Synthesis – Finally!

I was really excited to write this blog entry, but then I realized this would also make a good topic for my personal statement for the FAS for which I’m applying for study abroad. So I started writing that and got distracted from this. I’M BACK NOW!

Anyway, I have something specific to discuss and I’m going to try not to get off track. Basically, I wanted to say that I’ve finally gotten there. I’ve reached the goal I set for myself probably 3 years ago. I remember when I started at Bethany, I felt I was totally artistically drained by formal training. That year for the first time I had the combination of learning about historical artists AND taking pretty rigorous visual arts classes. It really hit me in my creative zone and it stripped me of a lot of my artistic naivite (visualize the accent marks I can’t add) and I didn’t know where else to turn to produce work. I did keep drawing, though, even if less intensively than ever.

I think I kept drawing because I knew I had to get somewhere: I had to figure out how to make my art my own again. I got to be really detached and that was so hard because art was one of the only things with which I had always felt intimately connected. I mean, I wrote this in December in my first year of college (3 years ago now),

But it’s impressive in sort of a…class-oriented type way. Not so much a personal way. My teacher gives us very strict instructions on what to do with our assignments. There’s very little freedom. And…uh…if you’re the type of person (like me) who finds freedom in art…having that taken away leaves very poor tastes in your mouth.

Anyway, so my trouble then was the inability to express myself after I started learning how I should express myself.

Tara, at Augsburg, has been really helpful with transitioning me out of that struggle. For both the classes I’ve had with her she’s been really good at drawing out my expressionism through my technical work.
I think maybe it’s the fact that Life Drawing has been entirely figure drawing, but I think I finally…got back my freedom. I knew all of the materials I was working with, so it was less about trying to learn how to use things so much as being able to put myself into my drawings like I used to, even if it was just drawings of naked people.

And I was aware of this as the semester was going on, but you know, I was taking a lot of really challenging classes, and working and doing an internship, so I didn’t really have time to dig into what I was formally learning through my informal means.

Until, of course, Tuesday night after I got home from what was potentially my LAST ART CLASS of my undergraduate degree. During the peer review for our last class, I was asking where I should go with my art, and how I spent most of the class trying to improve myself in areas I wasn’t strong in. So Tara sort of told me I should head back towards my strengths because I may be surprised by how the things I learned affect what I did well on before. One thing I kept saying I did well was faces and portrait-style images. And I also talked a lot about how ink washes felt really comfortable to me, using the watercolor pen. So, I got home, feeling buzzed because I was officially done with my first semester of my junior year, and probably because of all my feelings, I produced this piece and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how it turned out.


It is Micah — I was going to do this with Danyil, but I have been seriously neglecting Micah for as much as I used to go crazy over drawing him. I think that neglect showed in the mood of the piece: he’s very solemn. But I feel like the ink wash REALLY works with my style, and it also adds another layer of technical sophistication, especially in his LIP. o____O


The medium I used definitely heightened the completion of the piece without having to use canned textures or color enhancements. I’m really proud of this piece. It’s finally the synthesis between my creative expression and technical, formal presentation. YES!

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