FNAR 231: Painting Practices


Victorian Dining Room

Oil on Canvas | 30" x 24" | 2021

 


Master Study on Frédéric's The Four Seasons: Fall

Oil on Canvas | 16" x 24" | 2021

 


Momento Mori

Oil on Canvas | 16" x 24" | 2021

 


Surrealism as a Medium of Storytelling


The following pieces were produced as part of a fully-funded fellowship program in which I studied for six weeks at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In addition to creating art, I conducted research and listened to lectures about movements in art history. During lectures, I often heard my lecturer refer to the conversations that works of art encourage. Art begins or continues a conversation with its viewer, historical context, or even another piece. In critiques, my lecturer placed them into movements throughout art history, naming artists with similar styles and discussing details of their work.

I explored the surrealist movement, which is characterized by art that unites the natural and dream world. Inspired by what I learned, I created my own eccentric but detailed narratives; I was able to convey my own emotions while pulling inspiration from historical work.

My own story became a continuation of the larger movement. I learned that art is a medium for continuing the human narrative. To be human is to bring my own artistic vision while building on the foundation of those before me.


Stalemate

Oil on Canvas | 12" x 24" | 2018

 

This piece marks the beginning of my fascination with surrealism. It juxtaposes logic and order with chaos and disintegration. The chess pieces are shown in a stalemate. The inability of movement in a stalemate stirs angst and disarray. In painting this piece, I subconsciously reflected the circumstances of World War I, as it was the current topic in my World Civilizations class.

 


Neuron

Watercolor | 11" x 18" | 2020

 

The watercolor and ink piece is an exploration of organic microscopic and macroscopic forms. The neuron blends into the foliage, its dendrites creeping outwards like the branches on the plants.

Neuron was featured in the 2020 virtual Sigma XI STEM Art and Film Festival.

 


Face in Old Boots

Chalk Pastel | 12" x 24" | 2020

 

In a pair of old boots lies a side-profile of a face, highlighted by color. Using chalk pastel, I experimented with color to create texture. As I was studying surrealism, I wanted to play with similarities between forms and find the points at which two images intersect to tell a story. Like the face, the pair of old boots have experienced long journeys and weathered countless days.

 


Pocket Watches

Oil on Canvas | 24" x 36" | 2019

 

The watches in the painting are based off of ones that I collect. The piece is a reflection of human tendency to watch the clocks. Humans obsess over time, becoming tangled in its chains, as the rest of the world drifts by.

The lower half of this piece (with adjustments) became the cover for the 2020 Inklings Literary Magazine.

 


Emerge

Terracotta Clay | 4" x 6" x 7" | 2020

 

The clay sculpture depicts the head of a horse and the rider’s hands as they emerge from the other side of a jump. The scene is depicted vertically, as the horse’s form rises from the ground. In this piece, I covered various found objects, such as newspaper, glass jars, and wire, with clay to form the horse’s shape.

 


The Banyan Tree

Linoleum Print | 14" x 16" | 2020

 

This print depicts the human brain within the branches and roots of a banyan tree. The roots of a banyan tree grow from its branches and shoot downwards to support its heavy weight. This tree symbolizes our minds: we grow and reach upwards while always returning to our roots. This piece was carved into a woodblock, covered with ink, and printed onto rice paper.

The Banyan Tree was featured in the 2020 virtual Sigma XI STEM Art and Film Festival.

 


The Edge

Oil on Canvas | 34" x 36" | 2020

 

A blue morpho butterfly, in the moment after metamorphosis, emerges from a chrysalis-like ribcage. The butterfly clings to the ribcage with closed wings, not yet aware of the momentous occasion nor the burst of blue that awaits when it opens. This piece depicts the climactic moment of major change. A reflection of human growth, this piece shows how a seemingly daunting transformation can lead to a beautiful transformation.

This piece was exhibited as part of the Art Institute of Chicago's virtual End of Summer Early College Program Exhibition.