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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Personal Story

     When I was 6 years old, I told my mom that I needed ‘real art lessons’; the lessons and crafts we created at home were not enough to fulfill my big ambitions. I began with private lessons to build foundational drawing skills that opened my eyes to see the world from a new point of view. I remember learning about perspective and how I could use parallel lines and angles to effectively create a world of depth on a flat sheet of paper. I drew nothing but cubes and city-scapes for months. I still continued experiments in jewelry making, fashion design, wood whittling, and clay sculpture at home - and I took great joy in bestowing my unique creations upon family and friends at Christmas. My sisters would take delight in describing to you the entire outfit I once crocheted out of yarn: the halter-top, skirt, hat with tassels, and even slippers. 
    However, my primary passion is drawing and painting. I took a large leap forward when I enrolled in an art institute where I began using sheets of paper almost larger than me. I explored the capabilities of messy charcoal and went home after every class wearing the remnants of my work in smudged, black marks across my face. However, the beginnings of my true passion ignited when I opened those big cabinets at the institute filled with a spectrum of colors in acrylic paints. Of course, my previous endeavors had led to some contact with painting; but now I was introduced to color theory, schemes, saturation, tone, brush marks, energy, lighting, composition, and conceptual ideas. I filled sketchbooks with thumbnail drawings as I explored compositions to effectively relay the message or story I was trying to tell through my paintings. My world changed: I saw the purpose behind the placement of objects in advertisements, I understood why the camera angle would move in certain directions in horror movies, and I recognized repeating patterns in both the natural and commercial world that I could incorporate into my own creations. 

    Recently, I began to experiment with a variety texture by adding different mediums to my pieces. If you were to flip through my current sketchbook, you would find one page covered in a gritty paste next to another page where I painstakingly placed tiny glitter sequins one by one to create an iridescent pattern. This development in my artistic journey has kindled a new area of intrigue as I break out beyond the two dimensional barrier. In my most recent works, I explored the use of string, fabric, and wire to extend my message outside the flat surface of my paintings. In painting, the brush becomes an extension of my arm to relay energetic marks. In using these other materials, my hands become the actual tools.

     I have discovered that my hands-on creative nature affects every area of my life. I see the world differently: I don’t just observe the events that take place around me, I plan out how I would record, explain, or manipulate them through lines, color, and now three dimensional forms. My actions are similarly influenced as well. For example, when I studied the psychological development of the brain, I sculpted an anatomical brain with color-coded structures to aid in my understanding of the subject. When I am required to memorize facts, I write and rewrite the information because the physical motion in my hand aids my mental processes. 

   As I take the next step in my creative career, attending SUNY New Paltz with the plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts degree,  I hope to continually engage my artistic personality and outlook on life. 

HeartStrings Gallery

My heart is connected to and speaks through my creations.
Project/week 1 "HeART Connections"

My heart is connected to and speaks through my creations. 

Project/week 2 "Severed"

The measures I sometimes feel the need to take in order to prevent pain and strong emotions

Project/week 3 "Egocentric"

I can often be too focused on, and perhaps even in love with myself and my image. The intricate embroidery shows the depth of attention and decoration I place on myself. The 2 notes reflected in the mirror read 'You are the [key] to your own success', and 'Find your inner wings'. - Society correlates the love of one's appearance to self worth, leading to self-obsessed, lonely people. 

Project/week 4 "Intrusion"

I incorporated small, meaningful details in this piece to add to the story. I curl protectively around my heart strings while an 'intruder' lights the fuse of the said heartstrings.

Project/week 5 "Torn"

Do you ever feel as if you are being torn in multiple different directions? In relationships, life decisions, responsibilities... Instead of others reaching in to assist you, it seems as if they rip out pieces for themselves.

Project/week 6 "Burial"

Following the concept of "Torn", I symbolically bury the heart that no longer works or is of use to me.

Project/week 7 "Growth"

This piece shows a turning point in the theme. A second individual is introduced in a positive light. My buried heart becomes like a seed that has been planted and just now someone has come to care for it and encourage growth. My choice in composition and body position shows some residual hesitation.

Project/week 8 "Genesis"

This piece stands outside of the story as I experimented in sculpture and pushing conceptual design. The form of a person is being created in the circulatory system that stems from the heartstrings of the fully formed hand, holding the heart. There is some ambiguity in interpretation as well - the direction of formation & connection occurring... 

Project/week 9 "Exuberance"

There is joy and great openness in this dance - the connection between the two. The scene still occurs in twilight, but the warmth & glow of the girl's (my?) heart, represented by unfurling wings, light up the individuals' faces.

Project/week 10 "Release"

This piece continues the story of #9, where now I have released my bird/heart from my rib 'cage' (literally). The large bird above me represents the male figure from #9. It carries the key to my rib cage/ bird/ heart as my own bird is freed to follow. 

Project/week 11 "Forsaken"

Continuing the #9 & 10 story: I strain to reach for the bird that flies away from me as my own bird/heart falls in flight through the tree branches. The heart strings connecting out to the bird in flight are straining and frayed down to 1 last string. In this piece, I show that I now have people who are ready to support me and catch me if I fall.

Project/week 12 "Reborn"

The ending of #9-11 story: My bird/heart and I have fallen from the tree. However, in contrast to the very beginning pieces, I have people around me to help me regain my metaphorical wings, and sew my heart back together. I am being helped back on my feet as others use their own heart strings to invest in my healing. 

HeartStrings Artist Statement

     Exploring art as a multi-dimensional form of communication inspires my creative passion. In my thesis, Heartstrings: The Tangible Exploration of Emotional Ties and Relationships, I break the two- dimensional barrier typically found in paintings. This artistic approach also carries into my personal view of the purpose of art.

     In my work, I create an atmosphere in each piece where the three- dimensional string and sculpture blends into the surface of the painting. This involves understanding the capabilities of the material in order to manipulate it beyond the conventional means. Along with the pursuit of technical painting skills and the understanding of sculptural elements, I explore my conceptual abilities. As a relatively laid-back person emotionally, I often struggle to depict the emotions and pull of my ‘heartstrings’. I found a solution in creating strong, dramatic compositions. As the series progressed, I also began to develop a storyline in which I could exaggerate my emotions –perhaps beyond my own reality, in order to further the metaphorical purpose behind the literal heart strings. 

      This series of work helped to solidify my personal view of the purpose of art outside of my personal boundaries. Working in communication with other talented artists taught me how to appropriately share my knowledge while being open to truly learn from my peers. As a result, I’ve realized that my art can accomplish more than bringing myself joy; it has the ability to affect others around me. I believe that art, in all of its beautiful, expressive forms, provides a unique channel for our voices where words fail. Through colors, compositions, brush strokes – and even string, we can pour out our stories as a declaration to the world, for healing, or to speak for those who are unable. As I begin to build my future upon this foundation, I will reach out into the dimension beyond myself: my community. 

     This body of work on the metaphorical and literal heartstrings involves pushing outside confining space – not only altering the flat surface of a canvas, but also branching out beyond personal achievement to serve my community with my creative strength.