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It's important to understand that it is a representation of my inner state. At the moment I am strongly concerned with our imprint on the Earth. This includes but is not limited to our methods of recycling, global warming, waste, poverty, technology, etc. These topics have begun to take on a greater role in my life and have made me more aware of the detrimental effects it can have on the space that surrounds me. The notion that I have an effect on the space that I inhabit and in turn it affects me, has made me more aware of what I can do to change that space.

A few months ago I began a themed project on Water. As the project evolved I furthered my research and it began to take on something that extended beyond myself. The emotions of outrage and helplessness surfaced making me become more reflective in my creative production.

Expressionism "was inspired most heavily by the Symbolist currents in the late nineteenth-century art. Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and James Ensorproved particularly influential to the Expressionists, encouraging the distortion of form and the deployment of strong colors to convey a variety of anxieties and yearnings" (The Art Story). For me, I interpret expressionism as a representation of the inner state of the artist and using colour, gesture and ideas to convey meaning.

I am focusing on the development of this series by creating journal entries about how I feel about the work, what angers me throughout my week, what colours represent to me and how I will use them to express myself.

Although my original theme was strictly Ice, I think it's important to have a dialogue and to flow with the creation of this series. The series will instead focus on our influences on the environment and I will attempt to follow the evolution of the series instead of predetermining what I hope to achieve.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I started the first of the expressionism paintings today. I painted a burning forest. You can interpret it how you would like.

I painted a burning forest because it represents my anger towards our effects on the environment. We are burning our planet and making it in hospitable. The colours I chose are of rage and darkness. What I see for the world. I swear I am an optimist.

It is still a work in progress, but I am hoping to have the painting completed before my reading week.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Final Painting: Burn

Alyssa McLean (2018). Burn, Acrylic on Canvas, 16x20.



March 13, 2018

I began my second painting of this series and have no idea how it will turn out.

The painting will express how blind people can be to what is going on around them. To do this, I am using the image of smoke stacks because of the direct correlation of global warming with our industries that produce copious amounts of waste. This painting will use colours that I think help express my emotions in relation to the topic. Furthermore, this painting will expand my abilities as a painter as I will research and test different ways to create a foggy looking painting. This addition will hopefully make it difficult for the viewer to look at the painting, much like people find it difficult to admit that our planet is being destroyed by us.


March 20, 2018

I tossed the last painting to the side to work and finish a different painting today.

The painting, Melting, was inspired by the current melting of our glaciers and the effects it has on its ecosystems.

I choose to complete this painting using the style of Fauvism. Fauvism "shared the use of intense color as a vehicle for describing light and space, and redefined pure color and form as means of communicating the artist's emotional state" (The Art Story). Henry Matisse's use of colour and some line gave me guidance while completing the following painting.

I used a variety of colours that I hoped would evoke different feelings and ideas. For example, the glacier is a melange of cool colours that represent the temperature of the ice. Moreover, the colours were used to create a dynamic display of how the sky's luminous colours can dance across the ice.

Additionally, the sky is a brilliant yellow, orange, and pink, to demonstrate the beauty in nature. It is left up to the audience to decide whether the sky represents a sun rise or a sun set.

Finally the dark clouds, deep blue water, and orange, rusty red, demonstrates how we, as humans, are destroying this beauty. The small white spots demonstration how the glacier is melting due to the oil that is closing in on the glacier. Which could also be interpreted as warm water. The colours of the bottom half of the painting pay tribute to my Oil Spill painting.

Alyssa McLean (2018). Melting, Acrylic on canvas, 16x20".


Alyssa McLean (2018). Northern Reflection, acrylic on canvas. (11x17)


Final expressionism painting.

I wanted to create something that showed another side of the north and the beauty of it's landscape.

This painting is called Northern Reflection, because of the reflection off the ice and snow.

Pictures to come!

Stay tuned for small blog entries and pictures that will be added to the post! Or follow me at:

@alyssamcleandesign on instagram

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