Reflective Journal Week 5, 27 Oct – 2 Nov

The last weekend was spent on pushing the deadline of proposal submission. I have to admit that I do miss stay up all night studying. Can be back to college is awesome.


Here I attached the proposal below.

A briefed discussion about general patterns of how landscape paintings work as a carrier of artists’ emotions, perspectives and ideas.

It has frequently been questioning, what landscape painting stands for? As a prevalent theme in western art history, surprisingly, landscape painting was not formally subjectlised, nor being academically admitted of its value until the 19th Century. After industrialisation liberated productive forces and brought new perspectives for the world, more and more landscape paintings were produced in a flexible manner. The complete occupation of realistic has gradually become seldom appear in the art market; elegantly curved Dutch sky has been replaced by contracted strokes and cubes of colour. Audiences convert their interests to asking what ideas that artists symbolised landscape painting for. Is that the love of nostalgia feelings of regional painters? A call of adventure upon a vast land by Hudson River School? The projection of a battleground of ideas of Salvador Dalí?

Much fascinating stuff worth writing about lies ahead. At its beginning, I choose to explore the chaotic cognition of my identity, and how they were, and have been reflect on my landscape paintings.

Aims & Objectives

The project aims to explore a number of specific aspects of interest in landscape paintings.

  • To seek an improvement on technical aspects of watercolour painting as well as other techniques will use, or may use during the development. 
  • To experiment with several critical factors by which the producer of this project could receive the most positive feedback while his dignity as an artist can be successfully maintained, and his academic pursue can be fulfilled. 
  • A study towards the relationship between specific artist’s self-consciousnesses and their works: how they express themselves, how they install metaphors into their practices. This will majorly focus on landscape painters or artists who work with landscapes. 
  • An acceptable amount of critical reviews, discussions and articles reflect on some great movements in the history of art that connect to this project.
  • To maximumly perfect the logic circuit for reviewing artworks that relatively less based on realistic. This stands for the widen of angles of evaluation an artwork’s value and meaning, as well as discussing the ultimate role that artists play. 

Research Requirements

Artists, works, movements that suit the research goal will be read comprehensively, as well as paintings that have a significant influence on the style that the project adopted,  will be specifically looked into. For example, Jacob van Ruisdael; English landscape watercolourists; Hudson River School; Regional painters of the last century and now and extra. Articles regarding the relationship between the artist’s identity and self-consciousness will be read.

Also, the variety of visual format, especially artist’s book, journal and formally presented works shall occupy a considerable proportion of the research.


While spending most of the time in the studio, working and discussing with fellow artists, arranging crits and tutorials also establish the foundation of the project. According to previous feedbacks and suggestions, it can confidently believe that libraries of UAL can provide sufficient materials and information. Visiting galleries and museum is also essential considering most of the paintings of the project will be produced in a classical manner.

The project focuses on local landscapes, therefore sketches during field trips worth a reasonable promotion on the agenda.

Seeking professional guidance, attending writing workshops and self-studying will support the creative writing part of this project.

Final Outcome

The final outcome decides to be an image book currently. A series of watercolour paintings will be collected in the book, composite with creative writings and critical reviews regarding the research outcome of the project. All illustrations in the image book shall be presented as individual painting, depend on the budget they might be mounted and framed. Depends on the further development these designs might be expanded to a variety of different formats like short films, installations or prints. 


Baigell, M. (2001). Artist and identity in twentieth-century America. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Cornelis, B. and Schaplehouman, M. (2016). Adriaen van de Velde. Master of the Dutch landscape. London: Paul Holberton Publishing.

Cox, D. and Baldry, A. (1922). A treatise on landscape painting in water colours With a foreword by A.L. Baldry. London.

Davis, M. (1977). William Blake: A New Kind of Man. London: Paul Elek Limited.

Eichler, A. and Dürer, A. (2013). Albrecht Dürer. [Potsdam]: Ullmann.

Grijzenhout, F., Veen, H. and MacCormick, A. (1999). The golden age of dutch painting in historical perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Herrmann, L. (1974). British landscape painting of the eighteenth century. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hochstrasser, J. (2007). Still life and trade in the Dutch golden age. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Hughes, R. and Freud, L. (2003). Lucian Freud paintings. London: Thames and Hudson.

Marco, V. (1971). Landscape painting of the 19th century. 1st ed. Greenwich, Conn : New York Graphic Society.

Kipling, R. (1940). Rudyard Kipling’s Verse. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.

Smart, A. and Brooks, A. (1976). Constable and his country. London: Elek.

English landscape painting of the 18th and 19th centuries. (1970). Tokyo: [Verlag nicht ermittelbar].

Walford, E. (1992). Jacob van Ruisdael and the perception of landscape. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

And no matter how hard I tried, the topic is still too broad to tutors’ opinions. I agree to some extends. But narrowing it down is simply too difficult to engage in a big topic with only a-thousand-word writing at the end. Therefore I put the phrase “briefed” in its title.

On the 30th Oct, I had an appointment of viewing their collection of JMW Turner’s work that not for public display. I am not sure whether putting images here would run into some copyright issue; thus, I decided not to take this risk.

During the visit, I noticed that most of his paintings were produced with Gouache instead of watercolour. It is some finding that necessary to watercolourists that pursuit advancement of techniques. Especially Chinese watercolour painters. A large number of them obsessed with imitation artworks of Turner’s landscape so that they can learn techniques from a master. The relevance of my discovery here is that Gouache and watercolour is the same word in Chinese. There are barely learners looked into whether Turner’s work is transparent or not. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe many Chinese watercolourists already visited Tate’s private collection.

Also, the second piece after the tree figure in the Cuckmere Valley has finished. The demonstration of painting materials last week was mind-blowing and inspiring. I have made a paint mixed with refined quartz powder, white colour, gum and chalk fragments collected from the Cuckmere Haven. It creates a relief-like pattern as if it was piled by gesso; and a reflective surface that shines when the direction of light changes was created as well. It emphasises on the human impact on the nature that eventually formed a charming landscape. The trail stands for a meritorious interference of human, and its reflection was inspired by the book title “Sternstunden der Menschheit”. It stands for a potential compossibility in the time when the environment is facing a crisis. I have not decided if this piece is going to be displayed individually or being composited/reproduced in the art book I proposed. Either way, it won’t be easy.





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