“Family Pets” Series Three- Final Presentation

As I wrapped up this last series, I really thought about how amazing it was to get so many people involved in this series and just how popular the paintings became. I have always been an animal lover, but I really never thought this would become something I truly enjoyed!


Each painting has its own personality. Although they are all unified together by the style of painting, the medium, and the similar brushwork, they also tell their own story. As I carefully choose specific images of pets to use, my goal was to find ones that showed this unique expression or pose of that pet. I would ask some of the people who generously let me use their pet for more images so I would really be able to express those emotions I thought were important.


My initial idea was to bring these animals together to show a family. I think I was truly able to do that not only with enlarging my size for some of them, but also by arrangement of the animals. As it did take a little time for me to finalize my set up, I concluded it with slight variation. This was to break apart some of the pets and put them next to ones you wouldn’t really think of being together. I did, however, leave the cats all together. This was more of a personal idea as I really enjoyed these small canvases all together right in the center.


The process for the last series was very similar to that of the first two. I again included both small and large canvases which I ended up really enjoying in the final presentation. I also continued with acrylic paint. I was able to go a lot faster even with the large canvases as I continued to try and just layer paint down and use larger brushes. I also became more adapted to this abstract background. At first I was weary on the idea as I thought it wouldn’t look as pleasing compared to the highly detailed pets. In the end I felt more connected to the main focus of the paintings (the pets) because of this more abstract, surreal background. I find it added an interest to the series, while also bringing the viewers eyes on what I want to be the most important.



Family Pets Part 2- Dogs

For this part to my series, I focused on three things. First of all, my central idea was based on dogs. Secondly, I decided to add some larger paintings. This included canvases 16×20 inches. Lastly, I wanted to really start looking more closely at the work of one of the artists I am using for inspiration, Joan Jonas.

Part of what really caught my eye and really inspired me for this part was in the Art 21 video of Joan Jonas was when she started to show one of her techniques with these simple washes. She would open a notebook and just start to do really simple ink washes on each page of the same sort of thing. In her case she was painting insects. This really inspired me as I continued to go further with this part of the series as it helped me to increase my brush size and to start with a simple wash of what I am painting and then continue to paint the piece with more layers of paint.

I again continued with the acrylic paint as I had planned and was still pleased with the turn out. On the large canvases I didn’t want to leave the background completely white as I felt there was just too much blank space, whereas in the smaller paintings there was less blank space. I decided to add a more simple, abstract background that was related to the picture I referenced. In the end I fell this helped to achieve my full goal of this project to focus on the importance and value our pets have to us. This gives viewers sort of a mystery as to what is going on in the picture, but makes them reflect back at mainly the pet in which is painted.

The larger canvases were an interesting change to the project. I feel indifferent with it so far. I do like the increase in size and think I was able to handle it the way I wanted to, however I think it also would be interesting if my project was only small canvases and when presented in a gallery, there would just be a huge wall full of these small, intricate, paintings that each have their own separate little story. I do think as a whole, each part put together at the end will still pull off the family-like feeling I want with this idea.

Family Pets

For my three series project I am continuing to focus on animals. More specifically pets. Like my previous data painting, for the first series I decided to again use smaller canvases. I liked the idea of a family-like relationship that the previous piece had with the small canvases. To really expand my idea, I asked my friends and family for a little help by sending me their pet photos. I want each series to be unified with the connection of family and just how important pets are to their owners. The amount of people who have been on board supporting my idea with pictures, comments, sharing, etc. are incredible!

I choose cats as my central idea for the first series just because it started me off in a fun direction. I choose pictures that I thought gave a sense of emotion. For example, someone sent me a picture of their cat who likes licking olives. I really thought this picture was both visually interesting, and really getting to the point of my idea. This fun, intriguing, family sense that can be both silly, and serious. I also choose cats who had both similar color palettes in some cases, and a strong contrast in others. This I feel also brings my idea into visual context. I see family as (like I said before) both silly and serious. I also see family as not just people (or in this case pets) with different interests, but of different color and style. I decided also to leave the edges white. Unlike the last series where I painted the sides of the canvas black, I thought leaving them white ended up giving it another sort of dimension. I am not quite sure why I really like it, it could be the looseness and how I left some soft brush strokes from painting the cats on the canvas or maybe just the simplicity of it when they are set up all together as a whole.

Data Collection Inspired Piece

The following piece is an interpretation of data I had collected for a week. The data was based on how many times I had talked about or interacted with my pets in anyway. This number came to be a whopping 351 times! This included any time I had brought them up in conversation, posted pictures about them, took care of them/interacted with them, and even any sketched or drawings done of them.

As my pets and animals in general have more recently peaked my interest with painting, I had decided to do a separate smaller painting of each one. I went with full acrylic as I wanted to play around with a realistic look that had a sort of simplistic organization in the final presentation of the piece. The data is represented in each of the smaller canvases through the dots shown on them. I typically spend a lot of my time equally with each pet of mine so I took the 351 times from my data and divided it by 8. This gave me approximately 44. Each canvas has 44 dots with corresponding colors to the backgrounds of the pictures I had initially taken. There is one canvas, however, that does not have any dots at all. This pet was adopted after the week of collecting data. Therefore he was not accounted for in the 351.

I was very pleased with the final product of this piece as I had a fun time painting each of my pets. I was first unsure of leaving the background of the canvases completely white as I thought it may leave the piece looking unfinished. I came to the conclusion when completing it that it gave more meaning to the data aspect of this piece. It shows that the background isn’t just a bunch of random dots, but have some sort of meaning even if the viewer is unaware of what that is. I wanted to make them look almost as if they were photos taken on a photo strip. Mostly because a lot of my interaction with my pets is taking pictures of them doing different things and in different position and places. I think leaving this white background with a framed solid black achieved that more and I was very happy with it in the end.

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Digital Identity

The inspiration for the work is digital identity. When I think of digital identity I immediately think of my art page on Facebook. I typically use social media for my art work not only to show to the world, but to also sell and get commissions. In this painting to show my true digital identity I choose this path of simplicity by painting simple icons and apps that I use. To tie in this sense of personality I decided to add my favorite colors and to also create the piece in a flowing, more artistic way as art is very important to me both digitally and in the real world. For my face and facial features, I decided to create it with a grayscale sort of tone. As my piece is thought out to be, my whole idea behind the grayscale was to sort of push away from the “selfie” lifestyle and think about the personality of the person, rather than the looks. This brings the viewer to look at the apps and icons in which my artistic hair contains and to think about their own personal digital identity and others digital identities versus the way they or someone else may be in person. To get into this painting more I researched this topic by really just digging into my own digital profiles and looking deeper into what I post. I looked at pictures and reflected on myself and created this piece that really shows who I am on Facebook, Instagram, and even when I am e-mailing someone. When I started the piece I really wasn’t confident and didn’t think it would turn out but in the end I am very happy with this idea and how it turned out as I think it created this balance and unity, as well as contrast to the piece.

Leopard Gecko Water Color Piece

For the assignment of Large Work out of Smaller Parts, I decided to create a large scale watercolor piece. With the interests I have gotten from my pets, more specifically my geckos, I wanted to continue down this road of painting them but at a larger, more impacting scale. I took a creature the size of my hand and enlarge it to an 11 foot piece of art.


In this process, like I said, I used watercolor. This was something that I wanted to do for two reasons. One was to get this sort of multicolored, flowing effect that watercolor is able to achieve. Secondly I wanted to create something that you don’t usually see in art, a watercolor piece at such a large scale. I was very pleased with the look that the watercolor gave this piece and as I went along I wanted that flowing, sort of chaotic look to be more prominent as it shows a side of the geckos that exists. To show that I did a sort of scribbled technique along the head and body. Also incorporated in the process is some acrylic paint. I used this to give the background of each separate piece a solid black color to contrast the chaotic emotion and color of the gecko.

Leopard geckos are very interesting creatures and are very unique in a variety of ways. No two geckos are alike and every time one sheds, its pattern looks a little bit different then it did before. There are endless patterns, color pallets, designs, shapes, and sizes and as I have been experimenting with painting these geckos, I have opened up to more and more mediums and styles of work. My goal is to really continue to create art by making leopard geckos and even continue into using my other pets for inspiration. I really feel that this piece has opened my mind and started a new style for me.