Assignment 1 – Feedback and Response

Feedback for Assignment 1 was a combination of written feedback from my tutor and a follow-up telephone tutorial.

For Assignment 1, I was limited by the time that I had available in between working part-time and helping other family members to care for my elderly mother. Something I have been very aware of, given family commitments, is the need to find some kind of balance in life. I was struggling to keep motivated and decided on an approach that kept me focused but, with hindsight, wasn’t the best way to think about the Assignment.

I felt that the subsequent feedback was fair based on my approach to the assignment and the work produced for the practical exercises. The main points of the feedback are noted below under the headings, Practical Exercises, Studio Practice and Contextual Research.

Practical Exercises

  •  All very much influenced by pre-modernist approach to painting.
  •  Works are mostly quite thoughtful in their response to exercises they emerge from.
  •  Use of mediums explored is slightly conventional.
  •  Common area to improve upon – this is the way you use the painting mediums that you employ.
  •  Need to understand where the strength of each medium lies and then employ it for strongest effect.
  •  Need to use more tonal variety – light and dark, particularly dark, gives work drama and interest – need to consider and develop within your work.
  •  Looking at works from modernist point of view works lack a certain sense of disturbing questioning intensity that is found in many modernist artworks.

Studio Practice

  •  Consider mediums, themes to explore and artists that influence your progress.
  •  Need more independent way of working
  •  Take control of the exercises – bend them, be exploratory
  •  Consider exercises part of your creative practice, not separate from it
  •  Work submitted small – try to work on larger scale
  •  Consider other ways to work with the material
  •  Work, currently, doesn’t excite the visual imagination. It is too ordered/structured.
  •  Consider more what materials you are going to use
  •  Make exercises your own
  •  Be speculative – build exercises in to how you work
  •  Work even if you reach a dead end – you’ll have learned something
  •  Continually question your assumptions about everything
  •  Be open to influences
  •  Have ambition to progress

Contextual Research

  •  Need to develop understanding, not just facts and figures – even if it is like/don’t like it is a reaction. Crucial to understand the depth of difference between contemporary approaches to art making and the more traditional.
  •  Work on understanding of contemporary art – Dada, for example, try to understand, have sympathy for what they were doing. It was radical, revolutionary, a change to modern society. They weren’t happy, not prepared to go down same route. They may have used same materials as in the past but were used in a different way. Read what the artists wrote themselves – try The Dada Almanac.
  •  Pre-modern themes tended to be based on religion, history. Contemporary art goes beyond standard themes – an abstract painting, for example, has not a specific subject but is difficult, challenging to look at.
  •  Icon painting – seen now as historical artefacts but can use medium in different ways.
  •  Learn to discern between good and bad art – widen your circle of influences – bad stuff not good for you in terms of trying to progress. It may be unambitious, not challenging enough.
  •  Feel you are too accepting of things – need to start questioning more.

Response to Feedback

This is all really useful, if daunting, to know. One comment was that I was too accepting of things and need to start questioning more. I agree with this, if that isn’t being too accepting. I did find it difficult to balance the theoretical research required against the time needed for the practical exercises, which I underestimated, and this resulted in a lot of knowledge but not enough time to really think about the impact of the ideas on artists at the time and subsequently as well as my own art practice.

The comments on creative practice were also really useful. At Level 1 of the Creative Arts course I have alternated between modules in creative writing and painting. My previous course was a writing course and I realised that I have had little time to maintain anything of a worthwhile painting practice. My focus on this assignment had been on ‘doing the exercises’ and not relating this to my own interests.

Having considered the feedback my aims for Module 2 are:

  •  Research and consider my own approach to studio practice
  •  Rethink the space I use currently for painting and see if I can make it a more practical place to work
  •  Experiment with a more balanced approach to theoretical research and practical work
  •  Consider, in more depth, themes and subjects that are meaningful to me and relate this to course work.
  •  Find more time for sketching and exploring more personal themes
  •  Try to read and research in a more questioning, critical way.

Related Posts

Assignment 1 – Practical Exercises –

Studio Practice – Notes –