Friday, January 30, 2009


Made a copy of the video I made in France, it was something that I had been meaning to do for a long time. As usual the procedure was beset with complications !!! First of all I had to get an administrators password to gain access to the DVD suite on the mac computer, this meant the usual wait for the elusive computer guy to show up, his famous last words seem to be "I'll be there in a couple of minutes". Proceeded to copy the DVD on to the mac which took time, then copied the folder on to a disc which took an eternity. When it was done, I was unable to open the folder. I asked Matt was there a problem in copying a DVD on the macs, he said there was, he told me mac do a programme called toast, which copies DVDs but (you guessed it) we don't have it ! But he told me of another programme which we do have on the PCs which copied DVDs, so went to a PC and got the job done. Now, it's strange that the programme copied the DVD but I was unable to play it on the PC! happy to say though , it did play on the mac!!! On the bright side though, it has been another good learning experience, and I will know what to do next time.
That took me up until half one, went down town to get some DVD-R's and some blank video tapes for the Berlin trip.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Spent all day in the multimedia room editing my video. A lot of trial and error especially with audacity but I have learnt a lot about the process today, it's taking shape now. Nigel showed me how to burn a CD. it seems straight forward enough. Went to the drawing awards tonight in the church gallery, there were some great pieces on display and a huge turnout.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I recorded the voices for my video work; " I miss my mother, brother, sister" etc. Had to find a quite place in college, which was not too easy! We did a few takes as the actors voices sounded too happy, even though they were not laughing. There was a problem with the recording device insofar as it would not display on the mac computer, however, I downloaded it on to a PC ok and copied the file onto a memory stick. Hopefully it will transfer to the mac now,I will try that tomorrow. I bought a 32GB memory stick from the library, I need one that size to hold the video work. Had CCS today, the lecturer was going through the options for the final year project, I know it is something we have to do as part of the course requirements but my god, it seems to be an awful amount of work to do for so little marks.
We also had a meeting about the trip to Berlin, it sounds like it is going to be a good trip, the tutors have been there before and have a good itinerary arranged.
Got feedback today about my essay from Dr. David, a couple of minor details need to be 'tweaked' other than that it was very positive, according to David I am ready to take a leap forward now (all very encouraging !)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

27/01/2009 Scan sad at having to leave her space


I Have decided to get rid of the blue background on my 'airbrushed beauty', it does not give the effect of which I am aiming to achieve. Instead, I have mixed a tiny amount of a cool blue (Prussian blue) with titanium white, for the background, this way, the facial shape emerges from the whiteness, as opposed to being on top of the blue. (If that makes sense!) I have added some shadow areas in pure Prussian blue, (Sasnal like). I am not yet sure if this shadow is appropriate for the painting, I will have to ponder on this aspect some more. I want to have the oil paint very thick (like some of Marlene Dumas' work) but at the moment I am uncertain as to how to achieve this. I will experiment with this. Went to M sign to get some white paint in big size tube; they do not have any, went to Silkes they didn't have any either, makes you wonder how these people last in business.

Got feedback from Aine today, very positive I have to say,it was very much appreciated.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I did some more work to my 'airbrushed beauty' today. I am Taking the missing person theme a little further with this painting. I have decided that, not only am I going to use the jigsaw pieces to the side of the head as a metaphor for something not quite completed, IE. The facial shape but also as a kind of reference to a person (or being) that has in some regards, has no actual complete life picture/ plane of existence/reality (so to speak), this would be like the lost souls who are actually missing (neither dead or alive as it were) The silver tape represents a veil or separation from this reality. (the framed photograph is an actual missing person with the features unrecognisable) With the use of paint, I aim to further generate the feeling of incompleteness to the piece, IE. I want to make to make it appear that the artist is not able to 'complete the picture' . This I plan to achieve, by using thick oil paint, scumbled across the surface. The strokes are coarse and unrefined, paint has dropped on to other surfaces, the whole facial area is a quagmire of untethered painterly abandonment. Although still 'Sasnalesque' in composition, the textural paint on the facial features, is not too dissimilar to Lucien 'Freudian' strokes !

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Mathilde and I were invigilators for the video exhibition this afternoon, all went well, no problems. I took some photographs of my colleagues work which they had displayed for assessments, they are a very talented group, there were some great pieces on display.
Got the results of my assessments today, and I have to say I was extremely happy with them. My hard work has reaped the rewards.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

22/01/2009 contd.


All quiet today. Some of my colleagues were joking with me, they reckoned that I have been paying people to write favourable comments in the comment book,(for the video exhibition we have running this week ! )It was very funny. Good to get the comments though.
Took some photographs of the various video work that is on display, some did not come out very well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


My blog was missing from the google site for a few days for reasons unknown to me , however it has now returned. (After much pinging and writing to them!). Thank you Mr. Google

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Assessments over now t g. We had the opening night of our video exhibition "A sense of place" tonight, it was a great success. There were great works by all my colleagues, such diversity, and all from 'painting' students. I am very interested in using this medium in my studio practice.

Monday, January 12, 2009


My "airbrushed beauty" is coming on well, quite "Sasnal" like. I used a cool blue for the background colour, and a warmish green/white for the facial colour. The painting is progressing well, although it will not be finished before the assessments. I added a strip of silver tape to one side of the face, and hope to add a photo frame to the right of the tape, with a missing person photograph.



I added the photographic images to the watercolour paper which had the jigsaw shape on. They look very effective. I used bleach on the some of the photographs to dissolve the facial features. Again, recognisable as people but not recognisable as individuals. On other photographic images of missing people, I used white gesso painted on top, to cloud the image, again, this was a highly effective procedure. I placed some images into frames with the words; missing friend, father, mother on them, a reference to the missing souls.


I have deceided to add a thin layer of white gesso over the top of my missing person painting, to further enhance the ethereal qualities of the painting. I was going to change the tones on the facial area, and define the features but I believe the "mask like " effect is perfect for what I am trying to portray, ie, recognisable as a person, but unrecognisable as an individual; devoid of recognition.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I completed the rough cut for my video piece, also added one part of the sound track. This is a work in progress, which I hope to finish after the assessments.
Got some more images of missing people and got the photographs developed.
I received my "mirror jigsaw" from the plastics company, it has far exceeded my expectations, I'm really happy with it.
I am going to call this piece a worry jigsaw. I will invite the viewer to look into the mirrored jigsaw, and notice the many parts that make up the whole person. (I will arrange the jigsaw pieces side by side, not like a completed jigsaw, obviously the viewer will see their reflection in many pieces)If the viewer has any worries, fears etc, I will ask them to focus all these concerns on to one piece of the jigsaw, and when they are content that all their fears and worries are focused on that one piece of jigsaw, I will invite them to remove that piece from the puzzle, refocus on the jigsaw, and feel a sense of release, as though the worries and fears have now been taken away. Research on art therapy at a later date.


On the 16/10/2008 I painted an item while it was on a wall (see blog for that date) When I took the image down, it left a vague impression of a jigsaw shape. I have been thinking about this accidental art (for want of a better description) for quite some time now. If I intended to make these marks on purpose, I could have said that I have made an artwork IE. they were purposeful mark making. So I asked the question, could I call it an artwork, if the mark making was (as it was in this case), accidental? Andy Warhol once said "great art is what you can get away with"I have to say that I would not be comfortable with this kind of philosophy, in other words, yes, I probably would have got away with calling it a work of art but my conscience would not rest easy.
Anyway, what I decided to do was to use this accidental art, and turn it into a purposeful piece, I painted the white areas within the jigsaw shape, and 'cleaned up' some of the lines of the jigsaw shape itself. I intend to frame the piece, and use it as part of my work for assessment. As for the theoretical aspects and concerns of this and for using an actual wall for the piece, I will investigate at a later stage.
Attended the fine art department meeting today. The cost cutting by the present government means there is a deficit in the budget allocated to schools. This has led to the professional practice module withdrawn from the curriculum, and also a loss of the visiting lectures . The chairman, and most, if not all of the tutors, saw this as a great loss to both the fine art department, and especially to the students. I know it has been reconstituted in a watered down version, as a video presentation for marking purposes, nevertheless, it is not quite the same as the real thing. I believe this will have a detrimental effect for the college and students alike (I would wager NCAD would have a professional practice module !).Finished the jigsaw today at long last ! Took some photos of same. I have placed some blank jigsaw pieces on top of the jigsaw and photographed it. It looks visually very effective, and adds a sense of enigma to the puzzle.


My "ceci n'est pas une simulacrum" piece is finished.I used a jigsaw (funnily enough!) to cut off the excess white board which the jigsaw puzzle was on, it was no addition to the piece. Sanded the edges, then painted the edges with yellow acrylic. I could not find an exact replica of the font used in Magritte's painting, however, the one I chose is near enough. I printed it off on Microsoft word and used some carbon paper to copy out on to the board, obviously I had to plan out the exact positioning of the wording. I then stuck a smoking pipe to the the piece. I have to say I, the piece has worked out exactly as I had planned. (which is always a bonus!)
I took a photograph of the piece , which I then took to the developers, and ordered a jigsaw of the photograph. The jigsaw worked out very well. I will take a photograph of the original again on Monday p.g. and get it blown up, and that will be the last addition to my piece for display.
What is the point of this piece eg. what is the theoretical concept behind this piece? Well, to be honest, I know exactly what I have done, a lot of thought and reading and planning has gone in to this piece but I am inviting the spectator to figure it out for themselves !


One of my colleagues obtained advertising boards with images on the them, and had finished their use of them. They were going to dispose of them, so I asked if I could have a couple of them. One was blank, the other was of an air brushed woman.(It was advertising beauty products, so naturally she was airbrushed to perfection). I am going to use the image to hopefully create a painting with a "lost" look on the face, and with muted tones, create an atmospheric, ghostly composition, (perhaps something similar to Wilhelm Sasnal's portraits) I will employ jigsaw pieces to the side of the facial image, to give some texture, but also as a reference to something not completed. (I suppose unlike the airbrushed beauty, this "lost soul" has an uncertain outcome). (Perhaps like the painting!).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I stuck negative photographs to a blank jigsaw that I had, although they were not real missing people, it was just the kind of image I was looking for. Again, a kind of ghostly non-existence type image. I will investigate the possibility of using these kind of images in paintings.