The Creative Minds Behind the Easels Outside

Lindsey Smith, Arts and Entertainment Editor

  The outdoors are continuously compared to peace, the topic of every poem, the background for photos contrasting concrete and forests, it’s a cliche. But, cliches are cliches for a reason, and, in this case, the outside space proved to be exactly what the artists of Pembroke Pines Charter High School needed for that extra “spark.” 

   Tuesday, January 31, 2023 marked the in-house art fair; a day where PPCHS art students collected their pencils and paints, and moved their easels outside. With blank canvases but bursting minds of creativity, the campus came to life with imagination, innovation, and expressiveness. Each and every work of art was inspired by something different, for some the assignment was a personal narrative of sorts and their work reflected their personality. For others, though, the assignment was quite literally a blank canvas, a time to try new techniques and immerse themselves in different mediums.

   Senior Matthew Castillo chose to try something different: “Today I chose to step out of my comfort zone because usually I really like to use graphite or watercolor, but today I chose to use colored pencils. Colored pencils are a challenge, it makes it interesting. They really require you to consider color rather than shading…” His work was a realistic portrayal of an actor, blended with finely tipped colored pencils, and shaded to reflect the light as shown in his reference photo. Even despite the challenge of working with a new style of art, the work mirrored the reference photo almost exactly, the only difference being the slightly animated appearance created by drawings. 

 Similar to Matthew, sophomore Sophia Assis based her work on a realistic depiction of a photo taken of her and her friend, Lorelei Santos. As Sophia puts it, “the bigger you paint, the more you have to trust the process, in the beginning, it does not look good.” Sophia’s favorite medium to work with is paint, its forgiving yet challenging qualities are intriguing to some, while terrifying to others. To Sophia, however, paint represents the perfect combination of patience and the creativity needed to achieve a masterpiece.

   While some students chose to portray reality with hyper realistic creations, others took an abstract approach. Senior Ryan Schwartz, for example, connected the realistic and the abstract, deviating from the norms. His piece: a realistic depiction of the head of emperor penguins that fades down into the bottom of a banana, surrounded by the icy tundra. “I feel like art is a natural therapy and when I’m stressed out, it calms me down, it’s relaxing,” Ryan explains. His piece relates to his sustained investigation, it merges two sides of realism to create something abstract.

   Onlookers, sophomore Dylan Capiro and junior Andrea Porras expressed their opinions on the in-house art fair as well. “I think it’s really cool that everyone has a chance to come outside and paint and I think they can get inspiration from the outdoors on what to paint,” Dylan explained. Similarly, Andrea agreed that working outside definitely aided in the creative process: “It’s nice to see passionate individuals that are concentrating on their art work, perhaps painting outside helps them get inspired and relieve stress.” 

   Regardless of the artwork; realistic, abstract, contemporary, etc. Regardless of the materials; colored pencils, charcoal, or graphite, the art students of the PPCHS art program brought a touch of color to the courtyard and used the outdoors as a means of motivation for the world of creativity on a canvas.