Thursday, 8 November 2012

Portfolio, water colour and presentation. (student work)

Recently my dear friend and long-loyal student Gennie mentioned that all her artwork was lying loose in a folder, looking a bit neglected. So I offered to assemble it all nicely in a portfolio to both preserve it, and make it easier to view. (The 'portfolio' in this case was a folder with clear sleeves bound together like a large book.)
There are so many good reasons to do this. Firstly, changing the setting of the artwork means that you, the artist, see it freshly. Your memory of it as a work in progress fades, compared to the more arms-length view you will have now - this means you see it more the way others see it. (ie without the emotion or pain of the production!)

Secondly, the way artwork is arranged in relation to other images impacts how we read it. Often, seemingly disparate subjects now appear to have a connection. The appparently radom become neatly flowing. Its not so much improving what you have made, but giving it a context, and a clear, clean way in which to look at it. 
Also, the personality of the artist begins to emerge, in a new and sometimes surprising way. Perhaps the strongest compositions were of subjects that particularly apealed to the artist. Perhaps a painting that was not liked so much at the time of painting will now take on a new resonance.

And any device which does that, as well as preserving it cleanly, has got to be a good thing. 

For students applying to college, presentation can actually make or break the work, harsh as that may seem. There is an art in producing, and another in presenting. Putting artwork together like this can take from two hours to a whole day. 
(Apologies for the poor photographs of such lovely work - these were taken in fading light, on my on-the-blink camera. Tomorrow, new camera!) 

Up coming workshop: Portrait workshop, Belfast.

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