Painting Something Different

Junior Ally Harp paints unqiue creations through a new style

Lexi Leisure, Features Editor


Why make a portrait when you can do something abstract? That’s junior Ally Harp’s motto, as she uses her artistic skills to make unique creations; art has always been in the back of her mind.

“I’ve always wanted to be an artist since I was little. When people would ask me, ‘What do you want to be when you get older?’ it was an artist. I always liked art classes in elementary school, and I continued that through high school,” Harp said.

As she transitioned through different parts of her life, the center of Harp’s artwork changed as well. She is not just doing a homework assignment anymore.

“Now I can do whatever I want in my classes. I’ve worked a lot with social messages and topics,” Harp said. “Since I’m against animal cruelty, I do a lot of my art around that.”

Harp also uses nature as a big inspiration for her work. “For my concentration all of it is nature abstract. It was the balance between control and chaos of nature,” Harp said. “If you look closely it’s very detailed, but at the same time very chaotic. I tried to embody that in my artwork [by] using paint pours and paint to show that.”

Haven’t heard of paint pours before? Harp has been experimenting with this new form of art this year and, it started through a video she saw online.

“I’m using a lot of different chemicals and materials that I’ve never used before. I use this chemical called floretro,” Harp said. “Then I use latex paint and combine it with acrylic paint. I mix it all together and layer it with different colors. Then I pour it on [the canvas].”

The only way Harp could describe the design the paint pours create was by calling them bubbles or “cell-like” shapes as her art teacher, Caroline Hays, calls them.

“She’s open to trying different materials. I’ve not had a student work with [paint pours] before. It’s been interesting to see how she has learned to do it all on her own,” Hays said.

Hays teaches Drawing, Painting, AP Drawing, and AP Art History at NHS. She has had Harp in class for drawing and AP drawing. Throughout Harp’s time in art class, Hay has seen her improve.

“She very motivated and driven. Her ideas for artworks have gotten stronger and she’s adding meaning,” Hays said. “Her skills with shading and realistic details have also improved.”

Harp says she enjoys making paint pours and the freedom she gets with them. She says it is something different that she does compared to her other classmates.

“I’m a perfectionist. I freak out if I mess a line up. With [pour paint] I can mess it up as much as I want and it still will look good,” Harp said. “Everyone has a different style and aesthetic. We all do the same thing, but it is a little different. There’s one kid in my class that works with cardboard. Some people use sharpies, watercolor, or paint. It all depends on the person.”

Harp hopes to continue her art pathway into college and possibly in a career in the future.

“I’m probably going to Purdue and do something with polytechnic. I want to go into graphic design and do web design. I know some coding, but I want to add that art element to it,” Harp said.

Having supportive parents has helped guide Harp through the years, as she says they support her abstract artwork.

“My mom has always been very artistic. I know a lot of people’s parents are very particular with what they paint and it has to a certain way. For me, it’s all over the place and she’s always been really supportive. She doesn’t care where I take it as long as I think it is good myself,” Harp said.

As a growing artist, Harp is still learning. She hopes to continue to improve her work, but you can’t learn without a few mistakes along the way.

“My parents get really mad because we just got new carpet, but I always paint in my room. I put a sheet down and I was paint pouring. The paint was so thick that it went through the sheet,” Harp said, “There were so many different colors. I was up all night using a toothbrush and scraping the carpet.”