Artist of the Month: Katherine Deane

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Credit: Courtesy of Katherine Deane

Pictured above is Deane's piece "Tribute to Basquiat." It combines elements of Basquiat's abstract style with Deane's more realistic portraiture.

Christina Taxiarchis and Jessica Reilly

Students at WHS may have noticed the new murals in the English wing, specifically the mural near English teacher Gwen Goldin’s classroom. The illustration of hanging stars and books is the work of junior Katherine Deane, who began her artistic endeavors at a very young age.

“I began to paint and draw when I was very little,” Deane said. “Actually, when I was born, my grandma’s friends was an artist, and she gifted me an oil paint set. I didn’t know how to use it, but I guess they knew I was going to be some sort of artist.”

However, it wasn’t until later in elementary school that Deane realized her talent and passion for art.

“I never really developed my passion until I was in fourth grade when we were in Ms. Bentley’s art class. We had to copy a tutorial, and everyone said mine was the most accurate to the tutorial,” Deane said. “I was like, ‘Oh wait, I’m good at this.’ And so I started to do it again and again.”

Through lots of practice, Deane has continued to develop into the artist she was bound to be.

“[I watch] a lot of videos on YouTube, and I’ve taken a few art classes – not a lot, but they have really helped,” Deane said. “[I also] just listen to what the art teachers have to say and then use that feedback in [my] next pieces.”

Practicing art can be time consuming for a high school student. However, Deane has found ways to practice her art within her busy schedule.

“To practice when I can’t [find the time], I’ll often doodle a lot at school. So, if I’m bored in math or Latin, I’ll doodle on the sides of my paper,” Deane said.

The most important part about creating artwork to Deane is its ability to convey a message to an audience.

“My favorite thing about creating art is sending a message. You can really express yourself and change the world through art, and I think that’s a very important part of art,” Deane said.

One of Deane’s favorite messages she’s shared through art is a self portrait inspired by another artist. Deane likes to do a lot of different kinds of art, but she specifically loves creating portraiture and cartoons.

“My favorite piece I’ve ever created is this portrait of me as a marquee. I copied this painting from the Museum of Fine Arts and put my face on it, and so that would be my favorite piece,” Deane said. “I think people are awesome subjects for painting and drawing. Everyone has their own unique set of features and their own distinct personality, which is really fun to capture in one image. To me, a good portrait has to not only capture what a person looks like but [also] who the person is,” Deane said.

Art continues to be a part of Deane’s life and something she seeks to grow with in the future.

“I definitely do [want to continue art] either through an art college or maybe just as a hobby,” Deane said.