“CLAW” is a roughly 7” x 11” self-portrait painted with acrylics. It depicts me clawing(ba-dum-tss) at my face, which takes a break from falling into blue and purple shadows long enough to look out at the viewer with blank gray eyes. Meanwhile, the background, influenced a little by the shading style of comic books, shows a cloud forming a broken and somewhat ironic halo around my head.
“CLAW” was inspired by a dissonance I’ve felt between my thoughts and how I present myself through an average day, between the emotional part of my head and the almost-well-put-together person I try to be. As disoriented and overwhelmed as I may feel, it doesn’t manifest observably as anything more than simple fatigue. I tried to show this by placing an emotionless expression in the midst of the chaotic abstract background/shading.
Right now, my goal as an artist is to try out new mediums and styles. I’m used to creating realistic pencil drawings of faces, exact replicas of reference photos. With “CLAW”, I wanted to try pulling away and extrapolating from my reference picture, adding colors, shapes and values that would express emotion that a perfectly realistic rendition couldn’t.
I doubt I would’ve taken the risk of trying a new style on my own just for fear of messing up and wasting resources. Receiving a micro grant has helped me step out of my artistic comfort zone and learn more about painting, both as an unfamiliar medium and as a stylistic choice.