The Pen Pal Painting Exchange
The Sketchbook Project does various art challenges/projects/collaborations and recently they hosted a Painting Exchange! (By recently I mean this summer.) Above is a progress gif, I don’t actually know how to use acrylic paint technically so it’s nice to have pictures of the progress to see where I got stuck. In retrospect I wish I had done something a little more interesting than a face, but it was easy and I hadn’t painted in forever, so it was more an exercise to just flex that muscle a little again. Which means unfortunately there isn’t really any preemptive-thought-out-intellectual conversation with this piece beyond it’s inherent underlying autobiographical tensions. Let’s be real, it’s a crying-bitch-face, obviously not painted by an exceptionally happy person, or person happy at the time. Ironic since painting this, painting in general, made me utterly and overwhelmingly happy.
Really its story is that it’s a reflection of the vibes I was dealing with over the summer that were lingering from the previous school year. The team bombed NCAA’s, I was chronically sleep deprived and seeing a therapist regularly, etc., the list goes on, but it all goes back to rowing one way or another. So here was this tiny little painting that I could tuck away or bring out and work on without anyone knowing. It was cleansing in this nice way that I took all that gross feeling from that year and crammed it all into this little canvas then sent it away. Got rid of it.
It’s in Ireland now somewhere. Hopefully that’s a little more charming/poetic than “i was sad so i painted the thing yay color yay art”