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  • Writer's pictureMaeve

Painting as documentation

As I near the end of my college career, I am faced with the reality that I may be spending less and less time at my home or with my family who made it what it is. Even during the time that I do spend at home, it is spent living out of tote bags and living through a lens that is much different than the way it used to feel.

This semester, I was faced with the challenge of creating 10 paintings. Although it was not required, I wanted to create a series of paintings that all related to each other. I decided to make a series of paintings documenting the spaces that I take for granted but are pretty remarkable if you take a step back and look at the work of art my mom has created that is our home. I ended up only completing 7 paintings, but I think each of them represent a different truth. Many of the paintings are from my perspective, from my chair in a room to just my vantage point at 5'4". Others document the items that I often go months without noticing but that the space would feel empty without.

When my family moved out of our last house, my mom took a series of photos documenting each room before we started packing up. I grew up flipping through these photos in photo albums and was always struck by the fact that the images didn't feel like the spaces. The photos were taken hastily and they didn't seem to capture the feeling of what it was like to live in them. The hallmarks of my mom's style are bright colors, pattern, crowded furniture, and painterly accents. The spaces are defined by the abundance of natural light, fresh flowers, candles burning, and reflective color. These were the elements and feelings I sought to capture.

This project allowed me to exercise my technical skills as a painter, while also using my design skills in creating composition. The most rewarding parts of the process was when I could utilize my interest in pattern design, repetition, complementary colors, and form.


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