Featuring Ashland High School Students Sonora and Sam

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Sonora Mindling Werling

They say that for a warrior, the sword should be an extension of the arm; art is like that for my soul. I am not particularly good a verbalizing my thoughts, when I try to explain things I often get muddled up and lost in the tangle of ideas and vague concepts, until I am left wandering a perpetual forest of “Like, if you put the thing with the other thing it would be cool because of reasons.” With art, it’s not like that. If I have a vague idea, I will paint with watercolors and just swirl blues and yellows and reds into cloudy shapes until suddenly, a clear image will appear out of the ambiguous hues. Sometimes I will have a clear thought, and I will create that also, dashing on oils or charcoal until my blank paper is full of my feelings or the images that come to me at 3am. I had an art teacher that used to say that art should be a verb. I am not just doing art, I am arting. I do art because it is my way of leaving my mark on the world. I may not be making history or saving lives or creating great inventions, but I am taking something that was once white and empty and filling it up with myself, and for me, that is enough.

I lived in Oaxaca, Mexico, until I was nine, when my family moved to Ashland. I have been drawing since I could wrap my little hangs around a crayon, and it is one of my greatest passions. Today I live with my mom and sister most of the year, I am in 11th grade at Ashland High School, and outside of school I take aerial dance classes five days a week and oil painting class. My aerial dance group and I recently preformed in L.A. In front of 1,600 students at the Ramone C. Cortinez Preforming-arts High School, and this is the second year that my art has been up for the first friday artwalk.

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Sam Gostnell

Usually when I start a new painting, I have an idea in my head of what its going to look like. I sketch it out a few times then draw it loosely on a board then begin to paint it. It never turns out how I originally thought it would, and I love that. The other day I tried to paint a goldfish on a paper towel dispenser and it turned out to be an old man. I paint my art, but it tells me the story. Sometimes, I just paint random things to get ideas, other times I paint ideas and just get random things. I want to get better at painting, I want to paint faces and people more accurately. I am inspired by the old dutch painters and graffiti artists of the 80s in New York. Im also inspired by things I find around me including but not limited to: feathers, erasers and people. I want to someday have a gallery show and have so many different styles of work that it looks like a bunch of people got together to show their art, but it turns out to be all from one guy who just likes to make things. My name is Sam Gostnell and this is my email just in case you would like to contact me about anything art related: samuelgostnell@Gmail.com
P.S I do murals, portrait photography and pretty much anything else that can be painted, drawn or crafted.