• Bouldering, 2020
    Hazel George (Davis Senior High School, 11th Grade)

This painting was a way for myself to confront one of my greatest issues in an artistic, symbolic way, and helped me speak out about myself without using words.

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When I was asked to paint a self portrait that depicted something significant about who I am, I wasn't sure how to incorporate both my flaws and strengths. I settled on one of my traits that is a combination of the two, and a trait that controls most of my life. The theme of my piece is my inability to say no to people, and the fact that I always take care of others before myself. I painted a climbing wall across my face to symbolize people walking all over me and taking advantage of me. I tried to make my face open and seemingly emotionless yet still have an underlying intensity, because I never speak out for myself. I tried to make my eyes, eyebrows, and mouth indicate slight anger or upset, but keep the overall piece looking passive. The bright yellow wall and colorful climbing holds are true to an actual climbing gym, but also contribute to the meaning of the piece. Yellow is usually associated with happiness, and I love making other people happy, but that usually means putting myself last, which is something I’ve been working on a lot recently. This painting was a way for myself to confront one of my greatest issues in an artistic, symbolic way, and helped me speak out about myself without using words.

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