Jessica Zaydak

January 31st-February 11, 2011

BFA Thesis Proposal

I. Introduction

The following is my proposal for my BFA thesis exhibit for January 31st through February 11th, 2011 in the UAF gallery. It includes an explanation of themes and ideas and my intentions of how I will accomplish a coherent body of work.

II. Body


I grew up in the woods outside of Pittsburgh, PA and this experience has had the greatest influence on my artwork. Growing up in such a rural area we had few neighbors and a television that barely worked.  My siblings and I had only the woods to run wild in, each other to play with, and our imaginations for adventures. We spent so much time in this imaginary world for and now when I reflect back on my childhood I cannot always tell if what I remember is what happened or what I imagined to have happened.  My exhibition will include a series of drawings and paintings influenced by these memories. In a sense, I will be telling stories of my childhood

My paintings in the gallery will consist of two main elements, the environment or setting and a specific object repeated throughout the painting. The objects are important because they are what led me to imagine the environment that the object has become a part of. For example, I see a vine when I look at a jump rope. I then get an idea to tie it in a tree with hundreds of other jump ropes and I then have a jungle of vines to play in. (Refer to painting Clubhouse).

An artist that has influenced how I paint environments is Salvador Dali. His art is trippy, mysterious, and dark. Without the environments, some of his paintings would not be as engaging or mysterious and the objects in his paintings would not have as much content. What I also like about his paintings is his incorporation of mundane objects with the environments. These objects, to me, are the most important element in his paintings. The combination of the object in an unfamiliar environment creates a connection to the painting that I am able to understand. The objects are something familiar in an otherwise unrealistic or unfamiliar world. It makes these places seem more real and not a fantasy.

I plan to have acrylic paintings with some oils, at least 2x3feet. Like my drawings, I begin with a wash prior to painting. To create paintings rich with color and full of undertones I drip washes of acrylic over the white canvas and rotate it while dripping other washes of color. This technique helps me begin the painting because a white canvas intimidates me and seeing color on the canvas helps me visualize what I would like to paint over it. From there I work in light washes building up the subject matter slowly throughout the painting. To make things appear closer into the foreground I thicken the paint. I enjoy this process for painting because it forces me to move quickly, loosen up, and not become caught up in details.

My drawings, unlike the paintings, will have more detail and be in the form of books. The books will be stories of real life experiences that I have had and will combine my imagination with my reality. Because I played so much in my imaginary world, I developed a habit of interpreting reality in a way that I understood. If I were to tell someone about an event that occurred, I would embellish and exaggerate the story to make it more dramatic, exciting, and interesting. A great example is my book The Adventures of Scooters in the Big Scary City. In reality, I was frightened of being on the subway in New York and surrounded by so many people. It was crowded and claustrophobic with too many people. However, to make this traumatizing experience bearable I rewrote my memory and remembered it how I wanted it to be and exaggerated it to make it more dramatic.

I often reference Rembrandt’s etchings and drawings to inspire the drawings in my book. I admire his obsession to detail and to the secret, hidden places within his work, and his delicate and precise use of line. I also reference Arthur Rackham for his line work and penmanship. Mostly I admire his fantasy illustration that has a more eerie tone and has the effects of being more than an illustration.

My books will be mostly inks and ink washes on paper treatment with a combination of wet pastel.  These books will each be at least ten pages long.  To create my drawings, I start with a preliminary paper treatment. A paper treatment includes staining or changing the appearance of the paper prior drawing. In one process, I soak paper with water and cover it in ink.  Once it has dried, I splatter different shades of gray ink and white acrylic creating a splotchy effect.  Using this process, I sometimes see images within in the treatment of the paper and my drawings change or become something entirely different from my original plan. I use this same process for the pages of my books.

In the display cases there will be a combination of smaller drawings and paintings of objects and toys that were important props of my imagination. The difference between the paintings in the gallery and these smaller paintings and drawings are the subject.  These objects range from spackle buckets to Barbie doll shoes. In the larger paintings, the emphasis is on the entire environment of the piece, how the objects create it, and become a part of the environment through their repetition.

Concerns: The only concern I have is determining a safe way to display my books. I will be looking into purchasing cotton gloves for viewers to wear when they handle the books. In addition, I intend to explore new and different ways to treat my paper for my drawings

III. Plan of Action

Currently, I have about twelve pieces I would like to include in my show. Before the show I would like to have at least ten more additional pieces completed to hang on the walls of the gallery. For my drawings I want to have at least six books made that will be set out on pedal stools. In the display cases, I would like to hang any small drawings and paintings, which will be about ten pieces. At the entrance of the gallery, I will have a bucket of tiny handmade books for viewers to take home with them. These books will be of different humorous illustrations and stories and reproduced so that there are 15 copies of each one. I propose that my show will take place January 31st through February 7th of 2011. It will take place in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Gallery and I propose the official opening for my show to be Friday February 4, 2011.


~ by j2l19z on September 20, 2010.

One Response to “Proposal”

  1. Constructive Criticism is welcomed.

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