The blank canvas

COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

Sarah Sanders, Reporter

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Throughout elementary school, it was hard to find something that I was good at. I tried piano only to find that I had no sense of rhythm. I then was put into gymnastics and ballet, however, that did not last long because I’m about as graceful as a baby giraffe. Nothing seemed to click for me, until one summer in fourth grade when I was signed up for a ceramics camp owned by an artist named Anne O’Connor. I spent my time there fusing glass, making mosaics and painting sculptures of owls and cats. I loved every project we did and the camp fueled my interest in art. What really drew me to Mrs. O’Connor was her philosophy surrounding art. Art should convey the artist’s choices.

A blank canvas is the artist’s opportunity to get the viewer to feel what they feel. The blank canvas is the vehicle in which the artist is able to truly express their thoughts and emotions. The blank canvas gives the artist a chance to create something that is their own and no one else’s – where they can make their own decisions without outside influence. The artist does not have to fit into a certain mold to be good at painting. Which was why she always made sure that when parents came into the studio they would not try and “fix” their child’s work. Art is subjective and should not be based on someone else’s idea of what “good art” is. There is no “right” way to execute a work of art.

Art has shaped me into a detail-oriented and creative person. When high school came around I made an effort to include an art class in my busy schedule. I have learned things in painting class that, in a way, cannot be taught in a traditional classroom, through hands on experience. Ceramics has taught me to be persistent with the potter’s wheel, no matter how often the clay flies across the room. Being patient with watercolors while they dry yields better results, while rushing creates a jumbled mess of color.

This where I truly excel. It is where I transform the blank canvas into a work of art that is new and unique. The blank canvas gives me a chance to create something that is my own and no one else’s – I can make my own decisions without outside influence. Where I do not have to fit into a certain mold to be good at art. It’s this type of freedom that I want to give to others as I graduate from high school and move on to pursue a degree in art education at Hope College.

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The blank canvas