Freshman Leah Cox has loved to draw ever since she was a little girl. She says that it is a fun way to get her “hands moving and to think creatively.”
Since she was in her second-grade art classes, her art teachers, her classmates, and her parents have praised her for her skill and work. “I really enjoyed it and just wanted to continue to do it,” she said.
When I asked her if she has always been a strong artist, she said that she “didn’t want to sound too cocky,” but she has always been a good artist. Sometimes she sees people around her that have skills she wished she had, but she is pleased with her work.
As for the work she produces? She loves positional drawing, describing it to me as drawing something that is either closer or farther away. Currently, in her art class at Lovett, they are working on figure drawing, which is drawing humans in specific positions.
Drawing is definitely her favorite form of art, but she has also enjoyed using oil paint. “I am not much of an oil painter,” she admitted. “Drawing has always been my rock and something I will consistently come back to.”
The medium allows her “to be in a place where [she doesn’t] have to think that much about what [she is] doing. It is really calming and freeing.”
Perhaps for this reason she said drawing is “one hundred percent a form of mental therapy...especially after a long, stressful day at school. It temporarily takes me away from all my problems which is really nice.”
Yet, she also values the role art classes play in her life during the school day. “It’s nice to get away from some of my classes and be able to work freely without so much pressure,” she said. Right now, she is in Drawing 1 with Ms. Schick.
Leah can imagine drawing being something she does for the rest of her life. I asked her if she would ever want to make a career out of art, and she said she probably wouldn’t. Still, it might be something she does on the side.
I asked Leah if she had any drawing rituals, and she said she always sits down in her room and jots down some “symbolism and things [she has] felt in the past that could be a potential art piece. It is mostly emotions, experiences, or things [she has] seen.”
Her favorite time in the day to draw is in the morning because her mind is “fresh,” but when I asked her if she was a morning person she said, “No, I am definitely not a morning person, definitely a night person. I don't like waking up in the morning, and when I do it’s normally because I’m forced to because of school.”
Her favorite place to draw is at her drawing desk in her room. “It has been a place I have worked on some of my best art pieces,” she said. She was super excited when her parents got it for her birthday a couple of years ago.
She completed her favorite art piece in 7th grade. She drew a replica of the Lady with a Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer.
Her most recent drawing was a portrait. Leah and her class took pictures of themselves and then drew themselves in graphite. This drawing, which you can see pictured above, is currently displayed on the second floor of the upper school. Right now, in her art class, she is working on a perspective drawing which is “drawing a room from a different angle.”
Last year she made another perspective drawing with Ms. McDougal which was displayed in the High Museum. When I asked her how this happened, she said that Ms. McDougal was walking around and looking at students’ work. Then, she sent a letter home offering a few select students the opportunity to have their artwork shown at the High as part of an exhibition for students in school. “Of course,” Leah said, “I accepted it.”
Unfortunately, because of COVID, she never made it to the exhibit at the museum. “They took it down and gave it back to us,” she said, “but I wish I had a chance to see it.”