Painting, Drawing & Printmaking

The art displayed below is part of the Senior Show Spring 2021. Artists include: Amy De Leon, Lily Ertel, Jason Melhorn, Joseph Pascal, Linh Pham, Emily Stern and Jenn Widmayer.

Amy De Leon | Double Walker

I have always tried to present the best parts of myself to the world, but sometimes I don’t want to do what is expected of me. This inner conflict influenced my paintings. In Meeting Myself, I portray my personalities as two doppelgangers; though they have completely different energies, they are still the same person. The intense gaze grounds the two of them and increases their connection. My figures expose me; painting them is an act of pushing my own boundaries. Through my work I confront the duality of my personality, and the desire to ultimately reconcile my different sides. I paint on transparent material, like Dura-lar, allowing the viewer to see through the image to the other side. The various physical layers point to my own layers, and the transparency points to a willful vulnerability: it allows the viewer to see straight through to my core.

Lily Ertel

In my work, I research the overlapping themes of insecurity and expectation, outward performance of gender, and those consequences within femininity. I feel ownership and responsibility over my own human body. I use many mediums in my work, to accurately portray the different elements of being a woman. In the “Painting Girlhood” series, I look at my own childhood to make connections about the ways gender formed me as a person. I lean toward brightly colored, saturated and sweet appearances. I use symbols of toys and characters to then strip and abstract them, revealing the guts of surface culture. In the “Be a Body” series I connect myself to physical pain in my body, often relating to menstrual cycles and labor. I portray a brightly colored, bubble gum version of the ways my own body hurts me.

Jason Melhorn | Delving into Norse

Primarily in the past my main medium has been drawing, usually sticking to work involving marker and colored pencil. The collection of work below is my attempts at spreading my skill set further into painting and trying new applications of acrylic paint. Painting for me always felt like a crutch it was never a medium I found comfort in and I struggled to make things that I was proud of. I have always tried to instill a sense of narrative throughout my works trying to tell a story and I would place that desire above the painting itself. I wanted change to push more for the imagery and flow of a piece rather than the story inside of it. This change allowed me to just let the paint flow rather than second guess every motion that I did. I do consider myself a narrative artist and moreso an illustrator at heart, but I’ve allowed myself to create some works that I did not think were in my skill set. The imagery of my work usually plays off of mythology, whether that be my own or an already established one. As a younger artist who does not have a foothold yet, I am looking to just create works for myself and do things that I can look at and be proud of, both from a visual and story driven standpoint.

Joseph Pascal | Senior Works

My primary body artwork consists mostly of oil paintings with the occasional relief print, ink drawing, and graphite drawing.  Formally, what you see in my oil paintings is a bit of an exploration into the physical medium of oil paint, but more so an exploration and examination of compositions and color schemes that are compulsive and endlessly satisfying to me.  My artistic background almost entirely comes from illustration.  More specifically, spending every hour of class what I thought was just doodling in my notebook- what I was really doing was building a very strong illustration foundation and exploring these formal elements of composition and shape, etc. that can now be seen in my paintings.  In these thousands of doodles I made I was also drawing imagery from my own psyche or subconscious.  All this exploration allowed me to develop an artistic foundation and style that now bolsters my paintings.  I consider myself a painter, not an illustrator because when I first started painting it immediately felt like a natural transition- the logical next step from drawing to painting.  In terms of the subject or content of my art, it’s very unspecific.  There isn’t really anything I wouldn’t paint or make a painting about.  I’m a young artist who is quite new to painting, so I really just want to explore the art form from a fresh and contemporary perspective and create imagery that is unique to me.

Linh Pham

Growing up, I knew that my brain worked differently from others. I would go outside barefoot to play in the grass, carefree. I was captivated by my surroundings. In school I spent most of my time daydreaming - not because the classes were boring, but because my mind was somewhere else. To this day, my mind never stops racing and dreaming.  

The particularities of how I think and feel infuse my painting process. My fascination with my material surroundings has led me to incorporate found objects into my work. I treat each painting as a material experiment. Working abstractly, I use my fingers to expressively glide paint over the canvas, through and around the found materials I have adhered to it. This allows me to feel intimately connected to each piece. For instance, in my work “Scratch”, I use concrete-mix patch as a texture – its roughness emphasizes emotional qualities that were on my mind as I created the piece.  The colors and movement of the paint were chosen to exist in harmony with the texture. The process, as a whole, mesmerizes me. Adding layer upon layer, tapping as it does so directly into my thoughts and way of thinking, is both therapeutic and thrilling. Once I am in this zone, I never want to leave my painted fantasy for the reality of life.

Emily Stern | Window to Healing

My intimate oil paintings tell of my experiences as a rape victim, with the added effects of a halted trial process amidst a global pandemic. They are a window into the emotional impact of a justice system rigged against victims, and the healing process that is inherent to adopting the title “victim”. I believe my oil paintings are windows into a moment, a feeling, or an experience that is sadly not unique to myself. Aware that my words will be shaved down to a lawyer lead testimony, I will paint to express my feelings, my truth, and my voice.

Jenn Widmayer | Strokes of Live Music

The artwork I make is through the lens of my experiences, past, and memories as a young Chinese American queer woman living in the United States. Though my referents are specific, my imagined audience is broad: I seek to make work that can be universally accessed and understood by anyone viewing life through entirely different lenses.  

With Strokes of Live Music, I set out to take my experiences, feelings, and memories from concerts before the pandemic and translate them into a group of paintings that embody the concert going experience. In the past year of the pandemic, where live shows were prohibited, it was easy to feel isolated and yearn for experiences like live music. Revisiting the joy of past concerts has been a way to reconnect to those memories and to also remind myself and others that those moments are not gone forever.