It has been slow, but finally this relatively small painting is finished. Started earlier in the summer with a month-long trip that involved considerable staring out to the horizon on the north Atlantic seas around Orkney, and finished on our return.
Although the idea for the work was essentially in place before the journey north a number of combinations of ideas and occurrences are playing their part in this painting and the steps on to the subsequent pieces now being developed. The countless watercolours made of the Orcadian landscape and coast, the ever-present geometry of the horizon so present around the sea and a treeless landscape. Then there was the visit to an exhibition of Laura Drever’s work at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness. Whilst her work is considerably less geometric than mine, we share landscape interests and a surprisingly similar way of layering imagery up.
For me the work hints and opens the door further on the series of pieces I’ve been developing since the start of the year. More subtle and sensitive that the brasher and brighter paintings from the spring. More to follow……
Written at the end of last school year, but a nice post to start the year with……
The weeks are ticking away until the end of the school year. Three lessons to go with the group of twelve and thirteen year olds that I teach. The temptation is to go for something passive and comfortably time filling. But I want to give them one last push, but also engage them with a little fun.
Renaissance art, and in particular architecture as it is found in the paintings of the period
The skills needed
A little digital knowhow on at least one of the platforms we were using
The technical bit…..
Using, or learning to use one of the following digital design possibilities
The Sims (A new one for me in an educational context…I wondered if it would be a bit too restrictive in its possibilities. In the end I feel I was generally proved correct)
The class had heard a while back that I have been known to use Minecraft as a creative tool for building assignments. They’d been nagging me a little bit to do something similar with them. These last few lessons of the year were an ideal opportunity.
The assignment was a very simple one. I had a PowerPoint of a selection of images or renaissance paintings, and in particular images that showed examples of Renaissance architecture. The pupils simply had to choose one of the buildings and try and recreate it on their favoring design platform, and perhaps add to it a little in an appropriate way.
For SketchUp and Tinkercad I had to start with a short demonstration into how the software worked and what a few of the possibilities were. But with Minecraft and the Sims no assistance was needed. Within thirty minutes of the start of the first lesson the room settled down and we were off! Focused looks on the faces, mouse hand moving in its familiar erratic jumps. And this point it was quite easy to leave the room to go and get myself a cup of coffee, on my return I could see the start of their Renaissance inspired worlds starting to take shape.
Minecraft is a favourite amongst the pupils. It is familiar and the idea that you are actually allowed to use it for a school assignment does have something of a special attraction. But it is the work done on SketchUp and Tinkercad that I enjoy watching unfold the most. In both cases you create your own building elements, the software has more flexibility for refined work, and the icing on the cake as far as Tinkercad is concerned, we can make the final step of 3d printing the results.