My stroke of inspiration for the this painting, "Quarantine Dream Dish" was directly influenced by my state of mind throughout much of the 2020 quarantine. Similar to people all over the world, the Coronavirus lockdown often left me feeling a sense of seclusion from the world I have always known. Being stuck inside while protecting myself and my family from the unknown consequences of the virus, I missed ordinary everyday activities, like going to school, hugging my friends, and enjoying simple pleasures. Suddenly, everyday conveniences and comforts that I often took for granted felt distant, out of reach, and luxurious, including McDonald’s french fries.
Throughout quarantine, I did not think about fancy truffle fries or savory cheese fries. I wanted simple, cheap, mouthwatering McDonald’s fries. Knowing that there must be at least five franchises within a five-mile radius of my home felt like a tease. In the beginning of quarantine, getting those fries felt so possible, but also so impossible due to fear of the unknown.
As I daydreamed about those skinny, salted, potato wedges, I channeled my energy into painting and fulfilled my craving through art. I had not the slightest idea what I was going to create, but I knew it would be be wondrous. The fries I was about to paint needed to be the most glorified interpretation of fries I could envision. I dreamed of something colorful, bold, and sparkling that still possessed the iconic McDonald’s feel that America knows and loves.
As I painted, it was almost as if the colors chose me and I was just the vehicle carrying out the desires of my subconscious. Varying values of fuchsias and violets brushed the page, creating not just fries, but a magical version of fries. A deep candy apple red found its way to the iconic box which held the delightful fries. Popping vibrantly against the red, the stippling technique I applied to the recognizable “M” logo reminded me of a carnival or an adventure. An intense mustard yellow brought home the restaurant’s familiar color scheme.
“Done.” I thought to myself. But something still felt like it was missing. Immediately, I realized that shine and radiance were the finishing touches. As if a spotlight was shining on this piece, I added sparkle to highlight focal points that displayed majestic energy. Finally, my quarantine dream dish was complete.
In my IB art class, intensive planning, working, and reflecting is a perpetual part of my creative process. I think deeply and critically about every line, form, and pattern. Leaping into a new project, unsure of what I was going to create, felt freeing and wild. I let my imagination race into a dream that was once my reality. Deep inside, I felt different versions of fear and hopelessness due to the pandemic; however, I harnessed those emotions into my own version of optimism and joy. Working freely, I created a piece that leaves no detail uncovered and truly represents my bright spirit and spontaneity.