Last week, I had my first mentoring session with Frank Abbott, an artist who, like myself, plays with technology within his work. Frank and I discussed how I could enhance my paintings, by adding what we referred to as a ‘real’ material, something that could only be fully experienced in the ‘flesh’. I have decided that I will experiment with materials that change appearance as the viewer moves around them, for example iridescent paints or reflective tape. We also discussed the possibility of being more loose and disruptive in my paintings. I plan to do this by including more ‘playful’ imagery.
So far I have completed one of the three paintings, I will be making for the IRL exhibition. This first painting, like all my work, was initially made on Adobe illustrator, from which I then transferred onto canvas using acrylic. This work provides us with a tangible window into the surreal digital landscape. Through the use of multiple vibrantly painted surreal flowers, the painting represents copy and paste, as well as repetitive ‘eye candy’ you may find on digital screens. All of the flowers share the same simplified visual DNA, to replicate the quick and passive qualities of digital imagery. After reviewing the finished painting, I now hope to alter it by making it more ‘Real’ and ‘Tangible’, through the addition of materials that would only display their desired effect in the ‘flesh’. I also hope to make more of the digital design language visible through the addition of more imagery.
When I haven’t been in Artcore, I have been working on the largest of three paintings, in my studio in Swindon. This work depicts the vastness of the digital world and I am using household gloss to make it. In my next painting I am planning on showing a more playful side to the digital world.
Tom Van der Meulen is a recent Fine Arts graduate from the University of Reading. He creates his own digitally influenced paintings that explore the relationships between painting and the digital world. Van der Meulen’ work can be described as ‘A-temporal’; painting that has entered an unrestricted arena where all forms and periods of art can coexist at once taking influence from a range of sources.
He is one of the two artists selected for In Real Life residency, second of 4 artist residencies organized and curated by Artcore between 2018/2019.
We visited him in the artist studio, where we discovered some interesting aspects of his research concerning the representation of digital spaces and imagery through the medium of contemporary painting.
Have a read of what he says!