Three Ways to Paint the World

    Art inspires human beings everywhere. Though many love it, they have not found the time to pursue it on their own. Those who look at art often wonder how the artist created it. Art does not only take mastery of technique. It requires passion and a willingness to make mistakes in the pursuit of perfected expression. At UMPI, some students shared how they pursue art. Get ready for a glimpse into the world of three different art students. 

Using Any Media

     Miranda Cole is a college junior seeking a bachelor’s in fine arts. She has studied many different art media as well as art history. The type of art she shared, however, was mixed media. She is in a mixed media class this semester. Mixed media art uses any material. Cole showed many of her art pieces, both finished ones and ones in the making. She used paint, paper, dried roses, seashells and more. Her favorite thing about mixed media, she said, is the freedom. 

     For one of her art pieces, Cole used a tiny, old Pegasus toy. She owned it for many years, and it was broken. She glued the broken pieces of the toy to a dark board. The pieces were distributed as if Pegasus suddenly fell from the sky and crashed. When the creature hit the ground, it shattered like glass. For the creature’s blood, she used gold paint. This type of art is an example of surrealism. “Surrealism is presenting a reality that wouldn’t really happen,” she said. 

     Cole’s recent art project, “Family Dynamics,” showed a variety of expression techniques. “I decided to go with an abstracted representation of the different relationships the subject of ‘family’ can address,” she said in an essay on the project. “I decided to incorporate general components such as repetitive cutouts of ‘pebbles,’ as I like to call them, and consistent frames.” 

Miranda Cole’s five parts of _Family Dynamics.

     The artwork consisted of five frames. Each frame contained a group of pebbles shapes, which were cut out from construction paper. Cole said each frame was like peeking into a window. Each of the five pictures used different color backgrounds and had the pebbles grouped differently. The pebbles represented people. The different uses of “compositional space” for the pebbles portrayed distinct types of families. 

     Cole explained the one in the center, for example. The pebbles stood in a large group, with one sitting off to the side a bit. “The various blues and merging brush strokes to the subjects are portraying a unifying loyalty and trust,” she said in her essay. She used “color theory,” which means to use color combinations for a special purpose. Different color combinations provoke different emotions and instincts. The colors behind each pebble family are intentional. “This big family dynamic is built on its reliability of one another to bring in the outliers, no matter how big or small,” her essay concluded. She made the different shades of blue swirl around the pebble family. It expressed how the family members came in from all directions.

     “I kind of want to make a narrative to the viewer,” Cole said. Her passion shows in her work. Both the broken Pegasus and the pebble families tell a story.