Introduction to systems

At the beginning of my studio practice, I decided to continue on with my previous study of systems from second year. In my second year, I worked with geometry and number generator to create a system that helped the process of my painting. 

The photo above shows the system I decided to use first which was created with the use of a secondary source (a random page out of a magazine) and a grid. I created the grid accordingly to the size of the picture. I then focused on which colour was primarily located in the box and this would indicocate what colour to use. I created the painting on an A3 shop bought canvas which meant I had to create the grid in a larger scale on the canvas. I aimed to achieve a flat plain of paint which was quite hard to gain on a shop bought canvas due to the texture of the surface. It was from this painting that I decided if I was to create any more paintings with acrylic paint, I would either paint on MDF or a handmade canvas. This method of painting had relativity to pixelisation as well as the use of a grid-system. The painting reflected a simplified version of the image due to the placements of the colours. 

During the creation of this painting I realised the system could not be identified without a method to inform the viewer of the process. I began documenting each step I was taking, even documenting brands and sizes of paintbrushes, different makes of paint and mixing on paper to retian the palette. Also which colours and paints I was using to create secondary colours. I decided to do this as, in my opinion, it helps identify the process and it’s an interesting aspect to go alongside the painting. 

I looked at artists such as Keneth Noland and Frank Stella along with the ‘Color field painters’ at their methods of staining canvas and interest in geometric shapes and stripes. 


Proposal Critique

Charlotte Jackson

Project Title / Area of Focus: [What is a system?]

For my main practice I aim to create a series of paintings to help me and my audience gain a better understanding of “systems”. To achieve this I will explore systems that are already in place, as well as creating my own. I am going to use acrylic paint on different types of surfaces to create systematically developed work and log each step I take so I can record the process. I also aim to make my own canvases rather than using shop bought ones due to the fact that bought canvases are too textured for some of the pieces I want to create. Home-made canvases will be better quality to paint onto as the material used is quite smooth and flat.

Research and Development Blog address:

I am going to use my blog to document what I have (or haven’t) achieved each week and use it as another way to log each step, research artists and reflect on my progress. I will make notes on information sourced from the internet and create a reading list to gather more in-depth research.

After Christmas I am going to travel to London to visit the art galleries (National Art Gallery, Tate Modern, Saatchi Gallery…) and hopefully other places such as Manchester, Liverpool and Wakefield.

The books I am currently reading are:

  • “Colour for the Artist” – Hans Schwartz,1968
  • “Theory And Use Of Colour” – Luigina De Grandis (Translated by John Gilbert), 1986
  • “Abstract Art” – Mel Gooding, 2001
  • “Colour After Klein” – Edited by Jane Alison, 2005


  • “’Systems’ Whitechapel: Documents Of Contemporary Art” – Edited byEdward A. Shanken
  • “’Failure’ Whitechapel: Documents Of Contemporary Art” – Edited by Lisa Le Feuvre


Since writing this proposal, I am not longer creating paintings, instead i will be creating a sculpture. I created two pieces after this work which can be seen in other posts. however, it was after this process that i realised i didn’t fully understand systems and the difference between systems and process art. So i began researching Natural systems as i had been thinking about looking at weather patterns and seasonal changes and came across the natural system murmurations and changed how the body of my work will progress.