Yesterday, I had my group critique with Tom, and we went around the studios and look at all the work we did for the critique show. We talked about what we liked about each piece, what the context behind them are, and made suggestions on how the artist can improve their work going forward. The artwork was really good, and shows how far everyone on the course has come (including me). Here are some pictures I took of some of the pieces critiqued:
I tried my best to pay attention, but because I got up early, I became very sleepy near the end of the day. But, I stayed awake long enough to finish the critique and leave for my next private viewing with Joslyn.
For our second private viewing, we saw the work of Japanese artist, Peter MacDonald. Inspired by shaman rituals, Peter’s paintings have a strong, psychedelic quality to them, as he paints self-portraits of himself in everyday situations, with himself and the people around him having transparent, cloudy heads. MacDonald’s use of spacing, composition and tone is truly impressive, and really shows the strength of acrylic paint. Also, since he has spent time in his birth country of Japan, it is left ambiguous as to the exact location of each of the paintings. Are they set in Britain or in Japan. It is up to the viewer to decide.
I asked him if he took mushrooms before painting (shamans sometimes takes mushrooms to achieve a spiritual awareness) and said no. His art stems from his own imagination and research into shaman rituals and psychedelic dreams. I asked what his favorite paintings was, and he could decided, they are all very good. My favorite painting by McDonald is Mushrooms of Language, a full-scale self-portrait of himself, sitting on the floor painting. I like how he uses perspective for the painting, as he paint a miniature version of himself and surrounded by load so paintings, which are parts of the larger canvas but with different acrylics painted on the smaller sections. The artist himself was very nice, if perhaps a little overwhelmed. Not surprising, considering the amount of people who came to see his work.
There were a few problems I had. Just like the Hudson private view, there were loads of people, and it was extremely nosy, perhaps even more so. I know the artist is popular, but it was very hard to talk, when so many people are talking at the same time.And while I like the artwork, I think he could have made the bodies more realistic, just a little bit. That way, it would make the image of these people with coloured cloud heads more surreal and striking. To be fair, he wanted to keep everything within the confines of the canvases, but it is still something to keep in mind for the future.
It was a great private viewing, and I look forward to the third and final one.
I also did some painting in the studio, but couldn’t finish because of the critique. I hope to finish it today or next week.