Jennifer Letchet Paintings

My work explores fundamental elements of painting, the relationship between colour and line. I intend my paintings to affect the viewer optically with the illusion of shapes moving and receding. Colour theory is very important to my work. I use specific hues to symbolise ideas or emotions. The contained shapes on canvases seem more like objects than lines. My recent work explores natural and man-made disasters and the impact this has on our environment. I want to record the changing landscape through simplified shapes and colours.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Cut-outs: Nishino-Shima

I have been experimenting with cutouts, the creation of negative space, and the idea of conveying something that has disappeared, been lost,or  has dissolved from view.  Whether it is something visible like land or space, or whether it is something more elusive and ephemeral like a previous form. 

I want to work out how to display them . So far I have tried them sequentially, but I would like to try something on a larger scale and have them infringing on each other and creating windows and spaces. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Kew Gardens: Introducing Craft 16.08.14

During my year out of the studio, I created some drawings at home, but mostly I started learning new crafts from sewing, quilting, making pom poms to rug making.  Admittedly I was planning my wedding, so I was up to my ears in making bunting and lavender stuffed fabric hearts, but I did enjoy learning new skills and it has started an appreciation for all things crafty.

I saw these crochet covered trees in Kew Gardens during a recent visit.  Due to the scale of the crochet, the haphazard patterns and colour combinations and the lack of twee functionality [cushions or bags etc.] you start to view the piece as art.  The tree stops being part of the gardens as it becomes encompassed by colour, texture and geometry.  

Can craft ascend into art?  Does the very materials and process of making craft confine it to a stereotype of all things retro, vintage and homemade?  I don't think so, craft is looked down upon as the less worthy creations to call itself an art form.  However, whether you use a paint brush or knitting needle, if if it is without function it can be art.

Through the Keyhole: The Studio

One month on and the studio is starting to look more exciting and lived in with drawings / paintings and my collection of objects, materials and preparatory research / paint samples adorn the walls and surfaces.  I'm having the best time experimenting and getting back to work.

Nishimo-Shima 1978 - 2014

Nishimo-Shima 04.12.13, 17.12.13, 16.02.14, 22.03.14

59 x 42 cm, acrylic on paper

Merger of Nishimo-Shima and Nuijima 08.12.13, 04.07.14

59 x 42 cm, acrylic on paper

I have been working on two paintings of the volcanic eruption off the coast of Tokyo which has merged two islands Nishimo-Shima and Nuijima.  In the first painting i have charted the growth of Nishimo-Shima through a sequence of drawings to show the change in size and form.  I have enhanced this development using colour; the painting progresses from a luminous silver to dark graphite.

In my second painting I have made a jump from the island as it was in December 2013 to its current formation in July 2014. The island's previous appearance is shown in white where it appears to disappear into the abyss, and its present form  is painted in a light pink/peach colour.  I have used this colour symbolically to convey the human effect.

I want to continue experimenting with form, colour and composition to show subtle changes in topography and to highlight the long term effects.

Research: Topography in Flux

For my next body of work I have been researching man made and natural events across the globe which have created a change in the Earth's topography. I have been looking at news sites, the Earth Observatory and NASA's images of the earth to source new material.

In the photograph above you can see my research wall in progress.  When doing my initial research I make lots of initial tracings and drawings which are heavily annotated for future reference.  I also take screen shots.  This is to ensure my work is as accurate as possible, and by making quick rough sketches I can also start thinking about compositions and how future pieces/paintings would appear.

I am currently interested in the volcanic activity on one of the islands off Tokyo.  This has been a slow evolving event which started in December 2013 and climaxed in July 2014.  Historically, this volcano has created similar incidents.

My next step will be to start playing around with drawings and paintings to work out how I will convey the event and the change in topography.

New Era: New Studio

Last month I moved into my new studio. This first month has gone so fast, I can't believe I haven't written about it yet. In between moving in, sanding, prepping and painting the walls, organising my space and buying new materials, I must admit I've only produced a few pieces as I essentially settle in.

No. 27, that's me. A fairly decent sized space in ASC's studio near Elephant & Castle in London. It was previously a kitchen so it fortunately has lots of storage including a walk in cupboard and my very own sink for when I'm feeling anti-social!

This is the space on moving in day! Nice and sparce, and a bit grubby. But after filling in a few holes and building my hobbit sized desk... is starting to look a bit more usable and lived in.

Now the work begins! I'm very excited as it's been a long way coming since finishing my MA and PGCert.