Saturday 30 January 2021

Know Your Onions! Key Research: Das Soldatenbad by Kirchner

 As an example of a key piece of research, I will be looking at Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Das Soldatenbad (The Solider Bath or Artillerymen) 1915.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) started his career studying Architecture at the Dresden Technical High School in 1901.  Kirchner soon realised that with his radical ideas and outlook he would move into fine art.  In 1905 with his friends Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, he created  Die Brücke ("The Bridge.").  The idea was to create a movement that bridged classical style and avant-garde thinking. 'Die Brücke expressed extreme emotion through crude lines and a vibrant, unnatural color palette.' (The Art Story 2021) Kirchner was particularly interested in Albrecht Dürer and much of his work was inspired by Dürer's wood cuttings and the neo-impressionists.  De Brucke ended in 1913 by this time Kirchner wanted to find his own identity as an artist, moving away from the nude and the studio, Kirchner wanted to look at the city streets, alienation and industrialisation. During this time 'Kirchner depicted crowds of people with bold, expressive brushstrokes and in brash colors of blue, green, orange, and pink. Perspective was often skewed, the figures looming and teetering either toward or away from the picture plane, as a rejection of the academic conventions that he learned in his architecture courses.' (The Art Story 2021).  

In 1914 Kirchner volunteered for military service in World War I and discharged in 1915 as he suffered a nervous breakdown.  The painting Das Soldatenbad was painted immediately after his release along with other works such as Self-Portrait as a Soldier.  This depicts himself as a soldier with an amputated hand however Kircher did not lose a hand in the war. 

In 1918 Kirchner moved to Switzerland and focussed on mountain scenes. 'By 1933, Kirchner’s art was declared "degenerate" by the Nazis. As a result, over 600 of his pieces were confiscated from public museums, and were either destroyed or sold. Due to the distress of his art being destroyed and the Nazi occupation close to his home, he committed suicide in 1938 in Frauenkirch, Switzerland.' (artnet 2021) 

Das Soldatenbad by Kirchner

This painting was originally purchased by Alfred Flechtheim in 1919, in 1935 Fletchman 'wrote in a 1935 letter to the Museum of Modern Art’s founding director Alfred H. Barr Jr.: “I lost all my money and all my pictures.” ' (Wexelman A. 05/10/2018) as the Nazis had raided his house, Fletchmann died in 1937 and his family has since had a long battle to recover the picture that rightly belonged to them. 

Kirchner created this painting to show the harsh realities of war, he painted this immediately upon his release from military service.  Kirchner wanted to show the human form in 'its most nascent, uninhibited state. The mask-like faces of the soldiers, nudity, and angular gestures in Das Soldatenbad reveal the artist’s preference for spontaneous, unmediated depictions of the body, divorced from the rigorous constraints of academic painting.' (Sothebys 2020).  The power of the work is the vulnerability of the naked soldiers with the dressed guard shouting at them as they are pressed closely together under the heat of the shower.  The furnace making this environment volatile and inhuman. 

Kirchner made sketches of this work prior to the final painting, this one just sketched in ink pen.  It was common for him to base his final paintings on his sketches.  'He never made use of detailed preparatory drawings. He explained that they were not a “benefit,” since “forms arise and undergo change during the process of work….” Jotted-down impressions found in his sketchbooks provided the seeds for paintings of all kinds.' (MOMA n.d)

Kirchner liked to experiment with many techniques and mediums from charcoal, pastel, oil and ink and though these mediums he believed they all offered different ways to expression in his work. 'Kirchner believed this kind of visual discovery was a prime responsibility of the artist and he talked about “a vital love of life”10 derived from such drawings. Yet what is revealed in them is not only the essence of the observed phenomenon, but also the artist’s own temperament.'  (MOMA n.d) Das Soldatenbad also references works by Cezanne and Degas and later on would influence neo expressionists such as George Baselitz.  

Kirchner was passionate about his work and created hundreds of paintings and drawings in his short lifetime.  He carried with him a diary/sketchbook and drew and wrote through the day.  He also was very keen on photography and produced thousands of negatives. He loved to give work away to friends and colleagues.  I will leave you now with a few thoughts from Kirchner himself...

'You can do anything. Nothing is forbidden.'

'If suffering can be transformed into creativity... I want to try it.'

'A painter paints the appearance of things, not their objective correctness. In fact, he creates new appearances of things.'


Wexelman A. (05/10/2018) Artsy Editorial: The Guggenheim returned a Kirchner painting to the heirs of a Jewish art dealer.[Online] Available from: (Accessed 30/01/21) 

Sothebys (2020) Masterpieces from the Alfred Flechtheim Collection: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Das Soldatenbad (Artillerymen) [Online] Available from: (Accessed 30/01/21) 

The Art Story (2021) Biography of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner [Online] Available from: (Accessed 30/01/21) 

Artnet (2021) Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Biography [Onlie] Available from: (Accessed 30/01/21) 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (2021) Ernst Ludwig Kirchner [Online] Available from: 30/01/21) 

Bowness A. (1985) Modern European Art. Thames & Hudson. London

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (2021) Britannica Academic. Retrieved 30 January 2021, from

MOMA (n.d.) Kirchner's Working Process [Online] Available from: (Accessed 01/02/2021)

Media: Project Plan - Is this the end?

 This is my project plan for the Media photography project I will be carrying out this term.

Noel Fielding (2015) Been talking to Jesus all my life

Project Title: Is this the end?

Progression Route: Photography

Describe your major project objective using the SMART acronym

To create a collection of six photographic images that are Expressionist/Neo-Expressionist in style and are based on themes relating to the end times. These images will be taken using a digital DSLR camera and the effects will be in-camera, Photoshop will only be used as quality control to ensure consistency throughout the project. The final images will be added to my website in a new gallery. These will be completed by the beginning of March.

Why have you chosen to do this project?

I am very interested in the expressionist work and that period in history from early to middle 20th century with both World Wars. Now we live in different times and face another kind of threat and I want to explore the idea of end times and Revelation through this work. I want to find ways to express this through photography, exploring photography techniques and composition.

Who are you researching for this project? Please list at least three media producers, authors, musicians, photographers etc.

I will be researching Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Helmut Newton and Weegee. I will also look further into the films Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr Calgari for their expressionist methods.

What techniques/skills are you developing/learning for this project?

I may explore night photography, further however I am interested in considering further the frame and composition and will be using many indoor shots as this is our life today.

What do you expect the final outcome of the project to be?

The final outcome of this project will be a set of six images that will be on a gallery on my website. I will also physically output these in hard copy. These images will reflect the end times, I am considering the maniacal laughter and madness that comes when the world seems to be falling.

What have you completed so far for this project?

I have developed and researched my initial ideas, I have considered the equipment and resources I will need/use. I now need to create some test shots and sketches as my next step.

What do you think will be the issues/drawbacks to the project?

As always, time is against me and I will need to ensure that I stick to a strictly disciplined plan to ensure that this will be completed in a timely manner. I also am concerned that I won't get the shots I want, and will need ot reshoot several times.

What is your timescale considering that this has to be completed by Week 10?

Week Three: Project Sign off and this plan!

Week Four: To begin sketching and test shot practice, to consider different compositional techniques and the content of each image

Week Five: To continue to take test shots. Add further research and look closely at other artists techniques

Week Six
: Continue to work on the photographs, aim to finalise at least two of these by this time

Week Seven: Further research and finalising at least 3 more of the photographs

Week Eight: Look at website design and update, start to consider portfolio presentation. Complete all pieces ready for portfolio

Week Nine: Quality check everything and write an introduction on the portfolio and complete ready for the deadline.

What resources or materials will you need for this project?

I will be using a DSLR Camera probably my Olympus OM-2 and My Compact camera Olympus Stylus SH-2. I will also be using a tripod, self timer/remote. Photographic printer. Props, Photoshop

Draw a picture/Write a sentence/sketch a story/write a dialogue that captures the essence of your project

'It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed.' (Revelation 13:15) This resonated with the idea of dictatorships and the forced worship of evil.

We do not face evil now but something more indiscriminate, this is a different kind of fear.

Art & Design and Media Project Sign Off

 I have completed my project sign off as an example for both art & design and media here: Zoe Van-de-Velde Project Sign Off.  

Below is a photograph by Weegee.  Weegee (1899-1968) was a self-taught photographer who had emigrated the United States from the Ukraine he changed his name to Arthur so that it was more American sounding.  Weegee was employed by newspapers and photographed crime scenes, he was allowed a police radio in his car so that he could be one of the first on the scene. He also photographed the city street, politicians and celebrities, published book, and had exhibitions during his own lifetime of his work, respected by both the fine art community and the media. 


ICP (2021) Artist: Weegee Biography [Online] Available from: (Accessed 30/01/21) 

Thursday 28 January 2021

Thinking Picture..

 To help me think and work out how I wanted to create my work this term, I worked on this painting, it is not completed however as I was doing this I knew exactly what I did and did not want to do for my paintings.

What I did like was the size of the canvas which was 10 X 12 inches this size worked well for me and so I will be ordering these online.  I primed the canvas and sketched prior to the painting and as I was doing this I realised I would like to create only black and white work so I will use a colour palette of greys.  I have now also have ideas about what each picture will be I will put up sketches of these shortly so that you can see what I intend.  

I obviously still need to work on my drawing/painting skills and I will share my practice with you as I go along.

Monday 25 January 2021

Art Portfolio: Project Plan Expressionism and End of Times

 In this post, I will go through my project plan for the term for my project. This term as I am doing both art and media projects I have kept to the same theme for both end of times and using expressionism.

My SMART outcome is as follows:

This term I will use the theme of Expressionism to create six 2D pieces.  These will be created using drawing/painting.  I will probably use traditional methods however I may experiment using digital drawing as well. The concept for these pieces will be end times to reflect the world situation emulating the German Expressionists and their images of World War I & II. The final images will be scanned/photographed and digitised for the portfolio on my website.  

Why have you chosen to do this project?

I have chosen this project as I am very interested in the German expressionist and this period in history between the First and Second World Wars.  I believe that as we are now we are in a different kind of crisis with the pandemic there is similarities in the sense that the world will be changed because of this.  This pandemic has had major economic, social and societal effects and this has changed our future, particularly in the next few years.  I have stated the end times in my objective however I really mean changing times, a future disrupted and altered. I want to express this through this work. 

Who are you researching for this project? Please list at least three artists and/or designers and your additional research on your concept 

As stated in my previous post on initial research I will be looking at Otto Dix, George Grosz and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.  In terms of the concept of end times/changed times I will look at different theories that predict end times and theories on the outcome of this crisis.  

What techniques/skills are you developing/learning for this project?

The skills and techniques I will be exploring and hopefully, improving will be my drawing and painting skills, as I am a photographer I always want to improve these skills as I am not naturally talented in this area. Also, I am particularly interested in this style of drawing/painting and it appeals to my own sensibilities.  I would like to experiment with different mediums and I will see what suits the work and my burgeoning skills best!

What do you expect the final outcome of the project to be?

The final outcome will be a collection of six 2D drawings/paintings that I expect to show a consistent theme and colour palette (this is another area I will be experimenting with ) that will be placed in a gallery that best showcases this work on my website.

What have you completed so far for this project?

I have completed initial research on both concept and theme and through this plan, I aim to have set tasks to complete each week to ensure that the project moves forward and I have deadlines to meet.

What do you think will be the issues/drawbacks to the project?

The main issues I can see are my own drawing/painting skills and improving these sufficiently.  Also, the consistency of the pieces will be very important to ensure that this is a collection that will really come together. 

Obviously, my own skills just need practice and work.  The consistency and narrative through the pieces will need much more thought and consideration.

What is your timescale considering that this has to be completed by Week 10?

Week Three: Project Sign off and this plan!

Week Four:  To begin sketching and practice, to consider different color palettes and look at the narrative through the pieces

Week Five: To continue to sketch and start to work on the pieces.  Add further research and look closely at other artists techniques  

Week Six:  Continue to work on the pieces, aim to finalise at least one of these by this time 

Week Seven:  Further research and finalising at least 3 more of the pieces 

Week Eight: Look at website design and update, start to consider portfolio presentation.  Complete all pieces and photograph/scan these for the portfolio 

Week Nine: Quality check everything and write an introduction on the portfolio and complete ready for the deadline. 

What resources or materials will you need for this project?

The resources and materials I will need are cartridge paper, a set of pencils, charcoal pencils, acrylics, paintbrushes, palette, canvasses (possibly),  digital tablet with drawing/painting app

Draw a picture/Write a sentence/sketch a story/write a dialogue that captures the essence of your project

The passion I have will drive this work and through artistic expression, I hope to find a universal meaning that will touch the viewer 

Sunday 24 January 2021

Media: Visual Project Development & Research

 I have created an infographic on Visme to show a visual representation of my project development and research.  This can be viewed full screen here.  This is my development of ideas for a project using expressionist photography techniques.  I am hoping that this explains further how I plan to work on these ideas. 

Thursday 21 January 2021

Media: SMART Objective

 I have been developing my idea for my Media project as stated previously this needed to be in conjunction with my art project this term where I was using Expressionism.  However, here is an example of neo-expressionism by David Bowie - I will also be exploring neo-expressionism in my photography research.

SMART Objective

To create a collection of six photographic images that are Expressionist/Neo-Expressionist in style and are based on themes relating to the end times.  These images will be taken using a digital DSLR camera and the effects will be in-camera, Photoshop will only be used as quality control to ensure consistency throughout the project.  The final images will be added to my website in a new gallery.  These will be completed by the beginning of March. 

Saturday 16 January 2021

Media: Developing an Idea - Expressionist photography

 As I am working in both Art and Media classes and my project for Art is in Expressionism I have chosen to develop an idea using Expressionist photography for Media class. This will mean I will have a clear theme through both projects.

I began developing this by looking at Expressionist films of the 1920's as the idea of German expressionist photography was: 'art in which the image of reality is distorted in order to make it expressive of the artist's inner feelings or ideas.' (Tate 2021) 

Nosferatu (1922) was a seminal film of this era.  The film is loosely based on the book by Bram Stoker, Dracula.  The film uses light to create shadows that change in shape and size, also doorways and archways to frame the shots.  The sense of fear and anticipation of horror is palpable. In Sweden this film was banned for excessive horror, the ban was only lifted in 1972.  All known prints and negatives were destroyed of this film under a lawsuit by Bram Stoker's widow.  

The Cabinet of Dr Calgari used similar techniques however many of the sets were made of paper and the shadows painted on the walls.  This was because electricity was in short supply and rationed after World War One so often beams of light had to paint on the walls and using strange camera angles to create the effects that he wanted. The story is fairly simple hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders. The final look of the film is truly trange and teh charaters look fantastic on this strange set. 

I also want to discuss here the photographs of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner as I am studying Kirchner's work in painting for Art, it is important to also look at the images that he took.  He was an avid photographer, in fact the only Expressionist painter who really took an interest in photography - which makes him a perfect study for this as I am creating both paintings and photography in Expressionism. Thie photograph below is quite surreal with teh sculpture of the woman mirroring the real woman in the forefront of the image.

Nina Hard, nude in full figure, putting on make-up, 1921, photograph, 17 x 12.5 cm, unsigned, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,

Kirchner took thousands of photographs and I will explore these in much more detail in later posts.

In terms of devloping the ideas I think this is a good starting point to cosider how I can create Neo- Expresionist photographs.  


Tate (2021) Art Terms: Expressionism [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

Rima Shah Photography (n.d.) German Expressionism [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

IMBd (1990-2021) The Cabinet of Dr Calgari [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

IMBd (1990-2021) Nosferatu [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

Apollo Magazine () Kirchner: The Painter as Photographer [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

Initial Research: Expressionism & War

 Following the last post let's look more closely at Otto Dix who I discussed briefly in a previous post but who will be an important influence in my project work. I will look at the biography here of Dix as this is integral to his work and his experiences in the War. 

Otto Dix

Otto Dix was born in 1891, Dix always showed an interest in Art and studies at Saxon School of Arts and Crafts. Here he was influenced by many other artists however he stated that his greatest influences were Goethe, Nietzsche and The Bible.  Dix signed up for war after Arch Duke Ferdinand was assassinated and in 1915 he was assigned to a machine-gun unit on the front line.  He was wounded several times throughout the war. In August 1918, he served in Flanders where he took a nearly fatal wound to the neck.  During the war, Dix kept a diary and a sketchbook and this became the basis for 50 prints that he created just called - The War.  (Dix 2009).

Later in life Dix was married and became a professor at the Kunstakademie in Dresden.  he stayed here until the Nazi rise to power in 1933.  Dix was stripped of his professorship and his work was displayed at the Degenerate Art Museum in Munich. They were later destroyed. Dix went to live quietly just painting landscapes and refused to leave Germany, he was conscripted to war again in the latter half of WWII but was captured and spent most of this in a French Prisoner of War camp.  He died in 1969 and continued to make art until his death. (Dix 2009).

This is one of the prints created from his sketchbook from World War I.  Here you can see the horror and pain almost screaming from the man's face.  Terrible wounds look as if the man's stomach is just a black hole, his arm askew at an unnatural angle. Dix stated: 'For years, [I] constantly had these dreams in which I was forced to crawl through destroyed buildings, through corridors through which I couldn’t pass. The rubble was always there in my dreams.' (Tate 2021) Dix created these pieces using the corrosive processes of etching and aquatint mediums in which acid etches a metal printing plate—to heighten the sense of decay.

Why look at these images in relation to my project?  The World Wars at the beginning of the 20th Century we're in a time of crisis, uncertainty and destruction and horror.  The after-effects of both wars are what we are living today.  These wars determined our future.  This time that we are in now will determine another future.  It seemed to me before the Covid 19 crisis that technology was making people more isolated and lonely with less real social contact and now we all are avoiding social contact and working remotely.  This will have a profound effect on the future - I don't believe everything will just 'go back to normal' there will be a new normal.

George Grosz

George Grosz also enlisted in the military in World War I (as did Adolf Hitler) as he thought it would be good for his artwork.  He did not foresee with the latest in military technology the utter horror he would face - these experiences haunted him for the rest of his life.  While Hitler was rising to power Grosz use his art to create satirical images of the radical right-wing and to show the public what they were capable of.  When Hitler came into power Grosz and his wife and children had to flee to New York to escape death threats from the Nazis.  He left just in time a few days later the Nazis raided his home and studio. Gros believed that the most important thing an artist could contribute to the world was social criticism

This image features high standing people in society who supported Fascism including; politicians, clergy, businessmen and in the background the military generals.  The figures are ugly, self-satisfied and arrogant as they take over society and watch others suffer who oppose them. 

The above image Grosz created after he had gone to visit his home country, Germany in 1936.  This self portrait expresses his anxiety horrified by what he saw and could see that Germany was heading for another war; Grosz stated; 'I could not explain exactly what was really troubling me. But after I had returned to the States, my paintings became prophetic. I was compelled by an inner warning to paint destruction and ruins; some of my paintings I called ‘Apocalyptic Landscapes,’ though that was quite some time before the real thing took place.” (MIA 2021)

Grosz used oil painting, sketching, and mixed media in his work and he continued to paint throughout his lifetime, although he never regained his prewar renown. Grosz died in 1959, he had returned to Germany after the war but struggled with drinking which led to his death. 

Considering Grosz and his work, it reminds me very much of John Heartfield who also raged against the right-wing and Hitler before he came to power and who also fled to the USA.  These artists should make us consider what our role in society is and should we involve ourselves in social criticism? Is it our duty as visual artists to reflect the world back at itself?

I have looked at these two artists in relation to concept and to some extent technique however, I think I need to look more at technique and how I will really learn the technique.  As seen from my previous posts I was looking at Kirchner, I enjoy Kirchner as I think it looks simple, and yet I do not think that it really is.  The painting looks naive and childlike at times but there is a depth to the images - as shown below.  The artist uses rapid brush strokes and bold colours. 'He sought to distil his subject matter into what he termed ‘primordial’ signs; the bold, pared-down vocabulary of line and form evident in such works as Self-Portrait with Model (1910; Hamburg, Kunsthalle).'(Elan Vital n.d) I liked this idea of simplicity, boldness, and the line as I think that I might be able to achieve something like this in my own work.  The next steps I will take will be to start practicing the technique. 


Otto Dix (2009) The Online Otto Dix Project [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21) 

Tate (2021) Five Things to Know About Otto Dix [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21) 

MOMA (2021) Otto Dix: Der Krieg [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21) 

Lane M.M (February 2020) The Artist who dared to take on the Nazis from their earliest days [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21) 

Jonathan 5485 (22/01/2011) My Daily Art Display: The Pillars of Society by George Grosz [Online] Available from: 16/01/21) 

Lackman J. (01/07/2010) Art News: His Own Best Critic [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21) 

Elan Vital (n.d.) Elan Vital [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21) 

SMART Objective: Art Portfolio Project

SMART Objective: The End Times

This term I will use the theme of Expressionism to create six 2D pieces.  These will be created using drawing/painting.  I will probably use traditional methods however I may experiment using digital drawing as well. The concept for these pieces will be end times to reflect the world situation emulating the German Expressionists and their images of World War I & II. The final images will be scanned/photographed and digitised for the portfolio on my website.  

Class Development Exercise: Art Portfolio

 Last week I was exploring the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, and discussing the end times. I like the concepts I could bring into play here and  I am still veering toward using expressionism as the theme.  Therefore for this class development exercise, I used the Flag - as flags are extremely powerful, they are symbols of country and patriotism.  In America, the punishment for burning, defiling, or mutilating the flag is a fine and/or imprisonment for up to a year.  

In Danish law, it is banned to burn flags of other nations as this would be a provocation to other nations however burning the Danish flag is absolutely fine!  In China, you can be imprisoned for up to three years for mocking the national anthem by singing it in a sarcastic voice. Burning, defacing, or stomping on the national flag.  Germany punishes anyone who  “reviles or damages” the German federal flag, with offenders receiving up to five years in prison. Nazi flags are banned in Germany and Austria and can only be used for educational purposes. In France as of July 2010, it is a crime to desecrate the French national flag in public and even distribute images of the action being undertaken in a private setting.

So using this powerful symbol I created an end of the world flag. 

I created this using, pencil, watercolour pencil and red marker.  I created the triptych of destruction on the left-hand side and the screaming head on the right to create a terrifying scenario.  The earthnixlings are what we become a kind of nothingness and here the strong will survive and be reborn!


Nosowitz D (25/05/20) Altlas Obscura: Around the World: Things you can't do to flags [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

Beswick E, () EuroNews: Which Country has the harshest punishments for disrespecting their flags [Online] Available from: (Accessed 16/01/21)

Friday 15 January 2021

2D 3D Class: Monochrome

 Okay, today I joined a 2D 3D Class and completed the monochrome task - All of you (art and design students) will have yours on Instagram however since this is a one-off for me I thought I would just share my work here.

This is the image I used, just me as a baby....circa 1975!

This is my picture, I used acrylic as I has no ink handy!

I think I could have worked on it further by adding some darker defining lines, however overall I was actually quite pleased with result. It reminded me a little bit of George Roualt who had quite a few paintings of clowns.

George Rouault began his career working with glass and as he progressed he was interested in using mosaic artworks in churches.  He was a founding member of the fauvist movement and he used a very distinctive style 'He used scribbles, dominant colors, spontaneous figures, and dramatic lighting.' (Sun Signs 2017)

As a religious man, Rouault painted many scenes from the Bible and believed it was his sacred duty to show the sinful nature of society.  


Sun Signs (2017) Georges Rouault Biography [Online] Available from: (Accessed 15.01.21)

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Media Class: 20 Ideas in 20 Minutes

 To begin generating ideas in class we completed 20 ideas in 20 Minutes.  I completed the grid and here it is!

As it quite difficult to decipher my little scribbles here - I will explain the ideas that I thought were good further:

Create a photographic cabinet of curiosities in the manner of the Victorians like these images here:

Something on the nature of touch and isolation so using photography to show how we have not been able to go near people.  Maybe photographing skin or isolation some photographers have been doing this at this time - here this with the window between them.

I have been doing yoga and so I could use timelapse for a yoga routine perhaps there could be something different about this that would make it more interesting.

There are many more ideas here but I need to find one that is challenging and that will become something that has some universal meaning so people really want to look at the images! 

Monday 11 January 2021

Further Exploration of Ideas: Alpha & Omega

 As discussed in my last post my initial ideas on my concept were considering the beginning and the end, the circle of life, and the idea of time.  

Looking further into this and considering Revelation in the Bible, it seems to me that we could be in the time of revelation.

Let's start with the plague of Locusts, locusts appear many times in the bible but they are a symbol of end times  - the bible states: in Revelation 9.1-7 '1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. 7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads, they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.'  

Then there is a plague - with Covid we certainly have this however it is important to note that we have had plagues many times in our history, The Black Death, Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDS and Cholera - these are the big ones.

HIV/AIDS - The figures at present stand at 60 million people infected and 25 million have died.  We are still fighting this throughout the world.

The Black Death (1347-1351) This ravaged Europe and in the space of four years took at least 75 million lives but some estimate up to 200 million.

Spanish Flu - This began in 1918 and ended quickly in 1919 but affected a third of the world's population and took  50 million lives.

Why am I discussing these unhappy topics in relation to my concept?   As I have chosen Expressionism as the theme for my work I think the concept here would go well as the German Expressionists depicted the horrors of war.  Consider these images from Otto Dix:

These images of horror remind me also of Goya's Disasters of War

Although in my own lifetime I have not seen the horror of war in the UK.  there are many wars still raging around the world and as I was stating at the beginning about revelation there is a feeling that though this might not be end times - it certainly is a moment where the world will be changed after this pandemic.  


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (05/03/20) The Five Deadliest Outbreaks and Pandemics in History [Online] Available from:  (Accessed 11/01/21)

KD Outsider Art (10/06/14) Otto Dix: The Madness of Modern Warfare [Online] Available from: (Accessed 11/01/21)

BBC Future Planet (07/08/20) The Biblical Locust Plagues of 2020 [Online]  (Accessed 11/01/21)

Bible Study Tools (08/05/20) Locusts in the Bible [Online] Available from: (Accessed 11/01/21)

The Martians have landed: Alpha & Omega

 As part of the class session, you are going to generate ideas in just images to show the Martians your initial thoughts on your CONCEPT for your major project.  So here is one I created for my own initial ideas.  I created this on a digital tablet. As you can see this does not show my best drawing skills but does try to communicate the ideas that I was thinking about.

The eye here - is the all seeing eye, which could be God, it could be technology, it could be CCTV! It is the idea that we are always witnessed and our actions are always witnessed.  The Alpha and Omega are teh beginning and the end.  In the Bible this is in Revelation 22.13: 'Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates.…' and this is referenced elsewhere as God being the first and the last.  Obviously, the alpha and omega are from the Greek alphabet.

The clock is life ticking by to represent our short time on earth with the symbol also of the baby and the coffin.  The box is like Pandoras box - we do not know how life will turn out as there are so many variables and this is about fate, free will and whether we are in charge of our own destiny.  

These are the themes I would like to research further for the project concept. 

Sunday 10 January 2021

Set Project: First Thoughts

 This term we have a set project this can be viewed here.  The idea is to consider the brief and write down first thoughts.  My first thoughts are that I am drawn strongly to both Earthly Delights and Expressionism. 

I think the problem with earthly delights is that I may do something that is too simple and that I may get lost on a tangent.  

Expressionism on the other hand I have some strong ideas and I would really like to explore and improve my drawing/painting skills this term.  I could do this in conjunction with photographs and mixed media however I think I am more inclined to not try to use photography as something to help me here as this is too much in my comfort zone.  

My thoughts are to go with expressionism, learn further drawing techniques particularly, and if I feel confident enough to experiment with painting as well. 

I could do this by hand on paper or I could use a digital tablet or I could experiment with both and explore whether one works better than the other for me.  

In terms of the actual concept for this series I think this will need further thought and experimentation with ideas to see where that might lead me...

Saturday 9 January 2021

Self-Portrait: Icebreaker

 Here is my 15-minute self-portrait, which was inspired by Egon Schiele.  I used a 3b pencil and charcoal coloured pencils.  Here I feel I have captured some of my inner pain, frustration and anger!  Very therapeutic!

Egon Schiele was a German Expressionist (1880-1918) who, in his short life - he died of Spanish Flu, achieved so much.  The Leopold museum states; [Schiele] 'managed to create an oeuvre that was both symptomatic of and groundbreaking for his times, making him one of the most formative and colorful figures of Viennese Modernism.' (Leopold Museum: 2020).  Schiele created many self-portraits and these pained and divisive images exposed his own inner turmoil but also reflected the zeitgeist of the times.  Schiele used a continuous drawing technique which created intimacy between himself and the sitter.  As Schiele often drew nude figures, he was also arrested and charged with public immorality for distributing obscene drawings (originally he was arrested for seducing and kidnappinng a minor - luckily the charges were downgraded) in 1912 and the police confiscated over 100 drawings. He spent 24 days in jail. (Tate 2021) 

Later on, when Hitler came to power in 1933 Schiel's work was considered to be degenerate art.  Schiele's and other 'degenerates artists work either ended up being auctioned in Switzerland or it was burned in Berned by the Nazis. The joy of expressionist work is that it aims to express what is inside not surface beauty - this is part of the reason that many found this work difficult and private sitters would not pay for something that they would consider to be ugly. 'His decorative commissions for the Wiener Werkstatte - either too abrasive or too sexually explicit - almost invariably went awry, and his portraits were frontal assaults on a sitter's vanity. His profligate habits eventually exasperated his patrons - mostly older men, from whom Schiele expected a fatherly devotion that they were ill-prepared to provide.' ( 2011) After Schiele was imprisoned and he grew older he became less introspective and more outward-looking and his self-portraits reduced.  Schiele went to war in World War I for the Austro-Hungarian army and this changed his outlook and his work.  Schiele in his own life only managed a fairly small amount of success as an artist and a very small income.  

A brilliant man, ahead of his times, managed much in his short life. 


Leopold Museum (2021) Egon Schiele [Online] Available from: (Accessed 09/01/21)

Tate (2021) Tate Liverpool: Five things to know: Egon Schiele [Online] Available from: (Accessed 09/01/21)

Egon Schiele (2011) Egon Schiele: Paintings [Online] Available from: (Accessed 09/01/21)

Friday 8 January 2021

Welcome to Spring Term 2021!

 Welcome to Spring Term 2021!  Another lockdown so another opportunity to really explore new artists, new skills and create new work.  

I wanted to start this term with the artist Peter Blegvad.  He created a series I was taken with called: 'Observed, Imagined, Remembered' and I thought since we are now often in the position of imagining and remembering this would be a great place to begin.

Born in 1951 in New York City. Blegvad created a name for himself as a musician, songwriter, cartoonist and writer.  I first encountered his work in Atlas anthology III published by the Atlas Press.  In this he discusses his Observed, Imagined, Remembered series of works as shown above.

Blegvad states: 'At work, I was often required to depict things that I could not, without recourse to a model, render 'realistically', but for which I could usually invent recognisable hieroglyphs (as a cartoon is a hieroglyph) by basing these on an eidetic approximation of the particular item which I could 'see' with that undissectible organ, the 'mind's eye.  In my immaturity, I sometimes experienced a kind of vertigo when drawing, for a client, things purely imagined or remembered them to be.' (Brotchie A & Green M. 1985)

Blegvad also wrote a book (much later on) Imagine, Observe Remember - Here is an example page below

Blegvad : 'I wanted to be a poet and/or an artist, but I was very lazy (frightened of failure, I guess) and drank too much. I spent years in the Forty-second Street library planning a book about how to freeze time, and began an encyclopedia of everything in the world depicted thrice. That’s a project I’m still working on.' (Bruno F. 01/11/2009) 

Why I find this work so interesting is that he created it out of not knowing how something looked and was interested in how things changed in your mind's eye after you had spent time away from it.  There is a curiosity here and Blegvad has created many of these throughout his lifetime.  The original images in the Atlas book were of Listz (the composer), Larynx, Loch Lomond and Louris.  

Take a look at a couple of these here:


Heller S. (12/09/20) Design Observer, Imagine, Observe, Remember [Online] Available from: (Accessed 08/01/21)

Bruno F. (01/11/2009) The Believer, An Interview with Peter Blegvad [Onlne] Available from:  (Accessed 08/01/21)

Ed. Brotchie A & Green M. (1985) Atlas Anthology III. Atlas Press, London