Art student creates "30 Paintings"
By Natalia H. Schust
(Above) Student artist Kelly McKernan
Photo by Patrick Bowling
(Below) One of the paintings from
McKernan's project: "Coterie"
Watercolor, gouache, color pencil, and ink on 12"x18" tea stained watercolor paper.
Kelly McKernan, a senior at Kennesaw State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in painting, has crafted an ambitious project entitled “30 Paintings.” McKernan’s goal is to create 30 paintings this spring and summer 2008 semesters. The project is part of an independent study in McKernan’s advanced painting class and is already halfway done.
McKernan’s goal for this project is to build a strong portfolio focusing on illustrative quality while exploring different styles and techniques. McKernan said that she had been playing with the idea of painting several works and implementing different practices, but that she needed a goal and 30 seemed like a good figure.
McKernan explained that “30 Paintings” has evolved throughout the spring semester, becoming a lot more personal with time. “I feel the project is directing me instead of me directing the project,” said McKernan. She said that as each painting gets more complicated it forces her to discover different sides of her art and herself. “Basically, the project forces me to stop thinking like an art student and think like an artist. In fact, the project has made me an artist.”
Associate Professor Robert Sherer said that when McKernan first pitched him the idea of producing 30 artworks in the advanced painting class, he was hesitant about the idea. Sherer explained that he was concerned about the negative effects of such demanding production expectations. However, since McKernan always set her standards and goals high and successfully achieved them, he agreed to her idea. “She always exceeds expectations and is constantly challenging herself. When her conceptual and technical abilities are in sync she is unstoppable,” said Sherer.
McKernan keeps an online journal in which she invites everyone to witness the progress of “30 Paintings” and cheer her on as she completes the project. Those who visit the Web site can also view and purchase McKernan’s selected fine art prints.
McKernan’s drive and passion for art is evident as she insisted that she will not stop when “30 Paintings” is over. “I’ll keep painting and see where it takes me.”
For more information about the artist and the project, visit http://community.livejournal.com/ 30_paintings/profile.