Hello folks!

I thought I'd begin my first post by giving you readers a brief bit of background about myself! I’m 18 years old and am currently in my second year of studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I was homeschooled up until college, an education which allowed me to explore my love of art in unique and different ways. I took private art lessons until my interest in oil painting led me to enroll in a class at the Wayne Art Center. I studied there for about two and a half years, primarily with Karen Fogarty, who received her masters at PAFA. I have a bunch of pictures of some of my earlier work, so I though it might be helpful to post some of them to show a bit of my progress over the past few years…

Here’s one of my very first oil paintings from sophomore year in high school:

I believe this was my second painting, and one of the things I struggled with the most at first was identifying and mixing clean, accurate colors. This painting was a little more succesful in that regard because most of the objects had pretty striking, bold colors. Rendering different surfaces such as glass or the complicated folds of drapery was definitely beyond me at this point though...

This is a few months later, still during my sophmore year:

I think this painting was definitely a little bit of a break-through for me...I began to really explore issues such as paint handling and brushwork, and in this particular piece, I really tried to loosen up and to apply paint more thickly and boldly.

This one was during the first half of my junior year:

In this painting I was continuing to work out various painting issues, particularly those of composition. The color scheme here was also interesting: I used an almost complimentary palatte of blue and yellow throughout pretty much the whole painting...

Then second half of junior year:

Again, this painting was another slight break-through for me, and it's still one that I'm reasonably happy with even now. I loved working with the very warm rich color palette here, and I finally began to explore depicting different textures and surfaces such as metal, glass, and flowers. I also played with using the pattern on the drappery for the first time which was really fun!

This painting was done towards the end of my senior year:

Here I was also working on similar issues as in the last painting--depicting different surfaces and patterns. The difficult thing about this painting was that the patterns and designs were so strong, that they had to be carefully balanced so as not to loose the form...
Finally, this last one is from the end of my first year at PAFA:

I don't want to say too much about this last one, because I may be devoting a future blog post to it...anyway, it was one of the final paintings I did during my first year at PAFA, and it was sort of the culmination of my struggle between a tightly rendered style and loosening my brushwork...but that's a long story for a another post!

Hopefully, the progression here is clear...I always find it helpful to continually look back at old work to see where I've come from! Till next time!