[Ceanothus americanus, Gouache on mat board / Oil on canvas]
Making a cohesive body of visual art is a strange process. It's one I have never truly had to commit myself to until recently, seeing as the bulk of the past three years has focused mainly on individual projects or mini-series. I have collections of graphite and charcoal renderings from various drawing courses, a portfolio of anatomical studies and gestural sketches from Figure Painting, newsprint-swaddled monotypes and lithographs from printmaking, and similar documentation from just about every other studio class I have been a part of. But now instead of being given a task with guidelines, I am in the thick of creating not just a finished product, but the foundation on which I am to build my thesis, ideas, dialogue, aesthetic, and also the visual artwork.
The process, I have realized, takes a great deal of time. Time to process and refine ideas until they become expressible thoughts, time to let the thought process be worked out in the physical method of sketching, painting, building, and time to carry out projects that cost not only time, but money, and more likely than not will end up in the "no" category come exhibition time, or prove to be nothing more than a stepping stone on the road leading to the right combination of subject/style/medium needed to communicate an idea more clearly.
So far I'm six months in, and am still constantly learning. I am beginning to understand what it might look like to make art as a job in which I grow and advance, not solely as a hobby I'm passionate about. I want to make art consistently for the long haul. Whether or not I'll be able to make a living off of it is unknown, but even if it's not my main source of income, I have to stick with it. There is something intrinsic about it, and I would hate to ever abandon a practice so valuable to me.
As my senior exhibition approaches, I'll post some more info about what exactly I'm painting, how, and why. Also, I will have an artist statement ready to share. Huzzah for progress!