Thinking about my senior project

I thought I had decoded my artistic views last semester in my professional artist class, but things have changed a bit since then and my viewpoints need reworking. I thought a good way to start off this brainstorming session was to post all the true statements I can say about my senior project.

My senior project is painting portraits.

My goal is to make portraits that step beyond the traditional format. I like the term bizarre portraits, and I feel that it is more important to portray an interesting character than the actual character of the subject. In this way the subject is almost acting.

I create a narrative by integrating props with the subject. The narratives are not clear and I prefer to leave interpretation up to the viewer. I also prefer to choose loaded props that suggest a deeper meaning. This can be accomplished by elevating everyday objects (a toothbrush or a tomato for example) to a position of importance in the painting. Then the question becomes why.

While I do not work in diptychs or establish a clear theme unifying the series, I do strive to have repeated themes, ideas or methods of presentation that draw parallels between paintings.

I prefer working in a square format.

The position of the eyes is important. I prefer to have the subject looking directly at the viewer as if they are asking you a question or conversing. The alternative is to have the subject look away, which raises the question of if they are interested in having a conversation with the viewer.

All my subjects are wearing glasses. While this was not planned I did decide to pursue it as a unifying element once I had realized the common thread. Painting is the art of seeing, and glasses frame and improve our vision just as painting frames and improves our view of the subject.

I’ve also been thinking about how I want to display my senior show so I’ve been experimenting with some layouts and this is the one I’m happiest with at the moment. They won’t be black squares (as exciting as that would be) the squares are just filler for the moment. The top three squares are 12″ x 12″, the two large squares are 24″ x 24″ and the middle image is 18″ x 24″.

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About Aaron Mitchell

www.mindofmitchell.com
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