As I near the end of my college career, my mind is consumed by thoughts of what my next steps are as an adult and the trajectory of my life. What I am going to do and who am I going to be? The endless possibilities both overwhelm me and excite me. Throughout my last years in college, I have looked introspectively at what really matters to me and the aspirations I have for my life. This thoughtful look inward has lead me to the concept of my senior show Personal Renaissance.
Through five Surrealist oil paintings I bring to life inspiring quotes that explore the ways in which I want to live my life. The process of creating my exhibit has been a meditative method of self-reflection which allows me to clear my mind of everything but the focus of the paintings. The hopeful and dreamlike portraits invite the viewer to reflect on experiences of complacency and inspire them to chase after their wildest dreams. For instance the piece, Keep Your Head in the Clouds, takes the negative saying about unrealistic goals, “head in the clouds,” and gives it a positive twist by expressing the message: keep dreaming fantastically, and make it reality.
I employ a paradoxical combination of a Surrealist and a Naturalistic style to depict phantasmagoric scenes. This mixture gives a blurry line of what can be real and what is fantasy, expressing the idea that it is possible to make wildest dreams come true. For example, Bloom Where You Are Planted combines the naturalistic figure with the implausible peonies stemming from her head to evoke this blur of reality and fantasy in the painting that can cross over into life.
It can be easy to be complacent with what is set out for us in life, however it is important to look introspectively and find out what truly matters to you in order to live a fulfilled life. My hope is that Personal Renaissance presents the viewer with a moment to look introspectively and gives inspiration to reach for their most wondrous dreams.
© Anna Meriwether, All Rights Reserved
oil painting, surrealism, figure painting, naturalism