MediaBook arts, Digital art, Glass, Illustration, Mixed media / Collage, Printmaking
Artist Profile PicturePortrait-for-COS.jpg
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Artist's StatementTim’s early work examined moiré patterns and illusions of movement. He changed to printmaking to explore patterns with traditional meanings, for example Gothic manuscripts and oriental carpets. While teaching in Glasgow School of Art he participated in the movement to paint murals on gable ends, supported by the Scottish Arts Council. This led to his interest in the relationship between art and architecture, which he studied by retraining in architectural glass. His recent work uses mirrors in constructions with multiple reflections, which combine optical illusions, reflections and coloured glass.
For summer 2023 Tim is showing a retrospective selection from more than half a century’s production including working drawings, cartoons for glass and finished works.He is exhibiting with his wife, Paula who is showing woven tapestries, constructed textiles and wall hangings.
Art StyleAbstract, Representational, Contemporary, Traditional, Illustrative, Conceptual
Art SubjectsAbstract, Figurative
Art Materialsacrylic, pen, ink, pencil, glass, paper
Tim Armstrong's Portfolios
These explore double mirror reflections and transparencies using the 60 degree angles of kaleidoscopes. The main technique is sandblasting.
Most of Tim's silkscreen prints are made using hand-cut stencils or masks. He adds photoprocessed imagery as required. Evolution over the years shifted from patterns that required viewing through optical screens to patterns with traditional meanings. He used digital prints to continue developing imagery with multiple references. He regards computers as useful tools but dislikes their tendency to impose instructions rather than obey them.
Murals vary according to clients' requirements, architectural setting and environmental considerations. Here Tim shows two contributions to the Scottish Arts Council's gable end scheme of the 1970s, and a recent mural for a domestic setting. The latter required perspective applied to a cylindrical wall.
Commissions in stained glass
Most commissions require original designs, but some people choose a period or contemporary pattern. Designs can be adapted or mixed. Clients’ wishes come first, and designs should be suitable for the public or private buildings for which they are proposed. A site visit and consultation are usually required, then a design is agreed before work begins.
Initial media include ink, paint or anything suitable. Preliminary ideas may be exchanged as JPEG or other imagery by e-mail. A charge may be made for original designs. If so you will be informed in advance. There may be no fee for designs that are simply adapted from existing period patterns. Copyright rules apply.
Techniques on glass include printing, painting, sandblasting, computer design, leaded lights and work with mirrors.
Some glass hangings are fine for interiors, sometimes on the inside of windows. They come roughly under the title of architectural glass but may not be intended to take wind and rain from the outside. It's not an exact definition.
Tim's Methodical Sketchbook (2022 publication) is a collection of starting ideas for students. It invites change, improvement and adaptation to relate local and global issues to readers’ personal creativity. It emphasises open-ended invention rather than prescription.
The book uses drawings, pictures, murals, prints, moiré movements, stereography, charts and diagrams to discuss the creative processes that are common to abstract art, representation and functional design. It’s an updated homage to Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook, which was written for the Bauhaus 100 years ago. Today’s artists and designers must adjust to the issues of our time.
Paul Klee’s Sketchbook began by arranging fragments in logical order. Tim's does something similar. Sketches begin with fragments, instincts, representation and expression. As Klee observed, we also make things visible beyond mere representation. Hence the development from early sketches to finished designs. The progress is similar to the interaction between scientific research and technology.
Black is not Black, White is not White
Black is not Black - White is not White
Seven reasons why you are right
This addition to A Methodical Sketchbook completes Tim Armstrong’s tribute to Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook, which was written for the Bauhaus a century ago. Klee’s writings emphasised the relationship between visual perception, simple beginnings and the journey from drawing by hand to open-ended and unlimited discovery.
Tim gives seven reasons why common sense should be alarmed by current trends that disparage such beginnings. He reasons that drawing and sketching remain vital in today’s world of invasive and mechanised virtual realities.
Dictators want to impose their visions on others. They say when black is black, and when it is white. They exploit information technology. Usually their edicts are interpreted politically. Tim understands them with reference to art, religion and money.