A sentence you’ll very rarely hear me say: ‘I’m actually quite proud of this one’! It’s my final piece from my largest A-level art project under the self-chosen title, ‘Madness’ and, though I think it’s cringe-inducingly of its time (not sure you could get more ‘Teenage Girl Art’ epitome if you tried), it’s something I’m abnormally happy with. Not because it’s flawless, spectacular, particularly original, or profound, but because when I look at it I’m easily transported back to the mind of 18 year old me.
I could go on forever about the things I find embarrassing about this piece: some of the decorations around the side just look lazy, for a start, and the overall tone feels a bit primary-colour-come-primary-school, particularly with the cartoony/illustrative style.
I remember, however, that the aesthetic choices I made were all reasoned and got me further to finding my own style than any earlier experiments had. I wanted the piece to be partially about childhood and growing up (hence the hand prints, little butterflies, and splodges of bright, undeveloped paint), and for the expression in my eyes to communicate a lil bit of reluctance in letting all that go.
Further still, I was beginning to realise what type of artist I want to be, and the style I’d like to create in: I’d always loved playing around with Absurdism/Surrealism and Symbolism, but heavy, serious pieces aspiring to the likes of Delvaux or Goya weren’t working for me; I love a low-key pop-art style closer to commercial and poster art. The deep purple fleshy tones, however, don’t loose that moody darkness you do get with Turn of the Century artists like Degas and Munch (my fave Art Historical period). I think all of these elements in combo allowed me to produce a true depiction of that time in my life: in many ways, a normal teen girl growing up on the high street of TOWIE, but infused with some more expressive and confusing states of mind, surrounding whatever might be happening next and the classic pubescent anxieties.
I am, and always have been (just take a look at this blog!) drawn to the multi-colourful, bold, and bright, in various ways, but I think this extroversion is often mistaken for a lack of greater sensitivity and heavier thought – this painting encapsulates both sides.
(Here are some lil studies I did to prepare. Points for discussion: 1) I really need to learn to erase things without smudging (this is why I use oils, not charcoal) and 2) Damn is my forehead large!)