A.P Draw, Paint, Print Senior Spotlight Interview: Gracie Mickler

The AP Drawing Portfolio is an intensive course, requiring students to produce art at the college level. Students compile a portfolio of 24-29 original artworks demonstrating mastery in composition, technique, and concept. Twelve of those pieces explore a common idea called a concentration.

Gracie Mickler has been a part of the Fine Arts Department since Middle School.

“Her work has continued to improve in technique and concept, she has truly mastered the art of acrylics and colored pencil. Critiques of her work always yield a great conversation, questions, and inspiring music playing alongside her paintings,” said Fine Arts instructor Rebecca Hoadley.

Gracie’s work has been hung in the Munnerlyn Gallery, the Library Gallery, and the Head of School Gallery.

What is the central idea of your concentration?

Through my concentration I am representing music through art. The premise of each painting is a specific song— for the twelve pieces of the concentration I choose twelve of my favorite songs to paint for the twelve pieces in the portfolio. Each song is chosen not only for how much I love it but also the vivid mental images each represents.

How does your work demonstrate the exploration of your idea?

The songs can have associated with them the feeling of a road trip or early morning, the memories of a specific vacation I’ve been on with family, the image of the sky changing with the rising and setting sun, and so much more. The color choices are also very important to the artwork, as color is a major factor in the way I see the world. I’ve made some color choices based on the album art the artist had already chosen, some based on the colors of the memory, and some based purely on the way the song flows. The incorporation of memory and real life as painting inspiration has also begun to be present in my artwork, coloring and inspiring as I visually tie the idea of a favorite song to the place where I heard it for the first time. Each painting evokes the internal feel of the song it’s based on, bringing together two of my artistic passions in painting and music.

How the idea has evolved over the year?

In the beginning of the year, I wanted to do paintings solely based off of imagery associated with the song in my head with colors chosen by the original artist via what’s on their album covers— but as the year continued I began to paint more personal imagery with a more unique method of color choice. The visuals started to change with the inclusion of things like places I’ve visited, and came to include memories from the summer, and even coming to include pictures of myself taken by friends. In the middle of the first semester, I began to realize how differently than others I saw color in the world— and in music— and began to incorporate more unique choices based on the color and textures of the music and how it feels to me.