Happy Earth Day! I created this piece to celebrate Earth Day. Nature and all its glories are beautiful, and so many artists have been inspired by natures colours, patterns, and forms. On Earth Day, I am grateful to have access to expansive natural land, fresh air and fresh water.
Girl and Herself
Painting this piece offered me an escape from the mundane to a place of creative experimentation. This piece is my visual response to my understanding of the Abstract Expressionism movement. I soon discovered the movement to center on the human experience, profound emotion and creative innovation. Beginning this piece spurred an anxious excitement being that it was my first experience with oil paint. Later in the process I got a feel for the paint, and found the brush dancing around the canvas, revealing to me the colourful and incredibly chaotic exterior. I experimented with different brush strokes, colour and even built the confidence to use a scratching technique. The expressionist essentially reinvented American Art during the movement, using unprecedented scale, non-traditional techniques and tools in experimental ways; I tried to mirror their artistic freedom and discoveries with my own.
I had a strong desire to embed parts of the human body within my piece as a representation of the human condition; a topic explored by the abstract expressionist movement. The deeply expressive art of this movement reveals a great deal about the artist to the viewer. To capture this relationship, my idea behind the main subject, the girl, was to depict a person in their most vulnerable form and reveal her through the painting. The girl contrasts the busy exterior in both colour and style, an attempt to create a divide from her and the exterior, which I used as a means to explore a more “abstract” style. The main subject, looking forward hides her face to allow the chaotic exterior to reveal the chaos within the girl and within her emotion. In the bottom right corner, beneath a white screen of paint is a blue heart, only visible in shape, reflecting back to the theme of emotional expression.
During my Spring Break, I had the most amazing opportunity to visit Project Somos, a children’s village in Guatemala. There, the group of us, were able to provide help in many different ways; from making bricks, to painting buildings, digging dirt, varnishing the wood playground, grouting, working in the kitchen, making lamps and even painting rocks.
One afternoon, I volunteered to paint rocks. Why were we painting rock? The intention was to make the rocks into toys for the children, to play with in their sand box. I painted some of the rocks in the pictures below. The blue car in this photo is one of the rocks I painted. As I painted it, I hoped that the children would recognize this irregularly shaped blue object as a car, but I had little proof, until the last day. On the last day, the children came from their houses to where we stayed, and one of the children, Kenny, little Kenny, picked up the blue car, recognized it to be a car and began moving it across the floor. It filled me with incredible joy to see Kenny play with the rock I painted, and to see the rock could bring Kenny joy.