Weekly Report 10
In my AP Literature class we have been discussing how one’s writing, music, and art are expressions a process that allows them to understand and conquer their issues. The example we have used is that of Charlotte Brontë and her book, Jane Eyre. In this piece Brontë expresses her views through a thorough critique of her society. She promotes expression, individuality, and passion. These views deeply contrasted with those of the Victorian society of Brontë’s time. From what I have gathered, this was the way Brontë processed her desire to escape the deeply patriarchal society she resided in and many other issues. Her novel allowed her to understand and address her issues.
I am assuming most of this psychology is crude; most of the lesson probably has surely gone over my head. However, this is what I learned from the class, and I believe it is worth considering through my own lens. The lesson made me question, what is the meaning in my art? What issues am I trying to resolve and understand in my art if any.
Of course, most of my art has been made for educational reasons; expression has rarely been in the forefront of my mind. Recently, though, I have been given the freedom to choose a large part of what I paint. Admittedly, most of what I have painted has been mainly observational. I honestly can not tell if there is any meaning in that, but it could be worth considering. Other than that, however, the most expressive painting I have made is that of a hand surfacing out of a watery goo; the water drips down from the fingers back to the goo. It is also worth mentioning I painted this entirely with my hands; it was my way of exploring a different way to paint. In regards to the question, though, I struggle to find any issues in the painting. Is it escaping something, if so what? What do I want to escape? Is it drowning in something, if so what? What makes me feel that way? I still do not have any answers, but I will be thinking of this throughout my week.
A large part of my life, especially in ISM, has been dedicated to figuring out how to better myself. I believe understanding my own paintings would allow me to do that, so I will examine this painting again and process the meaning behind it. Then, I will record it in my next report and come up with a way to address and apply what I have learned through the painting in my ISM journey.
Weekly Report 9
As I approach the end of the semester, I find myself thinking about my future. Not about what colleges or what job I will pursue. It has been a while since I decided to pursue passion, so I am not worried about that. What am I thinking about is whether I fear my future or not.
During one of my Church’s youth meetings the Priest mentioned how my generation fears our future; he said we do not want to grow up. Of course, I can only speak for myself, so I do not know if his observation is true. Honestly, I do not even know what my answer is.
Yes, I desire to have a job, my own salary, and freedom, and, yes, I am anxious about leaving my parents and family. Leaving the world I know is somewhat intimidating, but I have done so before. Every time I have moved to a different country I was forced to leave part of the world I knew. I had to adapt, and I will have to adapt. Moving to live in a college campus and eventually into my own home will be similar, right? I do not know. How can I be expected to know? Am I even supposed to? I am clearly filled with doubt, but does doubt equate to fear? I do not believe so. Sometimes I imagine myself driving across the country; drawing people in landmarks all over the world. It is cheesy, but just the thought of it excites me.
Maybe I am both slightly intimidated and enthusiastic about my future, and I think that is okay. Right now I plan to follow my passions and adapt to the changes involved. I do not feel overwhelmed by any emotion when I think about my future. Honestly, that might be favorable. The fear will keep me grounded, and the excitement will keep me motivated. I do not have much of an answer for this weekly report, but for the purposes of ISM I will keep following my passions and planning according to them. I will keep myself motivated and conscious of my future; I mean, that is all I can really do, right?
Weekly Report 8
I will admit that school is not always something interesting. Not much changes in a week by week basis; it is a constant pressure on my life. However, this mundanity can be dealt with. Really, it should be dealt with. I have my own ways of dealing with it, which I am attempting to change.
My way of dealing with this stress is music and video games. They provide a break; in a way they are an escape. They clear my mind and allow me to process what is happening with little to no stress. Nonetheless, that is not how I want to be spending my time. I want to be productive and efficient. I cannot do that while playing video games. Instead, I want to paint; I would like to spend my time practicing and improving my art. That has been my goal this year: to paint habitually.
My progress has been slow, but it is there. I have noticed a simple, yet powerful change in my habits already. Sketching, yes, I have begun sketching on my own volition. They are observational sketches, quickly made and rough, but they are still sketches. This is a step, I feel is worth acknowledging because it signifies progress. It is necessary to recognize progress once in awhile; it allows me to see how far I have come. Seeing this small change in my personality motivates and encourages me to keep working at it. This change tells me that I can and will change into a painter as long as I continue investing myself.
Weekly Report 7
I was supposed to have an interview this past week, but my car broke down. This meant a large part of what I hoped to accomplish during the week had to be delayed. Luckily, I was, however, able to go to Arts in the Square during the weekend.
Various friends were playing the piano there, so I decided to attend. What I did not expect was to see so many artists there. Some were selling work; others were painting. I acquired two contacts: one from a lady who was painting a large charcoal portrait and another from an older man who was selling his work. He painted with a distinct painterly style that I am personally quite fond of. Both seemed like talented painters, and I thoroughly enjoyed their work. I am always reinvigorated when I meet with new artists or attend an event like this one. Seeing others’ work inspires me to work; it makes me remember that being a painter is a possibility, not just a dream.
I also finished two paintings this week. The more important one is the one I did of my dog, which was one made with my usual style, but it surprised me. I finished the painting in a span of two days, two of which I worked a total of two hours. The majority of the work was finished on the second day. It is honestly one of the best paintings I have created, which is weird to say, since I did not spend nearly as much time on it as I have on others. I had forgotten how fast painting impacts my art. It makes me paint with more style and without hesitation; it makes my painting seem confident and almost proud. I feel as though I have improved tremendously because a year ago I would never have imagined that one of my best paintings was made in a single day.
National Portfolio Day
Weekly Report 6
As part of my effort to step out of my comfort zone I decided to explore more art schools in the National Portfolio Day event at Dallas. It was a incredibly enjoyable day; I went with my girlfriend and a friend. I was not able to look into every college I wanted to, but that did not matter much.
My thought process was that each individual person representing the schools must have all been qualified to critique my portfolio. Each had plenty of criticism and compliments to give, which is what I was concerned about. If I want to know how to apply to a school, then I will look into their website. An opportunity to be critiqued by a representative of an art school, however, is rare, so I was actually able to learn quite a bit.
The first of the main lessons stressed by the representatives was that I should paint more from observation, not photos (even if I took them), which makes sense. I would be more than willing to go outside to try, and even could do so without contacts or glasses in an effort to do something different. Not only will I be able to address the criticism, but also accomplish my goal to explore different methods of painting. I was also told to paint with more purpose and meaning. It makes sense; I have been painting for painting’s sake. I need to begin thinking of why I want to paint a certain subject and what message or story I want to express in my painting. This will not only bring life to my painting, but also make it more complex. I am excited to address these critiques; doing so makes me feel as though I am genuinely becoming a painter. What more could I ask for?