Most of my work is primarily technique driven, but over the summer I wanted to try to explore and interpret some of my emotions through art. However, at first glance, I could not find the meaning in my work and was disappointed with the glaring lack of emotion in any of the works, particularly the paintings. As I sat through the critiques of my classmates, I began thinking about my own work on a deeper level. I realized that the figures in the painting show no outer emotion, but when stripped down to the core, the colors become more abstract and the “emotion” shows. When I realized how the paintings actually related to me, I was finally happy with my work’s conceptuality. 

The two paintings were originally asked for by my aunt, who took me to Carytown and bought all the paints and canvas for me, so I was certainly obligated to put forth my best effort. I also used acrylic on canvas, a medium and surface I was inexperienced in using. I think that these are the best works I’ve made yet for DRHS art, and are the first works that I am truly happy with. I think I may have found a direction that I want to go in with my work and I am very excited. I spent several weeks on the paintings and pretty much spent most of my summer coated in paint. I spent most of my time in the spare room either painting or playing the saxophone and I am proud of the consistent effort I put into the work, for I know I can get impatient if things are not going my way.

I have worked with acrylic before in the past, but this was my first time working on canvas. These were the largest pieces I have ever painted, so I had some difficulty with the composition and trying to scale everything to make the most effective use of the space. I am used to smaller drawing in sketchbooks and drawing on photoshop where I can utilize the zoom tool, so it was definitely something new for me, especially being left handed and using paints. This was also the first time I’ve used the glossy, shiny paint and I am glad that it turned out as well as it did. I tried various techniques with the paints and brushes to blend and create various kinds of brushstrokes, such as the dry brush technique I used when painting the hair on the blue painting. The digital work was actually the first time I had ever worked in Adobe Illustrator or with vector drawings. Though it definitely simpler and less interesting than the paintings, I invested almost as much time into that as I did into the paintings. Aligning each and every eye, creating vector shapes to color the different parts of each eye, and drawing then using live trace on the skull was more time consuming than most would think just looking at it.

If I had to grade myself I would probably give myself an A or A-. This is the happiest I have ever been with my work, but I am somewhat of a perfectionist and I know that there is still work to be done and that I could have spent some more time refining certain details. I think that when I tried to just make work and not put meaning behind it, it turned out to be more conceptual and meaningful than my past work. I definitely think that I should continue to just make art and then interpret it afterward. I feel as if it is more honest, sincere, and meaningful when the meaning is not intentional but subconscious. I put a lot more effort into this work than I have in the past, and I think it shows.

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