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Schools out for summer!

So thats it! Thats a wrap! First year is officially over :o

My first year here has been all I had hoped for and more, I have learnt so much, made so many new friends and sold two pieces of my work, one of which to Brooke Shields!

Since I’ve been reflecting back on the year I have really noticed a huge improvement in my skills as a painter, some of which I was aware of and some came unexpectedly, especially in my elective class this year with Bernardo Siciliano. In this class we were mostly concentrating on the beginning stages of making a painting, here he encouraged us to be as loose as possible by using lots of paint and pushing the colour as much as possible. It was in using this technique that I discovered how much I had picked up from my painting class last semester with Dik Liu and his lessons about how to paint light, that was really exciting for me to see!

I also really loved learning about indirect painting this year, I particularly enjoyed the last technique we explored in class - the Caravagisti style. I was even told by my teacher that I had a natural hand for it which was cool! I think I have my long held love for Carravagio to thank in part for that. I know it has been a while since my last blog update and there is actually a reason for that this time..I was hoping to have all my final pieces for my classes finished so I could show you photos. I had two final pieces for my painting class, a multifigure composition and a life size self portrait. Both of these paintings were big learning curves for me for different reasons, the multifigure comp I painted from a black and white photograph which meant I had to really think about light and colour and how both work! It was even harder than I first expected! For the self portrait, I did a triptych and I did the whole thing indirectly meaning I built up to the final image in layers - terre vert underpainting, triad palette painting and a series of glazes/scumbling over the top. Sadly, neither of these paintings are completely finished yet but they are both very nearly done so I’ll attach images here of what they look like now and if you keep an eye on my facebook/instagram I will post the final paintings once they are done.

All in all, I would definitely say I am far happier with the outcome of this semester in comparison to last. I will be honest, I ended last semester feeling pretty fed up, feeling like I had done nothing that I was proud of. My guess is that this is down to a number of different reasons..After two years of working by myself I think the pressure of making good work while surrounded by loads of other people was a little too much for me at times. By the same measure, I definitely felt overwhelmed by all the different amazing work that was being created around me, I started to worry that my work should be as clever or address similar themes which resulted in my work becoming confused and unsurprisingly I felt like it wasn’t my own. When I came back from Scotland after christmas I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let these factors get in my way this year and I think eventually I managed to get there, well sort of. I have work that I’m proud of this year though and I feel like I have a direction and I can feel my understanding of the conceptual side of my work getting stronger and I am very excited to explore this more over the summer.

So this summer I will be back home in Scotland for three months and will be working hard to bring everything I have learnt to a head and develop a strong concept and technique for my work to go in before my thesis project next year at the academy. I will do my best to keep you all updated on this process over the next three months!


I had a lot of fun developing this piece and while I am not yet sure if I want my future work to be as 'tight' as this, its cool to know I can do it if I want to!

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