My process involves many layers. The marks I make represent my experiences; some good, others bad. In this series, I intentionally make marks that I dislike, and then paint over them. Other marks that I like remain in their first layer to represent the constant, positive marks in our lives, while some are painted over to express the constant changes we go through.
This approach is a metaphor for the Buddhist idea that our suffering comes from within, and in order to end our suffering, we have to learn to accept and understand the things that make us suffer before we can move on to finding our sense of inner peace. Our marks make us who we are and every layer is important in making our surface layer what it is.
In After the End of Art, Arthur Danto talks about the pivotal moment in the history of art when the insider’s perspective became the outsider’s perspective. In this way, even though I have my own experiences in mind as I paint, my art is meant to be accessible to others. In the end, this series is about a journey to find peace of mind, and I intend for the journey to be evident in the final product.
“Our own life has to be our message.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
I am currently a junior at Savannah College of Art and Design with a major in painting. I was born and raised in midtown, Atlanta, GA. I currently attend SCAD’s campus in Lacoste, France, but otherwise I am a full-time student at the Savannah campus. After I graduate, I plan to get an MAT in teaching, and later attend a graduate program for art therapy. To me, one of the most important things in life, and art especially, is the journey.
All in my first year of college, I attended Loyola University New Orleans, SCAD Atlanta, and SCAD Savannah. I struggled with a lot of uncertainty that year, but once I made it to Savannah, I knew SCAD was the school for me. After my first full year in Savannah, I was given the opportunity to come here, to Lacoste, which in my opinion, has been the coolest part of my journey so far. While it was comforting to have finally settled in at the Savannah campus, if there is one thing I have learned about myself from all of this moving around, it is my love for the unknown; the urge to try new things. Coming to Lacoste has been an experience of the unknown in many ways, but especially within my art because this is my first time experimenting with abstract painting. I wanted this to be a new experience; I didn’t want to stick to what I know and am comfortable with (still don’t eat meat, though!). This part of my journey isn’t really about finding myself, so much as it is about gaining a peace of mind from something new, rather than peace from my own comfort zone.
To the left is a picture of a Dove Chocolate wrapper with a quote saying,”you are exactly where you are supposed to be.” It was the last one in the bag that I brought with me to Lacoste (as comfort food) and I thought it was so inspiring because I was a nervous and uncertain coming here not knowing anyone (or any French), but so far, it has felt completely true.
Courses I’m taking in Lacoste: Intermediate Painting, Travel Portfolio, and Treasures of Provence.
Photo Credit (right) to Sami Lee Woolhiser.