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Ellie Lee
Bucket List Item No. 1

colored pencil, oil pastel
11″ x 14″


Lauryn Welch, Painter & Performance Artist

Lauryn Welch
Teaching Assistant
Painter & Performance Artist

Artist Statement
“I am currently a senior in high school. I wish to pursue a degree in Illustration, but I am also interested in graphic design, as well as film. I work in a variety of media, and I love to experiment and learn.

This piece is part of my AP Art Concentration, the theme of which is ‘things I want to do before I die.’ This concentration is an illustrated bucket list, also acting as a testament to myself that I shall no longer hesitate to do what I want to do. Often including myself as the subject within my pieces, my works are almost like a diary, where each piece acts as a confession.

The idea behind this particular piece is somewhat comical and childish; the simple wish to have all of my favorite foods to myself. I wanted to take a playful and colorful approach, which would contrast with the rather grim theme of death.”

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4 responses on "Ellie Lee"

  1. This piece makes me hungry 🙂

    I’m really enjoying how you’re exploring scale and framing here. However, the framing created by these massive piles of food, and the halo of yellow caging in the three girls, makes it seem like they’re trapped in this world, rather than enjoying it. I think the background could incorporate even more food, receding into space!

    Perhaps making the figures have very clear expressions and gestures of happiness and excitement would push the comical aspect of this piece more. Because the perspective and scale is such a strong element of this piece, I can imagine one figure reaching out towards us (with some awesome foreshortening happening), looking super hungry and eager to eat, ready to grab a morsel of food.

    Rather than having the character dangle one piece for food in front of her face, why not have her gleefully in the process of shoving handfuls of it in her mouth? Maybe, like Alex says, this would cause it to look too manic and crazy. However, I do think emphasizing the enjoyment is important here.

    Overall, I think you’ve created a really exciting piece with a create sense of space and color. Keep it up!!!

  2. I’m a huge fan of this piece! Your sense of color is really strong, and you know how to use it to guide the viewers eye around the page to make a compelling story! I enjoy your characters expression; I think if it was too giddy or happy it would read as manic or crazed, but now it looks like you’re just eating a hearty meal.

    I do agree that the ominous presence of some of the bowls in the foreground is a bit too looming – you’re doing a great job with the red bowls in keeping the colors welcoming…but the backlit shadows really make an ominous presence. It only makes me comment on it because it doesn’t go far enough – I’d say you have to think about whether you want it to appear welcoming, a-la “All my favorite foods!” or foreboding, like “Oh no, this is so much food.”

    Also, pay attention to what the stack of salad and noodle bowls are doing – the ones on the left and right edges. They’re doing a good job framing the piece, but they are pretty boring. The rest of the image, I love looking at the wonderful application of color and attention to detail you make, and these stacks of bowls are a little too simple. How can you spice them up?

    Adding detail to the china, like textile pattern, or even varying their contents could help make them just as exciting while still playing a necessary “framing” element in the composition.

  3. This is a piece that really draws you in! I think that uneasy feeling that Lauryn is picking up on comes largely from the composition’s warped perspective; we’re looking at this subject from a very specific point-of-view, which feels very intimate but very distant because the figure is so small, and that play on scale is extremely potent!

    Your piece is extremely cinematic in this way, so it is no surprise to read that you are interested in film. I suggest looking at the Alfred Hitchcock‘s work for further inspiration. Most people are familiar with his movies from the 50’s and 60’s, of course, but in early silent thrillers such as Lodger you can see Hitchcock discover the voyeuristic and dream-like (or, nightmarish) qualities inherent to cinema – and which you appear to draw from here.

    This piece has so much humor and so many eerie, compelling aspects to it, the fact that it’s so beautifully drawn is just icing on the cake!

  4. Hi Ellie! First of all, I am amazed that this drawing is so small! There is an incredible amount of detail that you’ve achieved in such a small scale drawing, particularly within all of the areas in the food.

    I would consider how you can be more assertive about the message you are trying to communicate. In your statement, it sounds like this is a fun, whimsical experience that you are dreaming about, but as Lauryn says in the critique, the image is somewhat disconcerting. I think it’s the towers of dirty plates on the left and right hand side that are creating that atmosphere; the plates look menacing and gigantic.

    On top of that, the facial expression of the three figures in the center makes them appear as if they are eating in a huge rush, to me they don’t seem like they are enjoying themselves very much! Which is in contradiction to your statement, which talks about eating all of your favorite foods.

    Perhaps the way to go about it is to visually show that the figures are really enjoying themselves, that they have this once in a lifetime opportunity to eat a ridiculous amount of their favorite foods, completely guilt free. I would reconsider the halo behind the figures as well, compared to the rest of the drawing, which is so well articulated, the halo looks too rough and abrupt.

    The colors in the spread of food are wonderful, they’re very inviting and it’s terrific the way all of the plates and dishes overlap in front of each other!

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