Summer Project – Place, time and travelling

This year my summer was dominated by a wish to spend time with my family and friends that I had not been able to see during my first year in Cardiff. I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents who live close by, in my Grandads studio and going for daily swims at Shoreham-by-sea.

At the studio I spend a lot of time being taught by my Grandad as he is also an artist, with lots of useful information. Focussing on still lifes we looked a colour and tone as well as recapping oil painting techniques, which i desperately needed to relearn.

Acrylic on board

oil on board - unfinished










Oil on Board














Something I noticed straight away was how much braver I felt working when in my Grandads studio. Grandad has a very focused way of teaching, so that if he sees me pausing or over thinking he will step in to get me moving forward.

With these works I was also given small studies to do that explored colour and tone, these studies have made me more able to understand tone and balance of colour on a canvas. As well as being able to use these as a reference book for future pieces.

It was after creating one of the colour mixing pages of the reference book that I did this piece. This was done out of sheer boredom and a need to use up the paint that I had put out:




Although this did get me thinking, my interpretation of the project at this point was looking at the process of travelling and how we might be able to enjoy this process. I imagined that the black lines were the paths that I was traveling and then began to document my journeys from my summer, including journeys around houses:

Nana and Grandads Map

Brighton Map









Isle of Wight Map

Brighton Work map









Amsterdam Map


With all of these I was trying to remember what my Grandad had taught me about balancing colour and tone, but I also noticed that the colour use had the potential to represent my personal experience of these journeys, the colours I saw around me and how I was feeling. For example the tones use in the last one which is of Amsterdam represents for me the flowers seen all around the canals and houses, as well as the calm attitude of the city.

I could see the journeys that these represented, creating a diary like experience of my summer, but when shown to my friends and family they commented that they saw them as city maps, unable to differ between the different journeys or the variations in scale of the journeys their brains associated the maps with aerial views of cities.

I also printed out scales of the maps and traced them onto pages of acetate, over laying the to see all my journeys from this summer:

all journeys overlayed watercolours all journeys









This busier map made me think about city maps and what a city might look like if public transport maps were placed on top of one another.

After this I turned my attention to the colour of the maps, I did this small test with no outlines of the journey but didn’t think it had any potential:


I then decided to look again, thinking about my journey and imagining the places I had been. This particular map was for the isle of Wight, it was very sudden when I thought about the trip on the ferry, looking back at the island and realised that I could edit this slightly to create a landscape painting from that view.


I am unsure if I will be able to create such a tangible link between each of the maps but I enjoyed the idea of this way of producing work, through a long process that relies on me being willing to but effort into each step of the creative stage.

I definitely think that there are a number of potential research points that I can take forward from this project, including looking into map design, artists who give visual representations of journeys or creating a visual diary of more journeys. One thing that I am aware of is that these were done after the journeys were done, I therefore wonder if there is a way to produce something with this style, but while the journey is happening around me.


Published by

Jessy Plant

A Brighton born artist, now studying a Fine Art Degree at Cardiff Met Uni.

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