A View to Something Beautiful

When Hailey Smith was a sophomore, she decided to take Advanced Drawing Studio with Carole Harris. Hailey wasn’t always the most “Artsy” person. She had never been known as the “The Kid Who Could Draw, ” but did have a lot of ideas. “It was like I could see the image in my head, but once I went to put it on paper it never turned out the same.” Hailey says. “That’s why I chose to take art. I wanted to get my ideas out of my head for everyone else to see.”
Now a junior at Heritage High School, Smith tried different mediums before settling on painting. She took a photography class and attempted sculpture, but neither seemed to leave her satisfied. She always felt as if there was something more she could do, or didn’t feel as if she had put enough of herself into each piece to call it her own. “Painting is just something that feels right with me.” Hailey says. “When the brush is in my hand running along the paper, I feel like I can make anything without the judgment of anyone else. It’s as if (the work) has always been a part of me.”
When Hailey discovered painting she knew this was what she wanted. “I love mixing colors, and making something beautiful out of something so basic,” she says. “It just seemed like painting was something that fit who I was. I didn’t just choose to paint. It was as if I found something that was always with me, and all I had to do was learn how to use it.” Through her painting, Hailey has found a love of the pastoral in her work, focusing on the scenery of plants and flowers. The colors and shapes seem to just stand out to her more than anything else.
In May of 2010, one of Hailey’s pieces was displayed in the Evergreen Public Schools Art Show. The piece was titled “The Sadness”, and was showcased in Olympia, Washington for several months.
“I’ve never really considered how my art reflected how I saw the world.” Hailey says. “I guess in a way every painting I do is my own personal view on something beautiful.” She puts a little bit of herself into each of her paintings. “I guess in a way,” Hailey says, “my paintings don’t really reflect how I see the world, but they reflect the way I see myself.” In her mind, every painting tells a story, every portrait of an unknown character has its own story, and every flower has its own detail that makes it its own being.
Hailey chose to attend art classes at Heritage because she wanted to expand her artistic abilities. She felt that it was really easy to get started with any project she was given. “Painting seemed to just come naturally to me.” Hailey says. “There were certain points that were really difficult, but nothing I couldn’t manage.” She says that her self-portrait and the painting of the woman with the blue feathers were her biggest challenges. She spent hours planning the sketches for these pieces, mapping out every detail before she had even considered starting.
“It wasn’t because I didn’t know what to paint.” She says. “I just didn’t want to make something I didn’t care about.” Hailey wanted her work to mean something. She wanted the viewer to feel the effort she put into her work. To Hailey that is what made each painting such a challenge. Painting might look easy, but painting something that you care about is one of the biggest challenges an artist will face. Hailey would spend hours at a time on each of her works. She wanted every last detail to be absolutely perfect, and wouldn’t settle for anything less.
In the future Hailey plans to take AP Art here at Heritage, or possibly an art class that is offered at Clark College. She feels that there is much more for her to learn, and that there is a lot she still wants to accomplish. Hailey doesn’t necessarily want to take on a career that is all about art. She would like to have a career in the culinary field, but she says she will definitely be applying the art skills she learns to her career.

Story and Photography by Dylan Smith