SAMANTHA PACKER of Pringle, Pennsylvania, is majoring in Fine Arts and Art History at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Her watercolor ” Noah” won one of the two Fine Arts Scholarships in the Spring 2019 Scholarship Program.
She wrote in her student statement: As a dual major in Fine Arts and Art History, I am interested in both the process of making art and the study of those who have made an impact on the world of art. I am a painting major at Kutztown University, with a strong interest in watercolor and hope to continue exploring the intricacies of this medium. My deepest interest lies in the outdoors, and I have begun to incorporate this love into some of my work. I am also fascinated by the human body. The works I have included in this portfolio focus on my exploration of the delicate colors and textures of the human skin, with the inclusion of tattoos. These paintings allow me to paint realistic skin and make the tattoos seem as if they are a part of the body, not just laying on top. This process has been quite the challenge for me, with some failures and problem solving. With watercolor, I am learning how to deal with mistakes in a medium which is often unfixable.
Watercolor, like many other activities, has a long learning curve. I began working in the medium in fourth grade, taught by a teacher whose specialty was watercolor. As I progressed to high school, I began teaching children aged 5-13 at a private studio. I believe teaching students how to paint in watercolor helped my own practice immensely, as I had to push myself to be able to explain how to best manipulate the paint. After a two year hiatus from which was spent working mainly in oil, returning to watercolor has been an interesting challenge. Remembering back to the basic lessons I taught my students has helped me to be patient in regaining the feel for the ratio of water to pigment, being more careful in saving highlighted areas, and how to solve the problems that arise.
This series of tattoo paintings is ongoing and I would love to one day have amassed a professional body of work which could be shown in a gallery. For an art student, scholarships are invaluable to our ability to continue buying the supplies we need to progress in the art world.