After getting immersed in colour and pattern last week, I decided to return to a coastal theme this week, firstly to give myself some time to let the ideas I had started for the textile exhibition, continue to develop in the back of my head. Secondly I have it in mind to submit some Coastal inspired work for the Royal Society of Marine Artists Exhibition at the Mall Galleries this year and the closing date for submissions is 1 July. I am aiming to have six Seascape images to submit. I have been lucky enough to have been selected for this exhibition over the past two years and would love to be part of it again, so need to give it some attention. Developing Seascapes is something that happens for me through doing rather than planning. Sometimes I will paste photographs into a photomontage and it will not work. Other times I will paste an image in and it comes in at a different scale or on a different layer than I had thought and magic happens. I never know what an image will look like when I begin, and that is the journey for me – to discover the image.
Day#36 was a Sunday and the perfect day to revisit an image I had begun a few weeks ago during this challenge. I knew it had potential, but was lacking some definition on the hills and I felt the sky was a bit too photographic. As ever, when work is at this stage and I am unsure how to finish it, I go into detail. I start cleaning up the many stray marks and rough edges that are evident, the minute the image is enlarged. This does two things. Firstly, it gets me into the zone I need to be in to really focus on what the image needs. I start seeing possibilities that I didn’t see before . Secondly, when I start cleaning the image up, it makes a huge difference to the overall look and feel of the image. It is at this point where I start feeling like I am on the home straight. There will still be details in it that I need to tweak, and I am not sure if the rock at the front is too contrived, but I think it is pretty much there now.
Day#37 From one extreme to the other. It was the evening of the England versus Tunisia World Cup Match and I wanted to watch it so I rushed this starting point. It was a bit half-hearted and it shows, but sometimes this is how ideas begin, just by bringing different photographs together. If I were to use these textures in an image, they would need a lot of cleaning up.
On Day #38 I returned to another image I started a couple of weeks ago. I really liked the posts, but was finding that the colour of them – a yellowish green, was really hard to fit into a seascape. I always find green hard to work with in this context. I switched off the layer containing the posts and was left with the space where they had been. I loved that I could still see them even though I had taken them away and started to place other textures underneath in place of the actual posts. I like the painterly quality given to this image by doing this and the combination of blue and brown. Time would tell if I could make this image work when I went into more detail. I placed the stones in the foreground as I liked the contrast in texture and the colours they brought into the image.
On Day#39 I spent a long time trying to make the posts work, but I couldn’t. However I did find an image I had taken of a post on Aldeburgh Beach, with ropes wrapped around it and enjoyed the challenge of trying to integrate this post with the ropes I had already cut out.
Day#40 I started to integrate the small stones, large stones and rope together so they looked as though they belonged in the same image. This is quite a meditative process. other people might say mind numbingly boring, but maybe I am just weird!
On Day#41 I think I completed this image, apart form a few tweaks which I will make prior to finalising and printing. It is not an all bells and whistles image, but I wanted to work more with abstract elements, shapes and textures, because previously I had thought my work was getting too tight. I did succumb to adding an object to this image but it served the purpose of providing a contrasting upright to the horizontal layers and I thought the colour fitted beautifully.
Day#42 The imagery I have been working on this week has been full of soft grey/ blue hues – very still and calm. I made me think of this feather I photographed on Southwold Beach a while ago. I thought the shape was exquisite and I decided to cut it out in photoshop, although I am unsure how to use it at the moment. I usually trust and follow the thoughts that come into head as I am sure they lead somewhere eventually.
I have really enjoyed working in the Cracks this week. After having done this for six weeks now, it is feeling as though it is becoming a part of my day. It has also been a really full on week at work, but I am not getting so stressed about what I am going to do when I get home, or how much am I am going to achieve, as I can see it all begins to add up. A starting point, will at some point be developed. Some starting points will hit a wall, and go nowhere or take another direction. I am beginning to have some faith in the process and feel confident that I can produce work of worth in the cracks of time between my full time job, kids and household. I am also finding that by engaging with my work everyday, my head is open to ideas . I am trying to be like water, because water will find a way to flow even when there appears to be no clear path.
To read more about what inspired my to set myself this challenge, please read my blog post CREATING ART IN THE CRACKS
To see more of Claire Gill’s finished prints please click here SEASCAPE LIMITED EDITION PRINTS