Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thoughts on Drawing - Emmy Olszewski

Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed drawing. When I was very little, I folded pieces of printer paper in half and stapled them together to make a journal of animals that I liked, with little illustrated images on each page. Of course, these drawing were rough, but nonetheless I continued to expand on my talent throughout school. Whenever a group project involved artwork or creativity, I was always in high-demand, and even tried to teach other students basic drawing techniques so they could explore drawing in styles that didn’t involve stick figures. As I sat through classes far too boring to hold my interest, I filled margins of my notes with more doodles than I could count, and it wasn’t until I got to high school that I finally had an art class that piqued my creative interest and gave me an outlet for my creativity. I began my exploration of the arts with drawing - I didn't know mediums existed outside of pencils, Crayola crayons, or markers. Everything I love to do now - painting, ceramics, sculpture - began with my individual attempts into drawing, and my knowledge of what was available in the art world didn't emerge until I started art classes in school.

In middle school, all of our projects were very specific with little room to be creative – except for which colors you decided to use for your watercolor background, for example – so I was ecstatic to have free reign. No one else in my family is creative, and my mother is extremely clean – to the point where art in the house was more of a chore than an enjoyment – so my interest in art tapered off both at home and in the class room. In high school, I had two fantastic art teachers who only wanted their students to grow. I was introduced to plaster carving, paper mache, wire sculpture, ceramics, oil pastel, charcoal – you name it and I tried it. It got to the point where I had completed all four courses offered at my high school (ceramics, sculpture, drawing, and painting) by sophomore year. I appealed to the administration and began an Advanced Art program, where my freedom to express myself was even greater. I was to turn in three projects a semester that pushed my talents and comfort zone, and allowed me to further myself as an artist. By senior year I had taken a total of 7 art classes, not counting our senior exclusive option, Portfolio Prep.

I strayed from all that I had known – mechanical pencil drawing – and ventured into the world of color and clay and glaze and never turned back. I created a 4-cup teapot in the shape of a turtle, and painted a 6’x7’ mural of a whale shark on my chemistry teacher’s wall – to be seen every day by students in her class. Hundreds of kids have now taken the Advanced Art options, it is now included in the course schedule. By pursuing one of my main outlets of expression, I opened up opportunities for others while also furthering my own skills. 

Since then, I have become interested in many other forms of media, including spray paint, starting a business of spray painting freehand logos onto people's lawns for grad parties and other events, and also using it to create a nifty background for my acrylic paintings. I've picked up an odd love of painting on nontraditional surfaces, such as grandfather clocks depicting Grandfather Time, picnic table tops, ukuleles - you name it, I'll paint it. It's been a great way to express myself and find a release from the extreme expectations placed on me from my surroundings. I enter my own little head space, and create wonders from it.  

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