Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An Explanation of my BFA Show

As many of you know, I am working toward a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree right now. In order to graduate with a BFA degree from BYU, I need to have a final show. Another well known fact is that my art revolves around people. I paint portraits and figurative paintings exploring identity, individuality, emotion, and spiritual journeys. I want my show to embody all of the hard work that I have put in these past five years, and to show the sincere devotion that I have toward people and painting them. You're all probably wondering where this is going...

How do I paint a sincere portrait? Do I glamorize my subject like in photo-shoots? Do I make a moody melancholy painting to over emphasize how hard life is? There's got to be something in between. I want to show the people I love in a meaningful, sincere, personal light. This is hard because it involves discomfort, confusion, and reality.

We are all so used to glamming and idealizing ourselves. When we take pictures to record our family, the ritual we go through is "1 2 3 cheeeeeese!!!" We only put up the "cute" pictures on our blogs and facebook. I am guilty of this too (I'm not saying we should be putting all of the personal and sad stuff on blogs, just trying to describe my project...) Our surface image of happiness and prosperity is true in some cases, but only partially true. Life is not all cheese. Life also isn't all depressed either. It is emotional. It is a roller-coaster. It's main purpose is growth, and growing always involves growing pains along with the satisfaction of progression. Life is not perfection.

Life is not perfection.

Yes, in the Latter Day Saint religion, we are commanded to be perfect, but not by our own power. Christ relied on the Father and had the Father's spirit with him in almost every moment of his life. Why do we always expect and require perfection of ourselves? This is something I've battled with all my life.

I have a feeling I'm not connecting my thoughts very well. I'll try to explain how all of these things relate. I want to produce a body of work of portraits that convey something deeper than surface happiness. I want to paint what people look like everyday when they perform their daily interactions and labors. I want to portray them with the sincere feelings and moods that they are having when I take the reference photographs. I want to show emotion that is not posed or pre-thought. It has been very hard for me to explain this to the people that I love that I am painting. I just want you all to know that I'm not trying to slight anyone I'm painting by not doing the standard glamour shot that we are used to. I just want to produce a painting of you that shows true emotion, that shows what people really feel and look like, and maybe to even help people realize that...

...they are loved and accepted and embraced as they are every day.

I hope this explains what I am trying to do for those of you who have been confused. I am trying to do 12-15 paintings, and still need a few more subjects, and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to go on this emotional journey with me to promote the truth that, as the classic song says, we don't need to change "to try and please me, I love you just the way you are."


  1. this is brilliant. and girl, you know i'm always up for helping you out. seriously. call me if you're still lookin'

  2. Josh is at the firestation tomorrow and Friday if you need another face.

  3. Anna, I will go there with you! You can even paint me with little make up on and hair in a ponytail, because that's my every day, for sure. :)
    email me if you still need another face

  4. thanks everyone, I appreciate your support more than you know. Camille and Barbara, I'll let you know, thanks so much!