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My First Blog Post

Beginning Year 2

What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.

— David Hockney

Hi, my name is Samantha Tweddle, I am just at the start of the second year of a Fine Art Degree.

I will be using this blog to share my process experiences as well as any displays I may be lucky enough to be part of and those I go to view.

I look for emotion and colour in Art, both representational and abstract. I am predominantly drawn to 2d representations, but will be experimenting with 3d this year to challenge myself!

I would love your feedback along the way.

Thank you Samantha.


ART 380 Preparation for Year 3

“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry.”

Thomas Mann

Geisha silhouetted in gold paint and then varnished.

Throughout the Summer of 2020, I started to think about what I wanted to create in year three. As we were in lockdown and because of my chronic asthma I was classified as vulnerable and so had to “shield” as much as possible. This gave me lots of time to think and test out ideas.

I have been drawn to Japanese Woodblock prints for a long time and wanted to see how I might be able to incorporate that into my work.

I initially started with a series of tiny images which I painted on postcard sized watercolor paper.

I tried to keep my pallet as monochromatic as possible. But, a little colour snuck in.

I also tried landscapes in watercolour.

I then made a series of Linocuts.

This in turn led on to looking at how I could represent sunflowers. I attended “virtually” a series of workshops run by Japan House London on Manga. I loved the pens so much I started to used them in other work, such as the sunflowers. I like the immediacy of them.

I then tried a larger version in acrylics.

A shot of me in my studio at home.

In my next blog I shall detail where my experiments took me.

Feel free to comment or drop me a line.

AIC215 “A Breakdown of Communications.” Final Thoughts and Reflections.

“Sometimes what we call tragedy, at least in the theatre, are really case histories. They’re based on the central figure, and things happen to that person, and they’re called tragedy because they’re extremely sad. But tragedy always has a glorious thing happen at the end of it. That’s what the catharsis is.”

Derek Walcott

This piece has been a real labour of catharsis for me.  It has dealt with a period of time that was beyond stressful.  I think allowing myself the time to work through this in a different way to therapy and medication has been a positive one. 

I am incredibly sorry that I did not get the opportunity (due to the Covid 19 lockdown) to show this work in the space it was designated for, in our final show. Maybe, like the situation it defines; it is left unfulfilled.

It is of some compensation that I was able to use a spare workspace to place all my final pieces to give a flavour of how it would have looked. Sadly, the space was not large enough for how I envisioned the final placement, but at least I saw them all together.

A Breakdown of Communication – initial set up

I have included a selection of close-up shots of the table top, simply because I love them.

I have blogged about the construction of the paintings here , the sculptural elements here and the sketchbook here.

Thank you to all the people who have read and commented on my blogs this year. Hope to “see” you all next year.

Working as a team

“Creativity takes courage.”

Henri Matisse

As part of our first module, one of our group, Anna Weir wanted to do a facial cast as part of her installation. Our tutor Dr O’Rourke outlined how this would be possible and talked us through some films on the subject. Undaunted by this, Anna bought the materials and eventually a date was set to test this process.

Anna was incredibly brave as Dr O’Rourke had explained that she would have to remain still for up to 30 mins with her head encased in plaster.  To prepare for this she practiced breathing techniques for the two weeks before the procedure.

The following are my photographs of the event.

The procedure took the whole of the afternoon, with both first and second years observing the process. The outcome was that Anna was left with a very successful cast of her face.

My inspiration for “Descent of the Forest”

“Art is not what you see, but what others make you see.”

Edgar Degas

One of my first blogs was on the Metamorphosis Module. I wanted to explain what was lurking at the back of my head as inspiration for my piece.

I called it “Descent of the Forest” as my work was inspired by a piece of work by Maggi Hambling called “Descent of the Bull’s Head.” (1985) In her work she shows a bull (in a bull ring) in a series of four images from proud, strong animal through pain and agony to eventual carcass. A gush of red blood links the four images together, eventually pooling on the floor next to the bull’s unconscious head.

In my work I used gold ribbon in place of blood, to represent the value of the tree, to our planet, being lost once it is cut down.

Descent of the Bull’s Head Hambling 1985

The bull is a victim of man’s callous disregard of its right to exist, in the same way that “man” is responsible for the destruction (or descent) of the forest.

The painting by M. Hambling is one that has stayed with me since I saw it back in the 90’s. The size of the painting at 160cm x 122.5 cm is substantial enough to have a visceral effect on the viewer. For me it engaged my senses, beyond sight, to include the overpowering scent of blood and death that I associate with a butcher’s shop.

Looking Forward into Year 3

Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.

Pablo Picasso

I have (I think) completed all my requirements for this second year of my Applied Fine Art Degree. I have enjoyed all the different projects I have undertaken so far, including lifedrawing, painting in water colour, acrylics, oils, pastels soft and oil, building insallations and lino cutting. However I am relishing the opportunity to make use of the printing facilities at Sunderland University.

One of the requirements was to complete a dissertation proposal for the final year essay. I have decided to focus on Japanese Wood Block prints. I am also looking to incorporate aspects of culture and traditions and its impact on Western Art.

As with Western Art there are many facinating periods each with their own style. As a taster I want to highlight a Sosaku Hanga artist, Koshiro Onchi (1891 – 1955). This style differed as it was a solo project, with the artist responsible for the initial artwork, the carving and the printing. Below are a couple of examples of Koshiro Onchi’s work and similar western art.

Koshiro Onchi


AIC215 Sketch book relating to YSP and Hepworth Gallery.

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. “

Neil Gaiman

These are images taken from my Sketch book. This selection is in responce to a visit to The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Gallery.

Henry Moore drew quite a few sketches of sheep. I think they are a pleasing shape, rather like a walking footstool. After my visit to YSP, which has sheep roaming around amongst the sculptures, I thought I would try my hand at a couple.

I took several photos of the sheep at YSP and tried to sketch them in a H.Moore style.

I was very taken with the D Hirst work, these are a small selection of photos I took on the day that I had professionally printed at the Coast Road campus.

A small selection of the photos from The Hepworth Gallery and my own sketches.

Inspired by Hepworth’s work, I thought about how I might take natural forms and convert them into sculptures. The picture on the left is taken from a photo of two people sitting together. The one on the right is a single form leaning on a table. I added the “key” to show where I would put holes and texture in the solid.

Two photos of Moore’s sculptures. I enhanced the lower one and converted it to black and white to showcase the range of textures on the piece, from the smoothness of the face and arm to the coarseness of the leg and plinth. I think it makes her look like she is emerging from the rock and becoming more “human” the further she removes herself from the medium. I also liked the finish on this photo as it reminded me of the type you would find in old books, before the use of colour printing.

In this next page I show images I took at the Hepworth Gallery from different artists work with wood. To compliment this I have included a photo I took at the YSP, this is also a “dead” tree, but unlike the other pieces, it has been left in nature and is slowly being absorbed by it.

AIC215 “Metamorphosis” Sketch book

“I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

The following are images from my Sketch book relating to the initial Metamorphosis Module. I do not intend to add much text in this as it has been covered in previous blogs, these are just a snapshot of some of my testing period.

A couple of pages highlighting paper making and my wooden roundal.

ART265 Sketch and Note Books relating to 6ft Beacon painting of the Fish Quay.

“It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all to prudent.”

Vincent van Gogh

As stated in the title, this is just a peek into my sketchbook and note book that I keep as I work on a project. All photos are my own work.

Left is a night shot of the entrance to the Fish Quay. Right hand page shows my final painting on top, below is the photo I worked from.