The Start

So, the whole point of starting an entire new website was to allow myself to create new content, more often. I want to push myself to write more and create more in general. I have a couple of projects I have started and I am sure they will end up on here when they are complete. Writing is one thing. I can create content over and over, and even if I don't publish it here, it honestly doesn't take up nearly as much space. My paintings, however, take up a little more space. I want to paint more but I would love to paint for other people. Whether they have a photo they want painted or just a subject, I want to create art that people want to hang on their walls. I don't expect to end up in art galleries, and honestly this is just a hobby for me, but I just think it would be so cool to create something for someone that they are going to hang up in their kitchen or living room or bedroom or even their bathroom.

I started painting when I was an age. I don't know what age, honestly. I found my niche in high school, though, during my senior year. I took AP Studio Art with someone who became one of my favorite teachers in high school, Stephen Moss. He is an incredible artist and teacher and I was grateful to have learned as much as I could from him. AP Studio Art was a difficult course for me. I wasn't as talented in regards to drawing or using pastels. I could get by but there were some pretty incredible artists in my class. There was a whole six of us that took the course that year, and typically, students we expected to have taken a variety of art classes leading up to Studio Art. I had only taken a couple art classes, because my schedule never really had a ton of wiggle room unless I wanted to come in at 7 in the morning for what we called 'zero hour.' So I took what was offered in that zero hour. I took your basic intro to art class and a black and white photography class. Mr. Moss took a chance on me when he allowed me to take Studio Art. I am so glad he did.

A large part of Studio art is preparing your portfolio for submission for the AP (advanced placement) test. There are two sections. One is called breadth and the other is concentration. Breadth is basically a compilation of every medium. They want to see what you can do in different mediums across the board. The concentration is a series of pieces that are linked in medium and tell a story. Each section is to contain six pieces each, so over the course of the school year, we are continually working towards completing the portfolio. My concentration ended up being six plexiglass pieces. Plexiglass is basically a plastic glass I guess. It's more sturdy than glass. It makes it easier to work with because it is not as fragile, it is less likely to get scratched up and you can't cut yourself on the sides. I found out about it's existence because my teacher told me about it. It was sort of a way to think outside the box. He asked if I wanted to give it a shot and I did. I started with sharpie markers mostly. I ran into an issue. The markers are not nearly as visible on glass as they are on paper. With paper up against the plexiglass, you can clearly see the marks I made but without it, you can't. I figured out that leaving the paper behind the drawing wasn't going to work so I started painting on the backs. This is the first one I created. I used white paint to accentuate the people and another color for the background.

As I continued to do these reverse marker drawings, they just got better, at least in my opinion. These are some of the ones I made for my portfolio.

The concept behind my concentration was relationships. The good and the bad. I wanted to depict important moments and simple moments. One of the couples wasn't even real but it was fun to do that. Set the scene, catch some candid shots that end up working better than the ones I tried setting up. I did not end up getting the best grade on my AP portfolio, but that's okay. I figured out along the way that I enjoy the process of creating these pieces. Sometimes, using marker is better. I did find that painting all of it provides a really great outcome.

This is a photo of a painting. This one is not done in marker at all. It is all paint. It took the longest for me to complete but it is one of my favorite pieces so far. It won a ribbon in an art show in high school, first place (which is not actually first, its second. first place gets a 'best of show'). This is another piece that is all paint:

I loved working with the reflection on the water with this one. Each of these pieces, I photographed. I edited the photos to enhance colors and then flipped them. And then I taped them to the back of the plexiglass and painted them, following as closely to the photo as I can.

So that's how I got started. I had one teacher one year that pushed me and encouraged me to do better because he knew I could even when I didn't.

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