Alyssa McCarthy - Senior Art Exhibition - McDonogh School

Alyssa McCarthy

My artwork uses flowers and nature as symbols to express my emotions and feelings. A central focus that carries throughout my personal series is how each flower was carefully chosen for its symbolic meaning which relates to the piece’s core theme, allowing me to convey a deeper meaning in each piece. For example, my piece “Overwhelmed” depicts Christmas Roses to represent anxiety. This aspect of my art creates a hidden meaning that is often not apparent to the viewer at first glance.

I paint with acrylic because I like to focus on  color throughout my pieces. I use color choices to represent the overall mood and aesthetic of each piece. In my piece “peaceful” I chose a blue color palette and soft organic shapes in order to create a calmer feeling for the piece. I also explored the use of embroidery and how that, combined with acrylic paint, can change the message or “feeling” of the piece. Through these choices, I am able to express my various emotions and feelings through the flowers represented in my paintings.

The inspiration for my work was the different emotions that I feel as a busy student-athlete. Balancing the three aspects of my life, school, athletics, and social life has come with a lot of challenges, but it has also brought me some of the best memories in my life so far. I use my art to express all of these feelings, both the good and the bad, and to create an outlet for my energy away from the stress of my everyday life. This experience was influential for me because it forced me to dig deeper into my emotions. Not only in the literal way of how I created the pieces, but also in how I created the overall aesthetic of each piece. By centering my pieces around certain emotions, like being overwhelmed, I was forced to examine myself and reflect on how these specific thoughts and feelings make me feel and can impact my life. 

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