Caitlyn McMahan

12th Grade, Oaks Christian School

“This is a surrealist self-portrait I created sometime in the beginning of the quarantine, when the grieving and isolation really began to set in.

I wanted to capture the feeling of being lost at sea alone, but I still wanted to put in beautiful bright colors and a majestic natural setting. Being in nature alone, one of the only activities I was allowed to do, served as my main source of comfort through the pain of being quarantined and losing my senior year.

The process of drawing it allowed me to reflect on my tumultuous emotions around being trapped and lost at the same time while still finding the beauty in my unfortunate situation, and it being a self-portrait was a form of escapism, allowing me to be something beautiful, bright, and colorful in contrast to my increasingly dark reality.”

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Artwork of individual in water and stars above
The Mermaid (2020)

Audio: Listen to Tish Greenwood (Creative Director, CMATO), Florencia Glas (Special Projects manager, CMATO) and Anna Wadman (Chair, Oaks Christian School Visual Arts Department) discuss “The Mermaid” by Caitlyn McMahan.

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