Course beginning Sept 2018


After first introducing the theme of Nocturne in paintings we would like you to adapt this theme to your own ideas, experiences or interests.

As the title suggests we are looking at a range of creative possibilities which can be explored around the notion of darkness. The brief is wide and is open to a myriad of interpretations. Working from photographs that you have taken yourself is preferable to a straight copy of magazine or computer images, (only because it gives more credence to your work). Using an an artists work or found image as a stimulus for your own ideas is fine and in this case you might bring together a variety of images which you then work together and create your own artwork.

Your work can be in any medium or combination of mediums

It can be Still Life, Portraiture, Landscape or Conceptual

It should be as large as possible for maximum impact OR a series of small works which will combine together.

The theme can be taken literally as in night time, dusk or anything nocturnal; equally it can be about formal issues concerning the use of tone and/or contrast e.g. Black vs white emphasising the stark difference between light and dark, silhouette for example; some of you are familiar with the term ‘Chiaroscuro’ where light plays against dark for very dramatic impact. Cezanne’s ‘The Murder’ which is in The Walker Art Gallery is a good example of this dramatic play of light and dark and there are many others.

Alternatively you may wish to delve into the dark world of dreams, nightmares, nursery rhymes, folk tales, cautionary tales (fairy tales) etc. 

Some of you might want to look at this theme from a political or cultural stance. 

We will of course be setting a series of lessons to introduce the theme. Artists which you may wish to look at could include : Frida Kahlo, Goya (Caprichos), Richard Dadd, Henri Fuseli, Arthur Rackham, Kara Walker and Paula Rego, Edward Hopper, Joseph Wright of Derby, Rembrandt and you will find others along the way.

Type in any of the above key words and add '(in) painting' or Artists names and under 'images' you will find many ideas which might just lead you to explore your own selections and create your own unique response. Our vision for this terms work is one of contrast and impact!