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  • Writer's pictureAnna Curston

Week 13: 25th April – 1st May

Hello everyone. The stress is real. I am so close to the deadlines, and the exhibition building process starts this week too. It’s all completely terrifying and exciting, but enough about the coming week, lets discuss what I’ve been up to in the week just gone.

There were three main things for me to focus on last week: Essay, PowerPoint and Paintings. Let’s start with the paintings.

To varnish or not to varnish, that was the question. I really wasn’t sure whether I should varnish my paintings. For any other artists out there, you may know the struggle. The pros of varnish are; it evens out the surface, protects the painting from UV rays and dust, and brings out the colours. The reasons against varnish are; if it goes wrong then it’s ruined, and I quite liked the rough and ready, raw and immediate look of them. They looked like they've just been finished, and I like that!

I did decide to varnish them however, and here is why. I did what any sensible person would and did a test varnish on one of the less successful paintings from this term… and it just look better. It looked more polished, and all the colours really popped. The black especially gained a new intensity that I wasn’t expecting. The evening out of the surface shine eliminated the issues of strange directional light. The light no longer ruins the effect of the paintings because the surface sheen is even, not all different surface textures; even when it catches the light, you can still see the details of the painting. Basically, the positives outweighed the risks, so I took the leap! They look amazing.

Also on my ‘to-do’ list, was my essay. Starting out the week with a rough draft over 1500 words too long, I am happy to say I have successfully reduced the word count to under 4000 words and wrote the abstract. I still have words to chop and things to tweak and refine, but I feel a lot better about it this morning than I have for a while. The key is to just chip away at it every day. There is only one week left before the final deadline, but I’m feeling okay…

It is also a week to the PowerPoint deadline. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly adding to it and there is not too much left to do as a result. As much as inserting and annotating all the images is slow progress, I quite enjoy reflecting on and reviewing my work. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved these past few years and over the last semester especially and I really want to show it off to the best of my ability.

I can definitely feel the pressure now, but I’m also really sad it’s coming to an end. The exhibition going up is so exciting though, and I simply cannot wait to see it and for everyone else too, too! So, a lot to do. The paintings still need their edges repainting black after the varnishing from last week, and the essay and PowerPoint need finishing up. It is going to be a hectic week, but I’m ready for it.

Stay curious and creative, and I’ll see you next time!


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