What I Believe

Monica - Berkeley, California
Entered on April 26, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in color, the color found in paint, cloth and the world. There is no way to get the exact shade twice although you can get close. It’s like identical twins. They almost look exactly the same, until you go deeper. When I paint, I start with the first layer. That layer is just slabs of strong, disconnected color, highlighting the shadows and the lights. Then comes the second layer of color: creams, blues, grays, whites. They all come together into an imperfect resemblance of a face. The third layer is the mask that people see, that hides what is underneath. That’s when you perfect the color and the shapes. Then comes the last layer, the details: the freckles on the face, the shining white in the pupil, the superficial representation of someone you think you know.

You can see the evidence of the brush strokes in the slightly uneven paint and the evidence of a human hand in the name on the right bottom corner of a canvas. Maybe you can look at that painting and say, “This is beautiful,” or “How realistic this painting is,” but what most people see is not the most important part. It is the first layer, the first few defining blotches of color on a blank canvas that really matter. That’s what I believe. It is not what you see first or even the colors you notice after careful examination that matters. It is the first brush strokes, the first defining moments.

I believe that people are all canvases when they’re born, maybe the whole world is a never finished piece of art. Then experience starts to color them, making the strong foundations for the type of people we are. The colors tell it all; purple, red, green, orange. But you can go deeper yet to violet, burgundy, emerald, ginger and you can go on and there will still be another color to discover. Everything has a color and every color is never the same.