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Spotlight on the Arts: Elizabeth Patterson

by Karen Thorson PARADISE CENTER
| August 24, 2022 12:00 AM

At 15 years of age, Elizabeth Patterson, an eighth-grade student at Noxon School, is multitalented in many forms of art. She is interested in many areas she has yet to experience. When asked to identify her favorite form of art, she provided a list, including many types of visual arts (pen and ink, painting, watercolor, and more). In addition, she aspires to become proficient in photography, acting, ceramics, writing, singing, and other ways to express herself and her emotions in creative ways.

Elizabeth began drawing/painting in kindergarten using color markers on a whiteboard. The advantage, she says, was the ability to change her artwork immediately based on both what she saw in terms of color and composition and how she felt about the progress of her work. This early experience led Elizabeth to be brave about exploring many art forms, relishing the creative outlet the arts provided her.

She “doodles,” representational and abstract images that sometimes lead her toward more complete works of art. Some of her motivating forces including -- art makes people think, see things differently, expand their understanding of life and themselves.

Elizabeth says that she is fortunate in that her mother has been a constant source of encouragement, supporting experimentation, providing a variety of artistic supplies, and readily appreciating Elizabeth’s courage to try new things. In addition to that, some of Elizabeth’s five siblings also show artistic promise. She described a younger brother who, on-his-own, used a black background and white paint to capture an image of their former home. She was surprised and pleased at his innovative approach and the resulting work of art.

She has a love for horses that will certainly continue to influence her work. She also mentioned that she often envisions subject matter that leads to new ideas. She has plans for a new drawing/painting that will focus on a person at the bottom of the page with skyscrapers bending into view from the top.

Elizabeth expressed appreciation for the broad array of artistic opportunities at Noxon School and her teacher, Jessica Novak. Based on those factors, she has grown artistically in ways that she had not anticipated. Self-expression seems to be a driving force and she recommends to others who are interested in the arts to be “wild and free” with art, draw and paint what you are feeling, the work does not have to be “pretty” to be important – there is no substitute for creativity and what it offers everyone – both the artist and the viewer.

The pen and ink drawing featured here is titled, “Wrapped in Thoughts.” Elizabeth’s explanation of this work is that sometimes being totally occupied with one’s thoughts can be painful. She is quick to add, however, that the experience of capturing that circumstance is both a source of growth and inspiration.

Elizabeth is clear in her determination to maintain art as part of her life, in college and beyond. Whatever her professional decisions will be, she will explore new innovations and approaches to the arts offered by technology. She looks forward to expanding her expansive artistic skill set with things like graphic design, computer art, cartooning, and audio art.

In addition to being artistic, my experience with Elizabeth revealed that she is poised, articulate, gentle, and forthright. Her insights are beyond her years. I believe she will be successful in whatever life offers her.

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