During exam week, the advanced painting class organized a gallery exhibition. We showcased the paintings we completed this term, and the Dining Hall generously provided tea and animal crackers as refreshments. I used this term to explore how the medium could convey meaning. For example, what effect is created when we paint the past with rice paper and ink, and the present with the saturated colors of acrylic paint?
Well, the product is pictured here.
I was asked today about how my art has changed during high school, and I realized that I slowly became much more experimental in how I make art. My only significant art teacher outside of school was this carpenter from Pittsburgh, and he taught us classical techniques using wall paints. He believed that good art required a mastery of technique, but I confused good art with good technique. I thought my maturity as an artist grew with the realism of my works–there was some truth to that, but I was ultimately missing the point.
Interestingly, the class that changed how I perceived art the most was English. In English classes, I read essays that were written with elaborate style but said very little, and I also read essays that were written with simple words yet said a lot. Ultimately, I realized that the crux resided in the meaning–words and brushstrokes were merely tools that guided the audience to the crux. I began to see each painting as an essay: every color, every brushstroke must be done with the intent of conveying an ultimate meaning.
Undeniably, however, people pursue art for different reasons. I am only glad that art supplies are so readily available now that people can freely use them however they want, and that the motivation behind making art can be much more individualized.