Cut out paintings: color theory related to subject and field work

This is the piece we did towards the end of the first field project, where we used the skills we learnt from the color theory workshops and layering techniques to create pieces (whatever theme we wanted; I related mine back to my subject area of work) in cut out shapes, not a usual rectangle shape composition. I really enjoyed this session and found it incredibly therapeutic to use color and random pattern in relation to the calligraphy to create a piece of artwork; none of which I had to think too hard about, as I focused on the aesthetics mainly. 

I used jiberish/random letters and words to fill in the spiral effect in the background but all words related to conflict and war however together none of which actually make sense in a sentence. The word in the calligraphy lettering in the front spells the word “bravery” in Arabic.

I then decided later on that this piece made me think of the thoughts and feelings and memories going through a refugees mind, the colors and textures and patterns; a mish mash of these emotions and uncertain futures. 


Artist research: Tayseer Barakat 

Tayseer Barakat is a Palestinian artist from Gaza born in 1959 and lived in the West Bank in the heart of the conflict and chaos. Most of Barakats work was done using found objects as resources in the village where he lived where extremely scarce and limited; such as old bits of wood and paper giving them a raw feel. His work mainly portrayed what he saw in his everyday life living in the villages and his emotional struggle with it.  

I want to create pieces on similar surfaces of objects I have found that can help support my work and build up an image on them using the texture of the ground. 

Stencil and calligraphy experiments

The original stencil I made which says “the future” in Arabic. I used it in numerous ways to experiment with colors and textures to use on paintings and collages later on. Some were spray painted, sponged over using acrylic paints or both on numerous papers and backgrounds to create different layered effects for a subtle message impact. The last photo used a modeling paste and spray paint to create a 3D effect to look like the words are standing out of the page. 

I have been experimenting with the color combinations as well as textures and overlaps to create different effects  creating the feelings of chaos and to symbolize the feelings related to the chaos. 

Field project reflection: Colour Theory

Starting our first field project i was unsure of what to expect. We started off with some simple tasks like experimenting with primary, secondary and complementary colours, and how to achieve these using different shades of the primary colours. The tasks seemed simple at first but I soon learnt that it was a much more precise and time consuming process trying to achieve exact shades of colours. Trying to match exact colours (for example of vegetables, which was one of the practices) was a tedious but tremendously interesting experiment, because I hadn’t previously realised how many different colours including white and black (process black and mixed black) could create such a variety of shades of one colour. We experimented with colour swatch after colour swatch and with these I built up a fantastic sketch book and use it to refer back to my work whenever i need inspiration or a starting point for the colour scheme I’m going to use in a particular piece. This began to get me motivated to experiment more in my own practical work.

I had previously been afraid of using bold and bright colours in my work, and felt safe using darker more dull tones to achieve a more serious feel throughout my work. I quickly learnt however that the use of colour, in fact, could strengthen this if used in the right way. I began experimenting with different shades of one colour in my work and ran with it. I used a variety of complimentary colours that I associated with the Middle East (which relates to my practical work). For example, I tried to show the vibrancy of the culture through the use of bold colours like ultramarine blue and its complimentary colours cadmium yellow. This has become a pattern throughout my work now and I have been experimenting with bolder and brighter shades of the colours through the use of paint, instead of my previous habit of dulling them down with blacks and greys. This field project has given my work a new dimension and allowed me to think about and appreciate he colours i use in my work more, where I had previously not thought about the strength they can have to improve my works narrative. Overall Ive found this project to be extremely inspiring and have come away with so much more than I had expected. I am now excited to use more colour and specifically brighter shades of bold colours side by side in my work, to strengthen my pieces and to stop relying on duller colours with texture. I am so much more confident while working with colours now, and can already see an improvement in my work because of this and have started to really enjoy painting with colours again.

Color Theory; linked to subject work 

These photos are of the work we have been doing in correspondence with the color theory workshops we’ve been attending and my personal responses to them. They have been so helpful and given me a much more broad insight on how colors compliment and contrast one another and how to achieve certain shades/colors when I paint. 

These were “tests” we created which were linked to optical illusions inspired by artists such as Johannesburg Itten and Joseph Albers. The colors look different when next to each other and depending on things such as background color, can look completely different (even if they are the exact same shade). 

Some of the color match swatches we did using fruit and magazine clippings as inspiration. This was so interesting and much harder to do than I expected. 

Some of the tests we did to show that the same shade of a color can look completely different on different colored backgrounds. 

These photos are of experiments I did on my own after our workshops looking at how a color can create different impacts in relation to texture and background color. I’ve decided to use these techniques in my subject work to better my pieces and to really experiment with color contrasts and the way they can I handle or intensify a certain feeling in a piece (eg. anger and feeling scared are represented not just by red but also use purple and blue to darken the colors and the mood). I also really love the jagged texture of squares I painted using complimentary colors orange and purple here as a technique to possible enhance/ point out specifics in an article in the future possibly.