Friday, November 13, 2009

thesis proposal 2009

Thesis Proposal/BFA 2009
Hannah O’Brien
My fascination with the process of painting, the application of paint, and the different behaviors it can comprise has brought me to the idea of “action painting”. Experimenting with different qualities of the paint and the response that I get from it becomes something persuasive and inviting for me. I want to change the paint by moving it around, adding more, thinning it out, over lapping, and layering. Through this manipulation, I am creating interesting compositions, new textures, and exciting effects. I have been searching for artists that would be helpful in modifying and creating my own color palette, trying to limit the amount of colors I use in my paintings. I use a lot of bright, iridescent colors, seemingly neon, in simple non representational forms. An artist whose work has been helpful is that of Wendy White. Our color palette is very similar, almost exactly the same, mainly greens, bright pinks, and black. Her use of black is inventive, one would think too dramatic, but it works for me. So for my thesis, this artist will be serving as an inspiration for me. I am interested a great deal in drips, and how they interact on the canvas. I have discovered that just by using gravity, and rotating the canvas, it enhances the drips, and gives better control, guiding them where to go. My curiosity behind this is to see how the paint changes form and creates its own path, as it works its way through wet on wet paint. The idea of paint dripping from one canvas to another, simultaneously creating a second painting, while still working on the one, is also an idea I have toyed with and will be focusing on while I create work for my thesis show. I paint with an uncertainty; the aspect of not knowing exactly what will happen in my work. I am creating the brushstroke, the movement of my hands, and the movement of the paint, and with that creating something almost impossible to mimic. Not only have I been inspired by the artists I have been researching but music has been a huge inspiration to me, and a lot of my work I have to thank to The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Elliott Smith and varieties of trance music. All of these musicians and bands have in common is tranquility in their songs. Peaceful, encouraging lyrics mixed with psycadelic sounds of techno and new wave makes me want to paint. I cannot paint without music, and this is why I feel it is important I include these motivations into my thesis research. I can easily get frustrated and that is my block, the music keeps me focused and the rhythms coincide with my gestural marks of the paint. Listening to this music brings me to a happy place, and I think about my childhood a lot while painting; about playing outside, creating things, the curiosity I had as a child, and the curiosity I have now, in general, my adolescence gives me insight to what my inner thoughts are, and how to portray them in painting. Making work is not easy, even though I am painting abstractly, it does not mean, “you’re six year old” could have done it. It takes much time and a lot of ‘feeling’ to make abstract work. Personally I find it more difficult to paint abstractly than realistically. My work is meant for the viewer, it is meant to extract emotions, a deep hidden anger, spiteful feelings, unconsciously finding the inner ‘you’ while I have found myself making it. I am attached to my work and it is difficult for me to sell, or give my paintings away. I feel like each painting I have done is marking a moment of my life, and it can never be recaptured. I have to be concienseous of my actions and my creations, understanding them on my own before I can share them with others. It is an intimacy between me, the paint and the canvas. I kind of know it immediately. Sometimes I'll keep it in spite of myself, because there's something about it. Maybe I don't like it, but there's something about it that makes it difficult to erase-and quite often that'll be a particularly good painting. I guess that's because what I'm after is to surprise myself somehow, to kind of step out of the picture and let it surprise me. I guess that's what all artists do, in a way. I do feel that I've reduced my painting work to this one thing, but there's a kind of endless range of expression within that very simple structure that I've given myself. It's like there's an element of music, there's an element of movie, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end-there's a little narrative there. My work is indicative and genuine. I love color, texture, noise, handling of the paint and the canvas; becoming part of the work while making it, really feeling what I am trying to convey is so important to me. Marks that are gesticulate, quick, slow, accidental, come out of my personality, and I see that in my work, and that is something that no one else can claim. I am unique and creative, and I want my work to illustrate these characteristics. I want my body of work for my thesis to be compelling, and thought out, colorful and stimulating.

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