This blog contains highlights of my 2nd year at UWE, and includes ideas, discoveries and works which I feel are relevant to the course made both inside and out of the studio, as well as outlining the processes I have learned.

The blog also includes my 'Studio File' ( A collection of personally influential artists and recent gallery visits) as well as my Professional Practice experiences.

After spending a day on each of the following classic paintings, I thought I'd write a quick follow up on how these have influenced the way I see and create art. The effect that this experiment had is much stronger than I would imagine, giving me insight into how and why they were created, as well as seeing how each artist carried out the work.

  1. Duck by Euan Uglow - As the very first time I had attempted to copy a painting this was quite and experience, and I was very happy with the end result. Uglow uses no black in this painting, instead mixing up chromatic greys to create his piece. This has opened up a new way of working with colour for me, and I have already started implementing this in my work.

2. Fruit by Paul Cezanne - It was suggested that I try Cezanne next because of his use of colour. Funnily enough, regardless of the subject matter which I feel is less than inspiring, this is my favourite piece to copy, purely because of the colours. I was intrigued by the way small patches of colour enhance others, while actually being very out of place - Notice the blue under the bowl and to the right of the fruit, giving a different feel to the whole scene.

3. Girl With A Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer - This was the first time I introduced black into one the copies, because Vermeer had used bone black paint to paint the background, which has been found to block out an entire background scene which was there at one point. The smoothness of skin tones in this portrait were hard to emulate, but the composition was relatively simple.

4. Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci - In the past I have never been overly impressed with the Mona Lisa as a painting, but since scrutinising ever inch, it's easier to see why this is such an important painting. Both landscape and portrait I enjoyed the detail in this piece, so much so that I found myself lost in the winding roads and bridges of the landscape more than the subject herself, and I'm keen to add this kind of detail to my work.

5. The Fighting Temeraire by WM Turner. I'm already a big fan of Turner's work, and have seen much of it in real life, which has given me an insight into how tricky this was going to be. That said, I found even more details when I started to scrutinise the painting in depth, meaning that to complete a good copy in a day would be impossible. This is the kind of painting I aspire to create, with hard hitting contrast, beuatiful composition and vibrant colours.

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I'm a big fan of Turner's work, often trying to emulate some of his techniques in my work, so I knew that to copy one of his paintings in his very singular style was going to be a challenge. What I hadn't expected, again as I found in the Mona Lisa, was the amount of intricate detail that holds the piece together. It's a huge step up in technical application compared to the Vermeer for example.

This practice has really cemented my ideas on my own paintings, and I feel I have a lot in common with Turner's style - The strong colours and sense of light, combined with details that contextualise the 'looser' parts of the painting.

Acrylic on A3 card

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Still working on this large acrylic piece, which I hope will be the beginning of a series which will reference the human 'influence' on the landscape through progress.

Despite working on this theme with a fairly good idea of it's own meaning to me, as I paint it it continues to remind me and suggest certain things, which suggests that memory plays a part in my message too.

I'm reminded of my teenage years, living in a council house outside London with fields as far as the eye can see, until the arrival of the M25 that cut past our house. I also found myself referring back to the early, anti-capitalist work of bands such as Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and Hazel O'Connor (If anyone still remembers her) which I would have been listening to at that time.

I'm constantly being dragged to and from ideas. One such idea was that they should be metallic, almost reflective, as they put me in mind of skyscrapers I remember once looking down on in Hong Kong.

They are now black, and more indicative of something from a sci-fi movie (2001 springs to mind) and even more out of place. This though, is what we are and what we do as humans, turn beautiful landscapes into giant blocks of nothing. We are the blot on the landscape.

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