Using colour to represent emotion

For my Outside/Inside project I am using colour as one of my main focus points. What I have been doing with this is playing around with the idea of using colour to represent the emotion and mood behind the text. When writing my thoughts down on my chosen medium (usually cartridge paper) the text flows into each other and overlaps making it quite tricky to read. The use of colour will give the viewer of the piece an understanding of the emotion behind the text with out actually being able to read the text itself.

I was first inspired to use colour after completing the ‘Light is Colour’ field Collaborative lab with David and James. Using screen printing and experimenting with the different colours really inspired me to use colour to represent emotions. For example, with brighter colours like yellows and oranges will represent brighter and happier moods where as dark blues and blacks will represent duller and darker moods. Reds and greens on the other hand will represent moments of anger of destress.


The first card on the left in the image above represents a bright mood behind the text but also moments of anger. On this ATC I have wrote down my thoughts surrounding my first day back at work when I went home over Easter. The yellow and bright orange colours around the sides are symbolising the happier comments I have written down about being home with family and friends and also returning to work after three months. The red patch in the middle represents a period of time during the day where I was angered or irritated.

The second card to the right in the image above represents a day where I had very mixed emotions. Most of the day is shown to be happy and bright as I have used yellows and reds when writing about the amazing life my grandfather had that passed recently but the greens represent the day as being partly upsetting a destressing knowing that he is no longer with us.

The white used in both cards and in most of the other cards I have made represent a barrier between the text/colours and the viewer of the cards. When I feel upset about something or feel as if I look fragile I put up a barrier to block out other people so that no one knows how I am feeling. I think the white represents this quite well as you are unable to see through it very well and it also gives the card a more layered effect.


First Final Idea

For my first final piece I have begun to create a collection of small pieces. I wanted to continue my development on the Artist Trading Cards I had began to make towards the start of the year and create a collection of cards that can be displayed together in my final showcase.

The theme of these cards will be based around my thoughts and feelings. I plan to make one card everyday for one hundred and fifty days which will display my thoughts and how I felt on that day. This idea has come from Outside/ Inside as I wanted to be able to display everything that I think and feel for everyone to see but not really be able to see. Each card will be covered in writing but only few parts will be able to be read. The writing will be over lapped and jumbled together which I really like the idea of as I will be able to write my thoughts honestly without being anyone truly knowing what I’m writing about.

The theme of what I am talking about will be shown by what colours are on the card. I want to be able to reflect the mood and emotion of how I feel at the time of creating the card so I will be reflecting this through the use of colour. This will also help make each card unique as each day on the cards will be a mixture of bright and fluorescent colours for positive moods and happy emotions where as the dark and grey toned colours will reflect a more darker mood or unhappy emotion.

I also want to be able to layer the colours of paint on top of each other and between the writing to give a less flat effect.



Screen Printing

A technique that I have recently learnt that I’m very excited to use for Outside/Inside is Screen Printing. This week I have spent a few hours in the Screen Printing studio taking part in a field project called Light is Colour. During this time I have learnt quite a bit about making and cleaning off your own silk screens and also how to screen print. During my A-Levels I learnt a little bit about screen printing in Textiles but I used Silk screens pre made with designs and not my own. I am very excited to be able to work in facilities where I am able to create my own Silk screen and will be taking full advantage of this.

As I am working on quite a small scale for Outside/Inside; my designs I am hoping will be able to include layering with screen printing. In my Pinterest board (linked below) I have saved a variety of screen prints made by other artists who use screen printing with a layering technique. I really like the way this looks and the clash of colours on some pieces makes the prints look very effective. My screen prints I think may be on playing card size or may be even in match stick box fold out books.

Development on Thoughts


Above is a collection of images I have taken on some of the experimental pieces I have been doing for my Outside/Inside project. I have been basing this project around thoughts and have been documenting my thoughts on pieces of cartaliage paper. The reason I have thought to do this for my Outside/Inside project is because I was thinking of taking things that are Inside and displaying them on the outside. I thought that using my thoughts and also my feelings would be quite a good idea as your own personal thoughts are only shown when you either I say them or write them down. I thought that by displaying my thoughts would be quite a different take on the Outside/Inside theme.

Whilest experimenting with this I over lapped my writing to see what kind of effect it would have and I really liked the outcome of this. Doing this has given the text a layered and textured effect that I think looks very interesting. Whilst I was doing this I found that writing down everything I was thinking and feeling to be quite therapeutic and I felt as if I had unloaded everything I was feeling out onto my sheet of paper and it was quite a cleansing feeling. This idea could link to my past research on art therapy.


Artist Trading Cards


For my Outside/Inside project I wanted to look at how I can present small scale pieces in some sort of collection or little fold out book. Whilst looking up how to do this I came across a group of people who made these small collage pieces the size of playing cards called Artist Trading Cards or ATC’s. What really intrigued me about these small pieces where that each artist made a card based around the theme that they were given as a group, signed and dates the back and then traded the card with another artist. I really like the idea of this and also the outcomes that they all came out with were very beautiful to look at. Each card they made were different but a like at the same time weather they used earthy colours or bright luminous colours each one had its own character.

Above is a collection of a few ATC’s I have created after looking into this idea. What I did was buy a pack of playing cards from Tesco to work on top of and collaged old photos from my childhood on top. I then started to paint and use different techniques that I would normally use when Art Journaling to create patterns and layered effects on top of the cards.

Two books that really helped me with this were 1000 Journal Pages and 1000 Artist Trading Cards by Patricia Bolton who is Editor-in-chief of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Quilting Arts Magazine. I came across the 1000 Journal Pages book which was in the Art Library at Cardiff Met Llandaff campus and found it quite inspiring to look at the work of other artists who have a passion for Art Journaling. This then lead to me reading through the 1000 ATC’s book which includes ways of creating ATC’s and also a selection of cards by other artists.

I really enjoyed working on a small scale like this as I was able to make quite a few cards (just over 30) but also be able to make each card detailed and interesting to look at. After creating these ATC’s I think I will continue to create these and present them as a collection. I could also develop this by creating my own boxes for them to sit in and maybe also look at creating my own themes for each box of cards whether it’s themed by month, emotion, event .etc.

Sigmar Polke

Untitled (Triptych) 2002 by Sigmar Polke 1941-2010

Sigmar Polke is a German painter and experimental artist. With his artwork, he uses a broad range of media to create layered and textural effects in quitenan interesting way. What I really enjoy about his work in particular is the mark making and printing he does on top of his work. This technique also adds to the layered effect his work has and gives it a more textural depth. This technique is something that I would really like to use for my own pieces as I find it makes the pieces look less flat and gives it a more three-dimensional effect. Another way you could do this with layering, is experimenting with different medias by mixing paint with chemicals like bleach to create different effects that Polke does in a few of his pieces. In particular, this method works well with watercolour paints as it creates a bleached out effect where the chemical has been added on parts of the paint. His choice of colour for his pieces is also something I like as it makes his work aesthetically pleasing.

I would like to use Polke’s techniques to develop my own work by using different medias as he does to create effects on my pieces. I could do this by using bleach with watercolour, different textural medias to layer up like fabrics, crackle paint .etc. And also by using ink to create different kinds of mark making instead of just using stamps.



Thoughts? Feelings?

Rule your mind or it will rule you – Buddha

For my project Outside/Inside I have found it quite difficult to base my studies around one specific theme. I have had a few different ideas all of which have been saved into a Pinterest board on my account and have also experimented with my ideas in my field Projects before Christmas.

Over the Christmas holiday I decided to make a few little simple note books of which I can record all of my thoughts and how I am feeling, sort of like a mini diary. As I was doing this because the notebooks were so small my writing started to merge together and overlap which left a very interesting pattern when I came to finish writing. I really enjoyed doing this and really liked the idea of presenting my own personal thoughts in a way that were still quite hidden as you can’t really read them.

For my Outside/Inside project I would like to continue and develop the ideas that I have based around thoughts and feelings using different medias and also continueing to work in small books or just on small scale pieces. What I do need to look into is other ways I can present smaller scale pieces of work wether that’s is in a collection of pieces which a playing card size or maybe even looking into creating miniature scale concertina journals.