Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Style

As I pass the halfway mark of this project, there are a few things I really wanted to reflect on.
First off, I never thought that I was a good painter. This was the last thing I would have expected to be doing had you asked me back in high school.
I never had much of a handle on craft, or detail. My pictures were always rough and unfinished. They were cartoony. They weren't good. I never saw myself as being able to do this because I wasn't a good drawer.
"butterfly" 2003, watercolour
This was my work in high school. Rough, unfinished. Certainly not what I would consider the early work of an artist.

"Planetoid" 2004, acrylic on canvas board

I remember back to when me and Nathan were little. We used to gather around his families table and draw. And when we did this, he was always so much better than me. He had a natural artistic talent that I lacked. His pictures were always so clean and precise. His cartoons were good. Mine were not.
Out of this came some sort of inferiority complex that settled in me until I hit high school and took an art class with my friends Susan and Bailey.

Soon, I began to improve. I look back at my sketch books from those times and I realize how much I improved just by sticking to my craft.

But in my eyes, even with all my improvements I still wasn't good enough.

It wasn't until I went back to university that I finally realized that I had a talent. I see things in ways others don't. My unique vision is actually my own and through influences, I've realized that I have strengths as an artist that others don't.
This was my work in first year. A silly piece called "Breakfast of Venus" based around the "Birth of Venus" picture by Boticelli. It's silly. It's fun... but it was also a bit of a turning point for me. I started to realize that I could do things for myself.

As my other friends in the program got better, I began to get more experimental.

I played with colours.
"Duality" 2009, oil on canvas
I realized that even though my work was stylized, it brought with it a new set of delightful challenged specifically for me. While my friends were trapped within the confines of realism, I shot for absurdity.

The Vitruvian "Man", 2011 - acrylic on canvas

"By The Gods" 2011- acrylic on canvas
I began to get compliments from the people who I admired telling me what a unique and creative vision I had. Teachers who once came down hard on me began to get excited about my work.
"Drag Queens Last Supper", 2011 - acrylic on board

I've become something I never expected to be. An artist. And it's only now that I dive deeper and deeper into the Human Canvas Project that I'm realizing the incredible impact it is having on my life.

I'm seeing people differently. You know how some people claim they can see people's auras? Like that one is gold, or green? I'm secretly wondering what colour these people are on the inside? Am I truly capturing their essence in a photograph?

And the only way I really know that is if they or their friends respond with an enthusiastic yes.

It's a strange process, but one that I'm growing into slowly.

Now I find that I'm working with a completely new medium, but it makes sense in a weird way. I've always painted my people as every colour in the rainbow. Now I'm turning my friends into the people I would normally paint them as.  Bright colourful beacons to show off to the world.

It's a neat thought that what started as a form of self expression has turned into a form of celebration. A way for me to communicate how I have seen the world for all these years.

As the project moves forward, I'm excited to discover what will happen next.

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