Looking back over the course of the year a great deal has changed in the way I approach and think about my practice. Although I wasn't aware, I was reworking ideas I already knew and had fallen into creating formulaic images. I think that's why it took me a while to get my thinking up to speed in terms of articulating my intention. (I still know I have some way to go on this). I was relieved to be accepted on the course as I felt that I applied late, but found the early stages quite daunting. The work that I made of take two influences was hideous and I felt uncomfortable working within my first constraints of the course. Having said that, I really enjoyed the FFF task and have used many of the techniques I explored since, for example collaging to create composite images, and painting on paper. In particular I have learnt that it is important not just to work from canvas to canvas, or on multiple paintings simultaneously; it is the collecting, constructing and experimenting in between which supports the larger works. I wouldn't want to stop these all together but I understand the value of using smaller scale and more rapid processes to explore ideas. I found the case study very useful although missed marks as I approached more like a VE rather than a PC essay. It has been strange going back to studying now that I'm a teacher as never before have I been aware of success criteria and assessment bands. I want to get a good mark but I also want to learn rather than just ticking boxes. I felt that the supporting practical work was successful, in particular the altered book which I would like to develop further, perhaps through sketchbooks or other relevant publications. The mapping the territory task was challenging but I enjoyed making the work and discussing it at open studios. I let myself down by not creating a supporting blurb - where I had been working on it for so long, I felt that I knew the maps well and didn't go the extra step to make them clearer to others. However, they did support fruitful discussions and made me work in a different way.
I have tried really hard to be a better learner, a professional learner, and respond to constructive criticism. After the July assessment it was made clear to me that my 'reflection' was not explicit enough. I didn't realise that this was the case so discussed strategies to improve my reflection. I have always felt rather exposed by the course. It has been a brave step to write about and show my work in a public forum and now using the 'reflection' subtitle I am able to reflect on what I write without assuming that it is integrated in my main paragraph. I found the VE essay very constructive and discovered lots of pairings which I will use in my practical work. The BB task was really hard; I think this was because I know that I can rely on myself to get things done but I had to trust that others would give a truthful response, or return work to me. It did however allow me to work through my ideas about audience and how I should communicate ideas to the viewer.
My personal practice plan describes how I intend to develop my practice in context of showing work, personal and professional development so this will help me to kick start strategies in the new year. I intend to do some book based work and take some of my compositions into bigger paintings with particular reference to the Tate's Alice exhibition. Although the time constraints working full time have put pressure on my completion of tasks, I feel very enriched by doing the course and reassessing my work/life balance. I have found dialogue with tutors and other course members generally positive although some of the cohort have found it difficult working in a bubble. However, I anticipated that distance learning would be like this and it works very well for me. Time is very limited but I would like to speak to others more frequently via skype and feel that we should use a group crit strategy to give feedback on practical work. This also something I would like to do in the studios so I can build links for dialogue opportunities so as not to work in a vacuum. I have also had feedback from people who read my blog which has been really positive so I will continue to actively write and record my research in this way.
I am really looking forward to the holidays and what the new year will bring:) bye for now x