Art Advancement

Senior Aly Ramsey wants to keep improving and evolving her art


Senior Aly Ramsey describes this piece as “a representation of identity, perception by one’s self and others, while leaning toward a focus on physical attributes and compartmentalization of characteristics.”

Morgan Tate

It was like an art wonderland when she was younger. Her mother’s room was filled with acrylics, ceramics, oil paints and markers. There was every art supply senior Aly Ramsey could ever dream of. She was called to create. That didn’t mean she didn’t occasionally dry out a brush or two, but she still painted.

“Every kid experiments with their colors and their drawings,” Ramsey said. “I think I didn’t actually start to look at what actually makes art good until middle school. I started getting really into color theory in high school.”

Ramsey’s goal has always been to improve. She takes small steps, focusing on color theory or human anatomy, and she’s always had people to help her. Her mother has been essential in helping her grow with critiques.

“You benefit from never thinking that you’re good enough,” Ramsey said. “You benefit from always seeing what’s wrong. Having someone else to point that out can be difficult at times, but I think it’s very helpful. It greatly helps me and I know that she wants me to improve.”

One of her favorite pieces was a multimedia self-portrait involving acrylic paints and embroidery. She intentionally painted a disjointed-looking portrait to evoke the idea of how people value aesthetics rather than the whole person. It isn’t her favorite just because of its quality, but because she learned from it.

“I think I went through a lot of trial and error,” Ramsey said. “There were a couple iterations of the main painting. I think I challenged myself a lot with that piece. I’ve improved greatly and ended up with a work that I’m really proud of.”

The worst pieces for Ramsey are not the ones that turn out poorly, but the ones where she learns nothing from the experience. One of these pieces was a watercolor painting she made of her room and Ramsey wished she would’ve pushed herself.

“Watercolor is very much not my thing,” Ramsey said. “It was definitely experimental, but I didn’t push myself to learn what watercolor could really do. I still think I don’t know what watercolor can really do. I didn’t challenge myself at all and it ended up looking very bland.”

There are many things that keep Ramsey from progressing as an artist and this frustrates for her.

“Creating anything takes a lot of energy,” Ramsey said. “You’re recombining ideas you’ve witnessed throughout your life and making an entirely new thing. The sheer time and energy that takes can be a huge barrier to creating more stuff.”

Ramsey is enrolled in IB Art which has given her the time and structure she needs to grow and create.

“Having a dedicated time and space where everything is readily available is very beneficial,” Ramsey said. “Having deadlines and someone else to witness what I’m doing is also very helpful in terms of trying to create more art.”

Ramsey has grown from a child working with her mother’s art supplies to a full-blown artist. She’s developed her style and technique, but that doesn’t mean she’s done. She wants to keep going.

“I hope to be more unique in my art and learn to have more control,” Ramsey said. “I would like my art to properly communicate what I would like it to, and I would like the effect it has to be intentional.”