Issue No. 20 | Spring 2019


I've Seen Me


Arvis Turkal

“This painting began from a photograph I took over my grandmother's shoulder while she sat in her lazy boy drawing a blind contour, self portrait. (This means that you're not allowed to look at the paper as you draw, only in the mirror). I have a lot in common with my grandma, we're both quiet and grumpy. I like to get her to draw when I visit. She has tons of fun, and I love to see how she perceives herself. Sometimes she draws herself and it hardly looks humanoid. We laugh about it. 

I was partially attracted to painting this image because of the skewed composition. Many of my paintings have these shifting diagonals which make the viewer want to turn their head. I begin the painting by finding the proportions on a large scale. Then I begin to mix and build the color. The most important aspect of my paintings is the balance of color. I scrape off and build up until I feel the colors glow together. The colors are realistic first and then imagined in order to achieve the right balance. I'm often attracted to muddy colors, especially muddy green. It shows up in many of my paintings. I continue with that process, until the painting begins to have its own presence, and then I know I'm done.”



Arvis Turkal is a visual artist living and working in NYC. She works in a bookstore and as a barista. She received her BFA from William and Mary and hopes to continue making pieces about identity and the strength of looking. Check out her instagram @shesundone.