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Group Critique of Beacon Centre 6ft Canvases. Part 1/3

“Creativity is often blocked by trying to be perfect. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

Tony Robbins

This critique will be split across three blogs.

At this mid point of our work on our large canvases it was suggested we take time to find out a little more about each other’s work, the inspiration behind them and any issues we were encountering.

I had decided to just include one image of my canvas as I have written extensively in my blog “Work Related Project, The Bacon Centre.” I received positive comments about the canvas and the other work, the linocuts I created as companion pieces.

North Shields Fish Quay
Vicky Prior – The Stag Building

Vicky went through a series of testing our her initial ideas including; homelessness and blending old and new imagery together before making her final decision. Her painting of the Stag Building, which transistioned into the Registry office in 1998, holds a particular place in her memory, as it is where she married her husband.

In her work she has incorporated the building and an image of herself and her husband on their wedding day. Painting it in predominantly black and white she is hoping to evoke the feel of a memory. Partially distorting the image and having some part more clearly in focus than others helps to render those ideas, which, like a memory can become distorted, to the viewer. Confidently working using a pallet knife enhances this mood. I think this is an excellent piece of work that has a place in the hearts of many locals (myself included) who have been married at this iconic building. Vicky believes that she may research some other artist’s work on ghostly memories.

Jen Turner – Howard Street

Jen’s work is a reproduction of Howard Street in 1928. This is a special place for her as her mother was born there. She confessed that she does not like to do any preparitory studies as she is “too impatient” and prefers to just “get on” with her painting. She is working in oil, using only raw umber to give the antique feel she is after. This worked to great effect last year when she used only one colour to paint a fountain scene which included her uncle. She shared that she had found the perspective tricky to get right. Initially using a large ruler (shown in the picture) but on the advice of Dr O’Rourke she had started to use a thread fixed at the vanishing point, which she said has really helped.

Image showing Summer, Winter and Spring

Shona is on a slightly different course and just completing a module which requires her to prepare some public artwork along the theme of “Art and Wellbeing.” As a keen environmentalist, bird watcher and volunteer Shona enjoys spending time in the beautiful Northumberland Park.

Originally opened in 1885, the park is part of the local community offering both a tranquil space to sit and stroll through, but also a safe play area for children.

In nature things are always changing and sadly there was a large sychamore tree that had become damaged . Luckily, the tree surgeons at the park were able to cut away the damaged part, while saving the tree. Shona made arrangements to have this damaged part cut into four chunks, allowing her to create four pieces of art, which represent the four seasons. The intention is to return them to the park as both stunning artwork and continued insect habitation.

Shona cited two artists, Alison Mortitsugu and Andy Golsworthy, whose work she has found inspiration in.

In Alison Moritsugu’s work on trees (examples below, images from Artist’s Website) I can obviously see the structural similarity to Shona’s work, but whereas Shona’s work has a real warmth to it and the addition of poetry, Moritsugu’s work is rather like a reproduction of an “old master” on a log. I personally prefer Moritsugu’s smaller cross sections which individually create a glmpse through a branch. Shona used the same medium, but painted miniature, highly detailed, bird studies.

Andy Goldsworthy’s work (see below) is something I can readily warm to. His site specific work takes elements from nature and allows them to slowly decay and return to nature. Some pieces are more transitory than others, where a photograph may be the only way to enjoy the work.

I will continue this in blog 2/3.


Published by stweddle

Living in Newcastle I have access to great landscape; sea, urban, country and city which I am continually inspired by. Starting my artistic qualification in my 50's allows me the benefit of long years admiring others art and a burning need to create my own.

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