By Karianna Aufderhar
Hello, my name is Karianna Aufderhar. I have lived on Lopez Island for almost eight years now, but I currently attend Union College in Nebraska. From a very early age I began to love art. You could usually find me with a spiral notebook filled with drawings and stories. The first real art class I had was by Ethan Salter at the Lopez Middle School. We worked with a variety of mediums, such as pencil, paint, pastels, charcoal, watercolors, and even glass that we fired in a kiln. Students were given art journals to use for any kind of art we wanted. Ethan often told us to just start drawing and don’t erase anything. Our artwork didn’t have to be perfect. It was then, and still is, a hard lesson for me to learn to let go of making something look “just right.” The best art usually comes from sitting down and doodling on some lined paper for the fun of it! Soon after starting school on Lopez, I began doodling in class. First it was scrap paper, then I was drawing original art on all my math homework and quizzes. The teachers and assistants noticed my drawings but never discouraged me. For that, I will always be grateful. In high school, I attended a boarding school in Spokane. The art teacher there taught oil painting. At first, I was extremely slow and bewildered by this medium of art. But I quickly fell in love with it! During my senior year, I went out of my comfort zone and tried woodworking. I made wooden spoons, a fork, some butter knives, cutting boards and eventually finished a coffee table. In all my woodworking adventures, the day I will never live down is when I told my dear mother I had sold the coffee table… her coffee table that she had paid for when I signed up for the class. My parents have always been my cheerleaders and I can never thank them enough.
I believe everyone is creative. You might not believe it about yourself, but it’s still true. Some people look at the doodlers in school who seem to have natural talent and compare themselves. But art can take all shapes and forms. My brother works with metal in a little forge. He made my mom a little bag out of leather. Art doesn’t have to be something on a wall. Art isn’t just composed of pretty doodles of eyes in a sketchbook. It is so much more than that! It is laughter. It is poetry. It’s the melody of a singing piano. It’s the view atop the hill with the swing, overlooking the sparkling sea. Art is everywhere if we stop to look for it.
Throughout my life, so far, many individuals have inspired me. My art remained at stick-figure level for a few years, but people still encouraged me to keep drawing and to be creative. That encouragement has meant the world to me. “Thank you!” to those who have inspired me over the years. I hope my artwork will inspire people to take special care to encourage young artists around them.