Curses, Rites, and Questionable Offerings: Art of Folk Horror
2S6 plein-air to studio: The ob-pastoral
The aim of this sprint is to focus more on working on preparatory sketches and exploration, more heterogeneous in nature, I’m off work, so time to get out there and do some plein-air sketches, working in sketchbooks, and some figurative work around folk horror. Compositional experiments are on the agenda as well as layer management. Making work to learn about my work, to paraphrase ‘Art and Fear’.
Sheds – these were painted a while back but I wanted to experiment with glazing them to improve their tonality and create more atmosphere. They are small and a great way to experiment with different applications of paint/layer management in line with tonalist approaches (purposed to the folk horror theme). Sheds in the woods..decay/entropy/hauntology, places of suggested transgression as well as what has been remaindered – all grist to the folk horror theme. Calling on their meanings for children.
Experiments with sheds:
Some thoughts from working in the studio on a few shed paintings while waiting for a canvas for the wickerman work
working small gives you freedom to explore
don’t put short ground on top of wiped back oil ground – it just peels off!
Add 1/4 ratio of chalk to create a short ground which is easier to work an ebouche method alla prima
work thin for more luminous skies
think layers for optical effects to happen – particularly with skies
think ‘range’ in terms of value, transparency, saturation, warm/cool, chroma.
Leave work, no time for it!
I love glazing…particularly with gold ochre and transparent orange.
The Druids/Wickerman paintings are completed – 3 is enough for the Sticks and Bones show in November. I liked the continuity of doing 3 paintings, but perhaps too narrative and even though stylised not painterly and experimental enough. I’m feeling that I am seeking something more than this…something more focused emergence and happenstance – letting the fates in! Particularly after the energy created by the work done with Emily Ball on a large and very ‘in the moment’ scale. That’s the work of the next study block work. Still focused on folk horror but looking more towards an emergent style, cue Ithell Coloquhoun.
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.