My tutor gave me the following feedback on assignment five. My response can be seen below.
Thank you for the care taken in preparing and packaging your portfolio. The assignment submission included an A4 Personal Development (sketchbook) , several exercises and projects. Four paintings labelled as ‘Assignment Painting’ and one as ‘experimental piece only’. The previous assignment 4 piece was included as was seen digitally and commented upon in my assignment 4 feedback .
I noticed that you have run-out-of-time as your course deadline was 24th April. I contacted Joanne Mulvihill-Allen (on your behalf) who has arranged an extention for you. If you plan on submitting your work for assessment you will need to follow this up with Joanne as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can see that you have worked hard in this assignment to act on previous feedback and guidance. You have also used the resources recommended and followed up on some previous suggested artists research . I encourage you to more actively respond to tutor feedback; Pointers and Suggestions on any future courses. Though this is at a late stage in the course; you should now build on this: to critically analyse the works of others , throughout an assignment . Keep referring to the resource below to help you develop some depth to your own methodical approach to researching the work of others https://www.oca-student.com/sites/default/files/oca-content/key-resources/res-files/sg_looking _at_artists.pdf
You have stated many times you find ‘experimentation’ and ‘moving out of your comfort-zone’ difficult. !You have latterly, especially in this final assignment experimented more!; it will take practice on your part to commit to and expand on this. You will know from experience as a primary teacher, we often learn through experimentation, play and taking those difficult or uncomfortable risks. Perhaps you can draw upon your own learning & teaching strategies to help yourself to build on these small creative risks.
You have tried to explore ‘expressive’ and ‘free’ mark-making and brushwork in this assignment. It would benefit you to continue to explore and expand on these qualities; thereby extending your visual vocabulary and building your confidence in the use of a broad range of mark-making qualities.
You have introduced some varied surface and textural qualities; such as mixing matter into paint and incorporating stitch. It would be good to see you do much more of this type of experimentation in your preparatory processes and through to your assignment studies. I have previously commented; that some of your more interesting visual ideas are more evident in your sketchbook.
Do take time to look at, reflect and analyse your sketchbook studies and experiments.
N.B If you are applying for the assessment process- you must respond fully to the feedback comments and suggestions. I make these to offer guidance in relation to the assessment criteria: https://www.oca-student.com/sites/default/files/oca-content/key-resources/res-files/visual_art s_he4_assess_crit_2_1.pdf
You will need to very carefully edit and select your portfolio ; if you are applying for assessment do make sure you read and closely follow the guidelines for the submission process: https://www.oca-student.com/resource-type/assessment-guidelines-painting
Assignment 5 Assessment potential
“I understand your aim is to go for the BA (Hons) Painting Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.”
assessment (see Conditions of Enrolment, Section 2 a). Contact the OCA Course Advisors to discuss this further.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
There is evidence of you attempting to stretch your boundaries and experiment outside of your usual comfort zone. Such as introducing textural matter into the paint, using different paint applications and expanding on your mark-making tools.
More experimentation at the preparatory stage of the assignment is to be encouraged. Do aim to do this across a number of studies ; then you can explore how you incorporate explored qualities into the final works. (Pointers)
You have undertaken working on different scales of support and surfaces; from miniatures to A1. I recommend that you continue to experiment with the format, scale and surfaces on which you paint- then reflect on which seem to help you ‘free’ up your approach, marks and pace. Ask yourself if any feel more appropriate or suitable than others.
Painting 13: There is some soft, subtle directional brushwork in the pale clouds in sky. The simple compositional structure, allows the eye to scan, then linger on different parts of the vast sky; where the light seems to be emerging from the darkness. The horizon of mountains is a little too black and dense; to the extent that they appear flat silouhettes, rather than softer forms. The waves in parts are too stark white.
You have tried hard to convey very particular narratives in the assignment pieces; so much so that you have titled each one. Calm before the storm on Arran, Storm is brewing, Glen Rosa in winter. You seem very preoccupied with illustrating an idea or focussed on making a picture tell a story . I do think this is hindering you exploring paint – composition – marks – qualities of light and darks in what you are observing.
If you drop the titling and focus more on looking, applying paint, exploring your material and visual language; connections, narrative …. may just emerge out of the process of painting if you allow yourself to become involved in the making.
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
There are some interesting experiments with mixed-media and textural qualities. For example your s tudy of a pine cone incorporating stitch and paint. It would have been good to have seen you follow-up on your ideas to repeat the process incorporating fewer stitched lines. There was also scope to explore the drawing studies in pencil. often ideas are worth exploring a few times, before you can recognise where they might lead. In relation to the stitched pine cone; look at the paintings of Michael Raedaker who uses stitch and embroidery in his large scale, landscape oil paintings. (Reading / Viewing).
There is a sense that in your pine cone experiments; pencil drawings, then stitch, followed by threepaintstudies youmayhavefoundawaytoallowyourselftoexperiment. Thiscoulddevelop into a u seful strategy; if you can commit to it. The small loose study of the pine cone; with subtle mixing of greys, blues and browns shows your abilty to not only look but also perceive different shapes and colours within the natural cone form. This and the following perfume bottle experimental study have links to y our interest in pattern and repetition within nature / science . This is an area that you might want to explore further.
I encourage you to work more often in your sketchbook and pursue your ‘ideas’ to follow-through on your experiments . Do more experiments, one-after another and you may
find that your ideas will develop a momentum; which will help you develop confidence. ( Pointers)
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You have researched some familiar local artists: including brief analysis of their visual ‘style’, technical approach and tonal values. It would b enefit you to explore this analysis much further to include composition, range and variety of mark, brushwork and colour palette . You profess to admire and wish to paint ‘like’ Salmon, therefore a more in-depth observation and analysing of his visual language, content and strategies might better inform you . Now you have established contact- consider some well-formed questions and make some comments regardinghisworkthatmightopen-upapurposefulconversation.(P ointers) .
Whilst local artists are a source of research; it is important when studying on a degree pathway to use (when possible) source material that has a range of sound, academic research. For example in your abstract expressionism research y ou have used weblinks where the quality of the content, can’t be relied upon. If you are relying on websites to source research it is important to look at those recommended on the course reading list: https://www.oca-student.com/resource-type/p1-practice-painting-reading-list
When you follow-up research points from the course material; it would be useful for you to analyse and comment on how the research m ight be useful for your learning and development. Ask yourself how your research might (or might not) feed into your techniques, process and the content of your work? You can stall or get stuck, by focussing on ‘liking’ or not ‘liking’; thereby missing opportunities to learn from your research and reflections. (Pointers)
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You are using your blog and personal development book to log your progress through the assignment. This is shown through digital images recorded from your experiments and some drawings.
Often your writing is about what you did i.e; how you used materials and tools. T here are some elements where you begin to comment on the qualities of mark, tone, colour and pace – you need to bring in this type of analysis and develop depth to your reflections. D! o use the ‘looking at artists..’ resource more closely to guide you in this process. (Pointers)
In order to progress you will need to broaden your research sources and visit galleries; looking at a bredth of contemporary art / painting (not just what you ‘like’). A good, clear and accessible introduction for you would be: ‘Ways of looking: How to Experience Contemporary Art’, Ossian Ward (2014) (Research / Viewing)
Look at the paintings of Michael Raedaker who uses stitch and embroidery in his large scale landscape oil paintings e.g: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/raedecker-spot-t07514 (accessed 08/05/18)
Relating to your interest in pattern and repetition in the natural world look at the works of Terry Winters it will be useful for you to look through his Drawings, paintings and prints so you can see the connections and development of his visual language and process of researching (the Graz Cabinet) and how this informs his developing ideas: http://www.terrywinters.org/
‘Ways of looking: How to Experience Contemporary Art’, Ossian Ward (2014)
Pointers for the next assignment
- Reflect critically on this feedback in your learning log.
- Work more often in your sketchbook and explore your ‘ideas’ to follow-through on yourexperiments. Domoreexperiments,one-afteranother,after-anotherandyou may find that your ideas will develop a momentum; and become a body of ideas (rather than one-off experiments). For example do at least 8 small studies / experiments.
- Research, look at and analyse (use the resource’looking at ….’) the work of Raedeker and Winters. What could you take from their works that might feed into your own techniques, processes or ideas? Or what would you not take to inform or feed into your own work? Comment on your blog and then follow up on your ideas.
- In preparation for editing, selecting and presenting work for assessment you must follow the guidelines provided for painting level 1: https://www.oca-student.com/resource-type/assessment-guidelines-painting
- When accessing online websites for instance relating to your research on abstract expressionism; you would be better informed by looking at the Tate and Oxford weblinks in the POP Reading List: https://www.oca-student.com/resource-type/p1-practice-painting-reading-list
Tutor name Cheryl Huntbach
My Response to my Tutor
I would like to say thank you to my tutor Cheryl Huntbach for her support and feedback throughout Painting 1. I am grateful to Cheryl for arranging an extension for submission for grading.
I have to start by saying that I didn’t really know where I was going with my painting at the beginning of Painting 1. The exercises did put me out of my comfort zone a lot but I knew that was a ‘necessary evil’ (I hope this is a well known phrase and not just a local one…I don’t want to offend). Anyway, it did push me in the right direction. My tutor kept saying to take risks with my painting and I must confess that I didn’t really understand this until assignment 5 when I started to pick out things I liked in my sketches, ideas from tutorials and paintings observed and from memory that I realised I was actually beginning to take risks. I like the idea of taking ‘small creative risks’ and continuing to explore free mark making and brush strokes. In my log I have often written what I think my next steps should be. I am going to take my tutors advice on this one and take those small creative risks and experiment. I hope this will develop my visual vocabulary.
Cheryl also suggested a web link to help me to look at artists work with a more analytical approach. I now have a list of questions I want to find out when I look at paintings that I hope is beginning to stretch my observational vocabulary.
My tutor went on to comment on my use of thread and suggested that I should consider ways to develop my ideas. She gave me a link to look at the work of Michael Raedaker. I just love his work! He uses thread on parts he feels are important…that deserve more attention. The addition of thread, he believes will guide the observers eye round the picture. If you look at his work the thread tells a story. It’s like the ‘Golden thread’ pulling a story together. It invites the observer to touch and connect with the painting.
A selection of work by Michael Raedaker
In my painting of the pine cone I followed the lines from the cone but to develop my painting I would like to follow only one side of the cone and attach it to the tree using thread, perhaps a falling cone with the thread snapped would indicate that the time is right to let go…for the new seeds to be planted. It would signify the beauty of the life giving mother tree. Ok that was deep, but I love the connections and disconnections of the thread.
My tutor commented on my range of pieces in Part 5, ranging from miniature to A1 in size. She suggested that I continue to experiment with this. I enjoyed creating miniature pieces. My mini Jackson Pollock was my favourite to date. I like the texture of it and I can’t resist running my fingers over it. I gained such a lot from working with different textures. I would like to use more textures in my painting but I do also want to experiment more with how I can use paint alone. It was good to work in the smaller scale as it did free up more time in order to complete tasks quicker. I have a desire to develop a series of minatures in the same way we did for the assignment series.
In Painting 13 my tutor pointed out some aspects of my brushwork that needs a little attention. She suggested that the horizon is a little too dark and dense. I will try to work on this as I imagine my pieces must appear rather solid.
In the assignment we were asked to name our paintings. I did this based on what I thought they looked like. My tutor suggested that I don’t allow myself to get bogged down in the story of my painting and that I try to focus on the qualities of the paint. I hadn’t considered this at the time but I think that I do feel controlled by the ‘story’ and not by the paint. I am not sure how I will do this. My feeling is that I need to employ some mindfulness with paint. Perhaps going back to splatter, splash and abstract expression techniques to immerse myself in that freedom again for fear I end up caught up in narrative that I forget my relationship with paint (that makes sense to me but I am not sure if others will understand).
In my sketchbooks, Cheryl suggested that I follow things through to see where my experiments could take me. She commented that I did this with the pinecone sketches and I would find this a useful strategy if I could commit to it. In truth, this was a reaction based on my lack of understanding of where I should have been taking it that lead me to try out a few different things. I don’t think I considered this developmental process before now. I had been so busy focusing on preliminary sketches, selecting my favourite and the finished piece that until now I hadn’t considered to take my art out for a little ‘test run’ to see what it could do before I settled. It has perhaps taken me a long time to understand that I have to be in charge of the direction of my art.
When my tutor talked about my enjoyment of pattern and repetition when I was doing the perfume bottle, I thought about where that sits with me as an observer. It is probably a part of our subconscious that tells us that pattern is comfortable, there’s a rhythm and a texture that we either like or don’t like. I looked at the work of Terry Winters, suggested by my tutor, and I have to say the patterns were amazing. There were so many created in many different ways. I spent a long time just looking and trying to work out how he created each one and where in the world was he seeing these fantastic patterns. They are everywhere! I had no idea about the potential to develop so many patterns. I love patterns in nature, in textiles, glass and in metal. Until now I felt they were outside my comfort zone but I can see ways to develop pattern that I had never considered before thanks to my tutor pointing me in the right direction. I also think that it is something I should explore with my p4/5 class at school.
When researching I realise that I am not yet accessing as wide a range of materials as I could be using. I have discovered a great library in the Glagow Gallery of Modern Art. I endeavor to use it more often. I went into the Gallery to help me to understand concept art. There was a section on feminism which I understand because of my personal viewpoint. I don’t think it is right that men can get more money for doing the same job or that some men see women as sex objects before they see them as people. So the art I saw on display was about making a point. However, I don’t see it as beautiful, I see it for what it is and that is a statement about feminism. There was an artist who displayed work in the Castle Gallery in Glasgow. His name was Raphael Mazzucco, a famous fashion photographer now artist. He takes pictures of beautiful places with beautiful women, family and friends. The art on display was modest by comparison to some of his photographs/art. I can’t make my mind up if he is sexist or if he really is combining beauty and beautiful places. Some artists made me think, some made me angry and some wowed me.
I started writing my notes about my gallery visits in a little book that I will submit along with my final assessments. I hope this will help to support my reading and research in future projects. I will also look at the web sites recommended by the college.
Finally, my tutor suggested that I should look at how the content of my research might feed the techniques of my own work. I think this is where I need to focus attention on what the artist is doing or trying to say and not shying away because I don’t like their work. I need to ask more questions and show the links between my work and the work of others.