Nature and Nurture

Ethan Smith

Year: 11
School: Willetton Senior High School
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Artist statement: My acrylic painting Nature and Nurture is an acrylic portrait of myself studying at a desk amongst vegetation that conveys the need for balance. My painting attempts to help viewers, particularly high school students, understand the need for balance between school work and being in a healthy state of mind, nature being the environment that I most enjoy being amongst. I have used a large range of greens within the leaves to create a sense of subtleness and represent the growth of myself as a person. The vines rapping around my body and desk merge the two elements to imply them as one, as my knowledge develops, helping to shape me as a person. The blue of my shirt creates emphasis upon itself and my face, being the focal points. The blue of my shirt contributes to the idea of my growth, becoming independent, as my shirt appears to be independent from the surroundings. My facial expression is subtle and is concentrating on my books and papers. The pen in my hand and the books on my desk are also blue like my shirt, further contributing to the idea of me being one with the knowledge from my work. My painting has used many aspects from Gustave Courbet’s composition and use of colour in his painting A Burial At Ornans, such as the shape of my background and contrasting blues of my shirt against my background.

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