Now it is time to discuss the visual arts experiences in more depth. The original post can be referenced under the Experiences article. Visual arts can be a very broad category to include sculpture and pottery all the way to drawing and painting. I have experimented with myriad art forms over the years, and I have learned numerous things over the years. The first thing is that I am decent with medium on a paper. Maybe not the best, but certainly not the worst either. The second thing, is that I am terrible at 3-dimensional art. That is not to say I haven’t created great 3-D works. I have one art piece I completed in high school and our assignment was to find a picture of a dessert or other food item, and re-create that dessert from clay. After the clay was baked in a kiln, we then painted the food item. Mine was a decadent looking slice of cake. For many years, my parents kept that as a decoration on our kitchen table, and we have had guests try to put their finger in the icing! I have had other pieces, such as trying to create a vase, that looked like a blue, dilapidated pile of poo.
The main focus is on drawing and painting. It is hard to know where to begin. I love it and I always have. Even in elementary and middle school, I would often draw anime characters, Sailor Moon in particular. I won’t lie and say I created exceptional drawings. Some of my pictures looked like my characters suffered from eating disorders. There were always the occasional ones, some of which I still keep to this day, though not very many of them.
I didn’t get to take any true art classes until high school. Though we had the kids version of art classes in elementary school, I didn’t really have anything truly develop until late middle school. By high school I was slowly developing a small talent for cartoon characters. In my junior year of high school I finally got the chance to take an art class. One semester was dedicated to 2-D arts, such as drawing and painting, and the other semester dedicated to the 3-D arts. This was the time I made the dessert out of clay. This is also the time that many of the pieces on my portfolio page were created. I definitely got to experience a wide array of art forms and mediums. Nothing satisfied me more than drawing and painting.
My senior year of high school enabled me to take both Arts and Crafts as well as Drawing and Painting classes. While some of the pieces on the portfolio page are from 2-D art class, even more occurred during my Drawing and Painting class. I learned many of my skills from this class. I had an amazing time creating the works. The mixed media piece “Teacher” on my portfolio page, was actually an abstracted piece with my art teacher as the model. She always took all of her students outside of their comfort zones for the sole purpose of broadening their horizons. If it were not for my art instructors, I never would have attempted abstract art. I found I enjoyed it. I don’t do it very often, but I do occasionally find joy with it.
For me, painting landscapes or drawing people are my favorites. These two are what I excel at, in my opinion. That isn’t to say I don’t have talents elsewhere, but our best works typically appear from what is the most comfortable for us, and what helps us to feel we are succeeding. I have numerous examples of art pieces that are not posted on my portfolio. Some, as I have mentioned in previous articles, are merely practice pieces, or are pieces I felt were unworthy of praise. Someone may appreciate them and want to hang them on a wall. For me, I hide them in a portfolio bag. Some of the pieces were gifts for friends or family, and as such I only keep a photo of them, such as this charcoal drawing.
I have continued to experiment over the years. I even did a watercolor landscape. My mother had always wanted a watercolor landscape, and I finally was able to provide her with her desire. This piece is actually the “Autumn Lakes” painting on my portfolio page. After my mother passed away, my father gave me the painting back for sentimental reasons. It is one of the few original paintings I will never sell. I am willing to sell prints or canvas prints, but the original will always remain with me as a tribute to my mother. Though I will never say it was my best work, “Autumn Lakes” is still a piece I am proud of. Another watercolor piece I recently created, was as a thank you tribute to one of my best friends. This one also held sentimental value for her, as it was a tribute to her beloved grandmother.
As I have said in the past, I may not be the best or most talented artist, but I think it is safe to say with confidence I am not the worst either. Though I sometimes struggle to believe it myself, due to my anxiety, during certain times, I feel comfortable and confident in knowing that someone somewhere wants to hang my works on their walls. Even if that is not the case, then at least I enjoyed myself making them. That is what art truly is about. Creating beloved pieces because it brings the artist as much joy as those looking at the artwork.