Non-traditional student presents nature

In a serene gallery lined with paintings of nature scenes, Andrea Ward held an art reception Tuesday evening to celebrate the first art show presenting her works to the public.

Ward, a soft-spoken graduating senior majoring in studio art, took an interest in artwork early in her childhood but did not begin painting until later as an adult. As a non-traditional student with grown children, Ward said she now has the time to put in the hours required to produce her pieces, such as the large canvases on display this week in the LSC.

“I was a stay at home mom so I could raise my three girls,” Ward said. “It can take anywhere from 50-60 hours to do a medium painting and around 100 hours to do one of the large ones.”

The majority of the paintings are centered on nature themes and many contain birds, which Ward says are one of her favorite things to paint.

“I find inspiration for the paintings in places I’ve been and pictures I’ve taken,” Ward said. “I used a lot of what I saw when I traveled to the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.”

Ward used a variety of methods to produce the paintings, ranging from charcoal to acrylic paints and watercolors to pencil.

“My favorite to make is the oil paintings. The colors blend better, but they take longer to dry and I just started using it,” Ward said.

Yet in addition to painting, Ward also displayed her wide variety of ceramics and combination pieces. The piece titled, “Clear-Cutting Solution,” combined the use of oil painting, woodworking and photos to create a unique piece viewers could actually interact with. Several ceramic pieces were created completely by Ward while others were copies of ancient artifacts, such as the piece entitled, “Dead Sea Ceramic Container.” Since she has never before put her art on public display, Ward said she has also never sold her work.

“I usually just put hang my paintings in my house or give them to my family,” Ward said. “I might sell some after the show. Commercial painting is just harder.”

The art show began in the LSC Art Gallery on March 26 and will continue through April 7. There is no admission price and the show is open to students and the general public.

“I decided to start painting when I was older just for the love of it,” Ward said. “I just sit down in the den where I paint and just go into the zone.”

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