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Finding a new support and ground

Unlike when I used to paint on a properly stretched canvas during my BFA, I now try to do what I have never done in terms of material. For instance, I have recently painted on raw canvas - unprimed, unstretched, without wooden bars. All of these features are irritating for me to paint. Without stretcher bars, I have to use a staple gun and remove the staples whenever I want to move the canvas, which is quite annoying. However, there are some good effects when I paint on raw canvas. Since it is harder to depict things accurately on the unprimed canvas, my paintings can be seen as dreamy and blurry. Also, I have already used a background colour so that I do not need to fill in every space. The beige colour and my colours go well together as well.

A cabbage, Oil on canvas, 2019

Afterwards, I primed and applied gesso on the canvas. Thanks to my unprofessional technique, they got curved, like torn edges. I decided not to stretch them because of the interesting forms the raw canvas and paint created. I fixed the biggest canvas to make another organic form on the wall. It was much heavier than ready-made primed canvas, as I applied thick primer twice and gesso three times. The whole shape of it got more unusual, like an adventurer's unfolded map. The rough surface of canvas reminded me of Korean traditional paintings on old paper. That's why I have used Korean watercolor and brushes to make flowing marks. While I was painting it, Geraint (a course leader) gave me a reference to 'painting as sculpture', letting me know about the artist, Sam Gilliam. He installs his works like circus curtains so that we can walk around them. Also, how he installs his paintings always changes in each exhibition. In fact, I did not have any idea of display initially. Since I was able to come across how to make my painting more interesting, I have paid more attention to the presentational elements of painting, such as the support.

A rhythm, Oil on canvas, 87*101 (cm), 2019

Alongside the issues of display, I have experienced painting on different types of canvas, especially primed polyester. It was softer and smoother than ordinary primed canvas. In terms of texture experiment, I used water-soluble oil pastels and made them flow by wetting it more. The more my brush held water, the faster the water dropped. I was also intrigued by these flash colours and abstract random marks that I made since these colours somehow reminded me of doing make-up on my face (I used to do it, but I seldom do it now), and  the marks made me think of a misty window. 

Afterwards, I put two of my new small paintings together, which was a kind of new display method for me. Since they had similar colour palettes and scale I thought they went well together. They would have been less attractive if they had been separated. The reason why I overlapped them came from their background colours. If they were presented separately,  I would see both of the torn edges. That way, viewers would focus on "tilted" canvas rather than look inside. Also, the left part of the polyester painting was orangish, which could be seen as a gradation of the colour of the raw canvas. In other words, I was able to hide awkward things by overlapping two pieces.  Although the way I painted them was different, I tried to make two versions of flash toned paintings, an organic form and a totally formless one. 

Lollipops, Oil on canvas and polyester, 2019

I question myself as to why most of the paintings are always square shaped. I felt less interested in 'just' square painting. It is obvious that painting with stretcher wooden bars seems more decent. But, I have decided to take an adventure, as a new way to expand my painting, I made one of my works curved by joining its vertex together and then I hung it like a mobile. I am going to make one or two more pieces just this way, but I am thinking of changing the scale and colour.  


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