NOT A DROP OF WATER
I created this piece as a reminder to myself that all people, no matter how differently we approach life, are equal in value. The repetition of the boy suggests this—even though each are looking in three different directions, they are all the same. Both the desert and the clouds represent that there is an absence of God when judging people on how they live, as the desert lacks water (God), and the clouds painted above won’t rain.
This self-portrait represents a period of transition in my life that I entered the summer before my junior year. I had finished my portfolio for AP Studio Art the previous school year, and was contemplating the future of my art. I painted myself looking out into the future, unsure of where I would be.
Now when I look at this piece, I see my past reflection staring back at my
future—my current—self. It's interesting to reflect now on what my art has become. The piece continues to engage with my self-reflection as an artist, as it challenges me to constantly push the boundaries of my work; to exist in that transitional stage of looking out into a future unknown.
THROUGH CLOUDED EYES
Inspired by Rene Magritte’s “Son of Man”, this painting explores the relationship between technology and instant gratification. With a simple Google search, our questions can be answered instantly, and as a result we feel restless when we are faced with questions about the world that cannot be answered. The man in pajamas standing in the streets of NYC is the main focus. Our minds are interested to know who he is and why he’s wearing pajamas, but, as in “Son of Man,” we will never get to see his face. I wanted this piece to force the viewer to have to grapple with the feeling of not knowing, the "gray"—a feeling that we can so often conveniently avoid.
I drew this composition from life, capturing a worm’s eye view. Utilizing the element of color helped to emphasize the light bulb as the focal point of the drawing.
This was my first of many self-portraits. I wanted to focus on the conflicting desires I have to either grapple with the “big questions” about life and spirituality, or just go through life without really reflecting on its depth at all.
The desire to contemplate life is shown through the hand that is pulling the eye to stay open or awake, and the desire to not think at all is represented by the hand keeping my other eye closed or asleep.
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
This piece uses several symbols that ultimately have come to be motifs that I incorporate into my artwork. The hands are escaping the turbulent sea waters through the window, while the night sky signifies contemplation. The presence of the moon and stars represent a divine presence presiding over the scene.
This was my first oil painting, and I was interested in playing with texture, light, and perspective. By utilizing the perspective of the viewer, the emotion of the scene is enhanced. The observer’s point of view is almost beneath the bicycle, which emphasizes the feeling of loss as the person leaves barefoot into the night.
WIND OFF A COLD SEA
Often times I convey ideas with my artwork. Here, I challenged myself to convey a feeling instead.
I can’t put this feeling into words, which is why I chose to express it visually instead. Using composition and movement helped to communicate this ambiguous emotion.
HELLO YELLOW DRESS
Symbolism and repetition help to convey the idea that choosing to spend time reflecting on my life through my spirituality gives me a sustainable joy. The dress becomes more finished and complete throughout the painting to convey how my life becomes fuller the more I focus on developing my inner self.