Date of Award
Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)
Colby College. Art Dept.
The following report is an account of my growth and exploration as a painter. The project that was the springboard for this exploration was to create a series of paintings inspired by the fiction that I had previously written as a creative writing minor. I felt that writing could be used as a stimulus to create great paintings, and that painting and writing were perhaps more connected than I knew. I wished to pursue this connection through painting because I believed that it might be possible to capture many of the elements of a story on canvas. I looked to many artists for inspiration: Maxfield Parrish for the vibrancy of his colors, and his techniques incorporating photography; Lucian Freud for his ability to convey psychology through portrairure; Chuck Close because of the large format and directness of his paintings; Max Beckmann because of his strong sense of line; Chaim Somine for his looseness with paint and the figure; and N.C. Wyeth for his illustration work and sense of color. I have made several technical advancements and discoveries. I have come to realize how much I enjoy working with glazes and with optical blending. I have discovered that flat stenciling over modeled areas creates interesting spatial relationships while activating the surface. I have become more intuitive with how I gather information for my paintings, and I have found several ways to integrate photography into my creative process. I also explored the dividing line between fine art and illustration. It is my hope that unlike illustrations, which are designed to support a pre-existing text, my paintings are able to stand as works of art completely independent from the writing. Because of this project, I discovered many more connections between writing and painting than I had anticipated. I believe that by studying this connection in depth, I have learned a great deal about myself as an individual and as an artist. I will continue to produce fine art in the future. In addition, I have developed a strong passion for illustration. and hope to one-day write and illustrate children's books.
Creative writing, painting, fictions, Maxfield Parrish, Lucian Freud, Churck Close, Max Beckmann, Chaim Somine, Wyeth
Recommended CitationSmith, Hannah E., "Drawing from Words" (2001). Senior Scholar Papers. Paper 240.
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