Artist of the Month - Esmé Bleecker-Adams
My name is Esmé. I like to paint and especially to draw, I am interested in fashion and I love color. I like trying different things, and this past year I got to take a class in ceramics and a class in printmaking, which I really enjoyed. I aspire to work in the art world, and would like to be an art teacher, but if it doesn’t work out, I always want to do art on the side for myself because it makes me happy and excited.
I am so grateful to have taken this course, and I’ve been introduced to a lot of new things. The emphasis on drawing from direct observation has been really helpful. It is an important thing to be able to do and a great jumping off point because I think that even a completely imaginary and fantastical work should be grounded in observation. The newest thing for me was structural drawing. I also liked learning the three-tone approach to value because it is a very organized way to go into it and a good place to start.
As of right now, I cannot say that my work has a certain style, or that I pursue or investigate certain themes. I do not have a body of work or a body of concepts and ideas large or developed enough. Most of what I have done are assignments, and I am still learning about techniques and practicing skills. So I don’t know that I have really anything to state about my artwork. I do art because it’s fun, which is probably the most pathetic explanation ever, but it’s what I’ve got. I seek a feeling that we probably all seek, the feeling of being in one’s groove, concentrated, doing one’s thing- in the “zone,” we say. And yes, I am attached to a product, something I can hold and know that I made. And yes, I know I need to be able to step back and see that the art is in the experience and the process, and not in the outcome. The product is really the least important part, but I am not at a point yet (I hope I will be eventually) where I can say “This is why I made this the way I made it, this is what I was thinking, this was my intention, and this is what I am trying to say” because I don’t know what I am trying to say. I am not saying anything yet. I just like to make things, and I sincerely hope that I will be able to develop more of a purpose than that.
One thing I really like is the environment in the class. It feels like a home away from home. All my classmates and my teacher are so nice, and it's like another family. It's a treat to be in so small a class. And we get to do art all day! I also have really enjoyed the trips.
One thing I have learned from this class is how important it is to really work into a drawing. It's something I am still working on being able to do, but I am glad to have had the opportunity to work on a drawing for a number of hours in one day, and to have no choice but to try to invest myself in it. I also am becoming conscious of the importance of the thought that goes into something, and not just making a decision because it's cute or looks nice, but with more of an actual intent.
My dream is to be able to make a living doing art because it's what I love to do. Like it or not, we have to pay the bills, so we have to be thinking about how that's going to happen, and to have a chance to make art that can sustain that would be the perfect situation. But whatever happens, I always want to pursue art for myself, as a hobby if nothing more.
When we went to the Museum of Modern Art, we had to find pieces and defend both sides, that is, "This is art" and "This is not art". I thought this was a really fun exercise that got me thinking. I've learned that art is
1) an experience above all, as opposed to an object or physical product, and 2) a conversation, both between the artist and the art and then between the viewer and the art. The final product comes from an intention and a process that can't be overlooked just because it isn't as tangible.
Sometimes when we are caught up in our own endeavors, it is a refreshing (and exciting) experience to go look at the collection of a museum or a studio, and we are so fortunate to live in New York when it comes to this. One thing I loved about some of the museum trips we went on was the opportunity to spend an extended period of time with one piece. It was a wholly different approach than I usually take when visiting a museum. Every piece has a story, and there's so much to see that can't be seen from a cursory glance. One great thing about the studio visits that we didn't get from the museums was the opportunity to hear the artists speak about their own work.
To learn more about the High School to Art School Portfolio Program visit: http://www.queenscouncilarts.org/high-school-to-art-school/