Reflective Journal Week 32, 3 May – 9 May 2020

Except “a depressing, endless rain that easily can ruin your vacation and blur everything into each other”, what else natural element could stand for the distinctiveness of Cornish Landscape? I am afraid my experience at this moment was not sufficient to go to a satisfying conclusion. However, except the self I experimented before, I adopted some interests in the moss over rooftops. 

The painting Down the Hill of Newlyn was created. I tried to monumentalize the view of Mount’s Bay from a distinctive perspective. I ditched my usual realistic style, assembled the picture with essential elements. 

Another painting 42, 64, 75 was a celebration of pioneers who sought the true essence of Cornish Landscape. Cornish artists have been exploring the true identity of themselves as well as their beloved landscape in a chaotic vortex which contains centuries of information. They opened up a new perspective to younger generations of explorers. The land itself has a magic power that can convert outsiders. But can over overwhelm one’s root, and make an alien be accepted? What’s the definition of “being Cornish”?

A new experiment was conducted to challenge a specific material’s regional character. I attempted to control the shape of salt crystals, and it quickly ran into a problematic situation, so the advancement of techniques still requires more time.

Take the Sea with You, reproduced seawater with hand-extracted Cornish sea salt and London’s tab water. It was inspired by a tradition in folk tales. When sailors leave for a voyage, some of they would take a handful of dirt of their hometown as a emotional attachment.

To what extent, the attenuation of seawater can cause it to lose the Cornish label? Essentially, I believe that I am challenging the quality of a material whose value intensely relied on the cultural label. 

Joseph Christian Leyendecker was a German-American illustrator. His works have a representative visual feature of that age. Natural elements like vegetal forms are often used, combined with heroic composition and figure design, the substantiality of Art Nouveau and French illustration is quite obvious. This vintage style is particularly interesting to me.

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About cechenpaints

An artist, painter, illustrator based in London.