Justine Ellery – Suburbia

Artist: Justine Ellery
Title: Suburbia
Media: Mixed media
Grade: 12th grade
School: Campolindo High School
Teacher: Jill Langston

This piece was an exploration into life as a teenager in the suburbs. I approached this piece like a puzzle, taking common experiences and symbols of teenage life and doing my best to put them together in a cool way. I tried to tell a story through the scattering of images and the patterns, and I used the color black to represent the “darkness” that often accompanies this experience. This “darkness” is the sadness, loneliness, and fear of the unknowns that come with a sheltered youth. In a sense, this piece is a take on the idea that nothing is what it seems, examining how suburban life is often far from glamorous. To construct this piece, I focused on layering different scraps of paper (and some aluminum foil!) with ink, watercolor pens, graphite, gel pens, colored pencil, and acrylic paint. While filling up the page, I was sure to pay close attention to negative space and how it can be used to highlight certain features of the piece.