Vulnerability in Scribendi 2019

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I would describe myself as a painter whose focus is mostly on acrylic and oil mediums. I was traditionally a landscape painter, but in the past year or two I’ve branched out into other subject matter, such as portraiture.

Why did you submit to Scribendi

My honors college program advertised the submission process for Scribendi during fall semester. I wanted an opportunity to share my art in a more formal setting with the chance for recognition. I also value the fact that Scribendi encourages artful pursuits in all honors college students regardless of their major or end career goals. 

What was your creative process with “Vulnerability”? 

I began by taking a portrait of the subject on my camera as a reference. The concept was inspired by some of my previous works in which I explored thunderstorms and their connection with human emotion. 

Did you have any influences in creating this piece?

I can’t think of any major influences I referenced to create this piece. I did, however, look at a lot of different kinds of portraiture across a lot of mediums to see how the artist chose to use light and color in skin tones as that was the most challenging part of the painting for me to finish.

As a staff we liked your emotive use of color. What were your intentions in your color choices?

The main intention behind my use of color was to capture the the dynamic color schemes that typify thunderstorms, such as deep purples, yellows, and blues. I used softer and more muted colors on her face as well as smooth, blended brush strokes and the symbolism of rain to convey a feeling of vulnerability and submission, especially in the face of torrential rains.  

What challenges and benefits do you find working with acrylic? 

The main challenge of working with acrylic is that it dries relatively quickly, which can be very difficult when you’re trying to blend, especially when trying to create that smooth, skin-like finish. On the flip side of that, the fact that it dries quickly can be very helpful in layering and repainting sections if need be. Acrylic is also much more practically feasible. It’s cheaper and more accessible than oil paints, and cleaning oil paint off of brushes and palettes can be kind of a headache. 

What excites you as an artist? 

What’s most exciting to me as an artist is challenging myself to either push myself in the sorts of subject matter that I explore or the types of mediums/techniques that I use to complete my pieces. I really value art that uses their subject and their medium in ways that aren’t entirely typical of that medium. Color is also one of the most intriguing aspects of painting to me, because color schemes can be so fluid and emotive that it impacts the entire painting. It’s really exciting to me to be able to experiment with my use of color in trying to represent certain feelings or subjects. 

Where do you like to work on your art?

I used to strongly prefer a studio setting with lots of other artists around, but lately I like to blast some music in my room and paint alone. I like working somewhere with lots of natural light as well. 

Do you feel your art has changed over time? If so, how? 

Yes, my art has changed substantially over time. I used to exclusively paint landscapes, but I wanted to branch out into new subject matter such as portraits and still life. Now, I primarily paint portraits with the occasional landscape. I also didn’t used to put a lot of symbolism or emotions behind my pieces, and I would almost exclusively work off of my reference pictures. While I still use my own reference pictures, I like to add and change content from the pictures to make my paintings entirely unique.

Lastly, what role does art play in your life?

For me, art is a valuable activity for me to release stress and not feel stifled by my academics. Being able to exercise creativity on my own terms is very important to me. It lets me explore a little bit about where I am in life as well as what sorts of things I value and want to continue to pursue.