Last week in my Film & Mixed Media class we were given our first project assignment. A self portrait. But here's the catch... we couldn't just simply draw/paint a picture of ourselves and call it quits. We had to find a way to show ourselves in some other way.

I sat on this for a while and just thought up what I should do. Who am I, if not just a face?

Well, I finally came up with something. It ended up being more of a layering process. I started with the one art I love most... mixed media. Fitting, since the class is called Film & Mixed Media :] I took some of my extra map clippings from my latest venture as well as some pages from old books. This part of the painting was for my love of travel, road trips, Minneapolis, and getting lost in books. I ended up taking some watered down paint and doing a layer of yellow [my fave color].

After this, I pretty much walked away from the canvas for a day. I wasn't sure where I was going to go from there.

Then it dawned on me. I'm NOT just a face. I'm not just a body. What I look like means nothing in the long run. So I just started painting. I guess what I was feeling with this is that you are not just the cover of a book.  What's inside of you makes you who you are. Your likes, your dislikes, your inspirations. Without those, you are dead.

What do you think?

I love to paint. I think that's been made pretty clear throughout this little blog. But it's one thing to show off my paintings here on my blog, where I feel accepted and understood... and a completely different thing to stand up in front of classmates and show off a piece of art. Terrifying.

It had been drizzling that day so I shoved my painting into a trash bag to walk to class. It was a nice excuse because I secretly just didn't want anyone to see it as I walked. I walked into class a little later than normal and everyone had already hung their art on the walls for our critique. It was like they were staring at me waiting for me to hang up so they could scrutinize my work. I nervously took my painting out of the bag, hung it up in the corner of the room, and quickly ran back to my seat and sat down. I made sure not to look at anyone for fear I'd catch them checking out my painting.

I waited until the very last minute to stand up and talk about my work. That's not even an exaggeration. We went by volunteering and I was the last to go. Pitiful. When I finally stood up to talk it was like a wave of anxiety came over me. I've never been nervous in front of groups before. I have no issue standing in front of real life architects talking about my work. But for some reason, standing in front of this 24x36" piece of canvas made me want to curl into a ball and die.

All my anxiety was for nothing though. They absolutely loved it. My teacher told me that it was one of the strongest pieces of art she's seen in the class. One guy even said he'd hang it in his office! I was a little overwhelmed with the response. People were coming up to me after class to talk about it and I just didn't know how to react.

I had such a fun time with the project. It made me wish I had gone into studio art instead of architecture. Oh well, maybe grad school :]


  1. It looks great I can see why everyone loved it so much! Everyone on here loves your work so I can't imagine why anyone else wouldn't :D

    Rhiannon xo

  2. oh, girlfriend, you should walk proud with that piece.
    it's really beautiful!

  3. Wow! It's incredible! What a creative way to express who you are! You had nothing to worry about! It turned out amazing!

  4. Great portrait! Love all the different types of media you used and your concept. It came together beautifully. 

    During college, in order to graduate we had to do massive presentations to the public and in front of a panel made up of graphic designers. TERRIFYING! I had like 30 people watching me. But now that it's over I'm pretty comfortable talking about my work. Just takes practice :)

  5. I absolutely love this concept, and your execution of it is just as lovely. Isn't it wonderful when those beautiful thoughts and ideas all come together perfectly in the nick of time? You should be super proud of this piece.

  6. Wow. That really is terrific. So expressive!. Keep going. I lacked one class to double major in Art. Sad to say having six kids kinda snuffed it. My oldest daughter has been trying to get me to draw all week, I am scared I don't remember how! Thank you. You have inspired me.

  7. I am stunned!   Your painting is absolutely amazing.  I love it.  I am sure you felt overwhelmed with anxiety,  but it is good to know it quickly wore off.  I love your piece and how you felt about it.  It's so strong and expressive.  I just cannot get over it.  I wish I was bold enough to paint like that.  Congratulations and well done.  This post alone has inspired me so much.  Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  8. I'm glad you got such a good is deserved. 

  9. You did a wonderful job and I'm so glad it was well received. I know exactly how you feel...I entered an art piece into a local auction last year and I was SO beyond nervous about showing it. It ended up getting quite a few bids! 

  10. That looks amazing! I used to be really during critiques too. Eventually I got over it and realized that most everyone in the classroom feels the same way I do!


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