Hi, my name is Zoe, and I’m really excited to start blogging as part of the emerging artist grant program! Starting a blog about my art is something I have wanted to do for a while, so I’m glad to get the push to do so! I plan on sharing a lot of information here about my art process, upcoming events and exhibitions, and helpful things I’ve learned from my art career so far.
About My Art
My artwork consists of figure drawings using mainly charcoal and chalk on heavy archival paper. Watercolor and ink wash are also sometimes added. I use studies that I do from life in order to create my main body of work. I aim to portray the beauty of the human person while exploring scenes from stories and depicting the interiority of the person. My figures are nude because it gives them a timelessness and reflects a broad classical tradition. You can view my artwork here on my website.
My Artistic Journey
People have always been my favorite thing to draw, but it wasn’t until attending college at the University of Central Florida that I was introduced to drawing nude figures from life. Until that point, I had been drawing either from my imagination or photo references, so it was definitely a new and exciting experience. I specifically remember being told to view the human form as you would a sculpture, to understand the 3-dimensional form and to draw it as such. I’ve always had a mathematical brain, so I was able to grasp ideas about proportion and measuring pretty easily. To me, doing a drawing from life feels a lot like problem-solving.
I enjoyed drawing the figure so much that I ended up attending a weekly open studio session at Crealdé in Winter Park. With 2.5 hours focused on a single pose, it was here that I refined my skills. After graduating from UCF, I moved back to my hometown of Clearwater, FL. I wanted to continue drawing figures from life, so I ended up going to the Monday night open studio sessions at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. I made a connection there which led me to becoming an instructor at the fine art center as well. I have been teaching both figure and portrait drawing there for the past 2.5 years. You can find my classes here.
Around this time, I also began participating in a few local outdoor art shows. I took a leap of faith in applying to my first outdoor show, the annual Art Harvest in Highlander Park, as I didn’t even have a booth set-up yet. After being juried into the show, my parents helped me create a low budget set-up using some plywood, 2 by 4’s, and an E-Z up tent. To my surprise, I took home an Award of Excellence for my artwork at the show that year. This motivated me to try out some other shows in the area, including the Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival and Mainsail in St. Pete.
I’ve also participated in several art exhibitions since moving back to Clearwater. I currently have 3 pieces in the PAVA Members’ Exhibit in the Creative Pinellas Gallery and 1 piece upstairs in the Teaching Gallery at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
I’m really excited to have been awarded this grant from Creative Pinellas, and I’m looking forward to the new work I’ll create! The ideas are flowing already!