'Anxiety', 2012, is the original painting of my Mindscape series, and it was inspired by the style and mood of German Expressionism. It's a self-portrait demonstrating the overwhelmed, anxiety ridden state brought on by outside influences. The figure is enveloped in an abstract cityscape; the environment and I meld into one. Geometric shapes obstruct the figure's personal space, which further induces the feeling of being invaded and impacted by factors from the outside world.

'Choices’, 2018. In this painting, the face is almost completely immersed in its environment and barely recognizable. Multiple staircases and doorways are included to indicate a series of choices and paths that can be taken. This is meant to depict the influences that society has on a person, and how conflicted one can feel when deciding which path to choose in life. As a result, the person melds more into their environment, losing sight of who they truly are and the path they already instinctively know they should follow, i.e. their purpose.

'Contemplation’, 2018, is more meditative, calm and introspective than the previous Mindscape, 'Choices'. The colors, which although have a bright hue, are more subdued and toned down. The person featured is in contemplation, deciding between two different paths or options, as depicted by the staircases on either side of the face. The eyes look off into the distance. This person has a firmer grip on life and is less overwhelmed, confused, and/or anxious. The choices they are faced with do not disturb their inner calm or disrupt their sense of self. As a progression in the Mindscape series, I see it as displaying inner growth and more self-resolve.

'Donald', 2016, is part of a political portrait series. I believe it captures his essence and innate character. With this piece, as well as the other portraits, I aimed to depict the candidates in a politically unbiased light and to capture who they are deep down. I used strong geometric planes and a slightly exaggerated cubist style to depict Donald. I feel that this portrait encapsulates his energy, which makes him recognizable right off the bat. Cubism and German Expressionism were strong influences to this piece.

'Searching For Answers'. When painting this, I was influenced by Film Noir used in Old Hollywood movies. It depicts a woman who looks hopeless, helpless, and full of inner turmoil. The dramatic style heavily emphasizes these feelings and emotions. Her eyes look up and away, as if she is looking for an answer for something she'll never receive. I enjoy painting portraits that capture one's emotional nature and psychological responses to various phenomena. It's unclear what is causing her all this grief, which I believe is what makes this painting the most interesting.

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© Alison DeArruda. 2019.