So far, I’ve enjoyed every single one of our art projects, the self-portrait however, was my least favorite thus far. For the life of me, I couldn’t comprehend how one was supposed to draw a portrait in reverse, so non-conventional yet so simple at the same time. The trick- “just follow the light” yet I knew not where the hell the light was and exactly how to follow it.
When I first started on my portrait, everything seemed pretty simple, begin with the lightest light and work your way out, the concept didn’t seem so difficult at the time, yet the more I tried to expand from the tiny light spot and create a nose out of it, the more confused and frustrated I became. How do I erase a black nose from a black canvas I asked myself? How do I determine the gradient for my skin color I asked myself? What on God’s earth am I expecting from myself with this particular piece I asked myself? I asked myself so many question that instead of immersing myself into the drawing of myself I became obsessed with the idea of making myself look good and getting myself right. I couldn’t stand it when I made a mistake and would have to start over again, it’s funny, the medium was so forgiving towards me yet I was unforgiving to myself and that is probably why for some reason as hard as I tried my self portrait and I couldn’t connect. I didn’t allow it because I couldn’t conceive it. I was drawn to the idea of the abstract and creating life out of black yet my approach dwelled on practicality and I was one hundred percent dependent on my 5 basic senses. I felt as though if I couldn’t see my drawing process come to fruition as an exact reflection of what I was seeing in the mirror then I was wrong, and this, is where my problem lies. For me, drawing this self portrait was much more than just a mere art project, it was a chance for self-reflection and what I learned from my reflection is that I am not exactly what I see in the mirror and I never will be, this is because I am a work in progress every single day. Just like the portrait, no matter how many notes I take and corrections I try to make, Im not gonna wake up and suddenly figure it out. It takes patience, it takes making mistakes and understanding where you went wrong, facilitating those mistakes and morphing them into successes, being brave enough to understand that achievement is not directly correlated with growth. You get to a certain point and you achieve something. Its achieved, its done. However, you never stop growing, growth is a process with no end in sight, it continues to persist and so should I. With this being said, although I was unable to complete my portrait, I am proud to present my work in progress
Throughout this semester ART 160 has probably been my greatest challenge and joy, I loved coming to class each time because it was a chance to learn something new about life and by now we should all know, art does not imitate life, it is, in fact, the other way around. Life imitates art. As I watched myself and all my fellow classmates create and re-create concepts and ideas that were beyond our normal realms of thinking and engaging with the world around us, I was genuinely moved and inspired with each new project adventure. Through the chair project, I learned that each and every one of us chooses our position in life and from this position we look and analyze, we create and respond to the ever changing nature of our creation, we respond to the materials we use and the new directions in which our prior mistakes lead us. From the box project, I was taught about the concept of dimentionality and its cunning ability to endure whatever material it is presented with. Each of us used different textures for our boxes yet were all able to create the general structure of a three dimensional box.To me, this symbolized the malleability of our 3D world how the earth, moon, sun and stars are dying to bend, curve and loop so as to assist us in creating our desired realities. The animal project, taught me about the power of positivity and the strength of pure intention. It also made me see how animals are attuned to their senses and adaptations in order to thrive while we as human beings are slowly diminishing our instinct for survival and caring for ourselves as we become more dependent on technology. Through the word project, I came to understand the power of language and how we choose to define the words we use for ourselves and for others. Why we are drawn to certain words and neglect others and the social/cultural/mental/emotional weight we place on our words without even realizing it.
Through the course of the semester we learned to be compassionate, and forgiving towards ourselves and one another, to immerse ourselves in our flaws because what takes shape once you accept them is something grander and so simple yet absolutely complex once you start to consider all the miraculous “accidents” and happenings that conspired and transpired in order for you to become exactly who you are and are going to be and this was all taught in the form of Art. Nel,I don’t know if you really sat down to consider the impact of the subtle lessons you shared with us through the course but each project was meaningful in a million ways and I am really grateful to have been able to take ART 160 with you this year. Thank You! 🙂