Spotlight on Artist Eleanor Wardlaw
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a painting made by Eleanor Wardlaw from U.S. Grant High School, Portland, Oregon
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. Each week we highlight a work or series created in one of the AP Arts concentrations—AP 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing (the AP Program also offers Art History and Music Theory)—as well as a statement from the artist (and, occasionally, their teacher).
This week we feature a painting made by Eleanor Wardlaw from U.S. Grant High School, Portland, Oregon, which was featured in the 2018-19 AP Studio Art online exhibition.
Here’s Eleanor’s statement on the work:
"In my sustained investigation, I investigated the experience of being close to another person and explore what is revealed in intimate moments. For this work I wanted to capture the experience of being close to someone to see them clearly, physically or emotionally. To do this, I painted a close-up image of my face and blurred my features to create a soft-focus effect. It takes on the idea of proximity literally, showing a closeup image of someone painted in soft focus as if the viewer needs to step back to see them clearly.
"Other pieces shift focus toward emotions. I depict wrinkled blankets in many of my paintings, which reference the bedroom and serve as a symbol for the messy parts of people that are exposed by close relationships. In some, these crumpled blankets become the material basis for my work. In addition to exploring the way mess can be comforting or beautiful, I use wrinkles to obscure words, images, or objects, as if hiding treasures. I also use touch-based, sculptural elements in my work to force the viewer to engage with it in order to understand it, as they have to take time to notice detail. Changes in lighting symbolize seeing different sides of someone as you get to know them."
And here are a couple other images from Eleanor’s portfolio:
I painted a figure as if bathed in moonlight, then a layer of crumpled blankets which obscure her.
Painted by lamplight, parts are intentionally left unfinished to give the painting a vague quality.
Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.