Below are select concentration pieces I made for my AP Art portfolio exam. It took an entire semester to produce over 20 pieces for the exam. Pretty much every class day was solely dedicated to working!
I received a 5 for my portfolio so I'm happy. I only showed some because looking back at these, I don't like all of them. In fact, I really only like the first painting, but regardless, I'm glad I got the experience.
All of these are made with acrylic on various canvas sizes.
My concentration was Obsession. I've written about this before on different pages, but in high school, I really started to develop my OCD symptoms. I was also taking no medicine at all, so the illness really consumed my entire life.
Everyday the obsessions and compulsions were on my mind so subsequently, I wanted to express it in my paintings. In fact, the disease was so debilitating, I could barely muster strength to go to class to complete my portfolio. I was really cutting it close when I finished all the pieces.
My main subject for this concentration was objects on the character's head.
Over time, I started to develop a new subject matter. In my later pieces, I started to add bruises to the skin of these figures. I had a fascination with them since in my life, bruises just seemed to randomly appear for no reason. They also symbolized a feeling I had regarding mental illness.
Bruises are things that are normal for a person to have, and therefore not a cause for alarm, but too many in unusual places can start making people wary. Bruises are when blood vessels break underneath the skin. This connects to that feeling that on the outside, it just seems normal, but under the skin, deep inside, everything is breaking apart.
Finally, a phenomenon that would happen to me when I got extremely anxious or emotional, was that my wrists would ache. I'm not sure why it happens, but that's just another parallel on why I painted bruises onto the figure's wrist.
The storm piece below was the first piece I painted for my concentration. To me, my head was literally covered by rampant thoughts and feelings. I really wanted to express the rage, sadness, and fear. A thunderstorm was quite a literal way to show these feelings to a viewer.
I believe this was the second piece I painted. The idea was that to me, obsessions were like weeds that kept growing no matter how many you cut down. They "infected" my mind so to speak. A lot of my pieces wanted to show a feeling of being "tainted" or "corrupted" by this disease, as if it was slowly enveloping the body.