My first memory of being in a museum was as an 11-year-old at the Louvre with my 9-year-old sister and grandmother. I remember walking around the staircase to see the “Winged Victory of of Samothrace” and was left in complete awe. I couldn’t believe that a human had created something so intricate and immense. I found it unfathomable.
Then, my grandmother taught us about Botticelli. I remember learning about “Venus and the Three Graces”. I remember marveling at the grandeur of the fresco and the detail in which it was painted. It was the first painting I ever spent time learning about and appreciating.
Since this moment in the Louvre, I have always loved art. There is something that feels so uniquely human: to spend time in an art museum, learning about paintings, drawings, sculpture, and other forms of art, understanding what artists were trying to represent, what they were possibly trying to get you to see, or not see.
And little did (do) my parents know that they contributed to my perception that I had somewhat of an artistic talent. In 1st grade, my parents saved an “Under the Sea” painting of mine, which still hangs in the bathroom in the basement of their house. Then, in high school, I took a few art classes, and explored with various patterns, paint types and lighting. A couple of those early works of mine also reside in my parents house to this day….
Recently, I wanted to re-explore this artist side of myself. This spring I enrolled in a figure drawing class, as in a class where we would create charcoal drawings based on a nude model. Every Wednesday, myself and 14 other Harvard students would spend 3 hours drawing what we saw from the position of the posed model. I learned different line techniques and ways to check whether my proportions of the body were right. I loved the class and hardly ever missed (even weeks where I had lots of assignments due). It was a gift to have a model in every class for the sake of us drawing her.
After moving to DC, I was itching to keep up my artist effort, so enrolled in a painting course. Every Monday, I spend 2 hours painting in acrylics, learning to draw with the paint and how to mix primary colors (red, blue, yellow) to get the shades I wanted (plus some white and black). I continue to be fascinated by the human brain and how we are able to create something out of nothing, which largely serves no human utility other than to possibly make a statement, for pleasure or to spark emotions.
Art is a wonderful human endeavor. I hope to continue to explore the depths of the human experience through art, created by others and myself.