Oil Painting Artist Statement

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.

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