I finished the puzzle pieces last Thursday, I went in to the framer with my two last paintings (the puzzle pieces and the text painting) on Friday and he finished them over the weekend. I went with a simple, thin, white frame to cut cost and to make the art stand out instead of the frame. I now have all 6 art pieces, framed and ready to be mounted up on the wall, and all my writing is done! I can’t believe I actually did it.
Got final approval! I have only 160 puzzle pieces left to go, and Skelly believes I can get it done by tomorrow. I have not gone home earlier than 6pm every day this whole week.
At the beginning of the week all the work seemed so daunting, I actually decided half way through that I would only color in half and the other half I would make a solid color, but then I had a moment to breathe and realized that I just would not be able to accomplish what I wanted to if I copped out now. I needed to finish every single puzzle piece the way I wanted it, and now I am!
I really owe a lot of this to Harrison who helped me formulate a mathematical pattern for coloring in my puzzle pieces. Before he brought up this idea I was just choosing the colors for all the puzzle pieces individually, which was such a waste of time. We assigned each color a number, then plugged in the numbers and created a chart that used all the colors and made it so that no two colors in the same row were touching! So I took a pencil and labeled all the puzzle pieces, then color by color I painted all the 1’s in yellow, then the 2’s in green and so on….It was so much easier this way. I don’t think I would of been able to get it done in time without this method.
Back in New York, kind of excited to get back to work. This is really the final stretch, the last couple of weeks to get everything done. I’m so excited to finally present all my paintings and writings that I’ve worked so hard on.
Truthfully I’m really nervous about showing everyone my writings, they’re a bit more personal than the paintings. I tried my hardest to put myself in the shoes of the people effected by each individual disease, and I just hope that I didn’t make anything too stereotypical or offend anyone actually suffering from some of these diseases. A lot of research on each illness went into my writing pieces to make them as accurate and unbiased as possible so I hope that shines through.
I’ve started working on my puzzle pieces already…I have to paint in 1,110 puzzle pieces. At this rate if I manage to do 250 a day which takes me about 3 hours of constant work I will be done in time for final approval. I believe I can do it but I’m kind of nervous.
College applications submitted: Check
Writing pieces finished & edited: Check
Concept for last painting: Check
I decided since the last painting is supposed to symbolize OCD that I would make it a bunch of colorful puzzle pieces, creating a kind of hard to look at/overly organized picture.
A part of me feels like I might be biting off a little more than I could chew because I want the puzzle pieces to create a dizzying effect which means they need to be pretty small and there needs to be a lot of them. I forget sometimes just how big my canvas’ are! They require a lot more work than usual, but I’m too excited about this idea to not do it.
I decided since I’m putting all this effort in that I want my pieces to look as nice as possible when they are presented. I ordered frames at Morris Center in Southampton and I just got a confirmation email that they arrived and are currently working on framing the 4 that are done!
Unfortunately they couldn’t frame the text writing one just yet since the doodles were still wet but I ordered the frames for my last two paintings and I’ll have plenty of time to frame them once I get back.
I’m in Dubai right now on Christmas break. I ended up finishing all my writing pieces on the plane and now I just need to edit them! Didn’t think I would get any work done over vacation, guess I was wrong!
These final days are the last stretch before Christmas break! I really want to get as much done as I can before break so I don’t have to be stressed about everything I have to get done while I’m abroad. Submitting all my college deadlines by January 1st is enough to worry about. I’m beyond happy with where I am right now though, I initially hoped to get 1 ½ pieces done before Christmas break and I managed to do it! I already finished the Anorexia piece and the text for my Social Anxiety piece is edited and finalized.
I ordered the print from Staples and collaged it on to my canvas with modge podge. I put a layer on the actual canvas, applied the paper with my writing on top, and then applied another layer. I was freaking out a little at first because all these air bubbles started to form and the only way to get rid of them was to rip the paper, but I ended up really liking the look of the rips in the canvas. Now all I have to do is wait for the modge podge to dry so I can paint my doodles on the side with the black writing!
Things are going really well. I’ve been staying late after school everyday, usually until the cleaning ladies come or security tells me they’re closing off the lights and I have to leave. I’ve gotten a whole painting done in 1 week! And I didn’t have to compromise the quality. I’m a perfectionist so it’s hard for me to ever be done with a painting, I always feel like I need to add more or it’s not good enough. This project has definitely helped me with that. I see it as a blessing and a curse. I wish that I had stopped earlier with my first painting, the hands on the blue background, because I kind of liked the way it looked when it was half finished versus now when I added the outlining, and the nail color, and the second coat of the paint….etc.
The painting I finished is of 2 bodies, it symbolizes anorexia. At first I was going to make this painting part of the 2nd collection and color it in black and white, but as I was doing it I just really liked the idea of it being in color. I was also originally just going to do one big body on the canvas but due to a printing error in staples, the sketch came out too small and I was forced to look for a solution.
With advice from my mentor I ended up using the body twice, and connecting the two bodies by the arm. I really love it, more than I would of liked the other one. This was also tedious, painting every single line with a different color and then going over the white in between the lines with white paint to remove any paint that accidentally got on there, but it was fun. The piece I wrote for Anorexia also fits really well with this so I’m very happy :).
It’s the first day of December and the pressure is kind of starting to build up. I have about a month left of work time to finish 3 paintings and finalize my writings. I’m really happy with the paintings so far and I think now that I have more of a handle on things I could make my life easier. For example, if I didn’t wait for the paint to dry on each painting before working on it instead of just working on another painting while the first one was drying, I probably would of finished those 3 paintings in a month versus a month and a half – 2 months.
I decided to scrap the lip painting as I don’t really like it as much as I thought it would, I didn’t really have that proud moment I had with the other paintings. I’m going to try and completely finish at least 1 painting, and hopefully start on the next one before I leave for Christmas break on the 20th.
So far I have finished the hands painting, the cigarette hand painting, and the portrait of a man with text carved inside his face. Each one was very different for me skill wise which I enjoyed, I think I’m starting to understand the different techniques of art and the materials i’m working with. A part of me wishes I didn’t choose to work with oil paint because it takes so long to dry but it definitely looks the best. It’s much better now because I kind of had a light bulb moment and realized that I could cycle the paintings I was working on instead of working on one at a time and wasting time I could be working waiting for paint to dry.
So far, the portrait of a man painting has been the most tedious work. I started by going to staples and blowing up my sketch to fit the size of my canvas, 30X48, on thin paper that I could carve through. Then I painted my canvas with two layers of black paint, I did it kind of sloppily to add to the effect. That all took me about 3 days.
The next step took me 1 week, and I stayed at school until about 6pm almost every night. It wasn’t that it was hard work, it was just soo tedious. I had to tape the sketch onto the canvas (the paint was dry by now) and go over each line of writing with a knife. The paper was so flimsy and hard to work with, it would have been much easier if I had a stencil but that would’ve been to difficult to create, and it could of compromised the design of my artwork which I didn’t want to risk. I punctured the paper with the carving knife and started chipping off the paint in the areas I wanted it to be white, thus creating white text on a black background.
In the end I’m so happy with the result, it’s exactly how I imagined it, creepy and kinda dark.
I got preliminary approval which is a relief. So far I have 3 paintings finished, and 6 writings finished. I started my fourth and fifth paintings today and so far they are going well. I’m having a bit of trouble correlating my paintings to my writings but all in all they are cohesive.
I began my third painting of my first collection. So far I have painted the background baby pink and painted the border the same red as the distorted hands painting so you can tell they correlate with each other and are part of the same collection. I have been focusing on my art a bit more than my writing but I have 3 rough drafts or pieces so far that I am still in the process of editing.