Student Artist of the Month: Rory Lewis

photo: Nathan Drezner

Rory Lewis ’15 is an artist who focuses mainly on drawings, intricate portraits, and architectural structures. This year, she is enrolled in Studio Art III 2D and has been part of a team of art students working on a mural located in room 172. Aside from drawing, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, and playing for the PHS tennis team.

How long have you been drawing/painting, and what influenced you to begin?

I’ve been painting since I was small; I honestly can’t even remember when I started. As far as influences go, … [da Vinci] was my favorite artist when I was little. We are kind of similar [in that] we both wrote backwards when we were little [and are] both left-handed. My mom also definitely encouraged my artwork [so] that got me interested in art.

On average, how long does it take for you to complete a specific piece?

If I am using pen, which is my favorite medium, it takes me quite a while because it’s just very detailed. But if I am doing a piece in art class, it depends but usually at least a couple weeks.

How do you feel the school has provided you with opportunities to develop your artistic talents?

Definitely the art classes here … are really awesome! I’m in the Studio Art [III] 2D [class] this year, and we have that project where we are working in groups on a wall piece [a mural or installation on an area of the art room wall]. We’ve been working all year on it. That’s something that’s definitely new. I’ve never really worked on a scale like that; [it] is quite large. I think also …  the materials we have—the printmaking and things we can do—are so much more than I can do at home.

What are your ambitions for your artwork after you leave PHS?

I think that art is a very difficult field to go into; it’s just really competitive … It’s just something I do for me, something I enjoy.

Do you have a favorite piece of artwork? How do you draw inspiration from it?

I don’t really have a favorite piece. When I complete a drawing in pen, I am rather proud of myself, [though] that doesn’t happen very often. It takes a while. I really just like to learn from each of my pieces. I feel as though I have never really finished, and with each piece, I feel I learn something new, something about a specific place or even a structure.

What is your state of mind or heart when painting/drawing?

It’s usually very calm. When you go through a school day, it’s very hectic and you’re thinking about 1,000,000 different things, like: “When am I going to do my homework?” With art, it’s sort of like you are just there. Minutes, hours could pass by, but you don’t notice at all.

What do you draw inspiration from in your daily life for your artwork?

I like drawing humans, especially faces, the most. I think that’s da Vinci again sort of influencing me. I went through an anatomy phase where all I drew were parts of the body … muscles, bones, and other things. I also like drawing trees and plant life; anything in the surrounding world is an inspiration to me.

What impact do you see your artwork having on people?

I think [my art] is definitely different. I think people will definitely turn and look at it, maybe because it’s detailed, inspiring, and evokes curiosity. Like I said before, it’s really just something I do for myself even though I like showing it to people. I am not necessarily trying to impact someone or change their viewpoint. It’s just really showing them my view of the world.

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