Painting by Isobel Alm in 2017, inspired by a picture of herself with a mask. Credit: Isobel Alm
Painting by Isobel Alm in 2017, inspired by a picture of herself with a mask. Credit: Isobel Alm

Alm finds the edge of painting

Student artist Isobel Alm uses art to express herself and to escape from reality.

September 14, 2018

For minutes, hours, days, and weeks, Isobel Alm spends her time focusing in the art studio. The St. Paul Academy and Summit School art wing is a place where creativity, expression, and the use of the imagination come together. The bright lights of the outdoor sun, crawl through the windows; into the open space of the studio. Artists of different ages, levels of knowledge, and interest; come to the wing to spend quiet time exploring their artwork. Hidden from the stress-inducing and competitive nature of the SPA academic environment, students can take a step away from schoolwork, and work on something that they are passionate about.

Alm is a sophomore at SPA and has been taking art classes for the past two years. She liked her beginning painting class so much that she signed up to do print-making the next semester. She hopes to independently create artwork in the advanced painting course she is taking this year.

“I am going to be doing advanced painting this entire year. I want to be able to take some time away from school, and painting is a peaceful way for me to get my mind off things.” Alm said.

I want to be able to take some time away from school, and painting is a peaceful way for me to get my mind off things.”

— Isobel Alm

Alm had now retired Art Teacher Marty Nash as her instructor and worked with her over the summer learning how to take professional photos of her’s and Nash’s pieces of art.

“Last year I talked to Ms. Nash about my interest in being able to take photos of my artwork,. She told me that she needed someone to help her take pictures of her paintings. During the summer I helped her set up her pieces and took pictures of them. I was able to learn how to handle a camera, and take good quality pictures of artwork” Alm said.

Nash retired last year, and this year the Art Department has a new teacher: Mara Duvra. Duvra has transitioned well into the position and art environment. Alm loves working with her even though it is just the beginning of the school year. Every year, SPA students who specialize in different realms of artwork apply their pieces to the Scholastic Art Competition. Alm applied a few of her pieces, and came out at the top percentage and won a Silver Key award and a Gold Key award meaning her artwork moved on to the national competition.

Alm finds inspiration in a multitude of places; this year she is hoping to focus on portraits. She wants to incorporate unnatural colors in her portraits to give it a more “edgy” look. She has found inspiration in a lot of different artists, but currently, her favorite is Gustav Klimt. Klimt was an Australian painter whom Alm describes as “weird, different, and kinda odd.”

“I think all of the art classes in SPA have been around for a very long time, and people at this school don’t seem to understand how good they really are. So I think people should take advantage of that, and it’s a good way for anyone to relax” Alm said.

People should take advantage of that, and it’s a good way for anyone to relax. ”

— Isobel Alm

Around painting, there has always been a mindset that if you are not good at it then you cannot do it. The environment that SPA brings to all of the art classes makes them enjoyable and relaxing. Art serves as a de-stressor and a healthy way to step back and create something unknown, different, weird, and even a little bit edgy.

 

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