December 12, 2011

The Discovery of Other Artists

It is a magical thing when one artist, lost in their original primordial ooze of childhood doodles and sketches, discovers another artist. As a five-year-old, it may have been difficult to understand or perceive the works of Van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir in the way a twenty-year-old does, but the colors and beautiful quality of line were never lost on me. I never tired of drawing; one of my first memories ever is when I first received a set of 100 crayola crayons and the box came with a sharpener in the back. The funny thing is that I am ridiculously intimidated by color. I remember that, as a child, there was no fear or intimidation but just a tendency to use a pencil or black fountain pen instead of rushing into my trusty crayon box. My only experience with paint were summertime projects, done only in acrylic and usually with an abstract style.

I was ignorant to the fact that practice would make me a better artist and by studying at other artist's works, I would gain knowledge from their masterful skills. The main inspiration were movies- that was something special my dad and I had in common. We always made trips to the local theater together from the time I was an infant up to he present. I treasured the visuals of films like Star Wars and the themes of good versus evil; the old legends and tales of men that worked their way into the modern age. The Matrix was the first rated 'R' movie I had ever seen and I knew that I wanted to make something like that- graphic depictions of incredible characters and settings, my mind nearly exploded from excitement and a whirling sea of ideas suddenly whisked into my head. At nine-years-old, The Matrix had brought potential and a never-ending search for art that could bring the level of excitement I experienced when first watching that powerful movie. Countless atmospheric movies also contributed to my imagination and need for creation-Blade Runner, Legend, The Fifth Element, Indiana Jones, and Minority Report.

There was also a never-ending cycle of frustration and depression that came with my insatiable lust for creating art. In particular, high school was a time in which I discovered my art was attractive to other viewers, but I also realized that it was not good enough (or that I was not proud enough of the artwork) to display in an art show. At times, I still feel upset with my work because something in the particular piece did not turn out as I envisioned. It is easier to accept these nuances now with the valuable advice given to me by fellow artists and teachers at college. Finally done with my sport, soccer, (after seventeen years of it dominating my life) my focus can now mainly be my artwork. I have free time to research Cezanne and Mondrian without feeling exhausted from a weights session. I can do a master study of Monet or de Chirico without being interrupted by a mandatory meeting at two in the afternoon.

Taking art history was the best experience in my years as a student. The History of Modern Art, which began with realist works from the 19th century and ended with modernism in the 20th century, opened my eyes to the 'when, where, why, and how' of art. I was taken aback by the sheer knowledge that Manet is actually considered the father of Modern Art; all I had ever seen of his work I had shaken of as another 'one of those' boring, late 19th century realists with no soul or imagination. As I discovered, his paintings at the time were considered scandalous and he was ahead of his time. I had not noticed the subtleties in his artwork, which my brilliant art history professor diligently pointed out time and time again in so many paintings, even after Manet's works.

That nine-year-old kid still sits, admiring the visual inspiration of her idols...she currently attends college and writes in her blog every so often.