BU Today

Arts & Entertainment

A Green Thumb


Emily Austin Griswold needed to inject color and life into her Self-Portrait during the dead of winter. She found a way — by visiting a greenhouse.

“We had to come up with a concept for our images during the wintertime — a time where everything in nature is cold and dead,” says Griswold (CFA’09). “I loved how greenhouses sustain life. You walk in, and the warmth and beauty of the plants around you immediately impacts your mood. I tried to convey a warm, tranquil environment with highly-saturated colors conveying the life around me.”

Griswold used oil paints for her four-by-five-foot canvas. “Though oils can be a stagnant and lifeless medium,” she says, “they have this odd ability to bring life to an image by intensifying and exaggerating the color values of a photograph.”

Griswold says she often feels that her finished pieces are incomplete, but not with Self-Portrait. “This was one of the first pieces I have been able to spend a good amount of time on since I’ve been at art school,” she says. “This piece feels finished to me.”

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.