Chasing the Wind

ink on paper drawing of flowers
Chasing the Wind, ink and pen on paper

While painting is my true passion in the arts, I also really like to draw.

I’ve been a doodler for as long as I can remember, so my notebooks and meeting agendas are covered in lines and swirls and flowers and boxes.

One drawing assignment I had in one of my advanced classes was to take a string dripping in ink and move it around a piece of paper. Then, when the ink had dried, I was to make it into something using a pen. I made several attempts at this assignment, but Chasing the Wind is my favorite one.

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Holding On To You

acrylic painting of figures holding hands
Holding On To You, acrylic on canvas

First, let me say that Twenty One Pilots is currently my favorite band. And that I love their song “Holding On To You.” And also that¬† this painting is definitely named after that song.

That wasn’t the original title, though. It was something along the lines of “Looking Up” or something. Which is also an appropriate title all things considered, it just wasn’t the title I wanted after I realized this painting was definitely more about the figures than what they were looking at.

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New Territory

sea anemone oil painting
New Territory, oil on canvas

Just before my last semester in college one of my art teachers finally got me to start using oil paint instead of acrylic paint. I was scared because I hadn’t been formally trained in oil paints and there seemed to be a lot of rules for using them. Something about turpentine and mediums and oils. Plus the drying times are so different.

My first oil painting was rather dark and I had trouble making it brighter, largely because oil paint takes infinitely longer to dry than acrylic paint does and I wasn’t very patient.

I didn’t want to make the same mistake with my second one.

I decided to take a very different approach with my second oil painting. Super thick sections of paint contrasted with very thin sections.

While researching potential subject matter I came across some pictures of tide pools and sea anemones. They amazed me with how squishy looking they were and the different colors they could be. After looking into them a bit, I determined they would be the perfect subject for my second oil painting ever.

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acrylic and hot glue painting
Paths; acrylic, hot glue, and glitter on canvas

In one of my art classes in college we were told to try something new with a painting. That day I brought in hot glue and glitter glue and went to town.

For this painting, I went with varying layers of watered down acrylic paint (my first time making the drips you see in many of my paintings!) and I laid down tape to create resistance. In some places I completely covered where the tape had been, in others I drew with the hot glue gun instead of laying more glue down. This removed some of the paint, revealing the white of the canvas beneath.

When I finished painting, at first I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted it to go. Should the drips go downward? Should the large glitter-circle be on top? Should the tape lines lead the viewer’s eye into or out of the painting?

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Losing Faith

chalk pastel drawing
Losing Faith, chalk pastel on paper

At the time I titled this piece, it wasn’t a very personal title. I looked at my sad light-flower and decided it looked more than depressed. It looked like it was losing faith in everything. It was dull and detached and feeling devoid.

So I titled it Losing Faith to further communicate what I saw in it.

Looking at this drawing now, it’s more personal. I know a lot of people my age who are losing their faith or have lost it completely. I’ve gone through ups and downs, but overall I still believe the same things I always have.

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Blending In

abstract oil figure painting
Blending In, oil on canvas

At first, oil painting was difficult for me.

It was so different from acrylic that I didn’t truly understand how to blend it or how to wait for it to dry before going in with the next layer. I was used to waiting about 10 minutes before I could start in on my next color. With oil I had to wait hours, days, and sometimes weeks before a certain color would dry.

These issues were why I was so reluctant to make the switch in the first place.

Eventually I got over that. And after my first moderately successful attempts at oil painting and abstract painting respectively, I was ready for something more challenging. At least for me.

So my teacher goes, “Make something more abstract,” which, if you’ve seen my painting Trying to Stand Out, I was already going pretty abstract.

But he goes, “Like that [Trying to Stand Out] but with the figure less obvious.”

So that’s what I attempted.

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Go With Your Gut

abstract acrylic painting
Go With Your Gut, acrylic on canvas

Abstract art is my favorite. To look at and created.

This wasn’t always the case. I used to want my art to be realistic. Then my desire for photo-realism almost drove me insane so I gave up. Not on art, just on realism.

My senior year of college with my senior portfolio theme looming over me, I decided to continue down the abstract path.

I started by mixing a few colors – the dark red, the peach, the orange- and then I went to town. Overall this painting is dark, but there are many highlights in various colors. I wanted this piece to be chaotic and different from anything else I’d made at the time.

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Peaking Disappointment

Peaking Disappointment, acrylic on canvas

I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but my senior year I was required to take a course called Senior Portfolio, which involved coming up with a big idea and creating a bunch of artwork based around it. Then at the end of the year myself and the other art major seniors (there was only one) would have a Senior Art Show, showcasing our work and trying to impress people. (The art show actually worked for me because I sold my first three paintings there!)

My general idea for my senior portfolio was to paint emotions. But how to do this? Color was important. As were brush strokes and medium used.

At first, I created a bunch of “light-flowers” that expressed different emotions.

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Inspirational Artists- Ai WeiWei

Meaningful Art & Artists

My senior year of college I was required to write a very long paper explaining my ethics and applying them to an argument of what ethics should encompass a specific topic.We were told to focus on our field of study to make it easier.

My topic ended up being art since I didn’t feel like writing about the ethics of writing. This forced me to choose a set of ethics for artists. The basis of my argument was that artists are responsible to their viewers.

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Setting Sky

Setting Sky, acrylic and hot glue on canvas

This painting was created based on an assignment in one of my painting classes. “Get creative, make something abstract, use new materials.”

So I brought a hot glue gun into class. I also wanted to see what would happen if I tried putting it on a canvas. I wanted to see how it would react being mixed with paint (at this time I only used acrylic paint).

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