“Nature” is a self-portrait (as a tree) represents Max’s connection to nature and natural settings. Max sometimes drives through the Malibu Hills or hike through the Santa Monica Mountains when he feels the need to calm down. Max thinks of nature as an “escape” from the stress of city life. In this cross combination of pencils, watercolors, and colored pencils, Max conveys the beauty of nature and why it helps us feel more positive. Max drew himself as a tree, smiling with branches and leaves growing from his hair, hands, and body. The branches of the tree are uncolored in a No. 2 pencil to represent the “wood” texture in the branches. Max then drew leaves and animals and decided to color them so they could “pop” from the pencil branches. The animals include a snake, tree frog, bird, bird eggs, a monkey, and Groot, scattered in different spots throughout the portrait. He didn’t use watercolor pencil as the watercolor pencil would’ve contrasted greatly from the penciled branches surrounding it. To make the painting look less “depressing,” Max decided to paint the background in a green watercolor “wash.” Max tried putting a lot of green, but felt it didn’t look great against the pencil. So then he wiped around some of the paint with water to make it look light on the canvas.
The other message behind this painting is that nature is sacred and we must preserve it. We must not let animals be endangered and preserve the beautiful environmental landscapes as much as possible. We cannot let Scott Pruitt and the rest of Trump’s administration destroy these wonderful environments. This is similar to the story of James Cameron’s Avatar which is for the innocent Na’Vi tribe to protect their land from the army trying to destroy it.
Watercolors, Colored Pencils, No 2 Pencil