Emily Taylor began her studies with me four or five years ago and it's been a gift for me to watch her grow and expand her artistic horizons. Emily works diligently at her craft and she is a naturally gifted draftsman and painter. She exhibited her work at Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts Youth Show for years and has exhibited her work for three years in art exhibitions at the CCA. She is homeschooled and this year has begun her final year of high school. Emily serves as an officer on the CCA Teen Artist Guild. I interviewed Emily for this profile and I am excited to share her work and responses with you!
~ Leslie Lienau
LL: When did you discover that you wanted to be an artist?
ET: Ever since I was little I have always loved to draw. I remember one day I was probably 5, I drew a bird and everyone I showed loved it and said It was amazing. Of course I was five and everyone just happened to be my parents, but they gave me hope that maybe someday I would be an artist.
LL: Who and what inspires you in your creative process?
ET: Events in my life. Whether it is going to a festival and people watching, a simple bike ride, or a cherished memory. One of my most recent inspirations was at a swing dance club. Occasionally the vision is clear but I have learned sometimes one has to look for ideas to see them, and once you train your mind to see life through a transparent canvas you will have more revelation than you want. I sometime carry with me my "ideas book" and when I see a potential painting or a possiblesculpture I make a quick sketch.
LL: Have you studied different styles of painting and drawing? Do you have a preferred style for yourself?
ET: I have mostly learned the technique of drawing and painting though realism. But it is an ambition of mine to expand my artistic horizons and to practice other styles and mediums. I once took a gestural figure drawing class and I learned how to draw the human figure and to capture the gesture in a short amount of time. I have used that method mixed with realism to capture moments of a persons life and turn it into a two dimensional memory.
LL: Do you wish to continue your art studies after high school?
ET: Yes. I will always paint, draw and hopefully learn how to make a living doing it. But I do not plan to attend an art school immediately after I graduate from High School.
LL: If yes, what would you like to study?
ET: I am not sure yet.
LL: What are you currently working on?
ET: I am currently working on a master copy. Edgar Degas the Star. It is a painting of a ballerina on stage striking a graceful pose. This has been a fairly difficult project. The original was painted with pastel and some of the strokes are very prominent, so it has been a challenge to try to duplicate that with a paint brush. But it has also been a great learning experience.
Leslie Lienau is the founder and principal instructor at the Oklahoma Academy of Classical Art, formerly The Conservatory for Classical. Thanks for reading - hope you enjoy!
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