What’s Lara Cayci’s greatest painting skill? Patience.

Cayci’s first step is finished: she draws a detailed image of a girl balled up in a corner.

It takes sophomore Lara Cayci almost a year to complete a single painting. Spending every week at an art studio patiently waiting and coming up with ideas is what Cayci does year-round. There are a multitude of ways that people can paint. An important way is painting with watercolor, which is water-based and fluid. Acrylic painting is a fast dry paint.  It is acrylic-polymer based and becomes waterproof when done. Finally, there are oil paints, which are oil-based making them dry very slowly giving a painter more time to work on the painting.

“[Oil paint and white pigment] take a long time but that is what makes them good for painting people and skin since it stays wet for so long you can really make it as smooth as you want. When you use paint like acrylic that dries really quickly you can’t really do that. It takes a really long time but it’s worth it in the end,” Cayci said.

Cayci paints the girl, the subject of the painting, first. She makes sure to show the texture of the girl’s jacket and skirt with the acrylic paint.

Every week, for five hours, Cayci goes to Studio7, an art studio in Minneapolis for children and youth that have a passion for painting. There are classes for blossoming artists, but Cayci goes to paint for herself.


“I go to a studio, it’s not a class or anything, it’s just an area with a lot of paints. I have a lot of friends there so it’s really fun. It is a big studio and there is a lot of paint, and there are about four people per table,” Cayci said.

The process of painting for Cayci is a long and patient process. She starts by finding inspiration: she looks around at the world around her and takes pictures. She has a specific image in her mind that she wants to paint, but to find the image she needs, she has to take multiple pictures and piece them together. Once she finds that perfect picture, she starts to sketch it out on a large canvas. She then puts on the first layer of color, the paints dry so slowly that she can leave for a weekend and still be able to move the paint at her will when she returns. 

[Painting] takes a really long time but it’s worth it in the end.”

— sophomore Lara Cayci

Cayci’s finished piece: she’s detailed the facial expressions of the girl and the wall she is up against well.

“It takes a long time but that is what makes it good for painting people and skin since it stays wet for so long you can really make it as smooth as you want,” Cayci said.

Through hours and hours of layering, moving, and waiting, Cayci is able to find the difference in each individual person. The different shades of the skin and unique body types of each person bring the drive to her art.

Week after week, she works on her artwork, layering, and moving the picture to fit an image stuck in her mind. Finally, she finishes the painting- the final work is worth the time and passion that went into it.  

Cayci believes everyone should try painting: “Don’t get disappointed in yourself because for 6 months it’s gonna be really ugly because it takes a long time. So just keep going even, if it looks, ugly keep going. And it’s fun, don’t get too worked up about it you don’t need to show anyone the end product if you don’t want too. It’s more for yourself. If you want to do it for other people that good too, but always do it for yourself.”

Painting is not the only thing that requires a lot of time and patience. Cayci has learned to be calm and not to force anything but to wait for her piece to come together. Creating a near-perfect image emphasizes the importance of patience and perseverance.