Taratories Blog

Critique: Wales Residency

This last week we had two new resident artists come to stay.  The girl on the left is Michelle Loa Kum Cheung and the girl on the right is Jessica Raby.  

Jessica is currently getting her MA in Aberystwyth and is studying film.  She collects things from nature and isolates outside of their natural environment to film and photograph.  This is her in her studio filming a flower she picked around the area while here.

Michelle is a painter and uses a unique technique where she burns into wood and uses oil paint to paint around and inside her burnt drawings.  Right now she is doing a commission for a restaurant which is a tetraptych (painting that has four parts).  Go to Michellelkc.com to see more of her work.

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And there is me.  I focus mainly on using a combination of acrylic paints and colored pencils on canvas.  I have been enjoying exploring this mixed media technique more and more and have enjoyed focusing on people as my subjects. Since I have been in Wales I have been using Welsh folklore to tell stories in my paintings and I have had so much fun trying my hand at allegorical paintings!

This week we decided it would be fun to do a critique with each other in our studios.  I haven't done a critique since college and it was so fun to be a part of something like this again!  First we gathered in the attic and watched what Jessica had filmed so far on the projector.  

We loved the flower that she had filmed slowly spinning as it hung from her studio ceiling.  The light created beautiful shadows on it and I loved how mesmerizing it was to watch.  She talked about her work and we also took a look at some of her past films.  She appreciated our input and used it to help her plan out her direction for the rest of her stay here. If you want to see more of her work go to www.jess-raby.com.

Next we looked at what Michelle had painted so far on her panels and she talked about her process and how she got into pyrography.  She talked about what kind of subjects she paints and how she is drawn to landscapes but likes to play with scale in her paintings in a surrealistic way.

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The time came for my critique. I talked about my different paintings that I have painted in Wales and how I incorporated Welsh folklore into them. We talked about some of the commonalities that the paintings have with each other and the parts of the paintings that worked better than others.

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Discussing art with each other was so fun and we all benefitted so much from our discussions.  Here are a few more detail shots from another painting I did.

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Listen: Wales Residency

The last few days I have been glued to my canvas from morning until night.  I think knowing that my time is drawing to a close has given me an extra dose of motivation to use my time to my advantage.  I know that when I go home time to create will look very different.  I have painted 4 paintings and I am finishing up my 5th one now.  Having this kind of time to work has been amazing.  No distractions, no schedule.  The only sounds I hear are the footsteps of the other artists on the old wood floors, the jets flying low above Corris, the sound of kegs being hauled up from the basement of the pub next door by the owner and his sons, the chatter of people inside the pub at night, little children on the street running home from school, and my spotify playlist.  I will miss these sounds.  These will always be the sounds of Wales in my memory. What sounds have you heard today?

This pub is not like a typical bar in America.  There are Grannies in their sweaters, children, babies, families that hang out in there.  For Halloween yesterday they had a little disco for kids with games and hot dogs and candy!  They were so cute dressed up in their little costumes.  We had some trick-or-treaters knock on the door but we had nothing to offer them unfortunately.  

I am keeping my art to myself while I am here until a show that I will be having at the end of the month but I am going to start to sharing a few detail images on this blog and eventually I will show the full works in their entirety.  Here are a few details from one of my paintings that I did...