I was an art major in college, and part of our curriculum was to take a couple of studio drawing classes. This Indian ink drawing was a piece I completed for one of those courses.
Back in college, still life always seemed to be a bowl of the same plastic fruit that had been in the art department for years. Occasionally other objects were thrown in, although usually I was pretty bored with the subjects we tackled. For this piece, I thought it was pretty unique that we drew from a block arrangement. Using Indian ink made the composition even more interesting, since we had to focus closely on the variations in contrast for the highlights and shadows.
Back when I was in college, I worked on collages made from magazine strips in my free time. I was studying painting at the time, but I still tried to make time for collage. I also often tried to work in collage with my paintings, and this piece is an excellent example of just that.
To make this piece, I used two different canvases. One of them was stretched, while the other wasn’t. I created two paintings on both canvases, and then cut up the canvas that wasn’t stretched and stitched the pieces of the painting onto the stretched canvas. Thus I created a collage of two paintings. The piece was made with acrylic paint, some magazine strips that were adhered to the canvas, and thread.
This is a mixed media painting that I made back when I was home for the summer during college. I used magazine cutouts, acrylic paint, a broken CD, thread, and felt. I made this during a time when I was going through a phase where I’d stitch cloth or other canvas onto paintings, sort of creating a collaged painting in a way. This painting has always been a favorite of mine, and to this day it hangs on a wall in my home.
Here’s a self portrait mixed media painting that I did during my freshman year of college. If you look closely, you can see that I incorporated magazine cutouts in the hoodie. I also layered paper and painted over it to add texture to the street, buildings, and background. I used a lot of thick paint, and added even more texture with my palette knife.
This was made during a time when I was trying to find ways to incorporate collage into my paintings. At my college, I had to pick a specific concentration in art, and since collage wasn’t an option, I went for the next best thing – painting.
This was the first painting that I did in a series of still life paintings back in college. I call them the “Reflective Still Life Studies,” since I played around with painting glass and the reflection of objects in mirrors. Since this was the first painting in the series, you can see that the strokes seem a little forced and uncertain. I was just getting the hang of mixing colors and painting still life, so it wasn’t until I got to the second painting in the series when the compositions flowed together a little better.
This still life oil painting is a piece that I made back in college during my freshman year. I made this back when I was studying painting in school, although I still worked on collages in my free time. I remember that this was made during a time when I was still learning the ins and outs of mixing and blending paint colors, so it isn’t as expressive as some of my other paintings.
This is an acrylic self portrait that I made back in high school. For the background, I used thick layers of paint and then scraped away at the paint with a palette knife. I painted this portrait a little bit after the first self portrait painting that I made when going through a program at a local gallery.
I studied painting in college, and this is a piece that I made that was part of an oil painting series that depicted reflective surfaces. I remember really enjoying the process when I was working on this particular painting, it sort of fell together, while my other reflective paintings were more of a struggle.
I feel like still life was something I always dreaded in school. The compositions in real life that we worked from seemed boring to me – not as exciting as figurative work. The struggle was finding inspiration in old objects that were fished out of the teacher’s closet and strewn about in such a way to create interest for the entire class. Nowadays when I tackle still life, I like to work from reference photos of interesting food and drinks that I’ve seen (or eaten) on various trips.
I think this is one of the first self portrait paintings I ever made. I created this piece back in high school – I think I was around sixteen at the time. It was also the first time I really learned how to mix acrylic paints and create a wash before I started the whole painting process. You can see a little bit of purple from the purple wash shining through, since I used it to help with the look of the shadows.
I made this painting through a mentor program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. I was paired with a painter who taught me about the basics of painting. I met with her about once a week, and she critiqued my work and gave me some helpful advice. In fact, some of her advice is something I still remember and think about when I make artwork even today. She told me that I shouldn’t assume what things look like in my mind, I should pay attention to all the shapes that make up objects in real life. You can see I did a little bit of assuming with this piece since my eyes are football shaped instead of being more rounded.
What’s a little amusing about this piece is that you can see that I had orange streaks in my hair at the time. I had a habit of dying my hair a lot in those days.
Again, self portraits are pretty tough, and you can tell that I was new to the painting process. This piece just goes to show that you have to start somewhere.