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Category: Art

A portfolio of my art made from my first year in university onward

Title Forgotten

Title Forgotten

** I know I gave this piece a title, I just don’t remember what it was**

acrylic on wood board – cracked gilded frame made from airdry clay and spray-painted gold – 2022

The Puppet and The Puppeteer

The Puppet and The Puppeteer

The Puppet and The Puppeteer

By Jesse Bullen
Acrylic on wood panels and mixed media

The Puppet and the Puppeteer is a diptych painting that features one realism work and one abstract one. The top painting (realism) depicts a dark hooded finger whose hands have been sculpted to pop out of the panel. Attached to its hands are strings that run down to the second panel, connecting to the figure on the bottom.

This work represents that feeling that you are being held back. Specifically by yourself, or your more logical and cautious side. The side that is happy in the comfort zone. I wanted the top figure to be represented through realism because it was meant to represent the more rational side of yourself. Also the more overpowering side in this case. Hence the use of clear imaging. The bottom painting is meant to represent the adventurous side of yourself, that wants more from the world. The side that is being held back from becoming its true self. I used bright colours to show that this figure is more expressive and ‘fiery’. My choice to make this the abstract piece was because I wanted the figure to look semi-formed. Not quite complete or clear because it has not yet discovered its true self. The strings are the symbol of restriction. They are meant to appear like they are controlling, but also undoing the bottom figure.

The Grounding Tree – for when you feel stumped

The Grounding Tree – for when you feel stumped

The Grounding Tree is a site-specific installation piece that I created for my Visual Art 1o1 class.

The Grounding Tree was built as a place for you to sit down, relax and clear your head. On the ground in front of it sits a sign with a QR code. When you scan that code it links you to a google form where you can write down something that’s been on your mind or bothering you. Anything you wanna get off your chest. Good or Bad. Sometimes we don’t always want to talk to others about what’s going on in our lives. The goal with this project is for you, the viewer, to reflect on your own and hopefully feel at peace with whatever was on your mind at the time.

Creation Process

Public Display

“Hollowed” – Drawing Series

“Hollowed” – Drawing Series


“Hollowed”
Jesse Bullen
Charcoal on Drawing Paper

“Hollowed” is an exploration of expression. I wanted to make a series of faces with strong character. The dark and dense charcoal lines give each face the perfect intensity. The figures in each drawing are not meant to represent specific or clear emotions but are rather intended to highlight the smaller expressions humans are capable of. Specifically, I dove into the subtle differences in this sad and hollow expression. Each face is meant to make the viewer feel something different without the expressions shifting a great amount.

The process for creating these pieces was loose and somewhat random. I challenged myself to scribble on the page and find the face within the lines. Not thinking about the final outcome brought a very natural feel to the expressions that were created. I made more than 10 images using this method and in the end, I picked 6 of them for my final presentation.

I chose to display the series in a symmetrical grouping (shown in the first image) because I want the audience to focus on the drawings altogether. When viewed all at once, the faces look like they are all staring at you. It brings an eerie feeling to the series that wouldn’t be achieved if you viewed them alone.

I was really inspired by the work of Josh Hernandez when creating this series. His work combines realism and expressionism and often features unfinished faces. I experimented with those same elements in my drawings but found my style leaned away from the soft airbrushed realism that Josh’s work features.

Creating this drawing series was very fulfilling. I enjoyed focusing on a repeating style and watching it evolve over time. They say practice makes progress and this project was a great way to see that in action.

 

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