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Thameenah's Essay

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The two main inspirations for my artwork are David Padworny and Joshua Miels. They have inspired me in their style and their application of paint techniques. These artists, along with my own development have allowed me to express my interpretation of the theme of migration. I have done this through two portraits of my brother at different ages. These artists have also allowed me to develop my own understanding of emotion and internalize it in order to incorporate my new understanding through my artworks. The artist that first introduced me to colour was David Padworny. His work has an abstract quality, and like Josh Miels, he tries to covey intense emotion in his works. He usually paints from a rough sketch, blurred photographs or memories in order to keep an energetic and creative mood to his paintings. He really tired to emphasize emotion in his works, by having exaggerated facial expression and sometimes he would even paint tears on his subjects to further express how they were feeling. He paints mostly portraits and his works are extremely expressive in both colour choice and application. This expressive application also helps emphasize emotion as it can convey how the artist was feeling when painting the portrait as well as emphasize the emotion that the subject was feeling. Sometimes the expressive quality of his works were seen to be so intense that it lead to the point where one struggles to identify the subject matter. This also emphasizes how he was bordering abstraction with the way he painted portraits. Before stumbling upon Padworny my concept of using colours to create an almost naturalistic painting was non-existent. Being inspired by Padworny, allowed me to explore a world of colours that I had not yet dabbled into. By copying two of his works I was able to figure out how to use colour to create tonal value. This helped me later when I began painting my first portrait. Padworny paints with thick impasto layers, which is what first introduced me to texture. I was also influenced in his idea of capturing emotion through exaggerated facial expressions. It can therefore be seen in Portrait two of my brother, that I painted an exaggerated smile on his face to emphases the joy he was feeling.

After absorbing all Padworny had to offer, I started to formulate my idea using the theme migration. I then came to the conclusion that Padworny’s work was too expressive and abstract for what I wanted to do, but his work is still a key concept in formulating the skill I needed to produce my idea. I then came across Joshua Miels, who is a contemporary artist. He mostly paints portraits. This intrigued me as my whole idea was based on two portraits of my brother. His main goal was to capture his subject’s emotion just like Padworny. He wants the viewer to see the emotion that the subject tries to hide. When photographing my brother, his emotion at that point played a major roll in the way the artwork is portrayed as a whole. His face has a huge smile on it. This encapsulates his personality. The fact that I found Josh Miels as my source of inspiration ties in perfectly as he paints which a range of bright colours, which further emphasize my brother’s personality. Miels, Padwomy and myself use a pallet knife to apply the paint to our canvas (my canvas was paper). This helps bring the aspect of texture to both their and my work. However, Miles does not just apply the paint to the canvas and declare it completed. His work takes him an enormous amount of time because, to create his texture, he paints by applying multiple layers upon layers. A difference in the way our final works look would be due to the fact that Miels and Padworny paint in oil paints whereas I use acrylic paints mixed with acrylic texture paste. Their artworks have a shiny finish whereas mine have a matte finish. Miles’ main purpose for creating his artworks was to allow people to understand and connect with emotion on a spiritual level. He has strong views on having the freedom to express ones emotion. In particular, he wants men to be able to do this. He believes that men often think that they need to live up to the stereotypical view of having to conceal what they feel. As result of this, most of his are men. By having most of his portraits of men he is trying to create a greater impact for the viewer. This had a major impact on me as, although our themes are different, it allowed me to find a deeper meaning to the emotion of a male.

This also influenced what photograph I chose to paint of my brother when he was younger. My decision to use of photograph of my brother smiling when he was younger was essentially to express how, although time passes and we physically grow, our feelings always have a way of remaining. The fact that both portraits have a smile on them is similar to the way that Miels had males portraits with sad expressions as it creates awareness that men have the capability to feel. By doing this, I played on Miles’ concept of confronting the viewer with emotion as it makes one think about why this subject is feeling that way as well as what happened in the passing time between these two portraits. Joshua Miels has influenced my work in many ways, but unfortunately it can be concluded that our themes do not compare. Miels was entirely about emotion. He also had a long family history with anxiety, addiction and depression. This added purpose for him to create his works. My theme for this work, on the other hand, has emotion as a sub category whereas my dominating theme is all about, as stated previously, migration. I interpreted the word migration in a sense of growth. The entire work consists of two paintings, one of my brother at age five and the other of my brother at age twenty.

They are placed side by side to clearly emphasize the power of growth and the natural way the body develops. He has migrated from a child to an adult. Because the expression of emotion in the two portraits are so similar, it draws attention to the viewer as they are now confronted with the question as to whether, migration of the physical body from child to adult actually changes their emotional growth. It is clear that although David Padworny spiked my interest in painting with colour and texture, it was Josh Miels who ultimately made the biggest impact on my work. Miels’ style of painting is the style I chose to adapt a make my own. It took me a while to understand how to work with colours in that way and therefore l started off with painting using naturalistic colours and slowly started adding a greater variety of colours until I eventually changed to using only bright and interesting colours There was a more uniform and refined quality to Miels’ work as he painted in segments where as Padworny’s work seemed a bit more arbitrary in the way he selected colours and his application was almost abstract. There was no distinct colour variation because all the colours seemed to merge into one another. This created a muddy effect, which I did not enjoy. It is clear, seen in my final artwork, that I preferred Miels’ technique. This is a personal preference and can also be seen as me expressing myself in the artwork, as I am a more refined person Evidently it is seen that my artwork would not have been possible without the inspiration I received. I was able to use both Miels and Padworny’s work, even though they had different approaches to create my own. My artistic ability has been broadened by the development of these artworks, which will only aid me going forward. I have used the understanding gained in both colour and emotion to create two painting that express both of these aspects in a unique way. Both the positive and negative aspects seen from a artist perspective of Miels and Padworny’s work have had a major impact on me and they allowed me to decide what I am more inclined towards and what I am not. It also allowed me to discover more about my artistic approach as the textured application of paint has ignited newfound excitement for the visual arts in me.

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