Fourth Year Art School, leading up to Degree Show!

I am now in my final year at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

I know it is going to fly in but I am looking forward to life after graduation. Even though I have completely made the most of my University holidays and travelled, I still have never taken a proper ‘gap year’ to just immerse myself in exploring and travelling on the road. I am looking forward to it!

Does anyone have any suggestions of where to start? Bearing in mind I have already travelled to Iceland, all over the UK, Australia (I will go back there though) and all of America.

I can’t make my mind up, I may just head off on the road for two years so I can go anywhere and everywhere.

Anyway in terms of my final year at Art School I feel happy that I’ve developed my Art practise, I know exactly where I want my work to and what purpose it will serve. I am fascinated by the ‘Spirit of Places’ so I feel that as a title sums up my practise exactly, my work is going in a direction that I am happy with and I feel that I have pushed it as far as possible in development in terms of my Degree Show. Currently I am working towards finalising everything and making sure that all the work I have ties together to form the basis of the idea ‘traces of the land’ and ‘spirit of places’.

So here’s what I’m currently working on!

I am in the midst of finalising a large scale 8ft long painting that captures the true overwhelming and sublime mountains of Torridon.

Secondly, I have made a large 12ft long board secured to a frame that I have bent. Because my overall meaning behind my work is the sublime feeling you get when surrounded by powerful landscapes, my idea to have the board secured to the wall, bending on a panoramic scale around the viewer will serve it’s purpose in getting the meaning across as the board will curve around the viewer so they are restricted by the lines of the drawing.

Also, I am working on large scale drawing from working outside in the elements. These will be viewed on a portrait large scale and have been worked on, using layers and exposing to the harsh often unforgiving elements of Scotland. I have used natural resources to build upon the mark making, leaving outside, drawing with branches to get a range of marks and using lots of washes. I have really enjoyed working in this way and will continue to do so.

Within printmaking, I have been developing as far as I can go in lithography. I have 5 A1 size photo lithographs that are based on my photo’s from Iceland. The close up ones of the land have worked best in printmaking as when printed they have a grainy textured look with suits the ‘traces of the land’ idea. I have also been working on plates that I have used gestural brush strokes and marks on to form different layers on top of other prints. Lastly, I have also been developing my wood lithography technique, this has also worked extremely well in conveying the true ‘marks of the land’ by using silicone and drawing straight onto the wood, when I print straight off of it, the grain of the wood makes very deliberate and brilliant lines onto the paper.

Leading on, I am in the process of putting together an Artist’s book. This will very different from just simple ‘bound’ or ‘professional’ artist books. I intend to have it coinciding with my complete Degree Show, this book will be made up of natural materials. It will a series of put together pages from my sketchbooks, my professional photographs, my writings from my travels to the remote lands, my drawings and documents. Each page will be contrasting with the other but will show the way I work in my different mediums and tie the whole meaning and idea behind my Degree Show together. It will back up my travel journeys, and also shed light on what has inspired my large scale paintings.

Lastly, my photographs. I have built up a large series of photographs throughout the past two years. Some of I have kept just as photographs, other I have used for large scale lithographs or used as inspiration for my paintings/ drawings. I will keep posting my series throughout this blog, but in terms of my Artwork I will select the best of where I have been, from the Isle of Skye to Iceland and make sure they are shown in a way that reveals the true raw nature of the wild places I have ventured to.

Altogether, that is a basic summing up of everything I am up to in the next 8 weeks leading up to my Degree Show. I will post photos and what I’m up to in my studio every now and then for you all to see!

The DJCAD degree show opening night is on the 16th of May and is on for a week. Make sure you try and come along, it’s going to be a good one!



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