Learning report
Year 4, Semester 1

This semester, I had to structure my time quite wisely, both due to the fact that I was gone for two weeks in October but also because I was working on my thesis. I think this structuring of time was successful and although I had a lot of things on my plate, I managed to be productive in the KABK. Before October, I had a rather thought through plan for work as well as a presentation which worked out successfully. After October, my studio practice might have been somewhat different due to an increasing workload from Leiden. I became less thought through and more playful. The works were made more quickly as well. Nonetheless, I think I managed a lot in that period as well, especially with regards to the freedom in my painting method. The pre-exam exhibition went alright but I believe it had several flaws which I intend to work on in the coming semester.
The difficulties I met during this semester were highly based on the thesis and especially with regards to the last two-three weeks before the holidays. During that time, I struggled with my mental health although it might have not been so visible in my working process. With the combination of making an exhibition and writing a thesis, I can see the problematics occurring because I find it struggling to keep the emphasis on both things. This, however, just makes me even more excited for working on my graduation work as I know now to what extent I can push myself. Another struggle I have had is to define and clarify the relevance for the use of paint in my work process since the themes and the subjects I am focusing on are, perhaps, a bit unconventional in the medium of painting - traditionally speaking. Therefore, I have decided for the second semester to focus on the relevance of the painting medium in my own studio practice. Furthermore, I am continuously struggling with presenting works. I found the Pre-exam show building particularly complicated. I like dominating architecture and I think it is very exciting to work with as a presentation space but seeing retrospectively at my pre-exam presentation, I understand that I need to give the presenting a lot more emphasis and thought.
That said, I am quite happy about my process this semester - perhaps more mentally because I have discovered a language in which I can speak about my own work in a more personal way and I think I am on the right path to evolve that. It may sound banal but I discovered indeed how personal and how emotional my art practice is to me and although I might have known this for a longer time, I believe it has been a discovery which I have taken for granted, maybe even neglected because my work should be about much grander and purposeful themes.
This semester also made me discover the importance of the canvas in my work. Crucial for my practice is that the canvas is not only supporting the painting but rather is an object in itself. It may correspond to the painting but it may also oppose the painting which, I believe, in the end, can be even more profiting for the work. This thought, I want to keep working on, also because it is crucial for the way in which I ultimately define a painting. Maybe I am not a painter but rather an artist who uses paint as my primary medium.
For the coming semester, I want to take my work much more seriously and be professional, especially when it comes to executing the work in the end. This aim is based on the fact that I see a tendency in my own practice to be a bit reckless when it comes to the preserving of my work. For now, I think it has been okay, as the work I have made up until now were, perhaps, more like studies. However, for the final semester, my practice needs to involve that of thinking about its construction and how it is executed successfully - without breaking as soon as one touches it…