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The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

From doodle to canvas: Churchill paints her way

Junior Eleanor Churchill uses various styles, such as doodles and paintings, as a means to express her viewpoint and perspective of the world.

Doodles, drawings and paintings. Art has always, in some way, shape or form, had a place in junior Eleanor Churchill’s life.

Churchill has been drawing and painting from a young age. When she got to high school, she took Foundations of Animation Design during her freshman year, Drawing Foundations her sophomore year, and she was then recommended for the advanced level for her junior year and is working towards taking AP Portfolio next year. As she practices and learns, Churchill’s art continues to evolve and her love and talent for art is evident in her work.

Churchill said that a big learning experience for her was when she got to spend time with her sister’s friend, a full-time artist. Churchill said that, along with practicing her art from a young age, spending time with a professional painter taught her invaluable lessons about how to think about art.

“It was really like she took me to the roots of ‘this is a shape’ and then just kind of started me over. Most of the time when you’re doing art it’s for fun, but then you don’t train the correct order of things— not that there’s a correct order of things—but sometimes there’s more efficient ways of doing stuff,” Churchill said.

Junior Ness Bain met Churchill in their freshman year. He said that he has seen her art change and grow over the years, in more ways than one.

“She used to doodle a lot, and I always thought the style of her doodles were really cool, and then I started seeing her actual pieces, especially more recently because it’s been displayed more. And they not only have grown size-wise—she’s gotten to do more bigger canvases—it’s just improved a lot. She’s always been really good, but she’s just gotten more confident in the way that she does her art,” Bain said.

Visual Arts teacher Elizabeth Brennan currently teaches Churchill’s advanced painting class. She said that Chuchill’s attitude towards improvement is what allows her art to flourish.

“She’s so committed to her work. She’s committed to growing. She’s willing to take creative risks. She tries new things,” Brennan said. “One of her last paintings, she did a lot of painting with the palette-knife versus the brush. She really embraces the idea of making her interpretation of what she sees versus a photographic representation of it. There’s a lot of spirit. There’s a lot of brushwork in her work. It’s very powerful.”

Churchill said that her favorite things to paint are portraits because she sees so many faces every day, so people are the subjects that make the most sense to her. For example, one of her paintings is focused on the relationship between a man in a coffee shop and a woman standing slightly behind him.

Brennan said that Churchill paints her portraits in a “loose realism” style, which is unique and makes her work more interesting. Brennan said that Churchill’s artistic talents allow her art to shine in this style.

“Now some people want to go to the point where it’s crisp and a photographic representation,” Brennan said. “[She] stops a little bit before that and you definitely get an absolute sense of what you’re looking at, but there’s a loose, confident quality to her work. Her brush work is beautiful and her sense of color is excellent.”

Churchill said that, in the future, she would like to go to an art school for college and find a job with an artistic aspect to it.

“I’m looking at art colleges, so I’ve already visited a couple of art schools. I think that’s really what I’m looking at. I’m not really sure what kind of job I would do. It’s a little bit more complicated because, especially with fine art, there’s not a lot of direct jobs besides teaching galleries, but I’m going to try to find any job that has art-related stuff to it,” Churchill said.

Churchill said that art is necessary and can lift people up and improve their mood.

“I think that doing any form of expression in an artistic way, makes people feel good and happy,” Churchill said. “It’s like listening to music, you know? I think it just can help people feel good.”

Bain said that Churchill carries positivity everywhere she goes and that the emotion that Churchill embodies is translated into her art.

“She’s always been the person that I know is going to be happy throughout the day and, with art, you can tell that she’s really passionate about it,” Bain said. “She has paint brushes in her bag. She’s very, very passionate about art and I can tell.”

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