Category Archives: UPM Assignment 4

UPM Assignment 4

Make a circular or oval painting of an area in your house, either from life or from a photograph. Refer to the work you produced in the exercises to choose a subject and composition that works well. Use heavyweight paper, card or board as a surface to paint onto.

I confess, I haven’t painted anything oval for this part of the course (the math involved in making an oval seemed to much like work work) , I also haven’t painted on a paper plate (did that in part 1)

I was thinking about painting thin to create something similar to 4.3, and I was drawn to objects on the mantlepiece in the lounge

However I looked around at the window ledge in the lounge and then the one in the hall

In terms of The poetics of space and Gaston Bachelard’s sense of objects, 2 of the photos have containers in them and the 3rd is looking up, so a sense of power in the items.

The containers placed in art ask the question about the contents, is the viewer looking forward to recieving that contents? or is there trepidation at the unknown? One of the containers -the milk bottle- is clear, the contents is visible and it is empty, so does that mean all the power of this as a container is gone? this intrigued me as an idea, so the geranium plant became the focus of my thoughts.


Then I realised it wasn’t the geranium per se

So worked up some oil sketches to explore the shape of the bottle.

The colours on the shelf were intriguing though and I was reminded of Helen Frankenthaler’s use of colour and the random element to express herself. So I played with the colours of the plant


Idea finalised, I worked up 3 a1 sheets with wet on wet acylic ink, chose the central point for my circle and in as few lines as I could, sketched up my idea in oil paint.


I used this one for the first sketch because I had chosen a too red red to express the flowers so it seemed a good place to start. However, I felt there was perhaps still too much information. I was toying with the idea of just putting a black disc on the painted surface¬† to express an unknown ‘in’ but felt this wouldn’t tell anything about the empty see-through milk bottle.

More confidently I moved on to no.2


This had a really pleasing simplicity, the shapes worked and there is a sense of on and the container that may not even be there.

I wanted to play with the highlights so moved on to no.3


This again announced the bottle, perhaps more clearly than before so my choice was between 2 paintings.

I picked no.2 because I felt it explained itself as much as it needed to without telling the entire story.

I presented it on black card and have added the round others to help positioning rather than add the geranium plant to explain too much. It is on my plan chest in the shed, this point is central to your view as you enter the space and I have always had it in mind to use it to display the latest work.


I am realy satisfied with how this piece works. it mirrors the non offensive palette of Frankenthaler  and stays light, much like the window ledge on a sunny evening.

I am surprised to be able to step away from something with so little information in it. Steps moving forward. This part of the course has made me more aware of time and not getting bogged down in a picture, I will continue to do thin portraits, the practise is good for my arm which has an uncomfortable ache if I raise it above elbow height, this is not mirrored in the right arm so I’m putting this down to painting from the shoulder. Think of it as the pain is making sure I don’t paint too long…

I need to write up the American modern artists exhibition I went to at the Ashmolean and finish off 2 episodes of Civilisations to complete the notes. We have a good rolling programme of exhibitions at the Young Gallery which I will get to next week.