The story of university as told by a mature student

So today I start my next step, I enroll onto my final degree year at a new university. This is my story of the first day updated as often as possible.

9am
The daughter is at school, it’s raining and I am very wet. Decided I’m gonna wear comfort over style today so I opt for my jeans and hoodie and some nice comfy (paint covered) black boots. After over thinking things I decide that I need my war face on (make up). I generally don’t wear make up as I simply don’t feel the need to, however today I will be (hopefully) meeting alot of new people, and I have found that a woman with no make up on are often looked upon as overly confident and it makes other people (mainly other woman) feel insecure.
Waiting for my carpool guests to arrive before I set off I listen to a whole host of sexist male jokes spewing from the only male in the groups mouth whilst he tries to calm everyone’s nerves  including his own and giggling along with him knowing full well it is meant in jest and replying with get out my house you male pig.

10am
So after completely ignoring the fact that I was going to return to my degree, for the entire summer I am now sat here all student like. One leg slung over the arm of the chair leaning back against the other side; sipping a hot mocha; wearing my cosy new hoodie, with the school logo on, proudly; whilst conversing with my friends who are joining me on the epic mission of life.

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My nerves are on the edge of their seat. I have no idea what to expect from the day as each university is different. We are literally sat in the nearest dryest place to our registration point. Am I excited for the journey ahead or completly nervous about joining this new university on the final year of the degree?

1130am
Registration was very straight forward. Hand over identification and acceptance letter, get given back a new student card.
I am now officially a fine art degree student at Teesside university.

My nerves and anxiety gave me a sudden boost of adrenaline and I currently feel like I could run a few miles.
So we have just been told to go wait upstairs for a tutor to come along and wait by the couches.. what couches. So we have pulled up some floor and are sat giggling away in our little group to the adrenaline fueled stories of the summer whilst the freshers look on in distaste of being by themselves. ( I have been their it is not pleasant experiencing it all by yourself especially in a new city.)

12pm
After quickly looking around at the MA exhibition we decide to grab some lunch. We head back to the pub we claimed when we arrived and find a rather short menu which without our student loans we (I) can’t afford.

2pm
I’ve been really itching to get in the library. After spending 2 years at the local college, which has such a small library without a single feminism book, I find the current one a bit overwhelming. Everything is number coded not a label in site. We haven’t had our library induction so we cannot use the computers to find certain books yet so I head off for a wander through the stacks and stacks. All put so closely together that u cannot pass in the isles over 2 large floors. I found an entire section dedicated to feminism and the opposite masculinity. In the final section of the library all the art books were found although I have noticed quite a few scattered between the shelves and biology would be a good stop off for research to.
Yes I am a geek.. I am a degree student after all how can I not be.

4pm
Just arrived home safe.
I spent the rest of the afternoon sampling the freshers fair. Filling my stomach with free pizza, sweets, cookies, cola and spring rolls. Picking up a free tshirt and loads of leaflets that will most likely go straight in the bin when I get sorted. I am looking forward to my free greggs lunch tomorrow.
The adrenaline has left my body and the anxiety has passed and I am now left exhausted faced with a messy house from the final summer Weekend booze up with the besties and lover.

So that’s the story for the day

Thankfully I don’t have to deal with the terror of leaving home for the first time and living in halls this time round.
I spent a good part of the summer getting aquainted with the city so I have become quite accustomed to it.

I just can’t wait to get my studio and get started on my work.

Till tomorrow.

Mel x

Final Major Project. Week Five

Week 5

Continuation of lady on red.

creating the correct proportion
creating the correct proportion

The proportion of the head to the body was incorrect so I have enlarged it but I am struggling to get it correct.

I am wanting the head turned into the shoulder to give her a look of shyness. The curve of the spine was too low so I positioned it higher and flattened out the back and increased the size of the breast.

The arm is just suggested line as anything more and it will be a distraction from the form.

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correcting errors in proportion
correcting errors in proportion

Having the head shortened to bring the face further into the shoulder works better. The line of the arm directs the viewers eye directly up to eye of the lady

The hair of the lady needs texture but adding too much will be distracting and too little will look flat. I solved this by adding in contrast then obliterating it with another layer of red paint which simplified it.

finished lady in red
finished lady in red

I finished the week by planning and building a canvas for another painting of the same size and style but in blue as a direct contrast to the warm red.

Final Major Project. Week Four

After concentrating heavily on mono printing and the female form I decided to have a very in-depth think about what I am doing and why.
My conclusion:

Within my practise I have become aware of the constant re-occurrence of line and geometric shapes. I am drawn to the beautiful aesthetic of the female form which to me is the symbol of life (another common repeating theme within my work.)
Currently I am very drawn to the contrast between a square and a circle.

I am attempting to recreate a print, that I created last week, onto canvas.

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I have built a canvas that is 4ft x 4ft out of pine with a double cross bar in the centre. my chosen palette of colour is acrylic crimson red, cadium red, cobalt blue to add shade and black and white for definition

starting point
starting point

The red square on white of the print worked very well in the print.
Having the background the same colour as the body helps create a lack of definition for the female from the background.

Having the solid colour as a background and then working into it also saves time blocking in areas at a later date and gives a fuller picture faster than starting with just line which works well with mono printing.

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drawing the figure
drawing the figure

I have drawn the figure in so that all the lines direct the eye to the head.
I have added a solid black line around parts of the body to give the illusion of form as it adds shading

I am keeping my painting quite simple and suggestive rather than photographic as that is my chosen style, and it is not meant to be fully representational.

Final Major Project, Week Two

Week Two

So this week has been a bit slow. I have mainly been playing dot to dot all week with my daughter as she is suffering from chicken pox!

I have been concentrating heavily on the up coming exhibition to be held in June. I have taken the role of organiser and designer of our end of year show catalogue.
some highlights from this week:

visiting our old gallery
visiting our old gallery
result from marketing meeting.
result from marketing meeting.
experimenting with oil paint
experimenting with oil paint

biggest achievement of the week:

I have gained sponsorship for our upcoming exhibition from The Northern Echo for £250 for the group!

Final Major Project, Week One

week one

After a workshop on mono-printing with Sara Cooper at Navigator North, I was inspired to create mono prints and experiment with presentation. Rather than the usual technique I tend to use of getting an impression of the ink through drawing on the reverse of the paper I choose to draw directly into the ink.

book trial of mono print
book trial of mono print
mono print framed book
mono print framed book

I also happily came across a lot of floristry wire. so I happily played with form.

3d drawing of female form in wire
3d drawing of female form in wire

At this point in the project I am still researching the history of art and the female form as well as being heavily involved in the planning of our final exhibition.

Final Major Project previous weeks

featured image is a dry point etching trailing technique

work leading up to week 1

Topic: Female form

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life drawing 1

a major requirement on a human form is life drawing. I booked my own model and drew 4 images as a starting point.

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self portrait outlines in line and colour

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I love the simplicity of lines and the curves of the female figure
this was a idea generating exercise

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mono prints

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mono prints as part of idea generating.

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collage

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After a weekend at CCAD doing the ‘Draw weekend’ I became influenced in making collage and mixed this with my life drawing and love of repetitive line.

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wood cut prints

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more idea generating using simple imagery