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.
Currently I am in the process of familiarizing myself with the Abstract Expressionist movement, so I can create a visual response to my understanding of it. As, I read countless pages dedicated to this artistic movement, I recognize within myself an intrigue in Art History. I am interested to learn all about the artist, their history, what led them to expression themselves in that they did? How their movement evolved? How artists like De Kooning and Pollock transitioned from the early figurative work of their past to the abstract work during their prime? I have become transfixed with these ideas. As I try to learn about them, I feel I learn about myself as well.
As I passed through my kitchen this afternoon, I was taken by the abandoned garlic on the table, so I decided to sketch it. this is the picture and the result!
Here, I have a couple ideas I am working with in my sketch book. The idea began with an image that caught my eye. In the left and right corners of it, there were two, colourless, men in suits, they faced forward and surrounding them, there were butterflies. Colourful butterflies. The butterflies created a stark contrast from the men, in both colour and image. The colourful butterflies against harsh dull background created a whimsy which inspired the two sketches below.
Today I had the opportunity to lead a workshop for my art class on a couple ways to decorate cupcakes.Since I began baking, and then decorating, I have noticed the importance of food being aesthetically pleasing.We not only eat with our sense of taste and smell, but also sight. So I was very excited to share with my class how easy it can be, and everyone seemed to enjoyed the sugar! Being that it is so close to Christmas, I made green icing and brought in green, red and white sprinkles. I soon found how challenging it is to run a workshop, for twenty two people with icing and sprinkles. First, I gave a demonstration showing everyone how to create the very popular 1M Swirl (1M is the icing tip), then each person was given a some wax paper to practice their swirls and designs before they got their cupcakes. I also demonstrated a Christmas tree cupcake, using a drop method. Once each person was given their edible canvases, two peppermint chocolate cupcakes, everyone was given the opportunity to decorate however they like. The classroom became a scene of people decorating cupcakes, eating icing, passing the sprinkles around, eating cupcakes in a beautiful chaos of joy. The joy of sugar and sweets is one that cannot be explained. It was a great way to enjoy the end of the school term and kick off the beginning of winter break. Everyone was alighted as to how their cupcakes turned out. It is surprisingly easy if you are just given the right tools and a delicious canvas.
Installment Artist Statement
Foot pointed, chin in, she braced herself for the flip. The gymnast turned to the rows of seats, bright lights piercing her skin. To the spectators her routine was merely a fluid collection of movements. To her it was the struggle between balance and beauty, a constant battle with the ever present threat of failure. On the platform it was only her, her decisions, her routine, her life. At any one moment she might miss a step or land with the wrong stance. This idea haunted her, following her through each day. This led her to worry about being overcome with failure, not only at the bar but also in her life. So easily she felt she could be pulled in to failure, pulled from the security of the bar, or the security of familiarity by something as simple and unpredictable, as a locked joint or change.
She looked to her audience again; thankfully all she saw was a blur of colour. She could pretend it was only her, like when she was a little girl and this was for herself, at that time she did not worry about her score or what anyone else thought. The gymnast gripped the bar, clutching to the essence of safety, radiating from it. She moved through her routine, gracefully, not missing a single step, and then it was over. She dismounted the bar, the crowd’s noise became brash, an uncomfortable contrast to her harmonious movement. Breathing deeply, as sense of relief engulfed her.
The intent of my piece was to embody the fragility of life. Like the girl in the story, failure constantly shadows behind us, creeping, threatening. Sometimes, overcoming us, as a fallen gymnast was intended to represent. In order to enjoy the pleasures of life, we mustn’t fixate on this. Rather, we must enjoy the beauty of life, the beauty of the routine and movements for the gymnasts. One of the greatest desires is to achieve balance in our life, this idea parallels to literal balance required in gymnasts. I hoped that this piece would encapsulate the essence of this, through the strength, balance, beauty and sometimes failure of the gymnasts in this piece.