"Adopted", 2014 graphite and colored pencil on paper 12in x 15in
"Adopted" is a drawing of a beagle who is trying to be adopted by a family of pigs. I chose to use pencil to draw the pigs to better detail the texture of the fur. The colored pencil highlights the beagle and its confusion.
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"Au Bon Vin de Touraine", 2016 watercolor on paper 7in x 5in "Au Bon Vin de Touraine" is inspired by the historical towns of The Loire Valley, France.
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"Belly Fat", 2016 graphite and colored pencil on paper 18in x 20in
"Belly Fat" is a self-portrait that goes beyond an objective view of the individual to convey something about who "Jessica Li" really is. I chose to use graphite for this piece in order to create a more dismal mood that better suits the topic of body image in today's society and to mimic the many, monochromatic works produced in the feminist avant-garde of the 1970s. Red colored pencil is also used to draw the viewer's attention to the body and the flesh of the subject. The posters on the walls are not only visual aids to help inform the viewer of the subject matter, but they are also indications of how media shapes the perception of the female body. "Belly Fat" also draws inspiration from the disturbing and surreal personas of Cindy Sherman to provide insight into the minds of the many women who continue to struggle with their bodies. Notice how the subject"s facial expression oddly reveals that she is not in pain as she cuts herself; rather, she is sitting calmly on her bed, doing exactly what her society is telling her to do.
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"Cabane à Sucre", 2012 oil on canvas 10.5in x 13.5in
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"Café du Monde", 2014 pastel on paper 7.5in x 9.5in
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My response to the prompt "deconstruct" is an homage to Watterson's comic strip, "Calvin and Hobbes." When the two pieces "Beanie Baby" and "Bengal Tiger" are conjoined, the viewer sees not only a transition between drawing techniques, but also a transition between Hobbes' two identities. Towards the left, Hobbes is depicted as a cute, two-dimensional cartoon through solid colors and exaggerated brush strokes. As the gaze of the audience shifts to the right, the comic frame gradually disappears and the piece reveals a leaping Bengal tiger. Watterson often juxtaposes the "grown-up," lifeless version of Hobbes with Calvin's animated version in his comic panels; Similarly, I wanted to compare these various perspectives through a deconstruction. The ultimate goal of these two pieces is to portray the genuine relationship between a boy and his best friend that lies within every "Calvin and Hobbes" series.
If I had the chance to continue my responses, I would add another panel to the left that features Hobbes in his stuffed animal form. Integrating that specific "grown-up" perception of Hobbes would create a more stark contrast between the different perspectives of the comic. As Hobbes transitions from an inanimate toy all the way to a roaring, lifelike tiger, the full spectrum of perspectives explored in Watterson's classic comic strip are further revealed.
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"Canis lupus familiaris", 2016 charcoal on paper 11.5in x 17.5in
"Canis lupus familiaris" is a subtractive charcoal drawing of a dog skull. Subtractive drawing is a technique in which the drawing surface is covered in a material and then erased to make the image. In "Canis lupus familiaris", I covered the paper with vine charcoal and then used paper towels to remove charcoal filaments in certain areas in order to convey light. I then left charcoal in certain areas of the skull to create darker values and shadows. The combination of lifting value and adding value helped craft a rounder, more realistic skull.
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"Cup Noodles", 2016 graphite on paper 19in x 13in
"Cup Noodles" is a large-scale drawing inspired by surrealists and their dream-like imagery. Oftentimes, surrealists will play with the sizes of their subjects. The size of the styrofoam ramen cup is scaled to be the size of a typical bathtub, mimicking the unusual scaling of a surrealism piece. This piece also focuses on shifts in value. The curvature of the cup is conveyed through shifts in value with small pencil strokes. The viewer can observe a man happily jumping into his favorite brand of noodles: Cup Noodles. I always catch myself reminiscing my childhood and my infatuation with Cup Noodles as I look at this piece.
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"Flowers in a Vase", 2014 pastel on paper 8in x 11in
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"Apples and Pears Still Life", 2013 oil on canvas 11in x 14in
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"Contour of Grad B Toilets", 2016 graphite on paper 24in x 18in
"Contour of Grad B Toilets" is a cross-contour drawing of toilet stalls in a college dormitory. The piece was drawn in one, continuous line.
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"Jars" - 2016 oil on canvas 13in x 16in
"Jars" features two textural components. The first textural component can be observed on the windows. The stained windows were created by spraying water, linseed oil, and WD-40 (penetrating oil and water-displacing spray). The hydrophobic nature of these components is what created the splotchy texture of the windows. Secondly, the texture of the wood was created by pressing crumpled paper onto the wet canvas.
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"Lo Smith", 2016 graphite on newsprint 18in x 24in
"Lo Smith" is a fifteen-second gesture drawing.
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"Man", 2016 graphite on paper 14in x 11in
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"Read My Lips", 2016 oil on canvas 16in x 20in
"Read My Lips" is a piece influenced by surrealism. The bright red lips draws inspiration from Andy Warhol’s pop art, particularly his style of accentuating the lips with bright, vibrant colors. The historical landmarks that line the teeth resemble dental braces. The material that connects the buildings is metal wire. A city skyline creates the lower set of teeth. The clouds in the background cast, an illusion of floating lips, contributing to the surreal complexities of the piece.
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"Self-Portrait" - 2016 ink on cardstock glued onto paper 27.5in x 42in
"Self-Portrait" is a ink collage portrait. In order to construct the portrait, a gridding method was used to proportionally sketch a small photo onto a large piece of paper. First, several pieces of cardstock were painted with different values of ink. They were then glued onto the large piece paper in areas that accurately depicted the highlights and shadows of the face. Finally, ink was used to detail the hair of the self-portrait.
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"Teapot Still Life", 2015 oil on canvas
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"Woman", 2016 graphite on paper 14in x 11in
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"Zero Gravity", 2013 graphite and watercolor on paper 10in x 8in
"Zero Gravity" is a still-life of a clementine wedge perfectly balanced on top of two teetering rocks. The background gradient was created with an airbrush. "Zero Gravity" received a Silver Key in the 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The piece was also featured at the Bruce Museum's 2016 iCreate exhibit in Greenwich, CT.