Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the guest room that I slept in at my parents’ house had several artworks that I created while I was growing up. Our family has moved many times over the years and it is interesting how looking at these images stirs up memories from the times that I was working on them. It’s good to know that my skills have improved since, but I feel confident enough to share these, and a little bit about them….
I don’t think you can consider any teenage artist’s portfolio complete unless they include at least one pointilized piece. This portrait of Billy Joel, whose music I was obsessed with, was a very long-term project for my junior year of high school in West Milford, New Jersey. I remember carrying this (18″ x 24″?) rolled sheet of Bristol board along with my Rapidograph pens in various sizes around for weeks… months… so that I could work on it in any spare time that I had. My fellow students were doing the same. What I want to ask our art teacher, Cormac, is Why did it have to be so hugeif we were creating it out of several million tiny dots of ink?! I am glad I chose a subject that I was already obsessed with, otherwise I’m not sure I would have hadthe motivation to complete it.
By earning a D in Trigonometry in the first half of my senior year I convincedeveryone that I didn’t deserve to be in math class any more. For the remaining semesters of that year I used a class period to work on two acrylic paintings of a goldfish, basedon a magazine photo for reference. This one is the smaller of the two, the other is much larger and displays the entire fish floating in emerald green water. There was anart class going on in the room where I was painting and I became known around school as “The Girl Who Is Painting a Giant Goldfish!”
We’re jumping further back in time with this one, I believe it is my first acrylic painting from when I was about 7 years old! My parents signed me up for an art workshop at some kind of community culture center in Corning, New York, close to the town where we lived; Painted Post. I definitely remember painting this and a little bit about how the teacher inspired this work. She had a large vase of dried flowers in the center of the table, and all of the flowers were brown or other dull colors. The class was instructed to use our imaginations as far as the color and make them look better than they did in real life.
I like seeing this illustration next to the image above because the colors are so similar! I was inspired to create these colorful lizards after a trip to the Metropolitan Museum in New York during my junior year of college at Syracuse University. I remember being amazed by the inside of a canoe from New Guinea that was decorated with patterned lizards at the museum and it led me to create this.
I hope you enjoyed this little artistic trip down memory lane with me. Maybe when you are visiting relatives or friends during the holidays you’ll notice art or artifacts of your own that will bring up memories, too.