The themes that I decided to portray in my final art project consisted of important events that have happened in my life and what I would like to see happen in my future. This is why I chose to paint three canvas of myself evolving. In each canvas I was drawn at three different times throughout these past 4 years of college, however, each one shows a little or how much my life has changed within these 4 years. Even though it is my fourth year and I only one more semester left, a lot has happened in my life that has been the hardest things for me to face, but yet at the same time I have become much stronger and wiser than I have ever been. A lot of great things have also came out of all the hurt and the losses, but I think this is where my faith kicks in and I would love to relate to the Definition of Art and Spirituality the most for being able to put this painting together. The Definition of Art opened up my eyes in so many different ways and I even took quotes from this reading and posted them on notecards around my apartment. It made me realize to live life without any types of regrets and that every little thing that happens, happens for a reason because it has purpose. This is shown in my project by showing how mentally unstable I was at a certain time in my life but no matter how dark and hard it got I overcame it all in the end. With Spirituality, this was definitely incorporated in my project because I feel as if I really connected with artist Marilyn Russell. I really liked the way she spoke about her family and art being so important to her. There was also one specific quote from an Ojibwa Prayer she had written of and it caught my eye. Everything I had felt that I was trying to put on canvas felt as if it was along the lines of this certain quote.
“Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to everyone, Hear me. I come to you as one of your many children; I am weak, I am small, I need your wisdom and your strength. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets. Make my hands respect the things you have made, and make my ears sharp so that I may hear your voice. Make me wise, so that I may understand what you have taught my people and the lessons you have hidden in each leaf and each rock. I ask for wisdom and strength, not to be superior to my sisters and brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself. Make me ever ready to come before you with clean hands and a straight eye. So as life fades away as a fading sunset; my spirit may come to you without shame” (Russel).
This quote spoke out to me as no other quote or readings did for this class because after hitting a few hardships in my life, all I was left with was to keep it in the hands of God. This is exactly what I think the quote is trying to say. That this person was weak at a certain point and the only thing she had left was to leave it all in the hands for the person above so that “there spirit may come to [them] without shame.” Leaving me with my project. My project overall means that I have kept my faith with me, and have kept pushing no matter the circumstances because I want to get to my end results and be successful for my family and myself.
The Scream is by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. This painting was painted in 1893 with mediums of oil, tempera, and pastel on tempera cardboard. I was able to relate to this picture because it reminded me of my painting when I was torn between choosing two different paths. It was said here that Munch showed his inner troubles, faced insanity, and was not afraid to show his feelings through his paintings. I think this is what really caught my attention and gave me the idea to draw myself in my project with my hands over my head not knowing what path to choose because I really was in a deep place at that time and had no idea what was going to happen.
Above This Earth Games Games by Ralph Arnold caught my attention because it looked like a lot of sports and I am a huge sports fanatic! This was painted in 1968 with acrylic and it portrays a collage on canvas. My project relates to this because I did want to make a collage at first with all of the important events that has happened in my life. However, the collage kind of was spread out with sports being covered in one of my paintings. I really like how Arnold uses pictures that look very intense, very masculine if you ask me, and overall, the pictures grasp your attention. One of the last reasons I chose this painting was because it looks very thoughtful, where to everything in the world is kind of a game at times.
The Two Fridas was painted in 1939 by Frida Kahlo. The medium used here is oil on canvas and she drew this after her divorce from Diego Rivera. I would have to say this is my most favorite painting because I really felt a connection with this canvas. I tried to portray different personalities the way Kahlo used two different personalities here. One was of her when she was happy and loved by Diego with a full-heart. The other in a white dress shows when Diego abandoned her and her broken heart. She also shows that she is her only companion to get through all of the pain, which explains her holding her own hand. After a relationship of six years, I really was touched by this art piece because I too, felt as if I went through everything I have encountered in life alone. This is where I drew myself alone crying in one of my paintings and in another I showed a different personality of going out and putting a front as if everything were okay.
Artist Red Hong Yi paints soccer stars Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi. Hong Yi did this painting to the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. What amazed me by this incredible piece is that she only used eight different colors of paint that were in buckets, and she would dip a soccer ball into these buckets. She would use the soccer ball basically as her paintbrush but did this all with her feet! She did all of this on a solid white canvas at a soccer pitch. The love I have for the game of futbol is unconditional so I definitely wanted to incorporate this painting and video in my blog/project. She inspired me to try and free paint, to mix-colors, and if I messed up just keep working at it. If she could do such an amazing piece with her feet and using a soccer ball then I should be able to paint myself playing soccer as well and luckily, I was able too.
This is another oil technique by Frida Kahlo. I am a huge fan with both hers and Diego Rivera’s work. The material she used here on Portrait of Cristina, My Sister was with wood and this was done in 1928. This portrait says a lot because it talks about her sister betraying her. In my paintings I have one painting where I show my ex-boyfriend drifting away in my painting and then in the following-evolving painting he is no longer in the picture. This art piece definitely makes me think about forgiving and forgetting but also betrayal. However, it is a lot worse here and it shows how hurt Frida was because she was betrayed by her own sister whom she confided in and loved so much.
As I mentioned in the above photo, two of my favorite artists include Diego and Frida. However, I think I prefer the style Diego Rivera uses more. For some reason I love the way his flowers turn out, the way his people look, and the colors he uses. On the other hand, I love the reasoning behind Frida’s work better though, her stories are very deep, but just like the style in which Rivera works. Moreover, this painting Vendedora De Alcatraces by Diego Rivera was painted in 1938 with oil-paints on canvas. This piece really does not relate to any of my points, but it does remind me of my aunt, cousin, and her baby for one certain reason. This is the only aunt and cousin I have left in Illinois since all of my family moved to Texas and we are always in my aunt’s kitchen whenever we get together. My aunt has this portrait hanging in her kitchen and for some reason every time I look at it or see it somewhere it reminds me of home. In my art project I drew my aunt, cousin, the baby and myself because they have grown to be a huge part of my life. This painting also reflects back on Mexican society, whereas that’s what my family is.
When I first found this picture, I knew I had to use it and relate it to my paintings. In my project there is only one male figure throughout the whole three canvas. This made me refer back to this photo, because my mother is a single-mother of five kids. She has always raised us on her own and there has never been a father-figure in the picture. This painting is known as Sunday Evening by Russell Drysdale done in 1941. The materials used were oil on an asbestos cement sheet. Even though, I looked at this picture differently, the artist point here was “depicting outback themes” and was “inspired by empathy he felt for country people during the Depression” (Artgallery.nsw.gov.au). His feelings of empathy shows that he cares about others and I really admire that because I admire others as well, but I am a huge person on being family-oriented.
L’Absinthe is a painting I found by artist Edgar Degas. This piece was done with oil on canvas in 1876. What really caught my attention with this picture was how the woman looks very thoughtful, unhappy, and is drinking. I related to this in my project by drawing myself surrounded by people while being out drinking and dancing. What I see in this picture and mine is that you can put on a front, but at the end of the day your true resemblance will be shown and I think this is where Andree’s true colors are shown. However, my thoughts of this portrait were actually different and in all, it just shows an actress by the name of Ellen Andree at a café with painter, printmaker and author Marcellin Gilbert Desboutin.
Ashes by Edvard Munch. This piece was oil on canvas done in 1984. This piece related to my confusion state of mind, where my hands are exactly in the same position as the woman in the painting above. I also was able to incorporate this picture in my painting because she looks like she does not know what to do and there are trees and maybe a path in her background. I related to this with my ex-boyfriend, choosing to give up soccer, and wondering which University I should attend. That’s why I chose to make it dark as well, to show the confusion, lost, and hurt feeling with trees and two different paths to choose from. Munch here is describing when lover’s passion turns into ashes, they are separated, but showing that she still has control over him.
My art project turned out to be better than I anticipated. I wanted to only make one canvas using acrylic painting, however, I ended up with three medium sized paintings. For my anticipated project I wanted to draw a canvas of myself but somehow incorporate all of the things that have occurred within the past four years of college. However, this did not work out so well. There was no way I was going to be able to put in all of the important things that have impacted my life thus far and I really wanted to show my audience a more detailed picture of what I considered important events in my life. The events that have passed and the ones that I hope to come in my future. My art projects name is Getting Hit With Bricks One Step At a Time. I turned this project into an evolutionary process of myself transforming. This transformation was from my freshman year of college to when I am completely done with school—which will not be for another three or 4 more years at the most. These transformations were done on three separate canvas, I drew everything out first and then I painted with acrylics to finish up. I think the pieces I chose related to what I had in mind to draw. I did not pick my pictures out first, I kind of did it all at the same time and it worked out better that way. Family-oriented, sports, heart-breaks, two-sides of personalities, drinking to cope with problems, physical therapy, and school in general because this is where everything has happened is what all my pictures consist of. My project definitely relates to all of these paintings and pictures because this is everything I am talking about and trying to tell my audience through my paintings. My own piece connects to my curatorial framework because I am trying to tell my audience to keep going, do not give up, keep your faith and keep your eye on the prize. You may face obstacles, but you will always be in control to keep pushing yourself—it is up to you.
In conclusion, what makes my project unique is that I am really impressed with it. I did not believe in myself that I could draw people, and as many as I did and as detailed as my paintings were, I never imagined that I would be able to do that. My collection is also unique because it portrays my own life. My life is different than everyone else’s and no one could ever go through what I went through or see what has happened, but maybe seeing my paintings they can relate to it. Maybe they can remember coming to a new university or maybe even know the feeling of a break-up, but they actually will never know what truly happened. They can only see the paintings and they can assume and try to relate all they can but in reality, most probably will not. I think this is what makes it very unique, along with no faces painted in my paintings this also makes the audience think a little more and take a closer look at the picture and surroundings. My collection speaks to me by showing me what I have been through and showing me that I have to keep pushing because I still have not achieved what my actual goal is. I may be seventy-five percent there but there is still the most important fifteen percent left. I would love for viewers to take away how everyone’s lives are impacted by something they truly love and some way they all have had to let something go but in the end, a greater outcome is yet to come or already has come. I think the audience would also take away to value and appreciate those who love them and not take anything they have for granted hopefully.
The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell was a painting done in 1963. The painting is oil on canvas. This shows Ruby getting escorted to school when she was six years old. I thought this picture grabbed my attention because education is very important. Throughout my whole project I have been in college and if I were not here, none of these events would have ever happened in my life. My argument here is that I am very thankful and pushing myself to reach my last picture in my painting—which is to become a physical therapist. I also wanted to share this picture as well, because there is a lot of hate, discriminatory, and racism that has been happening around many universities and throughout all the United States.
Russel, M. “The Empowering of Art and Spirituality.” January, 2007.