Thursday, 28 June 2012

June in Iceland

The first month of my 3 month stay in Iceland is just about over and artists have been drifting away over the last week. As for the work it's gone fairly well. Because most of the other artists have only had 1 month to work I think they worked at a faster pace than I did. I spent the first 3 weeks of the residency building up material and tying out a few bits and pieces to see how the painting might work out. The first week was mostly made up of wandering around the surrounding area photographing and getting to know the place and sketchbook work, the middle 2 weeks I had started painting just small quick studies although there was one of them that I probably spent too much time on but during the third week I had started a piece that I intend to work towards exhibition. I still have 2 months left but I'm not so sure that I will get too much finished up completely. I don't think I want to get them finished before I leave. I think I'd rather work on them at home, back in Ireland because I feel that if I was to get them all completed before the end of the residency it might be too abrupt and it would be almost a cut off point with the residency simply being something I did and moving straight on to the next step.

The work itself I think has gone back to the roots of my original concept of playing with scale. I think over the course of the last few years my work had become more and more about the paint as a medium which isn't a bad thing but I feel that what I'm working on at the minute is closer to the theme while taking on a new vein of life and in some form of surrealism. It's been quite some time since I worked with acrylic paint too which has threw up a few issues that I had to work through, the obvious one being the shorter drying time in comparison to oil paint. I found the studies that were done earlier in the month were great testers for achieving the desired effects I was looking for when working on the pieces that are possibly going for exhibition. There were advantages to using acrylic too of course, the drying time being one of them and the other being that I didn't need to prime the canvas before working on it.

I haven't a set number of pieces I'd like to be working on while I'm here but I would like to go home with 5 canvas fairly under way.

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