Themes of Happiness in the Artworks of Maris Walter

Maris WalterI’ve always been inclined towards both art and math; I definitely have both my left brain and right brain working at all times! In fact, I actually did a painting about the left and right brains in my art class during my junior year. Before I began creating art, I spent more time in the music world; I played piano for ten years and was very active in my high school’s band program, as well as with other musical opportunities in the community, where I played the clarinet.

But I’ve always leaned towards math as well, and that inspired me to major in Computer Science when I enter Kent State University in the fall. When I entered high school, the variety of art classes really piqued my interest, and that’s when I began drawing, painting, and experimenting with other mediums. I worked with a style of art involving collage during the pandemic due to my limited access to supplies at home. However, it actually turned out to be a success; what had started as a collection of experiments developed into finalized pieces that I truly feel proud to have created in such uncertain circumstances. Since this art form is quite resourceful, I hope it inspires other artists to make the most of the items and papers they may have at home, even things that might initially appear to be trash. As an artist, I’ve found that it’s incredibly rewarding to think outside of the box, whether in reference to the art’s message, the materials, or the visual aspect. Going out on a whim and trying something totally new, even if you might anticipate failure, is the best way to walk away with a whole new art form or style!

I heard about the Battle of the Teal Showcase through an email I received from the Cleveland Institute of Art encouraging submissions. I’m always open to art contests and showcases. I’ve submitted to a few in the past but, prior to this, I’d never won. So finding out that I’d won was incredibly exciting. During my art class this past year, I often felt quite unsure about the direction I wanted to take my art. But finally, I stumbled upon this mixed-media/collage style that I’ve developed throughout my pieces. I haven’t seen very many artists with a similar style, so I am ecstatic to share my art with a wider audience, and I hope it inspires other young artists.

During the pandemic, many individuals were, of course, experiencing a wide range of emotions. So I chose to base my art on that and develop pieces that exhibited the common feeling of happiness or a lack of it. I delicately manipulated the color palette and the colors’ tones to strongly convey emotion to the viewer. As my works developed, I really enjoyed incorporating a collage element—found papers and materials I had at home—to embrace a fantastical interpretation of happiness. Personally, and I’m sure a lot of others can relate, I experienced a lot of ups and downs over the last year. So, working in a creative and not always realistic style felt quite motivating. And I hope that’s something viewers can take from my art.

"Lost in the Chaos" by Maris Walter
2021 Battle of the Teal – Senior Visual Arts Category – Winning artwork “Lost in the Chaos” by Maris Walter
"Thunderstruck" by Maris Walter
“Thunderstruck” by Maris Walter
"Underworld" by Walter Maris
“Underworld” by Walter Maris

 

 

 

 

 

 

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