of work and apreciate the talent of both artists.

I wasn’t able to visit Saltaire Mill to in Yorkshire to see these paintings but was fortunate to see them at Tate Britain.

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Problems with uploading images to the digital printer.

I tried to use my images that I have manipulated on photoshop onto the digital printer. I have limited skills in photoshop but I have spent time on editing photos to the best of my ability and asked for direction if anyone was near me was around to offer advice. I spent time experimenting with different outcomes and was happy with the end results. I chose three portraits of myself aged 16, mid 30’s and myself now. I did want to try and create an image of myself in the future but as yet I advent been able to create one that I am satisfied with.

I experimented with blurring or distorting the images for two reasons,

  • One being, that I am drawn to abstract painting. What I like about abstract painting is that I feel an interrelation with the chaos and roughness I see in abstract paintings. I connect with the madness and explosion of colour and it allows my imagination to run away with itself.
  • Two being, that I feel more comfortable with a blurred image of myself due to issues with confidence. That said I think abstract also will best serve my style of stitch that I intend to use.

I tried various methods of saving to JPEG, TIFF and Photoshop but I had no success. I spent most of the day trying to upload the images but to no effect. I also elicited the help of peer students and tutors but I had to admit defeat in the end. I then thought about using the images in a different ways because what I am looking for is an image that I can apply stitch to.

I have experimented with screen print, lino print and mono print. I thought I would experiment with screen print first and see weather I am able to get the image that I want.  I sent a job sheet in requesting a screen printed frame and a list of colours. I chose orange black yellow and aqua blue/grey.

Critique week 5

I outlined my process to date to the group and gave the reasons for my proposal and showed the them my work so far. I spoke at some length at my insecurities towards my work which include’s feeling uncomfortable with creating self-portraits as I have never felt at ease with my image. I also spoke about the nervousness I felt because this is my FMP and that I do not want to display any work that I don’t feel happy with or am proud to exhibit.

I realise that this prosess will require constant reflection as I work through my project. I spoke about my reasons for using bright colours is because I want to recreate a sense of fun, brightness and positivity to my portraits as I feel this is how I want to show my life. I explained that I am wanting to show the different ages of me through a variety of mediums. It was pointed out that I would need to carry a cohesiveness throughout the project if I am to use varied mediums. This will show a coherent unity and a sense of balance.

Ideas that the group passed 0n where helpful and thought provoking as Julia suggested that I try and place the images in front of each other to give a view of time passing and that you would be able to look at each individual piece but also all of them together.

I was given suggestions for tecniques and artist inspiration. They also passed on positive feedback about my work which gave me confidence to continue.

Picture 1 complete/ or maybe not

Finished I think unless I decide to add a little more abstract splashes of green to the background I’m still undecided. 30 hours of work and I’m still not totally happy. This is taken from a portrait of me at 16. I was trying to get a 3D abstract image I wanted to raise the cheek more but yet not make it too relisitic.

I’ve learnt it’s hard to interpret shade into colours and the skill needed to create a choice of colour from ones own interpretations requires a great deal of skill. Due to wanting the portrait to represent me in my youth I refrained from wrinkles and creases as I felt this could confuse the age.

The time which it takes to complete the picture is excessive but I was aware of this from previous sampling and mistakes can be costly time wise.

I think if I had interpreted the image on photoshop and created the colours on paper first I could have experimented with these and settled on what works best.  This could have saved some time on unpicking mistakes.

I chose to work with the colours as it occurred to me there and then. But I think this is a disadvantage and if I where to repeat the process would design the colour patten on photoshop first.

I now need to work out how to flatten the picture and weather to hang it so the back is visible also.

I’m still not sure but need to walk away and assess what the piece still requires. I’ve cut away at the wool because it wasn’t right. This piece defiantly needs more contemplation time before it is complete.

Reflections  week 4

So to put my work in order at this moment in time. This is subject to change.
Image 1 – youthful image represented by bright fresh colours in an abstract painterly way. This is using the medium of stitch.

Image 2 – current age with a element of distortion to represent periods of confusion and distressing life issues.

Image 3 – older image looking into the gutter represented by fading and lines. I’m not sure yet if this will be black, grey and white.