Monica Kullar, a senior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, Calif., has taken art and photography classes at school, but treasures the time she is on her own, creating. Writer Oscar Wilde once said, “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” For Monica, art is very personal and extremely individual.
“My art is on my own time, often on the weekends. I buy canvases and fill up sketch books,” she says. “It differs on where I am when I paint. I live near some great hills so sometimes friends and I will head to the hills and paint together. I really like to paint everything … intricate designs, shapes, whatever is on my mind.”
Her painting, Exposed, uses bright reds and blues mixed with soft tans and whites to express how Monica sees the human body and what s underneath. The painting is acrylics on canvas. “Just last summer, in the middle of the night, I was looking in the mirror and thinking about how the human body really comes in shades of brown, tan and white, but I thought about painting the colors of the veins and arteries and bringing the inside on the outside.”
Monica says sometimes her paintings are projects she works on over a couple of months, but other works are projects created during one sitting. “Exposed was the result of a summer night. I really am more inspired during the free time.”
Most of her sketchbooks are filled with ink pen, pencil and some charcoal sketches. For her canvases, she uses mainly acrylics. “I feel most proud of the work I submitted to the Creative Outlook contest. I conveyed what I thought of and it hit home. I am working on a colorful face full of abstract shapes.”
Monica also finds inspiration from two seemingly unlikely artists. The first is the graffiti artist Blu. He also has created some stop-motion animation. The second is artist Leonid Afremov.
“A friend showed me one of his paintings. It was of two people walking under an umbrella. They are illuminated by lamplight on this walkway. It’s so amazing how he shows the rain and the lights and all the colors, even though it is clearly night in the painting. He inspired me to use colors. His works really stand out to me.”
During her school days, she is busy with Advanced Placement classes such as calculus, English literature and statistics. She also participates in environmental clubs and has been known to help plant trees and clean up litter. Monica also helps with the Stanford Blood Center bloodmobiles. Her other art includes playing the violin since fifth grade.
Monica hopes her talents continue to develop. She wants to pursue a career that helps others. “I don’t know if art will be my profession, but I can see art being a major part of my life. I see art as something I do outside of school in the freedom of my own time and thoughts. If my artwork continues to improve and I can make use of opportunities, it would be a dream to have a gallery to showcase it all. It’s just that for me, I do my art best when I’m free to do whatever inspires me and whatever’s on my mind rather than with the limits of an art project assigned to me in a classroom. I am definitely planning on continuing painting and sketching for the rest of my life, and I’d love for people to feel something when seeing my artwork. I am most proud of my most recent paintings so I feel that one day I will have a good set of paintings I’d want exposed. Until then, I’m going to keep painting and painting!”