I’m home from Humboldt State University for the summer and given that this is my last summer before graduation along with the uncertain realities that will follow, this will be precious time needed to brainstorm ideas for paintings. The concepts are there: vulnerability, isolation, exposure/protection, skin-building, unhinged circuits within natural landscapes, etc. But my head unfortunately does not have too many of these ready-made visuals from these concepts (as cliche as they may sound) to execute.
Although I’ve been an art major for years, and I’ve experimented in different mediums to find what I wanted to pursue (my sophomore year beginning painting class scared me away from the practice for a bit), it’s only in the past year when I transferred from my (more affordable) junior college up to HSU where I saw the forest and took intermediate and advanced painting did I finally find what I wanted to express and how (style-wise). I always wanted to use mixed media but I didn’t know how to make it my own. So now I’m at the edge of the final year with a double-focus in graphic design (developing my own independent-from-class-portfolio for that subject is another task for this summer) and painting – it’s creative crunch time.
I never realized how much the local landscapes influenced me. I used to roll my eyes at all the plein-air paintings I used to see of Sonoma County wine vineyards and yellow hills with bushel brushstrokes for oak trees that hung in galleries, but I guess it’s hard to ignore what is around you. I’ve been blessed and privileged to grow up around nature and to now attend a college that is just as close to it. I used the Arcata Community Forest as a backdrop for Square Peg and her vulnerable acquaintances but I shouldn’t leave my hometown of Bodega Bay out of the loop completely. I’ll be trying to break from Square Peg for a bit as well, before I get stuck in a rut. A new location calls for new characters (or new imagery) and I hope to develop a years-worth of ideas over these next few months.