Hands on experience


Using nothing but your hands to paint a piece may seem hard, but for senior Serenity McCarthy, it’s something she’s been doing her whole life.
“I’ve liked art ever since I was little. My mom used to paint my walls black, and I would finger paint on them,” she said.
Starting art her junior year, she has regrets of not starting her freshman year.
“This year I started with sculpture but switched, and now I’m really enjoying this class,” she said.
Even though she is a longtime artist, McCarthy has plans to pursue other interest in college.
“After I graduate this year I want to go to Missoula in August and study zoology,” she said.
She wants to work in Denver at a wolf and wildlife center. She has been working on a non-objective painting of a wolf, the first half of the double-sided painting assignment.
“The point is for them to loosen up in style and discover nonobjective and abstract art. Abstract being distortions from the real, and nonobjective being still following the rules, but no limitations,” art teacher Jackie Van Heel said.
In the painting and drawing class, students use a multitude of medians, including acrylics, oil, watercolor, and batik; a technique that uses drying wax on a canvas.
“It’s a class that isn’t like school-related like math, more like a hobby,” senior Brittany Leuchten said.
Leuchten’s nonobjective painting started with simple colors and shapes. The nonobjective pieces are something that aren’t supposed to be read.
“I just started with something plain and simple. I like it but having to only use our hands is a struggle,” she said.
Leuchten isn’t the only one having struggle. Senior Victoria Slaughter had her nails done for prom, and having to paint with acrylic nails isn’t something she enjoys.
“I still have my nails on so I have to paint really weird. If you’re not careful with it you can splinter the canvas and ruin it,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter’s abstract painting is one that people can look at from different views.
“I looked at it and it looks like a flower, but some people see different things which is the whole idea of the project. It’s really fun.”