Inspiration: it’s the underlying source that sparks an artist’s creative mind. For painter Shannon Moss ’11, the inspiration doesn’t always come easily.
“A lot of the time I would find that I had no inspiration,” Moss said.
As a result, Moss began driving around town and photographing objects that she believed would help generate new ideas for her paintings.
Painting became a major interest at the beginning of her junior year when she signed up for the oil painting class with Ms. Simpson. There, she was able to learn about the craft and sharpen her techniques.
Over time, Moss realized that she preferred portraiture, the art of painting people, to other styles of painting.
“It’s a little weird sometimes to ask my friends to model for me,” Moss said. Currently, painting serves as a pastime and recreational activity. Moss claims that most people don’t know about her passion for the arts, and that she currently prefers to use it as a “personal outlet” rather than a claim to fame.
The artist currently paints with oils paints at home for enjoyment and works outside of school with Kathy Ross, who helps her expand her portfolio.
“Shannon has a natural gift for art. Her paintings are wonderful and she also draws beautifully. She just seems to “get it,” Ross said. Moss is currently working on a self-portrait composed of a combination of text, charcoal, and other mediums with Ross.
“I taught myself most of it just from having a naturally artistic eye,” Moss said.
Her knack for being able to turn things into art proved to be useful with more than just the paintbrush. After continually using photography to aid her painting, Moss discovered a newfound love for an alternative artistic medium— the camera.
“I found that my photography itself as a separate art form was really fun as well,” Moss said. She began putting serious effort into photography at the end of her junior year and signed up for photo classes to take during her senior year in order to continue learning and developing her style.
“She works conceptually and is able to use technique and say something through her work at the same time,” said digital darkroom teacher Jonathan Nast. “She has a great artistic sense.”
Although her photography is still advancing, Moss embraces the idea of turning her hobby into a career.
“I’m definitely going to take [photography] courses in college, so I’ll just see where it goes,” she said.
The painter and photographer was able to apply her abilities to a published project with the 2010-2011 school directory cover. A family friend requested that Moss design it, and she agreed. The notebook themed cover was created using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Moss says this project was “a great artistic opportunity.”
Knowing that she had photography in her repertoire, Moss ventured to the school over the summer to take some photos, and hopefully be inspired by the Staples building. The mosaic of the Staples “S” on the floor of the front lobby really stood out, so she decided to make that image the focal point of her design. She combined her computer skills with her photography and created the final product that the PTA decided to use for this year’s directory.
At Staples, Moss has found an alternative way to showcase her talents and put a hobby to use.