A. Vermeulen Honors Art III Portfolio

A Not-So-Perfect Mirage


“As the child of immigrants, you have that sense of ‘Where are you? Where’s home?’ And trying to make a home.” - Maya Lin

Surrealism—1920s . . . Dada Movement— 20th century in Switzerland, in protest of WWI

The Academy of Muses

"The Academy of Muses" - José Luis Guerín, 2015; Digital Cinema

  • My piece was done using the reverse glass painting method because I wanted to symbolize how the person behind the glass yearns to be free: to be outside their window. The person in this picture seems to be expressing the same emotion as she peers out the window.
Wave Field

"Wave Field" - Maya Lin, 1995; Earth, Grass; Earthwork; North Campus; Courtyard, SE side of Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building

  • I believe that this piece connects to my painting because it shows how a usually flat subject-- the ground-- can be created to pop out at the viewer, almost as if it is breaking the fourth wall. My piece is about a person trying to break through their stereotypes, which seems appropriate for this Maya Lin installation.

Process Photos

My planning sketches served as a way to "accurately" plan out how I was going to layer the two frames. I knew I wanted the smaller frame to lay over the larger one, but I didn't know what I wanted it to lay over. These beginning sketches helped me figure that out. The sketch on the bottom left was actually drawn before I broke my piece, and so the concept worked well after the glass had actually been broken.
I decided to do a reverse glass painting because I prefer to paint in acrylic paint, but I wanted to challenge myself. I bought a fitted frame from the PTA to paint on. I surrounded the edges of the glass with tape, as to not chip it or cut myself while handling it.
While painting, I had to continuously check to make sure the painting looked like it was supposed to on the viewing side. This required me to experiment with a lot of highlighting, shading, and blending techniques.
I accidentally dropped the glass and it shattered. It was to my advantage, however, because it gives the illusion that the person behind the glass had succeeded in shattering the glass with their palm.
I laid the second frame over it to line the two paintings up with each other. The heart in the smaller frame represents how it is what is on the inside that really matters. I had set up the chest to line up with the heart, so the smaller frame can be hinged to the larger one and line up with the corner.
Final Product

I chose to make this piece a reverse glass painting, which gives the illusion of the hand being behind a window. Both layers of the painting were done on recycled frames from the PTA Thrift Shop. Upon almost completing this composition, the larger piece of glass dropped and shattered. This would have been devastating, however, I discovered that the cracks worked well with the overall message I aimed to convey. The shattered hand in this painting represents how a person is attempting to break free of societal stereotypes. The solid heart represents who you are on the inside, which is what really matters.

One Home: puppet making

I helped shade Gandhi's face on one of the banners.
Marinne Frey and I were in charge of making the Zebra head. We made the base out of cardboard, newspaper and paper mache. I painted the eyes and the side stripes, while Marinne painted the stripes on the forehead.
In the play, our zebra played one of the selfish animals who pollutes the watering hole.

We build the form of the head out of cardboard and shaped the facial features out of newspaper and masking tape. Two layers of paper mache were put on top of the base to provide a smooth layer for the paint. Strips of cardboard were ripped and stapled to the back of the head to give the illusion of a mane. We painted the entire head white and added tones of gray for shading. Finally, we added the stripes and eyes. Our puppet’s role in the play was to be one of the selfish animals who polluted the watering hole.



Hiroshi Sugimoto: Photographer; Uses photography to capture memories, allowing his photos to preserve the richness of emotion as if it is occurring again in the moment.

Surrealism— 1920s . . . Dada Movement— 20th century in Switzerland, in protest of WWI

Catherine Parr

"Catherine Parr" - Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1999; Photography; Deutsche Guggenheim

  • The woman in this portrait looks very peaceful and innocent. This is much like how I want the girl-- Annie-- in my painting to be portrayed as. Sugimoto does a good job of making the subject's expression very minimalistic, which still letting the viewer feel something.
The Brown Sisters, Wellfleet. Massachusetts

"The Brown Sisters, Wellfleet. Massachusetts" - Nicholas Nixon, 2015; Gelatin Silver Print; Wellfleet, MA

  • The women in this image look very serene and calm, much like the girl in my painting. Their expressions are subtle, yet strong enough for the viewer to feel their emotion, even though they may not know what exact emotion.

Process Photos

The sketch on the left was when I was directly drawing from observation. The sketch on the right is a more accurate model of the girl's positioning.
I used neutral beiges and skin tones as the first layer of the face and I would later on add cool and warm tones into the face to give it depth.
I blocked the background around the head to give the illusion that the hair is in front of the background.
I used photo and live references to help line up where the shoulders and collar bones should be placed. Her posture is facing slightly to the left, so the right side of her body appears larger.
Final Product

This painting was based off a sketch drawing I did of one of my friends. Her expression was very peaceful and innocent. I surrounded her head in light yellow tones to give a warm effect. I brought warm and cool tones into the face to simulate depth.

Vanity Mirror


Spider Web

"Spider Web" - Vija Celmins, 2009; Screenprint; "I'm the kind of person who works on something forever and then works on the same image again the next day."

  • We are all caught in the spider web of our own ways. It is sometimes hard to distinguish what we are doing that is truly what we want and what is not as genuine.

"Marsyas" - Balthasar Permoser, ca. 1680–85; Marble on a black marble socle inlaid with light marble panels; The Met Fifth Avenue; "Marsyas screams in the midst of his torture"

  • This sculpture conveys the feeling of being trapped in a point in time that is very undesirable. For Marsyas the satyr, he is actually being tortured, but I see it as the modern unhappiness humans have with their everyday superficial lives. They are trapped behind a mask.

Process Photos

With the help of my art teacher, I took a plaster cast of my face. After the cast dried, I molded clay inside and waited for it to dry. Once the clay was dry enough, I removed it from the mold and continued to add and remove clay from it to make it look more like a face.
Final Product

Unlike an image in a flat, plain mirror, this reflection is 3-dimensional. This clay sculpture conveys the need for people to transcend beyond the superficial facade we each hold before ourselves as a means of self-preservation. The wooden frame is repurposed from the PTA Thrift Shop. This unfinished piece is still awaiting the kiln. I kept it in a pre-fired state because it resembles stone. I found this to be appropriate for the piece's universal message and I wanted to maintain an earthy color scheme and texture throughout the entire composition.


Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.