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Activity Essay for Common Application (paintings)


pmurray62 8 / 26  
Dec 21, 2009   #1
In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer).

I stand before the canvas, tools in hand. Meticulously, I brush on a layer of glossy gel to the surface of my eighteen-by-twenty-four canvas. As I stand back to evaluate the painting's newly shimmering exterior, I note the gel's transformative effects. It adds a glimmer to even the dullest of surfaces. Art has been the gloss medium in my life. On even the most lackluster of days, I know that there's a tube of paint, a sable brush, and my stout bottle of gloss medium to brighten things up. When I can't be at the easel, I neglect the canvas and turn to other means. I'll sketch the doorknobs of my bedroom, observe the lines in a building, or mull over the ways light passes from the sunny exterior of my classroom to illuminate its dark interior. In this manner I apply art, my internal glossy gel, to all that comes into my visual space.
Katsch 4 / 63  
Dec 21, 2009   #2
It's a nice start, but right now it feels much too brief. I found myself wanting to hear more about art has affected you, perhaps explain more in detail why art brightens up your day? What about painting makes you happy, besides making things look shiny?

You definitely have room to write more. After all, you've got about half of your word limit unused.
goldeneye98 2 / 32  
Dec 21, 2009   #3
I definitely agree. Honestly, I think you're making this harder than it seems. Just write about your love for painting. The beginning is elegant, but I personally feel that it isn't needed. I'm not telling you to get rid of it, but you can be more straightforward with this. Be natural!
AbhijeetS 4 / 6  
Dec 22, 2009   #4
The last sentence feels kind of redundant. I think you could try replacing the last sentence with a statement of how art has affected your life.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 25, 2009   #5
Adverbs and adjectives are often what cause floweryness.

Maybe try this:
Meticulously, I brush a glossy layer of gel onto the surface of my...

In this manner I apply art, the glossy gel of my mind, to all that comes into my visual space.

I don't think this is too flowery!
luminousx 3 / 32  
Dec 28, 2009   #6
I don't think it's flowery. In fact, you have painted a picture with your words!

I think you went over the 150 word limit though, try taking this out:

When I can't be at the easel, I neglect the canvas and turn to other means. I'll sketch the doorknobs of my bedroom, observe the lines in a building, or mull over the ways light passes from the sunny exterior of my classroom to illuminate its dark interior.

Thanks for reading my essay! I've posted a revision here.
OP pmurray62 8 / 26  
Dec 29, 2009   #7
I took your advice, luminousx, and took out that "neglecting" part. Do you think I should add a comma between "easel" and "I'll"? Also, on a more general note, do you think this is an ok essay for an activity essay? Or should I add more about how art has changed me...that kind of stuff?

Thanks for your compliments and critiques. :)
goldeneye98 2 / 32  
Dec 31, 2009   #8
I think this is much better. I wouldn't say it's too flowery, but it is more elegant than many of the other activity essays I've read. Overall, it conveys your passion for art beautifully! If you can fit anymore in, I would definitely say more about how art has changed you or why you value art and painting so much.

Good luck! :)


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