milan art institute mastery program review week 27 painting with mixed media

Week 27 Milan Art Institute Mastery Program

For week 27  in the Mastery program our task was simple – to paint.

The freedom granted this week allowed me to explore my creative boundaries, experiment with new techniques, and ultimately, to gain a deeper sense of trust in my artistic process.

We were only meant to create two pieces. However, I decided to push my limits by working off an idea board and transforming it into four distinct artworks. I don’t feel like my process has coalesced into something consistent which produces a cohesive voice. Alongside this, I also sought to incorporate the gold leaf from last week's lesson, but one I hadn't yet played.

This decision was motivated by my general state of panic about the upcoming portfolio section and how I really don’t feel ready.

As I embarked on this weeks assignment, a notable shift occurred within me. Having created so many pieces this year, I found myself growing increasingly comfortable with the act of creation and painting. This newfound confidence allowed me to approach my work with a sense of calm, unburdened by anxiety about the final outcome.

For the first time, I trusted in my ability to make a good painting, placing my focus on the creative process itself rather than the result.

My artistic process doesn’t have a predefined vision of how it will turn out, I prefer to work from idea boards rather than mocked up sources. Each piece I create is akin to solving a puzzle in real-time, demanding my full presence and attention in the moment. This week was a turning point, where I fully embraced this method and found peace in the creative uncertainty.

painting idea board milan art institute mastery program review week 27

However, as I moved from working in acrylics, to adding oils over the top, I faced a dilemma. While I appreciate the added colour and richness oils bring to my work, I feel that sometimes adding the oil paints can make the painting feel "overcooked." It lost the graphic and sketchy quality I love and want to keep in my work, so I’m still struggling with knowing when to quit.

In the lessons this week we explored photography techniques, both indoors and outdoors, aiming to capture dramatic poses and lighting. Without access to models, I ended up filming myself and exporting specific frames of poses I liked. I don’t really want to be painting myself so I chose not to use those photos, for this week at least.

Another valuable lesson was learning to use Pixelmator to edit our sources. We played with scale and layer blending options, opening up new possibilities for creativity. I even created a source using this method, it may become a painting in the future.

As the structure of the program gradually becomes looser, I appreciate this shift towards a more self-directed studio practice. It encourages us to trust our instincts, embrace uncertainty, and find inspiration within ourselves.

During week 27 at the Milan Art Institute Mastery Program I found a new confidence, developed a deeper connection to my creative process, and experimented with a few new ways of working.

I don’t quite feel really for the upcoming portfolio section- but then who ever does?

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