Not My Problem (The outcome)

Back in April I announced that I wanted to begin a project to take me out of my comfort zone. I had found my way back into a continuous groove of creating work but became weary that if I continued the same style without changing anything I wouldn’t develop along the way. Not My Problem would essentially shake up how I approached a painting with the inclusion of a brief. .

The responses I received were diverse and interesting which made it difficult to pick out eight. As I mentioned in the previous post, if your work was not picked please don’t be upset as I was limited to picking eight and I received a lot of drawings to choose from. I aimed for the drawings that were different from my own work as well as some which had similarities that I could already see paintings developing from.

My first response was from my dad, who you may know as Channel 4’s Autistic Gardener. I created this response fairly quickly after the project started as I was initially going to use it to encourage others to join in with the project. In Alan’s drawing I saw a lot of jagged shapes but also a lot of protruding teeth in places that didn’t resemble mouths. It would be an unsettling monster that was inspired by stress.

I was drawn to using blue as a base colour for the painting and I am pleased with the outcome. It was obvious to me that the centre would be an eye but to avoid making it too predictable I placed it just to the side.

The second painting I created was from somebody who asked to remain anonymous. The drawing I received caught my attention because it was mostly built from patterns made with a circular motion. My eye was drawn around the frame and that is what made me pick it. These patterns meant the monster could be built of different sections which combine into one terrifying creature.

I really liked the layers of teeth at the top of the monsters body. This particular painting made me think of struggling, but not allowing that struggle to get the better of you.

The next painting I created was from the artist Jon Adam‘s response. Jon’s drawing interested me as it was built up of layered shapes with smaller accents added into its form. The first thing that came to mind was that where the two layers met would be a jaw.

Unfortunately I had some issues with the ink peeling on this painting as the perspex sheet had been exposed to the sun, so the final outcome is different to what it originally looked like.

When creating a design for each monster the drawings often gave me ideas for colours before I even began painting them. I just chose the colours that went with the form of the drawings, a sensation really difficult to describe.

The fourth painting was from Lord David Hand. I picked this particular response because it’s far from what my usual work looks like, and I felt it would challenge me to approach the painting differently.

The line in the centre became the bulk of the body with the spirals leading away from it. The obvious thing to do would be to turn the spirals into eyes, but I thought of them as facial features that had become so big that they covered the eyes. I used blue and pink tones in this painting, mixing them to make purple shadows across the body.

The fifth painting is based on a drawing by Rosemary Harker. I picked this drawing as I was interested by the solid line across the frame over which the shape’s form appeared to melt. The first thing that came to mind was to have the line affecting the form of the monster without having the line in the image. Essentially so it would look like it balanced on a invisible line.

It didn’t turn out the way I expected it to, but I did like the colours I achieved using primarily yellow inks. With previous paintings I have found yellow inks do not always stay on the surface of the perspex, however by using a mixture of acrylic inks and drawing inks I managed to make it stay fixed. In my opinion, this monster has a very particular feeling about it. It makes me think of times where I felt lost and unsure about my direction. The smiling face to hide the constant sense of doubt swimming around my head.

The sixth image submitted was by Luke Keen. I picked his drawing because it looked like a skeleton set up for a monster. The various shapes and patterns leading away from the lines built up a form in my head, and I was instantly drawn to the colour green.

This painting also had issues with the ink peeling away on the edges, however this was easily repaired after I allowed it to dry completely. It was an interesting form to work with and it allowed me to create something unlike any of my previous paintings.

The seventh drawing was submitted by Deanna Gardner. I was instantly captivated by the form she had created, which then inspired me to create a monster with  red colour scheme. The shape Deanna had made was an unusual one but it contained patterns like the previous submissions. I felt the monster needed a protruding jaw leaning forwards without any other facial features.

Pink and red are often tricky colours to work with as they blend easily to create a single solid colour which is something I attempt to avoid in my paintings. The mixture of red acrylic inks and drawing inks pink allowed them to remain separate. Yellow is also a colour I really think breaks two colours up, making them stand out.

The final drawing of the set was the most challenging which is why I chose it. It’s shapes are jagged and held together with a flesh like substance, which reminded me of the older style of art I used to enjoy, inspired by horror and gore. The submission was from a graphic artist named Louie Baugh. I studied the drawing for ages without many ideas, until eventually I decided to pick the colour pink and work as I went along using the drawing as a reference.

A form normally presents its facial features to me. I don’t plan where the face will be before painting, but I can normally see eyes and mouths before I have even begun to detail the ink. In this case I could not see a face but I could see a gaping hole in the middle of the body. This hole looks like a mouth and is unsettling without the eyes.

To conclude on all eight pieces I felt the project was a success. Each one of them took me out of my comfort zone in a different way and allowed me to create new and exciting work. Collaborations are new to me and I am very grateful to everyone who submitted a drawing and allowed this project to happen.

Thank you.

Future projects will be coming over the summer to keep my work developing into something even better.

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