Growing up in the small town of Spring Lake, Mich. I attended West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics which I feel helped me discover my inner artist.
Last year was my first year realizing, “Wow, there really is a prominent artist community in the metro!” My first year in Advanced Placement Studio Art, I was exposed to various competitions, many of which I had the honor to be accepted into, others I placed in.
Above are pieces that took home awards in numerous shows, feel free to click on each image to learn what they won. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to receive Silver Key and Honorable Mentions from the National Scholastics Art and Writing Competition, be a part of The Les Farrington’s Best 100, and take first place in Stillwater’s local competition, The Da Vinci Fest, for numerous painting and photography pieces.
Here I feature my entire AP Studio art portfolio, where I mainly focused on the culturization of women, but did not hesitate to dabble into a few abstract pieces (breadth).
The reason to choosing this topic was I wanted to explore the idea of expressing emotion, and the present day issue of perceiving without understanding- a principle factor that may rely on the environment the subject is in. This theme caught my interest because every work of art aims to display a feeling or sense of emotion, so therefore I wanted to display how an environment or background played a role in that emotion, ultimately changing our view on that subject. For my pieces, I began with exploring acrylics, but progressed to oils as I found they were more dynamic, and I could obtain better dimensions. Oil paints provide a more trusting color palette for skin tones, as they do not dry before they can be blended, working perfectly with my concentration as blending is key in conveying an emotions on a face. Initially with acrylics I was much more focused on color and emphasis, but as the pieces went on, I tried to explore out of the conventional portrait, delving into value and textures of the surrounding environment. Exploring outside of conventionalism was a push, but found I needed to push myself to explore different angles to my subject. So rather than central images, I began to turn my subject, disconnect them, zoom in; anything to portray the subject and his or her environment as dynamic as they appear in real life.
My artwork has definitely progressed each year- and I feel it is very evident what pieces I spend the most time on. I began as a small canvas, water color only artist, went through an acrylic transition phase, and now I work large-scale, with primarily oils and watercolor.
Below is my most recent work.
I do hope to continue painting in my future, as it is a great outlet, and it also puts me in contact with many other artists across the metro.
Furthermore, I take great pride in my photography, which has earned me more business-related opportunities rather than awards. At a young age I found great interest in the moon and black and white photography, which earned me my first camera (Nikon Coolpix). After I used that camera up, I was able to get my first DSLR, which sent me soaring on my path to photojournalism, and below won me an award.
This piece earned first place in the 2014 Da Vinci fest and was displayed at the Art Guild Gallery in Stillwater, Minn. And was up for sale at the Phipps Center for The Arts.
Within this photography collage, the theme I aimed to portray among the series of photographs was the small articles in nature that generally go unnoticed and underappreciated. Along with displaying theme, each photo within the piece is strategically placed to guide the viewer along by means of color composition and main subject placement, with white matboard disconnecting each photo just enough for the photos to separate, but still be whole. Each photo itself was taken with a Nikon DSLR camera, using 10x-20x macro lens attachments.
For the first two photos (left to right), I show two primarily white balanced photos of insects, with the first photo having the main subject more to the right and the second photo having central composition. Leading into the bottom photos, I show a plant and a frog, with the plant transitioning the viewer to more green-balance photos, where the frog being placed on the outer left, aligns its background hues with the hue balance present in the center photo. The central photo divides the piece straight down the center, dividing it vertically by placement and color composition. Completing the transition to green on the top two photos, the caterpillar aligns itself with the opposite half of the center photo that the frog had aligned with and next to the caterpillar, there is a center balanced photo (similar to the photo of the cactus) transitioning the piece to orange. Lastly, I have two orange-balanced photos with the innermost being centered, and the outermost ( most orange) having right focus, similar to the first photo. All together, these elements come together to bring wholesome color composition and structural content, to the balance of plants and beings, that promote our ecosystem and beautify nature.
To see more on my photography, check out my instagram or go to Entrepreneurial Photojournalism.