My life through painting or cleaning the project room

When I was a freshman in high school, I went to a private school.  A lot went to hell after that year and I ended up transferring to a public school as a junior, but before then, it was a pretty ideal place for me to be.  The classes were small, the teachers had time to get to know you, it was a community more than a school. You grew up with your classmates. I had been with my group since I was in the 5th grade.  Some of my classmates had known each other for even longer.  To this day, I have pangs of regret over leaving, even though there was no other way.

I never considered myself an artist, my childhood drawings were all pretty much of the Stick Figure Girl Walking a Dog or Riding a Horse variety.  Art class was hanging out with my girlfriends and chattering while we made something with our hands — it was peaceful.  I realize that later it would morph into hanging out with my girlfriends and cooking.  But I really enjoyed art.  A nice respite from class, but not necessarily where my talents lay.

So one day, the incredible woman who ran the art program gave us a project. She assigned each of us a square from Picasso’s Guernica to paint.  When we were all finished, she put the pieces together into this very cool patchwork painting.  I know a photo of it exists somewhere, but I couldn’t find it.  I painted the foot in the bottom right hand corner.  It was my first time using oil paint and I fell in love.  It also freed me up from thinking that I didn’t have to be the best or even very good to enjoy something — a novel idea for a 15-year-old.

I love how sneery Scarlett is in this

A visiting artist then came to the school and he assigned us a project where we would do a pencil drawing of an image and then later an oil painting of the same image.  I was in my second year or so of obsessing over Gone with the Wind (over a decade now, baby!) so obviously I chose the movie poster.  

Then I built a frame, stretched and jessoed my own canvas, and painted it.

I’ve been circling my love affair with oil painting ever since. I’ve never taken any official classes or anything, it’s been something that I just like to dabble in every once and awhile.  Something peaceful to do with my hands.

20140107_161420
Those flames must be REALLY hot, cus Rhett has a serious tan.

At my new high school for my senior year, I decided my AP Spanish senior project would be a series of paintings imitating Picasso.

A self-portrait representing teenage angst (and, let's be honest, boys)

A self-portrait representing teenage angst (and, let’s be honest, boys). Don’t you love the really hooked awful nose I gave myself? The “hidden” heart in my palm? DEEP.

The terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center at the beginning of my senior year of high school.

The terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center at the beginning of my senior year of high school. The crying sun and moon are sort of ridiculous, but I like the rest.

El patofono!

El patofono! It started off as a saxophone, but then someone pointed out the mouthpiece looked like a duck bill.  I added the wing and the foot.

In college, after discovering Bear World during a cross-country trip, I became enthralled by bears.

20140107_161322

Based on an actual bear I saw at Bear World! BEAR WORLD!!! (Also, everyone thought this was some sort of wave that turned into a bear. . . I’d accept that, too)

Happy baby bear

Happy baby bear

Fencing became a big deal for me, too :)

ENGARDE

ENGARDE

When I lived in LA, I didn’t paint often, but I tried out a self portrait.

Based off a photo of myself when I was 15.  Aside from the face that I wussed out painting the face, I like the position.

Based off a photo of myself when I was 15. I wussed out painting the face (and hands, hehe), but I like how she’s laying.

Eh, not that interesting as a painting, but it was my mantra for a long time.  My acting teacher told it to me.

Eh, not that interesting as a painting, but it was my mantra for a long time. My acting teacher told it to me.

Now here in Seattle, two nudes.  Without knowing it, I’ve painted a rebirth. Honesty. Freedom. Beauty. Strength.

I guess I still wuss out with faces.

I guess I still wuss out with faces.

And hands.

And hands. I painted this from a photo I found online. It hangs in my bathroom.  I love looking at it.

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2 thoughts on “My life through painting or cleaning the project room

  1. sychela January 8, 2014 at 10:34 am Reply

    I love these! You are multi-talented. I think my favorites might be the bears… (Also, Rhett & Scarlett.)

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