By Kaley LeBlanc, IV Form
Global Influences On Artistic Expression
I am an artist. My love for art originated when I lived in Barcelona, Spain. I was around two years old when my family and I relocated there. While I do not remember much, I do recall how the next few years living there highly influenced my passion for the visual arts. I took art classes with my sister and visited stunning places with my dad such as La Sagrada Familia and the Louvre. I then moved to Shanghai, China at the age of seven. I was introduced to a completely new style of architecture and visual arts. While in Asia, my family and I visited floating villages, Buddhist temples, and the Forbidden City. Europe, I felt, was more industrial and Gothic, meanwhile, Asia was simplistic and filled with peace and nature. Both of these places had completely different styles of architecture and art. Only when I moved back to the United States did I realize how incredible these experience where and how unique they were to me.
I furthered my interest in art and quickly found myself constantly doodling in my notebooks and staring at the clock eagerly awaiting art class. At home, drawing in my countless notebooks would be my greatest pastime. I even got in trouble once for painting on my white bed when I ran out of paper. At the age of twelve, I moved to Omaha, Nebraska. During my time in Omaha, my teacher, Cody Wheelock, was a huge influence in my life as an artist. He taught me enhanced techniques and introduced me to the wonderful medium of charcoal. He gave me difficult assignments that tested accuracy and patience. I was always fascinated by his work and would analyze and critique it. He also taught me how to critically look at art and how to truly understand the classic composure and meaning. I was truly sad to leave such a great art teacher last year when I came to St. Mark’s. Another inspiring art teacher was awaiting me, however: Ms. Putnam has helped me bring my art to an entirely new level of meaning and has pushed me to new limits. These are a couple of pieces I have done this year:
The piece is called “Holy Family”, and it is based on the Holy Family Shrine in Nebraska. In this assignment, we were tasked to draw something from Belmont Chapel, so I chose a chair. From there, I knew I absolutely wanted to include the stunning stained glass all along the walls of the chapel. I then focused on the inside of the chair. I decided it would have been too boring with a plain wooden chair so I brainstormed for a day or two. I came up with placing a sunflower in the middle of a wheat field. I wanted the viewer to be transported into a different space within the piece. The sunflower represents happiness, family, and the cross; the wheat represents Nebraska. For this piece, I used colored pencils on olive green paper.
In the piece “Viewfinder,” I focused on my concentration on endangered species. The focal point of this piece is the jaguar, which is currently labeled as near-threatened. The entire armature of the piece has the eye focusing on the jaguar. I purposefully made it vibrant and busy so that the viewfinder of the gun would camouflage itself. I created this with colored pencils on a black piece of paper.
Kaley LeBlanc is a IV Form boarding student from Omaha, Nebraska. She loves going on runs, is obsessed with boba tea, and enjoys drawing in her sketchbook.