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Updated: May 2, 2021

Not gonna lie, I spent most of last week playing in the snow. On Monday night, I was delighted to see that it was starting to settle. Last time this occurred, I happened to have gone to sleep early and missed all of it, as it was gone by the morning. So this time, there was no way I would miss it. With my flatmate Maddie, we went out and met up with my boyfriend Jaeden in Balgay Park, where we threw snowballs at each other and built a demented Elmo snowman. Here are the cursed images that followed.

Little did we know what was to come. As the snow begon to pile up the following day, it took little time before we realised that this was no simple dusting. We quickly came up with a plan: our next expedition would be up the Law. Once the troops were gathered, we headed to Jaeden's and began our journey up Dundee's very own Kilimanjaro. We stayed out for hours and it was the most fun I have had in a while.

And I’m primarily a landscape painter after all, so I suppose this counts as research...

However, it did not take long for the snow to start turning to sludge and for my child like wonder to be replaced by frustration and a (mild) sense of responsibility. So I started looking up reference images for my painting of the burning of the Note Dome. A few of them are ones I took myself, as well as ones taken from Google Maps, at the location I watched it from. But most are ones taken by others, as well as paintings of the Cathedral before the fire - and ones of the burning of the Notre Dame de Reims, which occurred during WWI.

I also made this small wax sculpture of Jaeden, to which I attached the gold hoop earrings I hade gotten him for Valentine’s Day (I’m great, I know).

Next week, I would like to work on a painting of the snow, as it was a moment that I would like to cherish and focus on. It was also pretty breathtaking, so I feel like it could make a powerful subject.


Fraipont, Gustave, Reims Cathedral in Flames, c. 1914, Colour etching, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita.

Moran, Edward, Notre Dame - Moonlight, c. 1878, Oil on canvas.

Rivera, Diego, Notre Dame de Paris, 1909, Oil on canvas, Private collection.

Sénéchal, Adrien, Notre-Dame de Reims, 19 septembre 1914 . Fin des huit cloches de la tour nord, vers 20 heures, 1914, Pastel on paper.

Turner, John Mallard William, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, c. 1834, Oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

As I had planned, I spent the week analysing film and painting compositions that caught my eye. I then worked on bringing my miniature landscapes to life.

I will first talk about the latter. I started by playing around on Photoshop - I added a bridge and stairs.

I asked myself why a bridge could’ve been built going towards this platform and the idea of a site of pilgrimage came to mind. I especially like the mystery of not knowing why thy have come. Regardless, if the landscape were real, the views from that rock would certainly be breathtaking.

I also looked at the compositions of paintings I liked, as well as some film stills, to see how the composition set the tone. I printed out the pictures and proceeded to try and understand what made the image effective. Here is what I made.

One idea that came up during this process was to do an hommage to one of the Turner pieces I analysed, Burning of the House of Lords and Commons, instead representing the burning of Notre Dame. I think it would be a really good way of starting to further explore the sublime in my work and tying it to the research I did on the building last summer.


Cozens, John Robert, Lake of Albano and Castel Gondolfo, c.1783-8, Watercolour on paper, Tate, London.

Cozens, John Robert, A Grotto in the Campagna, 1776, Watercolour on paper, Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham.

Friedrich, Caspar David, The Abbey in the Oakwood, 1808-10, Oil on canvas, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

Friedrich, Caspar David, The Monk by the Sea, 1808-10, Oil on canvas, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

Longstaff, Will, Immortal Shrine, 1929, Oil on canvas, ustralian War Memorial, Campbell.

Longstaff, Will, Ghosts of Vimy Ridge, 1931, Oil on canvas, House of Commons Collection, Ottawa.

Psycho, dir. by Alfred Hitchcock (Shapley Productions, 1960).

Stalker, dir. by Andrei Tarkovsky (Mosfilm, 1979).

Turner, John Mallard William, Richmond, Yorkshire: Colour Study, 1797-8, Graphite and Watercolour on paper, Tate, London.

Turner, John Mallard William, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, c. 1834, Oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

Turner, John Mallard William, Dinant, Bouvignes and Crèvecœur: Sunset, c. 1839, Gouache and watercolour on paper, Tate, London.

Turner, John Mallard William, Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, 1842, Oil on canvas, Tate, London.

Vertigo, dir. by Alfred Hitchcock (Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, 1959).

Weyssenhoff, Henryk, Premonition, c. 1893, Oil on canvas.

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

This week felt a bit more mellow than the last. In line with my theme, I have been drawing my flat mates and some landscapes. Here’s one of my flat mates Corey and Eleanor having a chat and another I did while on a walk.

During my talk with Eddie, he asked me an interesting question: what mood am I trying to convey in my paintings. As he pointed out, my painting of the Tay is a lovely piece, but the bridge makes it a bit of a cliche - which takes away from the feeling of detachment I am trying to convey. That isn’t to say that I can’t play with iconic imagery, but I just need to be more aware of why I am choosing to represent that. This week, I would like to do some research into how other artists, in painting as well as cinema and photography, have conveyed a sense of detachment, anguish, claustrophobia, wonder... I will compile examples that illustrate these various moods and analyse what makes them effective.

While on the same walk, I also took some close up pictures of rocks, plants and ice that turned out to look eerily similar to landscapes. I definitely want to use these for something, I like how the only thing that betrays them a lot of the time is the size of the grass. Maybe I could tinker around on Photoshop to incorporate figures into them?

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