Artist finds passion and escape in a paint brush

Margaux MacColl, Features Editor

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Sophia Durakis Green ’15 has come a long way since stick figures.
She started off with doodles in first grade, moving up to drawings of bunnies in fifth grade, eventually graduating to paintings in middle school. Now she’s set to attend Rhode Island School of Design, one of the best art schools in the nation.
Entering Green’s studio, there is a white basement with light pouring in rectangular beams through the windows, illuminating scattered paint bottles and a wooden easel. Paintings lean against the wall; a small porcelain sculpture of a head rests on the window sill.
“People don’t realize how much thinking goes into every little detail,” she said of her artwork. “You just always have to be paying attention. If the colors are right, if the shadows are right.”
She constantly stopped and started her sentences, as if a new thought tumbled out of her mouth before the old one had a chance to complete itself. While she has ADD and dyslexia, often making the ability to focus a sizeable feat, she is able to spend over 40 hours on a single painting.
“It’s kinda like my miracle,” she said of her art with a grin. “It’s better than Adderall.”
Her paintings are full of brightly blended colors that flood soft lines and gentle shadows. Each painting, whether it depicts a couple embracing or a portrayal of herself with a manic grin, radiates warmth.
“I could paint a decapitated head, and it would still look cheery,” she smiled. Her words were a poor container for her laughter, always letting chuckles seep through as she spoke. “I’m actually really annoyed about it.”
The upside, she said, is that she has certainly developed a style through constant practice. “Art has become a lifestyle,” she said.
Green pushed a strand of electric-blue hair out of her face. Her crystal eyes, framed by arching liquid eyeliner, brightened as she spilled her thoughts.
“If you read something, and you’re thinking about it, then you’re creating something whether or not it’s tangible,” she said. “I just provide a physical manifestation.”
It’s as though art is a natural extension of her bustling mind; she has two rugged notebooks brimming with her work. Decorating the pages are everything from silhouettes of people tattooed with penned patterns to sketches of the crinkle in a man’s eyes as he beams upon his love. And, every now and then, she’ll throw in some Star Trek fan art.
Star Trek is just the beginning of her fantasy infatuations. She used to attend fairy camp when she was little, which consisted of dancing in satin tunics and improvising stories. Her love of fairies grew, expanding to mythology and eventually influencing her art, with mythology being the focus of her 10-piece AP Studio Art project.
After all, she often views the purpose of consuming and creating fantasy as “not to be reminded of something painful but to be alleviated from it.”
“It’s not that reality is that bad,” she chuckled. “It’s just kinda boring.”

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