Interpretations: Artist gives her take on classic artPublished 9:21pm Wednesday, April 3, 2013
When Camille Smith painted her version of “Starry Nights” by Vincent Van Gogh, she had an advantage over the master painter.
“A popsicle stick,” she said.
The Washington High School student used the stick to layer on paint that would mimic the world-famous night scene and earn her the 2013 SAS First South Bank Award for “outstanding work by a senior” at the Beaufort County Art Council’s Student Art Show.
Smith painted the scene in acrylic on Styrofoam. The Styrofoam was recycled from the set of one of the school’s plays. She started out using the sticks to scrape and mix the paint, and then she stuck with it. The result turned out to be her favorite part of the painting.
Smith plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro next year, but art will not be her focus.
“If I went to art school, it would be overwhelming,” she said.
She plans to major in speech therapy and minor in art.
Smith took five art classes while at Washington High School. She said her paintings were sporadic and she preferred trying techniques at her own pace. One of her art courses was an independent study.
Smith said she enjoys copying the work of masters.
“It catches people’s attention, and it kind of brings people back to classic art,” she said. “It’s my own interpretation.”
She also uses the exercises as a gauge of her of her abilities. If she can paint a classic, she can paint anything, she said. So far, the list includes “Starry Nights,” Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” and Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
Smith said Vermeer left no room for error and was the most-challenging work to paint, but it was the Michelangelo work that she most enjoyed replicating.
“His stuff is so detailed,” she said. “It’s amazing.”