Painting during a pandemic

By Emma Russell

Student Life Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent quarantine have left some students with more free time to explore new hobbies.

Junior Meagan Jenkins used her newfound free time to experiment with painting.

“I didn’t leave my house much, so I had extra free time to actually sit down and paint,” Jenkins said.

While open to painting anything, Jenkins prefers painting characters from some of her favorite movies and TV shows.

“I have ‘Star Wars’ paintings, specifically Baby Yoda, and I did some ‘Avatar the Last Airbender’ and ‘[The] Legend of Korra’ paintings,” Jenkins said. “I actually just finished my Legend of Korra one.”

The painting inspired by “The Legend of Korra” is Jenkins’s favorite of the bunch.

“It took weeks to complete and it was the first time I’ve done a painting with people’s facial features, so it was a challenge to get the right shades and shapes, especially because I have no experience drawing or making different shades,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said that the character Mako — the male in the center with the golden eyes — “looks a lil’ funky but that’s okay because I hate him.”

Jenkins isn’t the only one who enjoys painting some of her favorite pop culture characters; junior Maggie Poppiti loves to paint different Disney characters.

“My favorite painting right now is probably this really simple line art I did of Cinderella,” Poppiti said.

Poppiti isn’t afraid to branch out and paint other subjects, and even does custom paintings for some of her friends.

“That’s very random things most of the time,” Poppiti said, claiming her subjects have ranged from Kermit memes to realistic Harley Quinn portraits for her friends. 

Poppiti used to draw little things for her friends, mainly on birthday cards and such, but when quarantine started, she was bored and desperate to find something to fill her time.

“I’m normally such a busy person because I’m always like going places to hang out with friends or I just always have work or something to do. I didn’t have any more room for paintings in my room, so I asked my friends if they wanted me to draw or paint something for them,” Poppiti said. “It just occupied my time and it was nice. I love sending mail, so it was a great way to stay connected.”

The quarantine gave senior Maggie Witham the time to re-explore her passion for doing art, and activity she’s been doing ever since she was a little kid. 

“I took art classes for a few years sporadically growing up and took all the art classes my high school had to offer — including AP studio. When I got to college I kind of lost touch with it but COVID-19 gave me more time to pick it up again,” Witham said. 

Witham has been using this new-found time to experiment with different mediums of art, moving from her favorite form — painting by using acrylics — to watercolor and pencil drawings.

“I’ve been moving from medium to medium lately,” Witham said.

Witham has even moved beyond painting and started experimenting with jewelry making and embroidering and said that “It’s so fun.”

“I love crazy earrings and I just wanted to learn how to make my own,” said Witham. “I like little crystals and things and thought it could turn out cool. I’ve been collecting so many [crystals] to turn into either pendants or earrings.”

If interested you can check out Witham’s jewelry, embroidery, and art on her art Instagram account @meta.magnolia. 

Photo of junior Meagan Jenkins’ Legend of Korra painting. Photo Courtesy of Meagan Jenkins. Featured Photo caption: Photo of junior Maggie Poppiti’s Cinderella line art painting. Photo Courtesy of Maggie Poppiti.

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