Monday, November 3, 2008


A Journal Entry
Paint Large

Entry 1: My original proposal is an interpretation of Cleveland architecture (my geographic home). I feel that for an Ohio school, the students at Denison whom I have interacted with never seem to know much about the larger cities of Ohio. Frustratingly, fewer people still gave them any credit whatsoever for their local cultures, largely as a result of their incidental ignorance about these cities. My idea is to use the strong lines and interesting shapes from various contemporary buildings around Cleveland. One iconic building in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in the heart of Cleveland. Award winning architect I. M. Pei designed this structural gem that bears a similar pyramidal shape to the Louvre’s Pyramid, another of Pei’s designs. Another notable architect is Frank Gehry, who designed the business school building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. What I came to realize is although these are very inspiring architects and interesting buildings, I can’t identify with them in the way that I felt necessary to complete the assignment. Instead, I found inspiration in absolute devastation.

Entry 2: The topic has changed. The night that I was stretching the canvas for this piece, my mother called with terrible news. Our close family friend who had been living in New Zealand with her children and husband for almost a decade killed herself two months ago. My godfather, her husband regretted to tell us and we only learned the news of her death through another mutual friend. This news sank into me with one of the bluest moods that I have ever experienced. I feel sometimes that my melancholic moods are unfounded and self-absorbed. I’ve written essays in high school that elicited the, “Are you okay? Really though…should I be worried?” question from teachers. This was quite different, as all deaths are. I walked over the threshold next to the coffee maker in the studio and heard my mothers news but continued walking completely stunned until I reached the first tier of the corner of the studio where my easel was located, and burst into tears. Given my procrastinatory nature, leaving the studio was a non-option, for we needed our canvases stretched and primed by the next day. So I stretched and primed with tears running down my face. It was messy, but complete.

Entry 3: I took to the canvas without anything but Marily in my mind. I wanted the deep intense blue to signify melancholy to the viewer, although its brightness seems cheerier to most. The yellow represented life, that was being suppressed by the blue cubes. The dripping was a sort of cleansing of the canvas, a washing away of all of the anxiety and pain. I was thinking of her daughter, who is about fourteen and how she will experience adolescence without a mother, knowing that she willingly… I don’t even know how to express this. While the whole canvas was wet, a single drip from the top of the canvas cleared a white drip that went through the muckier middle. Here I put the red, the third and final primary color, (the whole painting was ‘tube colors’ just like I like it). The red was intended to be blood, an open wound that will not heal with anything but time. The painting doesn’t convey all of this emotion, but I remember it as a specific moment in time, and am reminded of this tragedy each time I look at the painting. Although titles weren’t required, I would have named it something like, “the sky isn’t crying, I am.” Pretty literal, eh?

I was very happy with my peers interpretations of this first piece. Most interpreted the red as a wound, or as blood, and that was spot-on. The word ‘boring’ was thrown out about it, which was disappointing and indicative of its failure to convey the true emotion experienced while creating the piece. My absolute favorite interpretation was one that I hadn’t even considered myself. This is the idea that everything seems okay on the outside, but if you look a little closer, there is another darker, sadder, more macabre world that this peer of mine saw.

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