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Morning Breath|36 x 24 in| Oil paint on canvas.
Painted from a photo my mother took with permission. Spent over 30 hours depicting the scene in oil.


Portland Public Schools|Portland, OR
This artwork is part of an ongoing investigation into intimacy and exposure. The scene depicted in Morning Breath comes from a photograph my mother took of me one morning when she walked into my room right as I was waking up. The space on the edge of sleep is a vulnerable one; seeing someone sleeping can feel like an intrusion or a great privilege. This is also true of mess. Growing closer with someone often involves seeing the more chaotic, disheveled parts of their life, both tangible and not. My intention with this painting was to give the viewer the feeling that they are seeing someone fully, to guide them towards finding beauty and value in the disheveled and overlooked.
Jamin London Tinsel
Eleanor began her sustained investigation by examining the question, “What does it mean to be close to someone?” She often used images of crumpled bedsheets as part of her visual language to reference intimacy and closeness. As her work progressed, she began to paint tender scenes directly onto the bedsheets to experiment with media and concepts.
This oil painting is the last piece she created while in quarantine those last few months of school. Her guiding question, “What does it mean to be close to someone?” suddenly became a much more powerful and deep exploration as our society began to grapple with social distancing and isolation. This piece exemplifies Eleanor's precise attention to detail and her advanced painting skills.  She captures the light and shadows of the figure and comforter in a magical way inviting her viewer to snuggle right into the cozy bed that she’s created.
Eleanor moved with ease between loose and gestural works in her large body of work to paintings such as this one, where time, patience, and thoughtful rendering guided her brush strokes. She challenged herself with large-scale paintings, and she wasn’t afraid to branch out and find new ways of exploring her theme. As far as our class environment goes, Eleanor was exposed to various contemporary,  historical, and local visiting artists.  She participated in field trips to the museum and other local art events, and she was part of a class community of peers to help support her artistic journey. The AP classroom is a space where students are encouraged to dive deep into the themes they are exploring and are encouraged to take risks and experiment in their work. Our bi-weekly critiques push students to have work ready for discussion, and the group provides feedback to support continued growth and development. I also feel really strongly that critiques need variety. We move from large group to small group, to partner, to speed critiques.  While artistic freedom reigns in our classroom, a strong sense of structure (a schedule and deadline) gently guide each student on their individual journey.
Eleanor Wardlaw
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