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My Voice In My Art

By Rory Colburn, VI Form

My Voice In My Art

I love to draw.  Drawing allows me to express my identity and opinions as an individual in a seemingly homogeneous world.  After three years and many long nights spent working on Studio Art homework, I have developed a creative process that not only produces technically proficient drawing, but also gives me a voice in my school.

When I begin a piece, I search for every detail in the composition, while my right hand makes seemingly crude marks with a light colored pencil on my paper. I slowly build these ghost lines, which layer to create a two-dimensional representation of the objects in front of me. After this is finished, I pick a palette of colored pencils for individual objects within the still life. As I progress through my drawings, every detail must count, and every decision must have a purpose. Occasionally, I step back from the desk with my paper and prop the drawing up on the large cork board in my school’s studio. When I stand back from my drawing, I find regions that need improvement. This time also allows me to contemplate the symbolism of the objects and the particular message that I would like to convey, either subtly or directly. I want the viewer to receive not only a clear message from the drawing, but also an understanding of the personal ideas I put into my work.

I find that art is more effective when there is an intentional message behind every piece. This is why I connect many of my drawings to contemporary issues that are not always addressed by mainstream media outlets. For instance, I created a series of drawings that deal with the effects of colony collapse disorder on bees and humans.  Another drawing I created dealt with the effects of pollution in the North Pacific Gyre, which is amassing an island of debris the size of Texas. In my opinion, art is the most effective medium for controversial topics in contemporary society because every decision an artist makes can have multiple meanings. These decisions vary from the use of colors to the composition of a piece or mark making techniques. Every minute detail matters because they dictate the messages received by the viewer. Good art leaves imprints on people’s minds, and with this picture comes the artist’s individual opinions. I take great satisfaction in seeing my art displayed publicly around the school and especially if I see fellow students standing before it having a discussion because I know it has sparked interest in a topic and I have succeeded as an artist.

IMG_1802Rory Colburn is a VI Former from Boston. His favorite classes are history and Latin, and he plays squash and golf.


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