Competition Entry for RJMJ Architects

3 Oct 2016

I am a member of Network Artists North East and when their latest newsletter dropped into my inbox I was intrigued about one of the articles. RMJM is an architecture company which set up in 1956 with a vision to revolutionize the architecture industry. It is one of the largest architecture firms and has over 30 studios across the world.

To celebrate this 60th anniversary, they invited people to design a commemorative image and upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #RMJM60. The winner gets a cash prize and their design featured in 30 of RMJM's studios around the world.

I have never entered an art competition before so had a look at the criteria. I had an idea in my head to produce one of my contour paintings. I've only done natural landscapes with the contour paintings before so I thought an architectural one would be interesting to try.

The size they wanted was A2. The largest I've done a contour painting is 7x5...I tried to keep them small as I wasn't sure if I could keep the intensity of colour even throughout the "contours". Also, the board on which I stretch my watercolour paper is only A2 itself. Uh-oh!

Did I give up? Did I think, no I can't do this? No, I didn't. I sellotaped four pieces of A4 paper together and drew a quick sketch of my chosen image. I experimented by putting some watercolour on. I also got a piece of scrap watercolour paper and drew some short contours in the widths to see if I could get away with using a large brush. It worked nicely so I ordered some large sheets of heavyweight watercolour paper. This means that it doesn't need stretching.

Looking at RMJM's portfolio on their website, there are so many fantastic images. I thought it would be hard to choose, but as soon as I saw the Cutter at Woodhorn Museum I knew I had to choose that one. It happened to be a photograph with a lovely purple-pink sky which I thought would work particularly well in my painting.

I scaled the size down slightly by making a wide border around the image. I'm really pleased with the outcome, and extremely pleased I found out that the contour paintings will work as large pieces of work.

And I think I'll be going back to RMJM's photographs for more painting inspiration as their work is amazing!

Wish me luck in the competition!

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