Friday, March 12, 2010

Chrissy: The Gateway

25+ hours of photoshop and a tablet= this:

The Gateway
(please click on it to see a larger image)

The Gateway

Ah, if only I had some logical reason for creating this piece. It wasn’t an assignment; in fact it took a lot of time away from actual homework. When I began formulating ideas in my head for this piece it was in no way suppose to be this detailed or realistic. I was thinking of a fun little painting that I could make into one of my ridiculous book covers for a facebook profile picture. Then the train-wreck of my charcoal head study happened.

This past semester I’ve been taking figure drawing. It is the hardest class I have ever taken. Three hours of sitting on a bench and drawing a model is very physically exhausting. Three hours of comparing my work to everyone else’s in the class in mentally draining. After three hours I leave the class not only with sore shoulders and hands, but also with my artist’s ego ground to dust. The charcoal head study was the epitome of that class. It was probably better than it would’ve been at the beginning of the semester, but my skills had not progressed as I would’ve liked them to have. I asked myself “why?”. I came up with the following reasons 1. The charcoal head study was a rushed drawing that was meant to prove to myself I could actually do something 2. Neither the head study or my figure drawing class was allowing me to do what I loved to do with art: storytelling. And although they were helping gain the techniques and skills that would aid me in telling my stories better that class in itself left me feeling artistically unsatisfied. It was after these realizations that I set out to create a story, one that didn’t have a deadline. A story that wasn’t a rushed attempt to boost my self-esteem. I wanted to create something that I had thought over, poured my best efforts into, and that would teach me something new. This came by way of “The Gateway”.

Most of you will be thinking, “She’s carried this Narnia thing a little too far.” Let me begin by saying that yes, this began as a piece of me finding Narnia. However, as the hours I spent on this piece wore on I realized it really wasn’t Narnia or Hogwarts or Middle Earth or any of those magical places. It was the dream and hope that all of us secretly (or not so secretly in my case) carry around in our hearts. The dream that there is a place beyond finals or work. The hope that taxes and bills won’t always be a part of our existence. It is the wish to escape reality, just once, and not have to be responsible for the many responsibilities that are placed on our shoulders. It’s what I think about when my parent’s tell me “life only gets harder”.

I don’t think this piece could ever be received with as much enthusiasm as I have put into it. This is a little disappointing; I do love having people appreciate my pieces and telling me so. However, I’ve realized that one of the reasons I truly love to create art is not for the reason that my art may affect someone else but for the reason that it changes me. I benefit so much more from art than the art world does from me. This piece proved that to me. The reason I entitled it “The Gateway” was because it turned into a gateway for me. It became that place of solace that I needed; it had turned into my temporary escape from reality. As I painted I realized that while we can in no way completely break away from the lives we have made and continue to make for ourselves there are still little gateways of escape all around us. I found my gateway, and it helped me keep a slightly more level head when dealing with housing and homework amongst other college woes. I hope you are moved (even if it is just ever so slightly) by my little journey. However, if you were to take away one thing from this piece and my story I would hope that you would be compelled to find your own escape from reality, your own gateway.



Blogger Jonathan Baker said...


March 12, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Lyn :) said...

wow... I'm kinda speechless... girl, you truly amaze me.

March 12, 2010 at 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chrisanne I absolutely love it.

March 14, 2010 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

Nellie do you have a facebook account?

March 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no I don't. sorry about that... I know I'm like the only person that doesn't use facebook. but keep posting your artwork on your blogs so I can keep stalking you :) your stuff is amazing. I'm still a huge fan.

March 16, 2010 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

Well you should get a blog and post your art! I miss it!

March 16, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

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