Exposing the artistic process through the use of white space

By Jordan Miller, Staff Writer

Dedicating fifteen hours to each piece, Senior and AP artist Delia Tager is in the process of creating a collection based on a unique take on portraits through making part of the painting hyper-realistic and leaving part of it unfinished.

Delia’s focus is unfinished portraits using a medium of acrylic on canvas, “I wanted to be able to do something a picture can’t do, and by leaving certain aspects of the painting incomplete I can make a better statement. Having both this hyperrealistic, well-rendered portrait, with the loose drips and brushstrokes of a painting, adds more elements to [the work] and makes it more interesting.”

AP art students are tasked with creating a profile of 24 works. Half of these are “breadth” pieces while the other half are individual “concentration” pieces. AP students prepare for their portfolio beginning in eleventh grade. Class time is spent on the breadth portfolio with works ranging from still lifes to abstracts. Concentration pieces are assigned for homework during their senior year with periodic deadlines, and at the end of the year, students submit their profile to the College Board for review.

Delia feels that the white space she utilizes adds a unique dimension to her pieces, “leaving paintings unfinished can be seen as lazy but I think it adds something cool. It makes the artist very vulnerable because you can see their process underneath the painting.”

Delia draws inspiration for her work from artists on Instagram and Facebook. “Artists I follow will post progress photos of their paintings… I’ve always found that the paintings that were incomplete were almost more beautiful than the completed ones,” said Delia. Some of the artists she follows on Instagram that inspired her work are Elly Smallwood (@ellysmallwood) and Andrew Salgado (@andrew.salgado.artist).

One of the difficulties that comes with the AP art program is lack of time. Students have limited time to create detailed and carefully crafted work. One painting is typically due every two weeks. Reflecting on this Delia said, “One of the reasons why the paintings are intriguing is because the parts that are rendered well are done really well. I have to make sure the parts I am painting are done as realistically as possible. This means I have to put in a lot of time to mix the colors perfectly and make sure the paintings are as good as I can make them.”

Delia began working on her portfolio over the summer. She has been working tirelessly on her paintings, balancing her AP Art pieces with homework and college applications. Delia said, “It’s a struggle to space out enough time especially with homework in all other classes. But having homework in art can be a nice break from math homework or history readings because I get to immerse myself in something I love and forget about all my other work for a while.”

Despite battling time constraints, Delia has created seven concentration works. With the seven concentration paintings remaining Delia plans on trying to add more dimensionality to her collection through orienting her subjects in unique ways.

The work of all the AP Art students will be displayed in the art showcase in early May. Until then, Delia’s pieces and all the work done by AP artists can be seen on display outside of Mr. Cice’s art studio.