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Artist Spotlight: Kirsten Stillwell

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Stillwell

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Stillwell

Kate Morey, Opinion Managing Editor

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Some artists struggle to make a mark at an early age, while others create works of art more naturally and are immediately recognized by their peers and teachers. Senior Kirsten Stillwell is the latter having received art awards at a young age.

She began drawing as a child, and has earned awards for her work as early as eighth grade when she received the Montgomery County Young Artists Award and was the only student at Earle B. Wood MS (Wood) whose work was chosen to tour Montgomery County for a year.

Stillwell’s inspiration comes from her childhood, emotions and imagination, she said. She uses many different mediums to create her pieces, ranging from more traditional drawings, paints and photos to creating collages from magazines.

“I love doing collages, which are taking pictures from magazines or pictures of your own, or using different kinds of mediums to create a picture,A? Stillwell said. A?I like how you can take things from everywhere and kind of put it together on a page.”

Stillwell enjoys drawing best because she gets to bring images in her head to life. Often, her favorite pieces are created without much planning.

She began drawing as a child, and has earned awards for her work as early as eighth grade when she received the Montgomery County Young Artists Award

“If I don’t like a mark I can erase it and try again and make it perfect, when in life you can’t always erase your mistakes,” she said. “It’s nice having a sense of control. I just really like it because it just allows me to express some things I can’t say.”

Art teacher Connie Zammett said she admires Stillwell for the brave artistic choices she makes and the commitment she exhibits in the classroom.

“I think she has this really strong work ethic,” Zammett said. “She can work independently and can take her own initiative.”

Stillwell is currently enrolled in AP Studio Art and spends roughly six hours a week on her various forms of art, which provide her a medium for self-expression.

“Art is kind of a way that I can release a lot of emotions and put them into a positive matter, because I’m venting,” she said, “but I’m also getting it out, and people can look at it and sometimes they can feel the same way.”

In addition to drawing and painting, Stillwell is also a photographer and a writer. She participated in National Novel Writing Month, writing over 50,000 words–approximately 1,666 words per day–between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 and titled her novel “Beneath The Surface.” She has also published “Secret Letters,” which she wrote in eighth grade and can be found in the Wood library or online.

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Artist Spotlight: Kirsten Stillwell