Junior Margaret Clisham is well known around the school for her various works of art.
Indian Post: When did you first develop an interest in art?
Margaret Clisham: I’ve always been into it; I’ve always drawn in my notebooks and stuff during class, and when I was in preschool and kindergarten, I took classes at the Chester County Art Association. I also love going to art museums and I have taken art classes throughout my highschool career. More recently, I have decided that I wanted to go to art school, so I’m doing a college art course over the summer at VCU.
IP: What art classes have you taken at Unionville?
MC: I have taken Art I, II, and III with Mr. Stamis and Ms. Benson and next year I will be taking Art IV. So far, Art III has been my favorite class because it incorporates everything that you learn throughout the other classes. These classes focus more on traditional art styles like drawing and painting, which are the styles that I prefer. I would definitely recommend taking any art class at Unionville because it is a great way to express yourself at school.
IP: What are some of the things you do in your classes?
MC: We do all kinds of stuff; right now, we’re doing oil paintings and I think that’s my favorite thing we’ve done so far. We also use pastels, charcoal, graphite, watercolors, and tempera paint. In class, we typically start the year by drawing a self portrait, followed by various projects that we get to pick the subject matter for. This year we also painted still lifes, which was pretty cool.
IP: What artists have influenced you and whose style do you try to emulate?
MC: My mom influences me a lot because she also is really into painting and stuff. She’s painted a lot of the pieces that we have hung in our house. She doesn’t paint professionally; it’s more of a hobby for her, but from a young age I have always wanted to try and “follow in her footsteps” I guess. So, I’ve always wanted to be a good painter like my mom; she’s a big reason I started taking art classes at the high school. I also look at my peers’ works for inspiration if I’m stuck on a project.
IP: Have you created any works that you are particularly proud of?
MC: I’m really proud of my self-portrait because it was such a large-scale project, and it was a challenge to accurately draw myself. I probably worked on it for about three months, which is a pretty long time. Right now, I’m also proud of my oil painting because it’s the first one I have ever done and while it’s a challenge, it’s a lot of fun to paint. I hope I’ll be able to finish it this year.
IP: Do you plan on pursuing art in the future?
MC: I plan on going to an art school for college; I’m looking at Virginia Commonwealth University and a few others. This summer I am also planning on attending a three-week college art course to build my portfolio for college. I hope to become a graphic designer or something similar, so I can keep making art as a career. We’ll see how that goes.
IP: What advice would you give to other aspiring young artists?
MC: I think it is very important to find an inspiration, whether it is a bowl of fruit or a picture of a celebrity. Painting stuff that you like definitely makes the process a lot more interesting. I would also tell them to keep drawing and practicing in sketchbooks; even if you draw something and it looks bad, it will always get better with practice. Also, I would tell anyone who has an interest in art to take an art class at the high school because the classes are great. Just don’t give up!