My figurative paintings explore my relationship with my wife, through the use of delicate and harmonious colors. The subtle, yet meticulously layered marks allude to a fascination with the traditional style of figurative painting. Using oil based pigments on either canvas or panel I explore scale according to each individual composition, ranging from small portrait work to life sized figures.
The main idea of my work is to express, in a poetic and/or romantic way, the love that I have for my wife, whom I recently married. Through the act of painting her, I express the struggle that one might have of conveying love and admiration through normal means. My work turned from a very heavy use of the self, to a love for the female figure; intimidating, but at the same time beautiful. There is closeness to the work that the viewer may experience by imposing their own familiarity of intimacy, love, and infatuation.
Some of my influences are Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent, and William Bouguereau. Rembrandt is one of my biggest influences, because he explores the idea of the portrait as something more than a representation of a certain person, but as an idea of life and how age can have beauty and wisdom. Another important influence is John Singer Sargent, because although he mostly painted portraits of rich people, he was able to capture their personality and not only their status symbol. Lastly, one of the most important influences on my work is William Bouguereau. His immense fascination for the female body and his relentlessness are an inspiration to me that not very many artists are able to accomplish.
Children are often overlooked when it comes to art and art making, but the foundation of every artist’s creativity can be traced back to childhood. I think art is one of the most crucial subjects that a child must be a part of. If art is neglected to be taught early on in a child’s development, a lack of creativity will begin to form within the child. I want to present art to children in a variety of ways, so that while the child develops in all other aspects, the child will be able to integrate artistic creativity into every situation of life and learning.
I want to create a positive learning environment for a diversity of learners. Although this may be a difficult task, I believe it is of utmost importance. Every student is a different vessel, which cannot be filled with in the exact same way. I want to create an environment in which each student is allowed to prosper in their own way, by fulfilling each student’s needs.
I want to create a positive learning environment by presenting relevant art and design content to the students. Being relevant to one’s own time is an extremely important part of creating art, as well as teaching it. To understand relativity in a contemporary world, one must look back into history and see how artists have been relevant in their own time. Art is not made in a vacuum. We use everything around us as inspiration, as well as everything we have learned from the past. Technology is another very important aspect of contemporary art and learning. I will use technology as an extensive tool not only for research, but also to be used as a new media for the artist. Today’s technological advances present the artist with an incredible opportunity to not only create digital work, but also share ideas and discussions with like-minded artists from around the world. Another incredible tool that is at the disposal of an art educator is the timelessness of the museum. The museum will be used extensively in the curriculum to provide the students with not only the knowledge that can be garnered from the past, but as well as contemporary works, which are relevant today. Another important form of the museum can be accessed digitally, so that when the physical museum may be out of reach, a student can still experience artwork from around the world.
Although teaching is an integral part of art education, something that can be slightly overlooked is how to assess the progress of the student. Students learn and develop at different speeds. This has to be taken into account when assessing the progression of each particular student. I will not only grade the students, but I will have a time for critique. This will not only show me what the students have learned, but it will also open up discussion on how to improve. It is important for the students to be able to talk about their work.
Not only does a teacher have a responsibility within the classroom, it is imperative that the teacher be a part of the contemporary art discussion outside of class. This means that the teacher should produce artwork that has a conversation with other contemporary art and artists. Teachers also have a responsibility to progress as artists themselves, because if the teacher is stagnant in their creativity, how can they inspire young minds to create?