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Process Portfolio

First page of the PDF file: CeciliaSmallProcessportfolio

Curatorial Rationale

More about my work and experience in the IB Diploma Programme...

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Monochrome Engine (September 2019)

Charcoal and chalk on paper

50cm x 64cm

Monochrome Engine depicts a motorbike engine from an original photo. The extreme close-up makes the engine look almost abstract, but allowed me to focus on the details in the metal. Inspired by Allan Gorman’s photorealistic paintings of metalwork, this piece uses sharp tonal contrast between lights and darks to emphasize the chrome quality of the metal. Depth is also created by adding sharp details in the foreground and heavily blending the background.



Abstractions in Metal (October 2019)

Ceramics, manganese oxide, iron oxide, glaze

27cm x 32cm x 9cm

Abstractions in Metal represents warped reflections of light in metal, taken out of context to look abstract. The form emulates Tina Neale's organic, marbled approach to ceramics using rounded highlights. Relief emphasizes these reflections by contrasting the smooth white glaze and dark, textured background, mottled with silver paint to further highlight a metallic aspect. Each side is unique, but composed of similar shapes to reflect how natural patterns are never exactly identical. 



Escalator Study (November 2019)

Acrylic on paper

59cm x 42cm

This study was created in preparation for Pastel Construction to develop an experimental approach in painting machinery. I used my own photo of a closeup of an escalator. This piece studies Gillian Collins' style of painting machinery, exaggerating color and texture to depict precise subject matter in an organic style. This is explored here through different painting techniques: a plastic knife gives quick impressions of bristles, and dry brushing creates the appearance of rough metal.

Pastel Construction (November 2019)

Acrylic paint on canvas

30cm x 30cm 

Pastel Construction depicts a close-up of several pipes. I was influenced by Gillian Collins, who paints mechanical forms with unusual color schemes. This prompted me to choose a more exaggerated pastel color scheme to explore in detail how metal manipulates color. Scumbling is used to build depth through undertones of color and different textures of metal are conveyed by balancing dry brushing and smooth brushstrokes. The tondo format mimics the round shape of the pipes, creating cohesion.



Perfect? (November 2020) 

Ceramics, acrylic

25cm x 24cm x 19cm 

Perfect? examines the tendency to idealize others and overlook their flaws. The mask is painted with harmonious colors to represent an ideal self, but cracking apart to reveal negative traits written on the base. The contrast between the painted mask and the raw clay portrait emphasizes the gap between the real and ideal. The layered structure creates the illusion of decay over time in a single image, inspired by Yuichi Ikehata's sculptures that break down from hyperrealism to bare wire.



Shattered (January 2020)

Drypoint print

15cm x 21cm 

Shattered explores how an idealized reality breaks down using a destroyed light bulb, a well-known symbol of ideas and light. It examines broken surfaces in preparation for Perfect?, inspired by Yuichi Ikehata's portrayal of cracked clay on top of wire. Line communicates tone through cross hatching and by varying the pressure applied while etching. Deeply etched lines intensify the contrast between light and dark, dramatizing the image and making the bulb stand out among the broken fragments.



Legs Crossed (Figure Study) (October 2019)

Chalk on black paper

60 x 42 cm 

Legs Crossed was drawn directly from a live model in preparation for Into the Pages. Form is shown by drawing the highlights and letting negative space become the shadows. Emulating Ernest Pignon-Ernest's studies, which appear to break down across the page due to varying levels of figurative detail. This is explored here through varying intensities of tone: chalk is applied heavily in the legs to make them appear defined, while the rest of the body is less opaque and disappears into the shadows.



Aix-en-Provence (October 2020) 

Acrylic, paper, Posca pens on canvas

100cm x 117cm

Aix-en-Provence is based on an original image of a dilapidated plaza in this town and explores urban decay. Form is emphasized on the left with detailed pen linework but abstracted on the right with a palette knife and scumbling. This was inspired by John Piper's war paintings, which gradually remove detail in form to mimic the literal deterioration of the architecture. Paper as a base adds a rough texture and when covered in pale layers of paint, emphasizes a decayed look.



Blue Relic (February 2021)

Acrylic on wood

81 x 52 cm 

Based on my own photograph of a Baroque fountain, Blue Relic illustrates historical artifacts' decay over time. Texture shows the passage of time: intact elements are painted in smooth detail, while texturing with a palette knife shows decay. 

Daniel Gasser's vibrant portraits on wood influenced my use of background: the bare wood contrasts the detail in the statue to create visual balance. However, applying neutral tones with a palette knife creates cohesive texture throughout.



Into the Pages (March 2021)

Charcoal and collage on Tyvek paper

175 x 91 cm

Into the Pages is based on a stock image by Marcus Ranum. Ernest Pignon-Ernest's deliberately unfinished studies inspired the combination of realistic tonal detail and minimalist line work. This gives the illusion of the figure breaking apart, disappearing into the pages of a book. Pignon-Ernest's street art displayed on decaying walls pushed me to integrate the collage background as part of the piece. The life-size scale and turned back creates mystery, inviting the audience to join her.