Student Features: Different Mediums, One Passion

This piece is a photography collage that consists of photos I took at various Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, DC; This painting was inspired by a photo I found while browsing on Pinterest.

This piece is a photography collage that consists of photos I took at various Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, DC. I witnessed people from all different walks of life put aside their differences and come together for a common goal during these demonstrations. I was incredibly moved, and thus created this piece. Overlaying the photos is a Martin Luther King Jr. quote saying, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that." To me, this quote epitomizes how people can truly put an end to hatred in the world by replacing it with love, which is a powerful force. King was a big proponent of creating social change through peaceful protests, and each of the photos that I took resembled that idea. Through this project, I tried to convey the potential power of these protests as well as well-timed photography. Through viewing photos, the audience can step out of the imaginary realm and really engage with the world around them. It makes the moment more real. I believe that it is important for people to see real examples of peaceful, more favorable protests to contrast the violent ones that gain far more media coverage.

This painting was inspired by a photo I found while browsing on Pinterest. I really liked how the colors in the photo I saw interacted with one another, so I thought I’d give it a try. For instance, the original photo has an abundance of blues and greens permeating through the water and different warm tones, such as reds and oranges, in the subject's hair. Hence, I decided to explore contrast and juxtaposition of these colors in my painting. I used acrylic paint for almost all of the portrait, beginning by blocking in the main shapes, particularly the face and hair, and then layering the shadow tones and highlight tints. I also thinned out and layered some more acrylic paint in order to get the varied opacities for the water in the background. Although I did not create this piece with a certain message in mind, in retrospect, I do think it has a certain feel of peace and serenity. The subject's hair, green clothing, and the water itself exude calmness. The brushstrokes are free and loose, which I definitely think contribute to the painting's atmosphere of tranquility.

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