This was the point in the painting in which I have started applying a diluted layer of black oil paint over the top of the image in order to shroud the image and give me a different image to work upon.
This is one of the most informing documentaries I have watched in relation to my work. Fear ultimately leads to total devotion and in turn complete obedience to an evil task.
The next step was to start my much larger scaled image of this Nazi youth photograph. I again chose to work on paper, I just feel it gives me more a sense of freedom. This is the largest piece I have worked on in quite a while so it was vital I adapted. The first step of my painting was to simply layer the page with areas of think and thin oil paint. After this was done, I had to draw out the main front row characters, and eventually I started painting them. At this stage I felt it was right to give these figure quite a bit of detail as the outcome of these characters would determine the formation of my background. After this stage I started the mark makings which would suggest the illusion of the crowd once my final layers have been completed. Here is the piece at the mid-point stage below.
Overall I am happy with the current progress.
These are the two main figures, hence why they are painted so boldly compared to the rest.
And these are the remaining figures from the front row, although they are less powerful they are very important in portraying this evil element of the piece.
This is the start of my large piece. I have chosen to do it on paper again, and this paper is of a particularly high quality.
Following an interest in evil being a natural part of society, I was recommended an article entitled ‘The Truth about Evil.’ After reading this article I chose to use the main photograph as the subject for my next piece. This is the image below.
This photograph from the Nazi youth interested me a great deal due to element of brainwashing involved. It isn’t a violent image as such but the evil stems from these children’s faith in such an evil ideology. Also I thought it was a lovely image to paint, particularity with the bland facial expression of the boys in the front row. Again I painted the image on A1 paper, here is the result.
This was the first initial painting on A1 paper that I was very happy with. I felt I portrayed the brainwashed feel of the piece well in the pale, deathly figures at the front. With this piece I also wanted to pay more attention to the Luc Tuymans piece ‘Gaskamer.’ In this piece he focuses on the environment and represents the horrors with a very pale palette. I tried to do this here, I used my artistic license and made it appear as though the crowd is bigger than the actual photograph and I gave the illusion of a crowd with the dabbing effect. On top on this background I layered a very diluted wash of white oil paint on top which ultimately silences the crowd. Another aspect I like about this piece is how the lonesome figures blend into the background but at the same time stand out a great deal. This is the first piece that I am very pleased with and am thinking of painting it on a much larger scale. However I feel I need to experiment further with this subject matter.
At this point I wanted to keep exploring ISIS imagery, however I wanted to choose a more action packed image in you like. Here it is below.
Like my most recent painting I started it the same by drawing out a brief outline on A1 paper and then mapping out areas of the painting with blocks of layers then building them upon one another. This was the finished piece below.
With a lot of my paintings I use some sections of arylic paint as I feel it causes some contrast against the diluted layering of oil paint. For instance the hands of the gunman is painted using acrylic paint. In the past I have been criticised for over painting my pieces, so in this piece I made a conscious effort to limit myself hence the abstract feel to this painting. I painted the figures using block colour and mark making. There is one quite interesting mar that now looks like an eye in the photograph of the piece, this was not intentional. Along with this piece I painted the image again on another sheet on A1 paper, with this painting I applied the paint straight on to the paper. Here is the result below.
With this piece I was using the paint brush impulsively and not thinking too much about the application of the paint. With this paint I knew I was going to wash over the A1 image with a layer of muddy diluted oil paint, therefore I had to make some areas of the initial layers very strong so they would still be visible. For instance the hand painted in acrylic can be seen, and some black markings as well as the face of the gunman. The final part of this painting was a diluted layer of red to represent where the hostages were, I didn’t used the colour red for any particular reason. However, perhaps it subconsciously represented evil or blood. Overall I am not too happy with these pieces, I feel they my weakest so far but I will continue producing paintings on A1 paper.
Following my tutorial with James Green I have decided to look more into current events of evil, and this has led me to the current ISIS hostage beheading situation. I started looking at newspapers and the internet and after I typed it into google I was surprised at the horrific photos that came up, some of which showed the scene after the beheadings. I wasn’t going to use these as they were too terrible and really to obvious, I don’t want the evil to be obvious, I want the viewer to think and image. In the end I found a photo of the hostages in uniform in a series of rows posing for a photo. Here is the image below.
My first step with this image was to start drawing it on A1 paper. A1 is a size I have been using frequently, I feel it is a large enough size while not being to large to commit to. When I find a A1 paper that I am happy with I will paint it on a larger scale hopefully. The dominance of the colour orange is this piece is something that I found interesting, it seems like quite a strange colour to represent evil. Does it actually represent evil or obedience? One of the first things this reminded me of was a school photo. This sense of conformity and discipline is very much present. This is my outcome below.
In this piece I used the paint much more thickly, I wanted to exaggerate the uniform and dominance of the orange, as well as having some quite strong mark making. I didn’t put much detail into the faces of the hostages which was strange for me, I wanted to highlight the sense of this hostages being part of an evil regime, and the fact that they have to imply to survive. The intention behind the bold thick floor was simply to contrast with the hostages. In hindsight perhaps a similar, more diluted orange would have been more successful, it would have emphasized this sense of conformity. Something that was quite impulsive was how I layered quite a muddy wash of white spirit over the image. I wanted to suggest how there is some distance between the viewer and the hostages while at the same time recognising this element of horror. Overall I am reasonably pleased with this piece, I feel it has given me something to build upon. I feel like my paintings are improving steadily, which is what can be expected at this early stage of the year.
When someone seen this image they said it reminded them of Marlene Dumas. Dumas is an artist I have been previously very interested in. And I know exactly what paintings they meant.
Marlene Dumas’ portrait work is what I was mainly interested in, however her figurative work is really relevant to me at this stage. Particularly these school photo paintings. There is a real sense of conformity and that all is very similar. This in a sense is what I want to replicate.