2S1 Setting agenda for Study Block2

Sprint Aim: Style Experiment. Experiment with making a small series of paintings different applications of paint: tight/small brush (Gosseart), thick/loose (El Greco/Rembrandt/Velaszques), and thin/turpsywashes (James Morrison). Research each method, use different surfaces. Evaluate results.

Relevant images:

Adoration (after Jan Gossaert) (detail; 2015–16), Raqib Shaw. Photo: White Cube, Ben Westoby; © Raqib Shaw
Jan Gossaert – Agony in the Garden
Crop in Gossaert’s Adoration of the Kings


El Greco The Ascension (visible brushstrokes, the ‘spotlight’ red/green juxtaposition) expressionist figures
Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863), Shipwreck off a Coast (detail) (1862), oil on canvas, 38.1 x 45.1 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. Wikimedia Commons.

hoakley    GeneralPainting

“From about 1870 onwards, these painterly marks were used for the following:

  • to depict surface texture, particularly of textiles and fabrics, as earlier: textural marks;
  • to express the form of objects within the painting: formative marks;
  • although in themselves appearing meaningless, to assemble into meaningful parts of the image: gestural marks;
  • to be ‘optically fused’ into the image: Divisionist marks (Neo-Impressionism);
  • to self-organise into passages or the whole of the painting: organised marks (particularly Vincent van Gogh);
  • to exist independent of form or texture: the constructive stroke (Cézanne). ” https://eclecticlight.co/2016/01/14/visible-brushstrokes-9-a-tentative-history-at-last/
James Morrison Big Wind Turpsy skies – what surface? Aluminuim? Gesso on paper to create a glassy surface?

Size matters. Size of the support. Size of the brushes…changing the ‘schema’ of the address of the process of putting paint on.


I had a mentoring conversation with an experienced painter, who is also an RP, who came to look at my work. He felt that at present the work was not careful enough in terms of observing value and form. I will therefore build this into my current sprint, which also involves going back over some of the previous work to create a stronger sense of presence. He was directing me away from a loose expressionist style towards something more realistic, based on the type of painters who I turn towards (Wyeth and early Nerdrum in particular). This is to help communicate concept more directly. He also suggested that I consider whether painting should be my sole focus; for now I think it is, however I do have other projects that are not painting focused that are collaborative. I think for me it’s a matter of thinking about what works in a particular space, and letting the creativity take over in that case. Feeling rather a lack of strong roots right now. What I do know is that I am looking for a balance between poetry and narrative in whatever medium I am working with. I also know that I am after a subtle version of folk horror rather than a straight-up form of horror painting as with Zdzisław Beksiński and the shock value of Justin Mortimer or Marcelle Hansalaar. I’m looking for a disturbance, instead. Notes from the conversation:

  • respect the source, the material and the surface
  • close observation in terms of value, perspective and composition
  • atmosphere leads
  • more conviction/commitment (in terms of effort? Application of paint? unsure)
  • check out how others use their source material
  • 360s get closer to the source images.
  • Closer attention to preparation, planning, and composition

Addressing these things now for this sprint, with the existing 360 work and starting a more considered version of one of them.

Preparation needs to be stronger, so I will spend more time planning and prepping the board for the new 360.

Image as it was…moreless, before reevaluating it in terms of style, tone and observation

Work in progress on basis of above – worked on this image today:

wip one with ‘edit’ – more detail, closer attention to values of the source material, now more ‘going on’, less stylised

A few more edits done, now moving on to Sprint 2. Sprint 1 aims rather went by the board after the consultation. Learning is hard, as Mary Beard says, because it changes you. Confidence afforded by my academic role is certainly not prevalent in this new world of becoming an artist!

During this spring, I was a participant in a group show at Borlase Smart Rooms in St Ives. 7-day show, curated by Ilker Cineral. 8 artists with very different styles. I had 4 pieces in the show. What was the learning? It’s good to hear what people say about the work. A few comments of note: ‘what does Krzywinska do when she isn’t in her pink period?’ ‘I like the mystery of the staircase, I like dark stuff’. Many visitors didn’t really look at work, expected that. I’ve reset my mind for such shows as being more about community and getting feedback than selling stuff. However, I did sell a lot of handpainted greetings cards (little watercolour scenes of Cornwall coasts and woods). That seems to be where the market opportunity is – at least they are accessible to a wider group of people. These are fun to do while sitting the show and they do offset some of the costs.

Next sprint includes Open Studios and another group show; meanwhile, focus on a more considered painting based on one of the 360s from the previous sprint.

By tanyakrzywinskablog

After working in the computer industry and spending some years conducting research into cinema and digital media, I became convinced that the innovative qualities of videogames as participatory media required closer academic attention. As such I have spent most of my career championing the inclusion of games within the academy, and arguing for games as an art form, a role I continue as a Professor at Falmouth University. Alongside this, and my scholarly work on the Gothic, I also maintain, in various forms, a visual art practice. This blog comes out of enrolling on the MA Fine Art degree programme at Central Sr Martins. It is mainly a record of my reflections on the work that I have undertaken for the degree. After having written about folk horror in games and cinema as an academic, this blog will focus on folk horror as a focus for my art practice.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: