Washed Out

30" x 22"
Graphite
2014

A self-portrait to illustrate fatigue and burnout--a feeling of being washed out.

 

Antler Still Life

5'x7'
Charcoal
2015

 

Coexist

20" x 16"
Graphite
2014

RISD Bicycle Drawing

 

Stomach in Knots

24" x 18"
Graphite
2013

Visual word play.

 

Disassociation

17" x 14"
Graphite
2013
The first self portrait, illustrating a disassociation felt after years in avoidance of making art.

 

Mountains

48" x 55"
Pen and Ink
2014

John Muir: "I'd rather be in the mountains thinking of God than in the church thinking about mountains."

I was raised in a religiously indifferent family where we never talked about religion. Despite this absence, I view art as my religion and art as everything around me. Over the years, I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with the world around me. Reading these words of John Muir brought me my first moment of clarity that led me to my current beliefs.

 

Drive

18" x 24"
Graphite
2013

A familiar checkpoint along a highway that serves as a indicator that I am almost home.

 

Avocado

24.5" x 34"
Chalk Pastel on Cardboard
2013
An observation drawing done on an avocado that explores the abstraction within the skin of an avocado, using chalk pastels for the first time to do so.

 

Bedsheets

18" x 24"
Vine charcoal
2014

An observation drawing exploring the drapery's effect on linear one-dimensional patterns and lines.

 

Lost

18" x 12"
Graphite
2013

An interior drawing illustrating the sense of forlornness that arises due to a prolonged exposure to industry and an absence of nature.

 

The Beauty of Pain

30" x 40"
Mixed Media: pen and ink mixed with embroidery
2014

Elizabeth Wurtzel: "that is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful."

Pain serves as a reminder of life and, in a way, pain can be strikingly beautiful because of its existence as a pure, raw emotion that every individual can relate to. This falling raven with splayed feathers illustrates this tragic sort of beauty. The thin, embroidered red thread that physically pierces the paper and emerges from the broken wings displays the abstract, yet embedded, element of pain that emits from every living being. Pain here is recognized as an emotion instead of as a reality--a personal experience made impersonal.

 

Spill

18" x 24"
Graphite
2013

Drapery mimicking the form of a waterfall.

 

Skeletons

18" x 24"
Dip Pen and Ink
2014

Observation drawing of the skeletons foudn in the RISD Nature Lab.

 

Light of my Life/Death

19" x 24"
Graphite
2014

Illustration of the irony of the act of smoking as many use it as an outlet to better deal with life mentally while it is fostering greater physical deterioration.

 

All images © by Mary Kuan