Jungle Brain

Portfolio review for juniors has snuck up super fast. For the Art Therapy majors, it is also during a time of contemplation. The Art Therapy program recently announced that a 5 year Bachelors to Masters program has taken effect. My friends and I have all been doing some serious thinking while also trying to scramble up our artwork for portfolio review this coming week.

A 5 year program sounds so amazing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be done with school an entire year early? Finishing in five years means starting my career sooner! There are so many benefits to staying at Marywood. I already know many of the students, professors, and advisors. I am familiar with campus and the Scranton area. I wouldn’t have to learn a new school and new community all over again. I wouldn’t have to deal with the stress of “firsts” again.

However, ever since I could remember, I always planned on leaving Marywood. I never thought a five year program would happen here and therefore I was set on getting out of Scranton, a city that is definitely not somewhere I’d ever considered to live or work  long term. A part of me is struggling with giving up on my dream of going elsewhere, to a large city like New York or Philly, just to finish school sooner. Especially when finishing in 5 years means a heavy workload.

After discussing the many pros and cons of both staying and leaving I went to the studio to make some art. I grabbed pastels and watercolors – my favorite mediums for free expression. They are both loose and fun. I feel as though there are no rules or limitations with pastels and watercolor. I love the vibrancy both mediums allow. I decided to create a piece that would reflect my feelings about grad school that I could use in my portfolio.

This piece took about 20-25 minutes to complete. My brain seemed to go blank as I worked with the pastels. When I added the watercolors, filling in all the white spots of paper, I felt my mind speed racing. I was working so quickly I was knocking everything over. I couldn’t calm myself down. I realized I was thinking about decisions and critiques and what not. Two things that make my thoughts feel scattered.

Jungle Brain

I decided to title the piece “Jungle Brain.” Although my mind is chaotic when I think about grad school, it is not sad. It is a happy kind of chaos, hence all the color in the piece. I could’ve painted with darker colors to symbolize my agony over making this decision. However, as difficult as it may be, I know I will make the right decision and that I will have a positive experience wherever I end up.

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