This past week, I presented my portfolio at the Philadelphia Convention Center to art colleges from around the country. Though I was only able to review with two due to long lines, I found the advice I received very helpful… and redundant. The first representative gave criticisms similar to that which teacher Caroline has been giving me since the beginning of my project, which was a little discouraging. The second review was considerably more positive. The representative had a lot to say about the unique narrative quality of my work, and both representatives implored me to take the illustrative nature of my printmaking skills, and apply them to the other fine art mediums I use. I was reminded to continue my research, and inspired to work harder in the studio.
Backtracking a little, I had worked ahead of my plans and started to explore options for a self portrait required for one of my school applications. I produced a few studies in different materials, and was able to work with a model and graphite (All shown below). I have plans to finalize my portrait this week, and hope to (finally!) start painting now that all the logistics have been worked through.
I’ll be continuing my research for the rest of the week, hopefully exploring ways I can make my portraits appear “well-rounded” as I consider my approach to painting and printing in the future. Already, I’ve searched through artists I believe to have a very unique sense of the human figure. The Wyeth’s, for example, are artists I admire for their perspectives in art, but particularly their portraiture. Jamie Wyeth has a fabulous sense of space, approaching his figures in more expressive and positioned ways than just a head sitting on shoulders.
These are two of my favorite portraits of his, mostly because of the atmosphere they provide to the viewer. All of the Wyeth’s have a very distinct style, but Jamie has the most presence in a gallery. I hope to employ the same use of tone, composition, and presence to fabricate narrative impressions to my artwork. It’s also important to keep impressionism in mind when analyzing painting technique, particularly with portraiture. Gustav Klimt is an exquisite example of an interpretive artist who not only captures the portrait, but narrates its subject.
Art is meant to tell a story, and some of my portfolio reviewers have commented that my stories seem unclear. From Gustav, I hope to take away some of the confrontational nature his work possesses. I don’t want to have dead figures on a page.
I’m ecstatic to work with paint again, and I have a plethora of new ideas for the next few weeks.