Wow. School has started and I am SWAMPED. I wanted to make a short post today talking about the Student Exhibition I was recently in! As some of you know, I had my own studio this summer which was amazing, but I spent a lot of my time painting and drawing. The Summer Student Exhibition was to show the artwork that the WIU Students had done over the break. I had three different works in the exhibit and thought I should share them with you today!
Hush | Ink Wash
This was one of the very first works I did this summer. I had decided to start my summer with ink wash because it had honestly been awhile since I had dealt with color and I wanted to ease myself into. The thing I love about ink is that it is so flexible. Some of this was put on with a brush, but other marks were made with a stick. If you’ve had drawing with Jan or Julie then you know where this idea came from for me. This still life was inspired by the plants I could see just out my studio window, and the best part was that they were eye level, so without thinking or hesitation I simply began to draw what I saw. I often had to remind myself this summer that I’m not trying to perfectly recreate what I see, but interpret the life in front of me and put it on paper with my own perspective in mind.
Exposed | Watercolor Pencils
I have taken life drawing twice with Julie Mahoney and I highly recommend taking the class. Initially when I signed up I didn’t realize I would be drawing nude figures and considered dropping the class. I come from a very religious family, and to be honest my father was in shock that there was such a class, but my mother found it to be beautiful and encouraged me on. Taking life drawing gave me a whole new perspective on body image and I began to realize how beautiful the human form is regardless of shape. One night I was yearning for that opportunity of drawing a nude model and decided to paint myself. I sat in front of my mirror topless and began to draw with my watercolor pencils. I never realized how healing it would be to paint my own body. Years and years of feeling ashamed when someone looked at me sexually or touched me or even suggested something about my persona without ever even seeing the secrets beneath my clothing. With this painting I finally had the choice to expose myself on my own time and in a beautiful way.
Moment | Watercolor
If I had to name the most intimate and important part of my body, it would probably be my hands. I use my hands for so much; painting, playing piano, ukulele, drawing, putting my makeup on, eating. Maybe I’ve been taking my hands for granted. This painting was a turning point for me in my artistic life and in my regular life. As I was painting the delicate colors of my hands, I realized how blessed I am to be happy and healthy and to be able to paint what my eyes and imagination sees. So for me, this is more of a moment than a painting. A small epiphany in my little studio.
This was a very exciting moment for me after dedicating so much of my life to music and then suddenly pulling the reins into a completely different field. I still have so much to learn, but I absolutely loved sharing my thoughts and feelings that lie within my artwork. Thank you to all of my professors for what you’ve helped me do and see, and thank you to my mother and father, without your creative spirit and support in doing what makes me happy I never would’ve gotten to this point.
So here’s to a good semester, full of creativity, personal growth, and friendship. Good luck out there.
-The Girl in the Green Coat