Saturday, 30 October 2010

Why Fine Art ?


My name is Roger Miles and I am in my second year of part-time foundation at Chelsea College of Art and Design. This is my second career - my first was that of a Chartered Accountant and I spent over 30 successful and exciting years at Deloitte.
I have chosen to take the Fine Art option for the remainder of my foundation course.

What inspires me in art ?
  • Images of decay including rust, peeling paint, fading colours and materials

  • Colour - at the age of 40 I spent 4 days painting with a professional artist - Susan Jane Hocking is an RA and a colourist and I had bought one of her early paintings at the Royal Academy summer exhibition - she subsequently taught me how to mix oil paints and how to use raw pigment and colour to good effect in paintings.

  • Painters and illustrators including Mark Rothko, Peter Doig, Vincent Van Gogh,Sean Sculley, Chuck Close, The Boyle Family, Glen Baxter, Edward Hopper and Francis Bacon,

  • Photographers including Andreas Gursky, Jeff Wall, Fay Godwin, the Wilson Sisters, Rodney Graham, Isaac Julien and Wolfgang Tillmans,

  • Sculptors and installation artists including Barbara Hepworth, David Smith, Hamish Fulton, Henry Moore and Sarah Sze,

  • Large scale installation artists including Fiona Banner and Mark Wallinger and this piece by Chris Burden from the Chelsea parade ground

Lessons learnt during rotations

What would I do in Fine Art ?

  • I want to do a BA in Fine Art - preferably at Chelsea - so I will focus on putting together my portfolio and producing some more interesting pieces during the rest of this term and the early part of next term,

  • Mix painting, photography and sculpture,

  • Stretch myself and look for new challenges,

  • Explore larger scale photography and large installations,

  • Experiment, fail, succeed,

  • Build wondrous worlds.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Fine art round up

Started with drawings of 4 big installations - my eye was drawn to images of swings, mountain climbers, scaffolding, people stretching out to pull up other people and buoys connected to ropes.

First paintings also inspired by the new film about the German artist Anselm Kiefer - Over our cities grass will grow.

For my final pieces I wanted to explore the tension in the ropes when a swing swings, some childhood memories of being on the swing, that moment when you reach the highest point on the curve and you feel you are weightless, the rush from the speed of the swing and the reliance on the strength and flexibility of the rope.

The 3D sculpture from drawings and a cardboard box looked like this and was best viewed by video - as you moved around it interesting shapes and colours would come into view - not always the ones you expected.

I used a plumb bob to almost connect the sculpture to the floor

This lead to the view of the bob at floor level - with some of my previous paint drips following the line of the plumb bob in the background.

The bob had a similar tension to the rope on the swing and so my final pieces also explored this.

The swing paintings mixed painting, drawing and 3d scupture

Use of a found object also changes the feel of the final piece.

Lessons learnt

1 Fine art involves less tutor-led direction - more freedom for the artist.

2 Processes used in other rotations can be used to good effect in fine art.

3 Take care with backgrounds and use animation techniques to produce multiple images.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Anode inspections

My Thames boating friend invited me to help him check his boat's anodes - this required a low tide beaching and an early start. Fortunately, the weather was magnificent - here are a few pictures.

Some arty ones to finish ...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Frieze special - part three

Mark Tansey - clever use of one colour to capture the claustrophobic feeling of being in a cave looking out.

Thomas Struth - spectacular shot of space shuttle in the garage ... contrast the cramped nature with its freedom when in space.

Dee Ferris - very delicate use of thinned oil paint and colour.

Cathy Wilkes - more intense colours with an aerial photo shot feeling.

Georg Baselitz - always paints his subjects upside down with unsettling results.

Mat Collishaw - difficult to work out what it is, but you feel it is threatening and dangerous - heightened by use of black.

Damian Ortega - not so many sculptures this year but this one caught the eye with its explosive movement - albeit very similar to Cornelia Parker's work.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Frieze special - part two

Part two - more large scale photos

Always fancied owning a big Andreas Gursky photo - unfortunately these were around euro 200,000 for one of an edition of four.

Good joke on this Richard Prince painting - somewhat reminiscent of Jasper Johns -

" Last night I went to a bar and said to the bartender, surprise me.
He showed me a naked picture of my wife "

Thought this found sign plus painted additions was very effective - by Kris Martin

And painting on a photograph and then rephotographing it - by Florian Maier-Aichen

Clever portrait by Jenny Saville - lots of distortion and good use of one colour but it all seems to make sense.

And finally, my favourite of the show by Jane and Louise Wilson - the inside of a house in Chernobyl some 25 years after the disaster - frightening and yet beautiful at the same time.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Frieze special - part one

Went to the Frieze art fair - too many interesting artists and pieces to cover them all here, so here are a few of my favourites - with, for all you art tutors out there, reasons why ...

David Shrigley tattooing art lovers - he doesn't tell them what he's going to do - fortunately the tattoo only lasts a week.

Will these new owners of a Shrigley piece ever wash again ?

Next artist is George Shaw, who has been taking thousands of photos of the village where he grew up and then painting images using Humbrol enamel on board - a reference to his painting airfix kits in his childhood. Whilst the paintings are of an ordinary village, there is something haunting and a bit threatening about them.

Hadn't come across Rodney Graham before - two really exciting large scale photos with light boxes to emphasise the colours and contrasts - first "Lighthouse Keeper with Lighthouse Model"

And then "Potatoes blocking my studio door"

Catherine Yass also uses light boxes to make her relatively ordinary images look otherworldly .

Marlo Pascual - shift and fold with a photo

Tomory Dodge uses colour and strong brush strokes to powerful effect,

Johanna Karlsson used silver wire and copper wire for this wall installation - both strong and delicate at the same time.

Fashion textiles round up

Fashion textiles project, compress and expand, started with this image - and I started to explore hard versus soft, masculine versus feminine, and natural verses man made.
Also see my 3 Frieze posts - - lots of interesting images to plunder ...

Cutting, shifting, piercing and bending images led to some very interesting images

Then more mutiples of sketches and photos held together with a very un textile device.

Lessons learnt
1 Photos are not sacred - cut, scrape, pierce to see what this leads you on to
2 Multiples work
3 Opposites contrast and compare

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Misty mountain hop

Went walking in Donegal with Mark this weekend and survived !
Unusual mix of wall to wall sunshine with plenty of early morning heat haze.
Managed to get our bikes onto Tory Island for a fascinating tour - the landscape is a virtual moonscape ...

My favourite site was of this old tractor surrounded by the remnants of the shed that once housed it - need to buy it all up and ship it on down to Mr Saatchi.

There were plenty of other fantastic sheds to admire ...

Finished off our Isalnd Tour watching Peregrine falcons hunting from the Soldiers of Balor - magestic cliffs at the north east end of the island.

Mark seen here hanging on by his fingertips to get that ultimate shot of the Peregrine in action...