Saturday, February 28, 2015



"Sans Vase"


Sometimes I forget how easy art should be. Fundamentally, it's color on paper - or canvas, etc. That's it. I say "should be" because I'm always one to overthink art. A planner at heart, I've had to work at being a better improviser. Printmaking is a medium that is pretty mindless and involves lots of improv. It's wonderful because you can use flat-ish objects from anywhere, apply ink, and transfer its impression to paper with the help of some pressure - and viola! It's art. 

"Boardwalk" is a lithograph made with storyboard, and it won silver in Scholastic this year. I'm quite fond of its absurdity. "Sans Vase" and "Textures" were born on the same day. They were made with plantlife snagged from the university gardens across the street from the school I take after school art lessons with. My art teacher assured me the plants would not be missed, and given that she is on good terms with the gardeners, I don't have qualms about it. 

This spring, I plan to utilize the flora and give printmaking another go. Although I am lacking a printing press, I'm going to test how a car would work. After all, its the amount of pressure that counts, right? Until then, I am quite busy with making portfolio pieces in order to make the AP Art deadline. Time is short, but I'm determined to make it.


Monday, February 23, 2015

What is Beauty?

"Starving Beauty"

Not long ago, I clicked a link that led me to an article about the different concepts of female beauty, showing how they changed over time. The ancient Greek women desired the plumper, hourglass shape. The Egyptians valued the angular and slim. The Victorian women could not resist those unnaturally small, corset bound waists. It doesn't take a genius to notice that today's concept of beauty craves skin showing every curvature of bone. Only the hungry are beautiful, it seems like.

Like any teenage girl, I have compared myself and seen myself fall short of this modern standard. But then I think, who makes this stuff up? Who was it that first thought femininity could be best expressed by showing off protruding collar bones? My best guess is it wasn't just one person but many. It is sad to think of all the girls trying to mold themselves to meet this awful standard. Think of how much cases of depression and how many broken self-images could have been spared had the standard been only three dress sizes bigger. I guess what I'm trying to say is, "beauty" is a concept that was given to you. You did not make it. Making yourself fit the concept of beauty you have may be a painful progress. It is bogus that we cannot all be content with our bodies. 


Monday, February 2, 2015


(Scholastic Regional Gold Key)

"Destination Sunset"
(Scholastic Regional Gold Key)

As a kid in elementary, I would only ever spend one sitting on a drawing. By that I mean I would churn out all my energy to work on one drawing while I sat hunched over my little desk in my room, furiously scrubbing the paper with markers, colored pencils or whatever medium at hand. It was exhilarating to make something; to bring to life something that had never existed before. But it was also a half-hopeless struggle. Running up to adults to seek approval, I knew that what I had made fell far from perfection, but I wanted recognition for the hard work. 

I suppose everyone still wants recognition for something, but everyone is quieter about it now. We all seem to wait for people to come up to us and congratulate us for being such wonderful humans. That never happens. 

To a certain extent, we still have to ask for it. This Saturday, I'm going to a Scholastic Arts and Writing regional awards ceremony because I won a few prizes for some of the pieces I entered. Since I don't plan to be an artist full time after high school, going to art award ceremonies is like playing make believe. I can dress up nice and pretend that I've got a name in art or something, all the while getting handed certificates and pins for making "pretty pictures". It's exhilarating. It's like being a kid all over again.