A.P Draw, Paint, Print Senior Spotlight Interview: Sophie Grimsley

The AP Drawing Portfolio is an intensive course, requiring students to produce art at the college level. Students compile a portfolio of 24-29 original artworks demonstrating mastery in composition, technique, and concept. 12 of those pieces explora common idea, called a concentration.

Sophie Grimsley ’18 loves printmaking. She can work quickly, pursuing multiple ideas at a time, and experiment with several methods and processes at once. She spends hours etching with a metal carving tool, into a plexiglass plate. Then places ink on the plate; too much ink and the print is ruined. Not enough ink, and the image won’t transfer. She runs the plate through the etching press and then works on the print with watercolors, micron pens, and ink.

Sophie, what is the central idea of your concentration?

The central idea of my concentration is seeing the opposite side to things in life. Objects or locations that society deems scary or evil, based on nothing but fears and preconceptions, can really be good. I tried to focus on seeing the bright side of seemingly negative scenarios. Another way of interpreting the work is the dichotomies of good and evil, and how they work in synchronized ways in everything. Things that may seem bad usually have a silver lining, an opposing good force to them. I believe a quote from Marylin Monroe that I read in fortune cookie sums the idea up pretty well: “Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together.” While quote is specifically about bad things happening for a good reason, I have expand the idea to everything. What may seem like a bad thing really has a good side, one that you don’t need to be afraid of. What originally was a bad thing, can really be seen as the opposite, and bring happiness to those who see the difference.

How does your work demonstrate the exploration of your idea?

My work features objects, animals, situations, and locations that are usually seen as scary, evil, dangerous, or bad and showing them the opposite way. While each work has an individual scenario, all of the works show expose the same good and evil relationship through alterations of the principles of art. For example, I use color where one would expect to feel scared or sad (feel gray, if you will), to show that there is an exuberant and light side to that scenario. I alter a reference photo to make it scarier than it actually is, to show that some fear is exaggerated and things we are afraid of don’t have to be scary. I also use principles of juxtaposition, and place evil or dangerous things (or in this case a snake) next to or around good, cheery, and happy things (in this case, a smiling girl) to show that the things don’t have to be bad. I use the principles of art to demonstrate dichotomies and their interactions and highlight the good side to bad things.