The Cloud Project Proposal

My aim for this project is to take methods and content I’ve already visited and push it to new conclusions. I already have an abundance of sky and landscape photographs stashed away in files on my laptop and on my phone, which I’ve been accumulating over the years with no intent, just an avid appreciation of the aesthetic.

When I was younger, I swore against doing any kind of ‘background’ in a painting, because I found it very difficult to do. Despite this, I spent the last few months of the second year working on a series of landscape paintings, which was relatively new territory for me, and a real challenge. I’d touched on it briefly during a few other projects during the year, such as war horse where I started trying to paint landscapes from the book, although I personally didn’t feel that they were very successful. This was probably due to the newness of the subject matter. I wouldn’t be able to pin point exactly what changed after that, but I started feeling a lot more confident in using my expressive manor of painting to create landscapes.

For all my previous work with land and skyscapes, I’d used acrylic predominately, and occasionally watercolour. I started to feel a bit limited by these materials, so as suggested by Anna at the end of the second year, I started using oil paints instead. The change in method felt immediately inspiring. Being able to manipulate the paint for a much longer period of time was liberating, and is giving me more opportunity to work to a bigger scale. It also stimulated me to think of ways to take my paintings further, to try and move them beyond just objects.

A few months ago I had seen a trailer for a film called ‘Loving Vincent’, which is an animated film that tells the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s life. What is remarkable about it is the method in which the film is animated. At least a hundred painters have come together to individually paint each frame using oil paints. Knowing how malleable oil paint can be while it’s still wet, and how long it takes before it dries, I believe this could be a viable way to move my paintings forward.

In my research I started looking into the types of clouds that can be observed, and there are 10 common varieties. My intention is to go out and record the way these clouds move and form, and to create an animation for each cloud type based off of that. Using the method oil paint animation, I would like to try and manipulate the paint for each new frame, instead of repainting each frame from scratch.

In terms of giving the work context, I’d like to take inspiration from Constable’s cloud studies, which have been used by modern day meteorologists to study cloud formations from the 19th To be able to create a series of expressive, animated paintings, but then also keep them accurate and scientific, even educational, would be ideal.


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