A.P Draw, Paint, Print Senior Spotlight Interview: Madison Clark
The AP Drawing Portfolio is a high intensive studio course, requiring students to produce art at the college level. Students compile a portfolio of 15-20 original artworks demonstrating mastery in composition, technique, and concept. They pursue the WHY behind their own artistic process and participate in weekly critiques of classmates work, as well as submit completed pieces approximately every two weeks. Be sure to mark your calendar for the Senior AP Art Portfolio Show on the evening of April 24!
When Madison Clark began art at Episcopal, Ms. Hoadley noticed how she gravitated to paint immediately. Although enjoying graphite and charcoal, her acrylic paintings freshman year were the beginning of something spectacular. Sophomore and Junior year, Madison began exploring paintings of the rocks in Maine, and was introduced to oil painting. She began taking an easel and supplies home to work on paint over the weekends and in the evening. Now senior year, this award winning artist demonstrates mastery in technique, skill in composition, and a deep love of her family history and the beauty of Maine. Her dedication to quality work, to capturing a feeling, and the details of carefully mixed colors, are evident in every painting she makes.
Madison, what is the central idea of concentration?
In my work, I aim to explore my evolving connection to Maine. I have been visiting Mount Desert Island my entire life, but my experiences there have changed. When I was little, Maine was a place full of magic and wonder, but as I got older, this sense of fantasy abated. Noticing this, I actively reinvested myself in this place, building a deeper, more authentic connection to this place by finding inspiration in the immense natural beauty here.
How does your work demonstrate the exploration of your idea?
My artwork explores this idea by capturing the moments that really grasp what Maine means to me now. I paint a range of things I find beautiful here, from the simple trail markers on mountains to boats and rocks in water scenes to stunning sunsets. In painting these scenes, I become closer to this amazing place and am able to build a greater appreciation for the beauty here.
How the idea has evolved over the year?
While I have been painting scenes from Maine for several years, this year the central idea of my work has shifted from being focused on simply painting scenes that remind me of memories to exploring how the emotions behind those memories have changed, and thus really explores how my experiences in Maine have changed as I have gotten older.
Can you explain your artistic process? Where do you gain inspiration?
I find inspiration in the beauty of Maine, so I often paint water and mountaintop scenes, as well as the occasional classic New England shingled building. On my annual summer trips to Maine, I actively seek out reference materials, taking pictures of these unique Maine moments, then use these pictures as references as I paint throughout the year. As I paint, I seek to find a balance between a realistic and a painterly style to craft my own unique voice in my work.
What do you hope the viewer to see in your artwork?
In my work, I hope the viewer sees and appreciates the beauty I so love in Maine, and can begin to understand why this place is so special to me.
How long have you been making art? And when did you start to feel independent and like you were truly making your own work?
I have been making art in some manner my entire life, though calling some of my early work “art” might be something of a stretch! I really started to feel like an independent artist in my sophomore year after my first really independent project, as this piece pushed me to find my own inspiration and make my own choices as I painted instead of asking others questions at every turn. The piece I completed was a work that I was truly proud of, and it was 100% mine. It signified a real turning point in my work, as my work after this piece became increasingly centered around the idea I continue to explore today and I began to develop my own style.