From Sept – Dec 2013, I had the daunting task of doing a capstone project to wrap up my Mechanical Biomedical Engineering degree. This project, known at Ottawa University as CAD-CAM is easily one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done. My group members, Ben and Alex, and I worked on it basically every single day for those 3.5 months. Around the first month, before shit got real, Ben made a comment that by December my otherwise bright and happy paintings are going to be all black and ‘angry’ with splashes of red due to all the stress that we’re bound to experience.
Sure enough, come late November, I started a new painting one evening. I think it was about 11 pm when I got home from school (having been there since 8am… this was normal during this time), I grabbed the largest blank canvas I had in my apartment at the time (40×40”) and just covered the whole thing in black paint. I have no idea why; I really wasn’t thinking about what I wanted to paint, I just started to paint. This was amazingly cathartic. After a full black canvas, I went to bed.
A couple days later, I think we were having a particularly productive day and when I got home, I decided to add an umbrella (naturally. Haha).
Then I left this painting alone for the next month or so.
December was a particularly difficult month for me. I was job hunting and going to interviews and sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear back from potential employers, most of which were getting ready for the holidays and in no rush at all to contact me! I did some work on this painting very early in January (while still officially jobless), but still kept everything quite dark.
Almost right after the New Year, I did get a job, and just worked my first 2 full weeks. This past weekend when I decided it was time I finish this painting I still really didn’t know where I was going with it. But then somehow, I ended up with this painting.
This painting is probably the perfect example of how what’s going on in my life will often end up reflected in my art work. I started off with such a dark and gloomy painting when I was feeling defeated and stressed, and then finished with a bright and colorful painting once things started to look up in my life.
I’m often not even aware and therefore can’t vocalize what inspires a lot of my paintings. Often I just “feel like” painting with particular colors so instead of questioning things, I just go with it. This one was really thanks to Ben’s comment that I became aware of what I was doing. My favorite part of this story is that he was joking at the time he made that comment, and I completely forgot about it at the time of actually painting the depressing black canvas!
If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, it is available in my online store here.