20th November 2020

In the Fall semester of my second year,  I created a series of prints in a shade of cobalt blue, it was by chance. I was working in the studio on campus alone, which I often do. The student body this semester is very small, the fine art majors at the American University of Rome has always been small, but this year it is almost extinct, the group consists of a combination of art history majors/minors, fine art majors/minors and me, an Interdisciplinary major with a focus of studio art and art history.

I chose the Interdisciplinary major because I need to be in the driver’s seat of my academic career. Too often others will try to push you in a direction they see fit for you, not because it benefits you, but because it benefits them and or the establishment. It has taken me a long time to identify these forms of control, but now I can recognize it and stop it dead in its tracks and continue on my own path. I have to say recognizing this form of control and preventing non-beneficial counsel from steering me in a direction that is not productive to me is very empowering to one’s soul, it is invigorating! It is a skill set I have recently acquired within the past five years of my life and I am still refining it, it is a tool in my ever-growing tool box. It is not to say that these forms of suppression have not been advantageous to me. {This does not mean that I am okay with any form of suppression or oppression!} The suppressors have created a fighter in me, my voice as an artist has intensified! Concepts manifest often as well as new ideas and topics for further research. Strength, female empowerment, feminism and a continued determination to stand up for myself has become visible in my artistic practice. Prints that call to mind female strength, symbolism and how I interact as a contemporary female visual artist is now centrical to my printmaking process.

            My cobalt blue prints began as a tester print, I needed to figure out if the carving on the linocut was complete. The bright bold blue hue in contrast with fresh white paper activated many sensations in me. The blue dose not recede it draws me in, in a hypnotic sense. From new beginnings, to a calming restful effect. The cobalt blue print excited me, it is minimal but at the same time the magnetism achieved is fascinating to me. I will continue to explore this inspiring narrative.

Capstone part 1.

            During the beginning of my senior year of undergrad I began my capstone course. Interdisciplinary studies is my major with a focus of studio art and art history. The first semester of my capstone is the seminar section. Throughout this section, I researched contemporary artists and assembled all of my research in a capstone journal with various sections; Artist research, exhibitions in Rome, Annotations of suggested readings & general research which referred to concepts, thoughts and direction for my artistic practice.  This journal is a tool I will continue to augment, utilize and refer back to.

            My last assignment for the semester was to paint 20 portraits within 2 weeks. When my professor, Prof. Catherine Parsonage, @cathparsonage assigned this undertaking I thought to myself holy F%#*!, I can do this right?? super unsure, but I’ll give it a go!

             On December 1st, I started with a photo from my image catalog, a vintage photograph of Diana Ross from the movie Mahogany. The angle was difficult and I obsessed over the nose adjusting it multiple times. The failure of the 1st portrait set in some procrastination, only 1 day but when you have 2 weeks to complete 20 paintings 1-day matters! A few days later my professor messaged me to ask how the paintings were coming along, I said crappy, she then replied, “its not about good or bad”. This really resonated with me and helped me get over my feelings of failure. From this point on I would continue on with the 19 more paintings I needed to complete. I began to stop obsessing over anatomical features. Once a certain feature was identifiable, I would move on. I also incorporated new techniques I learned in my painting workshop course, the use of oil paint in a translucent way, and utilizing a rag to connect directly with the canvas.

            Throughout this series of twenty oil paintings, aspects of my research subconsciously influenced and surfaced as my paintings progressed. I would say by painting number eight, I began to understand the exercise. The new ways in which I approach a portrait, and the development of form, is the beginnings of my personal visual language.  

Printmaking in the Italian countryside

the art studio and the 1st run of printmaking with lino-cut, still more carving is needed & the plate needs to be treated with sand paper.
her clothes have been carved, final touches still needed the ink took much better after I sanded the linoleum plate.

studio vibes…

reusing an old canvas… but i’m kinda liking the the light blue for a background…
or… maybe i leave it just like this hmmmmm, i might keep more of the background than the original idea…
a third portrait has been added….
troubles with the fourth portrait, at this point i only like the lip on this portrait and i’m thinking about the light blue background…. and the red and the dark navy blue arch I would like to actually keep some of these details..
decided to go with the blue