Yesterday we got into F8. It felt good to get into the studio and to be active in getting it ready for the Degree Show. We are lucky really as the walls and floor are in pretty good condition and apart from a very pronounced blue streak of paint and some loud splash marks, there is little to challenge a good coat of fresh white paint.
The lift goes to the 1st floor. The studio and its neighbour are then reached by a couple of flights of stairs. These stairs were painstakingly and slowly trod with heavy loads as the trolly which eased the burden of transporting paintings from the 'holding' space on the ground floor had to be parked and unpacked at the 1st floor level.
The new panels on which Anna's work is to hang were undercoated. All problematic areas scoured and primed so today's work will be easier. It was warm in the studio as expected though the sun was out and it was an altogether better day than the one that has greeted me this morning. I look forward to seeing how the light will sit on all our work.
I had time to reflect yesterday on where my work will go. The pieces created specifically for under the window are easy. The rest less so. The wall is high and the lower portion interrupted by doorways and where the sink will be blocked in. Lots to consider, so many permutations but I must get it right.
The paintings are all completed and secured with bubble wrap to hopefully avoid dings and dents. The larger pieces are unwieldy, especially the triangles and the points are prone to being damaged.
The last piece of documentation was completed on-line using Albelli. This website is one that I have used from the beginning and it makes sense to have a continuous set of books that contain all my university work. Added to that it is possible to add a link to the books onto my website which increases their accessibility.
A major issue has been in the photographing of the artworks. Given their surface quality and shape and my lack of specialist training in photography, it is all too easy to arrive at skewed images, even with the use of a good camera and tripod. I returned to university last Friday and methodically hung up each piece and carefully re-photographed the entire set that are up for selection for the Degree Show. I have actually found the camera on my i-phone to have excellent resolution and normally have really good results from it. The other camera and tripod allow for a more steady hands-off approach especially when using the timer.
Photoshop has always been over-kill for my needs but I was directed to GIMP which is free to download. Thanks to many hours spent attempting to master the finer points of Photoshop during 3rd year for printmaking, I was able to get a handle on the processes required on GIMP. What I was looking for was a means of isolating the image free of scruffy backdrops. Once I was happy with the cleaned-up images it was a straightforward process to upload onto Albelli and the List of Works section of this website.
Today I am returning to university to peruse my section of the Degree Show Catalogue. Some very patient and gifted students have taken on the task of organising this and I am particularly grateful for their prodding and encouragement when it was felt I had not sufficiently done justice to what my work is about.
All said and done I am now very excited and keen to be in the final space, getting everything readied for the work.
I have named this series the Degree Show Ten as they have been designed and commissioned with Studio 8 in mind. I am sure I will not hang the ten though that number allows for versatility. Likewise I will not be hanging all in the previous series. Editing will be the key concern.
The colour scheme for these new paintings borrows from what has gone before. In shape they mirror the large triangles but measure a more modest 60 cm by 90 cm at their right angled edge. Thus hopefully they will sit under the large window and be on sight to welcome visitors into the space.
I have allowed for voids in each one so that the ply shows through, sealed with yacht varnish which gives the wood a lovely dark finish. These voids take the shape of the main design in each painting or provide an edge.
It is important that they work together as well as be individually considered. I spent time with the paintings working in different compositions as shown below.
Whilst working with the paintings in this way, it was evident that a couple were not as successful. I reworked these in the studio and am much happier with the finish. An example is given below as to this new development.
Carol E Duff