Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Sophie Scholl Portrait

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been attempting to produce a thousand paintings in a year. Admittedly they are little more than quick oil sketches.
Quick oil sketch of anti-Nazi political activist, Sophie Scholl by UK artist, Wayne Chisnall, 2020

This one is intended as a tribute to one of my heroes, Sophie Scholl. She was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within WhiteRose, the non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. After being found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich (LMU) with her brother, Hans, the Nazis convicted her of high treason and executed her at the guillotine.

This small oil painting of Sophie, painted on an old book cover, also features a version of her last words,
"Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go... What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"

Saturday, 25 January 2020

2020 Painting Challenge

A few years ago, as a way to help increase the flow of creative ideas and increase drawing speed, I went through a phase whereby I wouldn't allow myself to go to sleep at night until I'd done at least ten drawings. Admittedly a lot of them where little more than scribbles but it produce some interesting images that I was later able to work with, and proved a usefully exercise for getting the creative juices flowing.

Bound Form, 2020, oil on plywood by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

With that I mind I was thinking that it might be interesting to try and attempt something similar but with painting. I was wondering if it would be possible to produce a thousand paintings, albeit small ones, in a year - which would be almost three paintings a day. I think that maintaining that output over a whole year would be pretty challenging so I'm not making any promises but on the 20th January this year I thought I'd give it a go. I'm only a few days into the project but so far I'm just about on schedule.

Wobbly Alien Robot, 2020, oil on plywood by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

Here are a few of the mini oil paintings/oil sketches that I've produced so far. They are mostly painted on small pieces of plywood or chipboard (recycled form Victoria and Albert Museum packing crates), or on old book covers. To see the full range of paintings check out my Instagram page, where I'll be posting them at hopefully regular intervals.

Ring Toss, 2020, oil on book cover by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Rug Face

A few months back, I posted about the mould I made for the creation of a series of large wall-mounted face mask sculptures, shortly followed by a post about the first piece (not counting the existing red wall mask piece that I made, in order to cast the mould in the first place), Fetish Face, that I made from it. Well, I've just finished my second piece from the same mould. Whereas Fetish Face was constructed from human hair and resin, this new piece, Rug Face, is made from pieces of an old Persian or Oriental (I'm not quite sure which) rug.

'Rug Face', 2020, giant wall-mounted face sculpture by artist, Wayne Chisnall

The great thing about using the mould is that it allows me to experiment with a wide variety of materials and yet still produce pieces of a uniform shape, that are clearly recognisable as being of a series. For Rug Face I was interested to find out how the different sections of rug would work together so I had some sections butting up to each other and some overlapping, especially in areas where the rug had become more threadbare. I'm quite happy with the results although for the next rug one I'll probably try it with the sections just butting up together, so that the surface exists all on the same plane. However, the next piece that I make from the mould will probably be constructed from a different material altogether. I'm still looking forward to making a ceramic mosaic version of the giant face mask sculpture, which is the reason that I made the mould in the first place. I'm currently about to lay some new tiles down in my kitchen (after a back-breaking week of pulling up the old ones) so hopefully I'll pick up some skills from that, that I can transfer to the making of the mosaic mask.

'Fetish Face', 2019, hair & resin, 3 views of giant wall-mounted face sculpture by artist, Wayne Chisnall

When I initially set about constructing the mould I intended for the face to be simple and gender/race-neutral so I went for a very stylised form. Interestingly, it ended up looking not unlike a simplified version of a traditional African mask. In constructing the original positive, from which the mould was cast, I wanted to draw attention to the similarity in structure of the mouth and eye lids, so deliberately made them the same size and shape. I think that by making the first piece out of human hair I ended up with something that looks like a cross between Chewbacca and an African mask, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the use of a variety of diverse materials effects the appearance of future sculptures in the series.

Mould made for the creation of giant wall-mounted face sculptures by artist, Wayne Chisnall

Krampus Christmas Cards

Some years, if I've got my act together in time, I have a go at making a few hand-painted or hand-printed Christmas cards. This time round I just about managed to get my act together in time.  Although it would have been better if I'd started making them a lot earlier, especially since I made the mistake to posting on social media an image of my work-in-progress card-making activities, and suddenly there was a bigger demand for them than I'd anticipated.
Hand-painted 2019 'Krampus' Christmas card by artist, Wayne Chisnall.

In keeping with my usual dark festive theme, I went for an image of Krampus. He's the horned, anthropomorphic figure from Central European folklore, described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved.

Hand-painted 2019 'Krampus' Christmas cards (work-in-progress) by artist, Wayne Chisnall.

Hand-drawing and painting each card individually was a bit labour intensive and time consuming but at least it meant that every card was slightly different from the rest of the set. Maybe, if I do the same thing next Yuletide, I'll make a start on them in November. But probably not.