Anna Belleforte

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experimentations in developing a new series

Posted by Anna Belleforte on November 22, 2018 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

When a series is finished – the latest being the work made at the artist residency in Budapest – it’s time to assess and take things learned from the ‘old’ and apply to the new. The Budapest series allowed me to try new ways of building a picture and to see what works for me. Although this is something fluid and does change over time, I did find a process and aesthetic that I liked in that series. Now it’s time to apply and transform for a new series. Easier said than done, of course. Since the paper used in that series was specific to the subject (pages from a Hungarian book on heritage sites), I need to find replacement papers. I’ve been experimenting with painting strips of old maps (relevant to the place depicted), and cutting and pasting these to build a composition. And also mixing these papers with pieces of printed images from magazines, and acrylic paints over that. So in one piece I’ve focused on the sense of depth, while in another I focused on getting the light right when collaging. And then there’s the impact of photographic collaging as underpainting which is very appealing… Need to decide which way to go to form a unified series.


rock walls in mixed media

Posted by Anna Belleforte on November 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I have a natural inclination to go picturesque when not working from a concept or preconceived composition. Cutting out shapes to build a wall automatically runs into adding greenery, rounding off shaoes and pushing it towards realism. In these rock walls, the pieces all have their own random brushstrokes, which is aesthetically satisfying when brought together. Interesting method for depicting archaeological sites – for in the future.


natural walls

Posted by Anna Belleforte on November 8, 2018 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I usually focus on perspective: achieving depth, the right angles, pulling the eye in, setting a stage. But these mixed media Natural Walls were all about letting that go and doing frontal views. It’s a focus on the textures, really. And I’m discovering I really like working with the rounded forms, as opposed to my usual straight edges. Can I combine the two? And turn these into bigger pieces on canvas? Creating the angles of perspective or receding space is much more difficult with these rounded forms, since with the strips I just have to focus on the general direction to achieve believable perspective – it’s much looser and more suggestive. I want to avoid literally building rock by rock on a bigger piece, each piece specifically angled. However, on a smaller piece it’s oddly gratifying. 


post-Pest landscapes

Posted by Anna Belleforte on November 1, 2018 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)

With all these wonderful colours – remnants of the acrylic-painted pages – I just had to put them to use, so I stared building little, mostly abstracted landscapes. Initially ripped pieces, working solely on the basis of colour, adding lines, and seeing if I could build something from nothing. This is always challenging because it’s easier to have a vision or general composition in mind before starting. But being open to the unexpected has its rewards.


art in the home

Posted by Anna Belleforte on October 26, 2018 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s so important to see art in the space you’re considering it for. Certainly for a big piece, always ask if you can take it home for a week and try it out. With this in mind I’ve been experimenting with placing my art in interiors and I love how it’s looking! I participated in Amersfoort’s Vreemde Gasten this month, where I also got to see the art in a home setting. With two days of wonderful weather we were able to put one Budapest work outside on an easel. The amazing backlighting from the sun made for a great effect – though of course, not recommended for outside hanging in general!


end of the residency

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 21, 2018 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

My residency has come to an end. The final week was a hard-working one, finishing the third big painting. My time here was productive and has given me a renewed sense of direction. My visual vocabulary has increased again, and yet also it has narrowed, or perhaps become more definable, or – that which many artists seek – identifiable. I remember feeling a bit intimidated by the fact that the others seemed to be professional working artists, but I’ve realized I am their equal. We all have our own paths.

It been a challenge for me to be more active on social media. New for me was posting pictures on Instagram (annabelleforte). With a new environment and plenty to see every single day, it’s been great – though I did have to remind myself to post. Making something that may have grabbed me internally into something external, doesn’t come naturally yet. I certainly love that it’s heavily visual. Art is a way for me to keep track of what’s important to me, and I can see Instagram becoming an equally handy instrument for that. I admit, it’s also great to see hearts from total strangers because one of my images appealed to them. Hearts and hugs back to everyone!

pinks and greens in a third collage/painting

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 14, 2018 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Working on a third composition. The first monochromatic stage with nothing but tones and shades is always a favourite, to the point where I’m often hesitant to take the painting further because I like the directness, clarity and light of the image so much. I know this from earlier work, that I have to push through. But I definitely want to pursue this in a future series, working just with tones, greyscales or maybe two basic colours and their shades. In the meantime, I’m hoping to finish this third big painting by the end of the residency. The big challenge here is the green and shaded foreground. There’s much less structure (architectural lines you can build on), and it’s not easy making things look random when every strip of paper is minutely glued in place.


#paintandpaper #papiercolle #Budapest #Budapestartresidency #artistinresidence #urbangreen #emptylot #mindspace

June exhibition opening in Budapest

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 12, 2018 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Opening night of the 11-strong exhibition. All work made in Budapest, and largely inspired by the city, by fellow international residents. A big thank you to Kate and Marti, the organisers! Nice to hear the positive response to my work. Locals recognized the spaces characterized and appreciated the style and 'text' that went into the paintings. After the opening the art was moved to several locations for a week. On show are the two big ‘Voids of Pest’ and the black and white collages of architectural Hungary. It might be an interesting idea to pursue the difference in vacant lots between the Buda and Pest sides. Certainly Buda is greener and hillier, making for more overgrown lots, with greenery on multiple levels. And less urban density, more residential.


Magyarorszag in paint

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 4, 2018 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Another study to see the effects of oil pastel over acrylic collage. It works well for shading, though I have to be careful not to soften the clear lines of the collaged strips too much. And not to cover the underlying text too much. The strips of paper are pages from the Magyarorszag Utikonyvek book, describing (in Hungarian) all the historic, architectural tourist sites to see in Hungary. I want this history to be an underlying part of the ‘history’ I’m documenting with these paintings. And the tiny text is a visual aspect that draws the eye in - certainly if you read Hungarian. Again, it’s that contrast between large scale and small scale: the strips and text are being used to build and portray something that is quite massive to the human scale. Since I like recycling images and ‘using up’ all the pages of books I cut up, I’ve also collaged a collection of tiny black & white heritage structures onto the left-over cover of the book.


#modernart #cutandpaste #collage #painting #Budapest #vacantlot 

the wabi-sabi of Budapest

Posted by Anna Belleforte on May 30, 2018 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Buildings are tangible evidence of history. Even the newer ones should be able to tell us something about the past, if done right, i.e. when sympathetic to local values and truths as expressed through architecture. Many of these lots are being filled in with modern, cheap concrete. Because the construction industry goes on. It’s understandable, but also what a shame to lose sight of the hand-laid brickwork, the beautiful textures resulting from river silts (of which bricks are made) and the ‘wabi-sabi’ – great Japanese terms describing the qualities of simplicity, imperfection, uniqueness and solitude. Exactly the features of these spaces.

We’re heading towards the exhibition and I have to think up titles. ‘Vacant lots’ seems too simple. I like titles that keep things open and non-explicit, but give you enough of a hook to make you curious.




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