Brittany Haslam artist and illustrator


The main challenge for me during this project was the whole concept of painting abstract forms from my head. Abstraction is definitely not my forte, but I wanted to keep pushing it because I felt the more I dove into this project, it became a great complement to my main body of work. At first I saw them as two separate practices, but upon completing this project, I realize they are not all that different after all. Painting abstractly took a lot more planning out than I had anticipated, and that was a challenge for me at times. I was actively thinking about the way things move, emerge, and interact with each other as well as the space they are in. I tried to compose my pieces in a wide variety of ways, but some of them ended up very similar in size, or the way they were laid out onto the paper. I think this projects successes lie in the growth that occurred during the process. I pushed myself to do something uncomfortable, and I still have a lot of pushing and learning to do, but I feel as though this was a huge step for my art practice. I think it could have been stronger if I did a bigger variety in the size of my pieces, and not been so limited. I also feel as though if i would have let go of control more throughout the process, some really interesting things would have happened. I believe that will be the next step in developing my work- the practice of letting go of control sometimes. Letting loose and just letting the paint do what it wants to do, instead of me trying to make it what I want it to be.

My project is loosely based on my interpretation of cellular-like structures. I'm playing around with form and shape and putting down on paper what I imagine these forms to look and act like. They are in no way exact or correct, but more free-flowing and loosely rendered representations of the idea of the cell in a number of forms. I plan to make at least 8 large (18x24) pieces by the end of the semester, and a handful of smaller studies that inform them.

in progress pieces
small studies from my sketchbook for this project

I have been thinking a lot about my perception of who I am as a person lately. Things that shape me into who I am and experiences that influence the things I do and the way I think. There is constantly something to be observed, thought about, drawn, and learned. These things that shape me, give me my sense of Self. Whether these things are internal, such as cells and anatomical structures of who I am, or external influences and/or experiences; they reflect who I am. For my project this semester, I am exploring my sense of Self. I want to illustrate these different ideas of my sense of Self through a series of watercolor/gouache and ink drawings.

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