What is behind the door?

The final option of Edges and Overlaps for me is Interdisciplinary Fine Art. This is my favoured pathway even though I chose to do it last out of the three options. My reason for that is I didn’t want to prejudice my learning experience in the other two pathways, I really wished to have a very open minded experience.

For this pathway I used reference photographs I’d taken whilst on a walk around Burrington Combe. This is an area that is full of history, with Iron Forts, nature reserves, caves to explore and cliff faces to climb if you want to. Having my 9 year old son with me means that we took the path least followed, naturally.

It wasn’t long before we stumbled across the rusting door, the cavern room behind was flooded so we couldn’t really get much of a glimpse inside. It was a natural space that has been repurposed by man and reclaimed by nature. I loved the contrast of the moss and leafy vines against the bluey purple hues of the rusting door. I didn’t wish to recreate the image on a large scale and having developed a taste for using surfaces that aren’t standard canvas/paper, I settled on a piece of cut off MDF worktop.

I spent a couple of days sketching ideas, testing out colour palettes and mixes. I thought I had my acrylic paints all sorted, but as usual once I started actually creating, processes morphed and changed for the better. I have grown more confident in my creativity by asking questions and having some of the techniques explained to me in a very practical application way by my tutor. The issue with being mainly self taught and left to my own devices when I reach a block, is to just stop and put my work to one side with the intention of looking something up and coming back to it. Which, of course, I never actually do.

However, being at college I reached out and asked for assistance, through this I was able to find solutions. Two of the artists I researched in this pathway are Lucien Freud and Jenny Saville. They are both great inspirations for the way I tend to naturally approach my way of thinking and working and how I freely apply the paint. Without realising it I tend to use a lot of Impasto in my work, but in this piece I was able to refine it more with my new understanding of blending, mixing and layering colours both on my palette and the painting itself.

Initially I did an image transfer of my photograph onto the MDF. Then using some pieces of cardboard that was structurally similar to the MDF, I experimented with my ideas of just painting the honeycomb to reflect the surrounding rock face, or layering and painting them? I decided to leave them and paint insitu as I didn’t want to detract from the focus being the door.

I then used blocks of colour to define the lock and painted the rest of the surface using layering and blending techniques. My initial blacks were too dark, as I had used the basic error of actually using black rather than mixing my own blue/black. Unfortunately, the last day I was ill so have had to evaluate on an unfinished piece that still needs highlights and a few patches of colour.

For me, I have really enjoyed the process and I think working through my personal block counts as a success. I still feel that panic and fear of messing up the whole project when I start the highlights. However, it’s not as intense and I’ve come to realise that creating from this place is how I’m going to evolve and produce my best work. And if it all goes horribly wrong? Well that’s where I learn from experimenting.

So what is behind the door?

A world war 2 munitions bunker? A cave closed off for safety? An old quarry store room?

Or, as my son has decided, a prison cell used by troll hunters and dragon kings.

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