So I was contacted by someone from the Biola yearbook committee who said I was recommended by my department as having a strong senior thesis, and that the yearbook was going to feature those projects on its pages. Wow. Pretty cool. So she sent me a survey to fill out and here are my responses:
1. What is your project (name, how many pieces it entails, what the pieces are…basically, if you were describing it to someone who doesn’t know anything about it) My show is entitled Colorscapes. It will contain abstract paintings in a variety of sizes and arrangements. 3 large 4’ x 6’ panels, a group (not sure how many yet) of 2’ x 4’ panels, another group of 2’ x 2’ canvases, and two grids of nine 16” x 16” panels. They are all in acrylic paint with occasional collaged elements such as rice paper, molding paste, hot glue and Elmer’s glue. Each painting is loosely based the composition from a Chinese or Japanese landscape painting. When I am making these paintings, tension is first established through initiating improvisational actions (like painting shapes or pouring paint, something to interrupt the untouched wood or canvas). Through the layering and editing process, the work begins to direct itself in an improvisational ripple of pours, edits and stencils. Movements are made where they are directed and questioned by formal instinct. Ultimately this dissident dance is resolved in melodious little worlds of delight.
2. Where did you get the idea for it? After taking Painting 2 a year and a half ago, which is a class that entirely deals with study and creation of abstract paintings, I fell in love with the freedom and opportunity presented by abstract painting. Each time you lay down a color, pour paint, drizzle or stamp, the result would be different. That variety, improvisation and unpredictability was terribly exciting. Sometimes the differences were large, and sometimes just subtle enough for a careful seeking eye to find. Painting in this manner was thrilling, something that I would not easily tire of. I had come from a strict figure-based narrative painting background, painting portraits and dealing mostly with the figure. I enjoyed it, but could lose interest in what I was working on fairly easy basis.
3. What has been the biggest challenge so far? For a while near the beginning of this yearlong process, it was challenging to discover a direction for my work. I was perfectly content just to be constantly making, constantly painting just because I love the process so much, but often times I wouldn’t stop and look and my work or take the time to actually think about what I was making. So the challenge was to stop working (which I LOVE doing) and actually reflect on my work. Once I was able to do this and take in advice from peers and professors, I was able to find a direction and an equation that I could plug variables into that would produce interesting, diverse work, but work that would be coherent and stand together as a group.
4. What are you most excited about? I think just being able to share my work with the community. I have spent so much time working, and it will be a joy to see it all together and displayed in a way that can be enjoyed by others.
5. Why are you an art major? The simple answer: it is in my blood. Both of my parents were art majors (photographers, my dad actually knew and interned with Ansel Adams) in college and my dad went on to work in the film/media business and my mom as a graphic designer. My extended family are also artists, I have an uncle who is a curator and a painter, and an aunt who is a photographer. So for me, art is a way of life, the culture that I was raised in. However, art was definitely something that I chose on my own as I came to understand that it became a necessary part of my life to draw, paint, photograph, see in a way that was careful and more deliberate as a way of processing who I was, negotiating my place, my role.
6. How does your project reflect what you have learned about art in your time here at Biola? Well, as was mentioned before, my whole way of working was inspired by spending a semester studying abstract painting, so without that class, this work would never have existed. But truly, my work reflects the care and critique given by my professors and art peers. Their direction-leading advice really pushed me places I would have not thought to go before.