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.

the AEE project

              During the last semester of my undergraduate degree, I will be completing multiple projects. As part of the process, I am documenting key phases of each project which will act as a digital visual diary.  The current project I am working on fulfills a specific requirement for graduation, the Alternate Educational Experience. The AEE is a concentration of knowledge and skills applied to a project outside of the traditional university classroom. This project will provide insight regarding how my newly strengthen skills impacts real-world contexts, beyond the AUR campus and community. As a result  my project which is a painting, will center on reflection and my time spent in Rome, the Eternal city, continuous exposure of religious art and how to communicate that concept visually in a contemporary fashion.

              The churches of Rome fill the city with art from multiple periods. Each church is a unique experience; from Byzantine mosaics, medieval altar pieces, renaissance fresco and my favorite, baroque marble reliefs, the art one experiences in Rome is monumental. The chapels that frame the naves of Rome’s grand churches are decorated with paintings and frescos. On the ceilings biblical stories command the viewer’s attention which are painted in an illusory tradition, the painting share the same physical space with us and they act as a portal to heaven or hell. The floors are decorated with elaborate geometric mosaics and inlayed marble crests, every inch of the church is adorned.

              I am particularly interested in Baroque churches, the marble and stone reliefs which depict ecstasy and mysticism of the saints. The sculptures combined with rays of gold that depict the heavens, as well as the sculpted angels, cupids and saints and the sensation one experiences when viewing baroque art resonates with me; in my practice, I also explore shared experiences and connections. The foremost goal of baroque art is the combination of ecstasy, rapture, psycho-physical conditions and mystical activity paired with the stimulation and persuasion of the viewer at the same time.  Hence, the beholder is motivated to partake in the mystical manifestations of the saints.

              The personal connection I form when viewing baroque marble reliefs develops into a shared experience, which I work translate and present as a piece of art. The starting point for my first piece will be a fusion of baroque typology and my personal collection of images that will create a contemporary dialog. The methodology for my artistic process begins with an initial interest and a collection of images that illuminate a fixation. As a result, focused research can begin and concepts developed. Creating a visual result of my research is my purpose, my goal, my work. Consequently, my hope is to understand how my work impacts communities beyond the AUR campus, and how to continuously contribute to an audience beyond AUR.

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