Surrealism and the Philosophy of Death

Problem Solving, Surrealist Style

My favorite course this semester is Advanced Drawing with Mike Hefferman. Up until this semester, I didn’t have a course in which you created your own drawing based solely on what you want to draw. In the beginning of the semester I had a difficult time trying to figure out what I was going to create. My process consisted of looking up artists and different mediums of artwork. I love to draw, collage, paint, print make and other various mediums however, there were just too many questions to answer (What do I draw? Should I draw realistically? Abstract? How do I make this drawing personal to me?)

            After about two weeks of picking out surrealist books from the library and sketching out ideas I finally felt like I was getting somewhere. I had been sketching the idea of a tuba with Venus fly trap vines wrapping around it and crystals coming out of the top. I honestly am not sure how I came to this idea but I wrote down lists of things that did not go together. From there I experimented with different mediums, at first I thought pastel and ink pen would work the best on a large piece of pastel paper. Well, I quickly found out that the one drawing was taking me an incredible amount of time and eventually I decided to switch to a smaller piece of watercolor paper and switch out the pastel with watercolor. I found that this method worked more efficiently and I had a lot more fun mixing the watercolors. From the one tuba drawing, I created seven more paintings that go along with it. I describe the theme of my paintings, nature versus technology. My ultimate hope is to have all ten watercolor paintings completed and hung up somewhere on campus.

This Advanced Drawing course definitely has interdisciplinary aspects. This course has taught me how to manage my time effectively, since a majority of the artwork is done outside of class. I did a lot of problem solving and creating art is not like a math equation, there is no concrete correct way to figure it out. There are many approaches, mediums, ideas and what I liked most about this course is the ability to have freedom. I feel like when I have the chance to create my own artwork without any guidelines, my creativity level increases, which also expands my imagination.

Philosophy of Death

When I came to the conclusion that I had to take a past and present direction course I wasn’t sure which one to take. Just by reading the description of the course, Death and Dying, it sounded interesting to me because I never really have taken time to think about death. I also saw that the course was a philosophy course and I wanted to challenge myself because I find philosophy (especially the readings) to be difficult at times.

I guess my initial thought about death is the feeling of fear. I wonder if it will be painful when your whole body shuts down, or maybe it depends on the way you die. I think it’s scary to think about the concept of your body shutting down but your conscious stays active. Sometimes I wonder if your conscious travels when you’re dreaming and then I think about where your conscious would go when you die. I think it’s a complicated concept that also doesn’t have a concrete answer. I think about where you go after you die, I think about having to take that last breath, does your soul leave your body or are you trapped in your body for all of eternity. The scary part of all that is you will never know until you die.

One of the books that we had to read for the course was, Death and Dying by Anne Kubler-Ross. I believe that after reading the book, I definitely have a better understanding of other people’s perceptions of death. I feel like everyone perceives/goes through the stages of death in different ways. To be honest I feel like I would go through all the stages at the same time. If I know I am close to dying and am not ready to die, I feel like I would panic and feel multiple stages at once. For example, if I died from a disease or something of that sort I don’t think I would be accepting to death because there is just so much that I want to accomplish in my life. If I die from old age and I know that I have lived a fulfilling life than I think I will be more accepting.

This Death and Dying course has opened my perceptions of death. I am always open to learn new things and I am glad that I am taking this course because I have understandings of other student’s opinions.

2 thoughts on “Surrealism and the Philosophy of Death

  1. I wonder how your academic work, your ideas, your knowledge and philosophies– I wonder how they all affect those amazing drawings that you do. What do you think the connections are between the cerebral world of ideas and the creative world of art? Those pieces are beautiful, and it was a pleasure to catch a glimpse of you working on them and now to read a bit about how they came to be…

  2. Your blog is full of so much happy! I really enjoy your artwork as well. Thanks for sharing it on your blog and showing us the creative process. Great post and keep up the beautiful tweets and posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *