For this high school assignment, I created a large quasi-stippling piece. My subject was a young girl whose image I cut from a magazine. Although, after completion, everyone thought it was a self-portrait! Using a projector, I lightly replicated the image onto a large piece of poster board with pencil and then added the details in ink. I decided to focus on the darks and shadows and left the light areas completely white.
Every year our teacher would showcase a few pieces of art in the student hallway. This year mine was chosen to hang in the “gallery”. It was my first taste of showing my art to people other than my family and friends and I couldn’t have been more proud!
It was 1988 and the band Duran Duran was a huge success and wildly admired by us teenage girls! Although not intentional, this piece always reminds me of Patrick Nagel‘s artwork for the Rio album cover.
Closely related to Pointillism is the art of Stippling; using small dots to convey the form. Stippling is done with ink and specialty pens with various size tips to allow for different size dots. For finer detail, you use the smallest opening and space the dots farther apart. For dark and dense areas, you use the larger pen tip and place the dots closer together. Stippling may be done using different color ink. Sometimes an artist may add color with colored pencil after the ink has dried.
One of our assignments in high school was to create a collage drawing. I used my recent trip to Chicago for inspiration. I composed an array of keepsakes and snapped a photograph. These included: a menu, a photograph, key chain, maps from Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute of Chicago, luggage tags, and boarding pass.
My Junior year in high school we studied the Post-Impressionists. My favorite was Georges Seurat. I found his Pointillism technique fascinating – laying thousands of colored dots next to each other instead of the typical blending – and letting the observer’s eyes do the work of combining in order to achieve the right colors.
As part of the lesson, we had to research a well-known artist and create a painting in their style. “The Bridge” above was my feeble attempt to copy Seurat and his Pointillism.
In 1987 my mom and I took a trip to Chicago and visited the Art Institute of Chicago. What a wonderful place to see the Impressionist’s paintings! I was especially excited to see Georges Seurat’s paintings up close! When I spotted A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, I just starred in reverie for the longest time. It was incredible! Of course I’d seen pictures in books but nothing could compare to the real thing up close!
My art education began in high school. I was fortunate to have a wonderful art teacher, Mrs. Susan Sturtevant. She was the picture of what I envisioned an artist should be: free-flowing wild curly blond hair with kind eyes and a gentle voice. She wore long, colorful, breathy skirts and was very knowledgeable about art. She taught us history and technique and was always encouraging. Thank you Mrs. Sturtevant, wherever you may be!
One of my favorite paintings is Buddha. I can still picture the projected image in the front of the classroom. Of course the medium was crackled tempera paints applied with overused, cheep paintbrushes. We had recently been introduced to the Impressionists and I thought they were magical! So, with old brush in hand, I tried to replicate what I had seen Monet, Renoir, and Degas create so effortlessly.